New Hanover County Commission

Wilmington's Hillcrest Community is a medium-sized public development. / WHA

For the first time ever, the Wilmington Housing Authority is applying for a competitive, thirty-million-dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD—and they want to make it a community affair. Today the Housing Authority gathered city and county leaders at the Hillcrest development to strategize on winning a Choice Neighborhood Grant. It’s part of an effort, as WHQR’s Katie O’Reilly reports, to transform housing projects into areas indistinguishable from the surrounding city.

WHQR News / Data provided by Wave Transit

Over the summer, New Hanover County cut WAVE Transit’s funding significantly from the previous year, resulting in the likely closures of routes serving northern New Hanover County and Pleasure Island. However, WAVE was granted slightly more state funding this year for its Rural Operating Assistance Program. But since WAVE won’t be able to use that money to help salvage the routes in question, it will likely extend their current closure date—September thirtieth—until after WAVE’s board meets with the New Hanover County Commission to make final decisions in October.

Live Oak Bancshares opened its corporate headquarters in Wilmington five years ago. 

New Hanover County

Brian Berger will be left to serve out his term on the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners with no further effort to oust him. 

NHCo. Sheriff's Office

Throughout recent legal battles concerning New Hanover County Commissioner Brian Berger’s fitness for public office, mental health has been a central topic. At a news conference last week, Commission Chairman Woody White said the commission had heard nothing from Berger regarding whether he needed or had received mental health counseling. White cited Berger’s incoherent emails, conspiracy fixations and erratic behavior as grave concerns that responsible leaders could not ignore.

The elections for New Hanover County Commissioner don’t happen until next year, and the filing period for candidates doesn’t open until February, but the race is already getting underway. 

In a Facebook posting over the Labor Day weekend, Democratic Candidate Rob Zapple announced his candidacy and updated his campaign website. 

New Hanover County

Embattled New Hanover County Commissioner Brian Berger is likely on his way out. 

Chairman Woody White called for Berger’s resignation last month after a series of actions over the last several weeks by Berger that alarmed the Board – including the public accosting of Governor Pat McCrory during a ceremony at Cape Fear Community College. 

The Board voted last night to censure Berger and to file an amotion.  Just before the vote, Commissioner Thomas Wolfe castigated Berger for refusing to step down.

" I think the best you could do is resign.  You’ve brought shame and dishonor upon this council.  And I'm mad about it and I don't want to put up with it anymore."

Brian Berger interrupted, saying, "We're going to have to disagree on that, and..."

Thomas Wolfe fired back.

"Well, of course we are.  You can't see where you've done anything wrong.  You think you're a white knight on a shining horse.  Well, I got news for you Mr. Berger.    You're not.  You're a disgrace.  Do the community the right thing.  Stand up like a man and resign."

At a news conference Friday afternoon, New Hanover County Commission Chair Woody White called for Brian Berger’s resignation.  The call came after a series of recent incidents that have heightened concerns about the safety of county staffers and what some are calling Berger’s deteriorating mental condition. 

NHCo. Commission approves group to study HB 438

Jan 23, 2013
New Hanover County

New Hanover County will begin looking at whether or not it should consolidate two major agencies: the departments of health and social services. The board of commissioners approved the creation of a committee to study the many options of House bill 438.

The group will consist of a patchwork of county interests, including existing boards of health and human services, UNCW, and the New Hanover Regional Medical Center. Chairman Woody White voted in favor of the group but says there’s no need to rush into a decision.

After proving to be an especially hot topic during election season,  economic development now tops the agendas for national, state, and local leaders. 

Spirited public debates on the issue recently centered on whether a baseball stadium would revitalize downtown Wilmington or if Titan Cement should operate a facility in Castle Hayne.

In a recent interview, Woody White, newly-appointed as Chairman of New Hanover County’s Commission, offered his strategy for growing the local economy.