Thanks to a grant secured by UNCW’s Office of Cultural Arts, DC Virgo Middle School has become a hotbed of original poetry. Throughout this week, the sixth- and seventh-graders are work-shopping personal poems under the guidance of a teaching artist from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. WHQR’s Katie O’Reilly reports that New Hanover County Schools are one of only two districts in the state to enjoy such opportunities through the Kennedy Center.
Because Wilmington’s recent spate of gun violence has residents from every walk of life concerned, City Councilman and UNCW political science professor Earl Sheridan corralled some university colleagues for a community panel event. WHQR’s Katie O’Reilly reports that Wednesday night’s discussion often landed on another local hot button: public education.
In yesterday’s municipal elections, Wilmington’s three incumbent city council candidates kept their seats, beating out three challengers. Kevin O’Grady, Charlie Rivenbark and Earl Sheridan will all begin new four-year terms. Mayor Bill Saffo, who ran unopposed, will also continue to serve the city for another two-year term.
Last night’s race was a close one. It wasn’t until close to ten o’clock last night that incumbent Earl Sheridan, a political science professor at UNCW, pulled slightly ahead of Skip Watkins, a local financial advisor.
Skip Watkins says he’s dreamed of serving in public office his whole life. A father, financial advisor and longtime volunteer with the Cape Fear Festival and Expo and the Azalea Festival, Watkins cites frustration over Wilmington City Council’s recent efforts to acquire a minor-league baseball stadium as the catalyst that ultimately spurred him to run for a seat on the Council. If elected, Skip Watkins hopes to provide the City with a dose of what he describes as “fiscal guidance.”
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.
Today I spoke with Norman Bemelmans. He is Director of Cultural Arts at UNCW and a renowned concert pianist. He and Elizabeth Loparits are giving a concert tomorrow night, September 4th at 8PM in Kenan Auditorium at UNCW. The show will feature solo and duo piano works of Beethoven, Debussy and Gershwin.
The Wilmington Housing Authority is cracking down on crime in public housing communities. At Monday's monthly board meeting, a UNCW graduate student is presenting a study on criminal activity in affordable housing. And the Authority is proposing sweeping policy changes in an effort to get public housing residents and their visitors off the streets late at night.