Vince Winkel

REPORTER, WHQR NEWS

Vince Winkel joined the WHQR news team in March, 2017. He had previously been covering business and economics for the Greater Wilmington Business Journal.

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Vince began his career in public broadcasting with Monitor Radio in 1985, during which time his work received reporting awards from the Overseas Press Club of America, International Radio Festival of New York (Gold Medal), Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi, Gabriel Award: Best Feature-National Release, National Federation of Community Broadcasters, Colorado Press Association, Associated Press Television Association of California and others.

During his previous time in public radio he also was a contributor to Living on Earth, SoundPrint, Only a Game, NPR, Southern California Public Radio, Marketplace and the BBC.

Vince also helped launch Public Interactive, working with PBS and NPR stations across the country in developing content and publishing tools for station websites.

During an eight year break from radio, Vince was media director for BMW Motorcycles, managing their publications and digital media.

Vince Winkel

This week the flood waters from Hurricane Florence should begin receding. Those waters contain more waste today than they did two weeks ago. Some of that waste could create environmental problems.

Vince Winkel

The sound of generators and sirens is being replaced by the sound of chainsaws in the cape fear region. Local businesses are starting to distribute relief supplies to local residents. As WHQR's Vince Winkel reports, a variety of local establishments are playing a role.  

Vince Winkel

Finding food can be a challenge during the days after a hurricane.  Starting today, a national organization has set up camp in Wilmington, to feed the community. They will be preparing tens of thousands of meals. WHQR’s Vince Winkel reports. 

Vince Winkel

Food and water is being flown into the Cape Fear region. Slowly more stores and gas stations are opening. Food trucks are also out and about, cooking what they have, and tring to make a dent in the need for food. 

Vince Winkel

Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo gives an update on roads, power and cleanup efforts on Tuesday afternoon while exploring the downtown area. 

Vince Winkel

Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo speaks with WHQR late Sunday afternoon as he explores downtown Wilmington to speak with residents and business owners. 

Vince Winkel

Hurricane Florence will bring more than high winds and torrential rains when it reaches the Cape Fear Region this week. It will also bring a storm surge.  It’s not just a coastal phenomenon.

Vince Winkel

New Hanover County officials met with Emergency Management staff Monday morning to discuss plans for preparing for Hurricane Florence. The storm appears to be on a collision course with the Cape Fear region later this week, and is currently a oowerful category 4 hurricane.

On Thursday in Washington D.C., the House of Representatives held a hearing on perfluorinated chemicals in the environment. GenX is such a chemical. One of the speakers was Emily Donovan of Brunswick County. 

Emily Donovan, the co-founder of Clean Cape Fear, is en route to Washington DC. A House subcommittee invited her speak during a hearing looking into PFAS and GenX contamination in the water supply.  The issue is now receiving more national attention.

Vince Winkel

Marine biotechnology is a growing field in Wilmington. One of the leaders is MARBIONC - a program at the University of North Carolina Wilmington - that develops and markets new products. One of their latest discoveries, a potential medication derived from algae, has just been approved for further testing. 

EWG

A U.S. Senator from Michigan, has introduced bipartisan legislation that could help with the investigation and clean-up of the chemical compounds currently in the Cape Fear River. It’s called the PFAS Detection Act.   

Vince Winkel

The Wilmington City Council has passed new regulations for horse-drawn carriages and their owners. By a unanimous vote last night, the council approved new rules on where tours can go, the health of the horses, and who can operate the tours.  PETA, meanwhile, is opposed to the use of horses for such businesses.

Vince Winkel

In Navassa, between the Brunswick River and Navassa Road, there’s a Superfund site. It sits behind a chain-link fence topped with barbed wire and no trespassing signs. It’s a heavily wooded area today. However after the cleanup it may look a lot different.

Photo: Dr. Kristen Colleran

Saturday is 'Clear the Shelters' adoption day. That means animal shelters in Pender, New Hanover, Brunswick and Columbus Counties will be adopting out animals without the usual fees. It’s all part of a nationwide pet adoption drive. 

Vince Winkel

Tuesday in Fayetteville, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will hold an all-day series of meetings. This is in response to North Carolina residents having been exposed to chemicals like GenX in the Cape Fear River, and toxic firefighting foam on military bases around the State.

Vince Winkel

In downtown Wilmington, businesses come and go. Crust Kitchen and Cocktails Restaurant just opened on Princess Street. Another restaurant, Grace and 2nd, just closed on Grace. And GDN – Guys Do Nails – is about to open on Princess. Downtown will always be, on some level, a revolving door of businesses.

Vince Winkel

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Air Quality Thursday announced its decision on the use of methyl bromide in log fumigation operations in Columbus County. Rather than grant a permit to the company’s facility in Delco, DEQ says more steps have to be taken. Here's the latest on a story that we first brought you last spring. 

Vince Winkel

The trade war with China and other U.S. allies is hitting close to home, as Bladen County just earned a unique distinction. According to research by the Brookings Institution, Bladen County ranks 4th among all U.S. counties that could be hurt by President Donald Trump's tariffs. 

Vince Winkel

The New Hanover County Airport Authority has a new chairperson... and for the first time in its history, the chair is a woman. Donna Girardot was appointed to the position last week. She becomes Chair as Wilmington International Airport goes through another year of growth. WHQR sat down with Girardot, to discuss her new role.

DEQ

This week the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality hosted a public hearing in Wilmington, and nobody came. The meeting was to discuss the clean-up of hazardous materials at a site off Sunnyvale Drive. It’s not uncommon for these hearings to go unattended.

Vince Winkel

Tuesday night the Wilmington City Council will consider a resolution that asks North Carolina’s General Assembly and Governor to consider legislation that would prohibit those deemed an extreme threat to themselves or others from being able to purchase – or keep - weapons like handguns and rifles. 

Google Earth

Next Wednesday the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality will hold a public hearing in Wilmington. It’s to share the final plans to clean up a hazardous waste site along Sunnyvale Drive, between Carolina Beach and River Roads. The clean-up should keep toxic chemicals out of the groundwater in the area.

Vince Winkel

On Wednesday the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s public comment period on a proposed court order against Chemours will end. That order would require the company to implement measures to eliminate or reduce air emissions and water impacts caused by GenX and related compounds from their Fayetteville facility. 

This week in North and South Carolina, Medicare recipients began receiving their replacement cards. According to the Better Business Bureau of Coastal Carolina, with those cards have come scam phone calls. 

Vince Winkel

The images of children being separated from their parents at the U.S. – Mexico border have been all over the media in recent weeks. As a result, President Donald Trump signed an executive order on June 20 to stop the separations. There is a debate over immigration policy in this country.  That policy hits close to home.

Vince Winkel / WHQR Public Radio

Summer means more mosquitos in the Cape Fear region. Especially when it rains. The water creates ideal breeding conditions.  New Hanover County’s Mosquito Control Department is keeping busy.

There is more news to report on the GenX front. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry has released a draft study on the class of chemicals called PFOA and PFAS. It says the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended levels for these compounds in the water is too high. 

LinkedIn

More legal support for the state’s poor. That was a point made by North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Martin in Wilmington on Friday. He was addressing the North Carolina Bar Association’s annual meeting. 

Vince Winkel

The City of Wilmington now has a short-term rental policy. After batting last night over specific conditions, the council passed the ordinance 4-2 with Councilman Kevin O’Grady walking out before the vote. 

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