Wilmington, NC – Pat Delair beat J.C. Hearne in the special election for the Wilmington City Council seat.

Unofficial numbers Tuesday night gave Delair 61% of the vote, taking 27 out of 31 precints.

Delair says she's concerned about re-zoning in the city, but her first priority is to actively involve Wilmington in an attempt to block the proposed Hugo Neu landfill in Brunswick County.

credit: Marvin Neuwirth

Wilmington, NC – A fire Monday night destroyed a home on Bald Head Island.

Fire Chief Chip Munna says the house was engulfed in flames by the time someone called 911 at around 7:50 p.m.

He says it took more than 50 firefighters an hour and a half to put out the blaze. He says nobody was home at the time. The fire caused an estimated $1.1 million in damages.

Wilmington, NC – The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council is considering a move to block commercial deepwater fishing from an area 60 miles southwest of Southport.

The 10-mile by 10-mile Marine Protected Area covers what's called the Snowy Wreck, a known habitat of the snowy grouper.

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council's Carrie O'Malley says many commercial fishermen support the move.

Wilmington, NC – North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement agents cited 17 store clerks for selling tobacco to minors during a sweep through the region last month.

Agents targeted stores in Brunswick, Duplin and Onslow counties.

Stores with clerks cited for selling tobacco to minors include the Food Lion on Highway 133 in Southport, Kerr Drugs on North Sycamore in Rose Hill and the Shoreline Chill & Grill on Oak Island.

North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement agents targeted 145 stores in all.

Wilmington, NC – Supply shopping for Wilmington artists Dan Brawley and Dixon Stedler requires work gloves, wire cutters, and an innocent smile.

The smile belongs to Stedler, who uses it on the property owners who sometimes catch her popping out of their dumpsters.

Wilmington, NC – On September 28th, Wilmingont City Council candidates J.C. Hearne and Pat Delair debated some of the major issues facing Wilmington. Listen to that debate.

Wilmington, NC – Wilmington Police say they have identified the man found dead last week floating in the Cape Fear River.

Police say the man is 46-year-old Terry Anthony Wilson of Raleigh.

They say a relative living outside the area saw a news story seeking Wilson's identity, and police made a positive I.D. late last night.

Sgt. Warren Kennedy with the Wilmington Police Department says police still don't know why Wilson was in Wilmington.

Wilmington, NC – Last Saturday was the last day to ride the Hurricane or eat cotton candy and popcorn at the Pavilion in Myrtle Beach.

The 58-year-old amusement park turned out the lights, making way for a new development on the Grand Strand. WHQR freelance producer Joel Fernando was there for the last ride, and has this audio postcard of what is now just a memory.

Wilmington, NC – The October 2nd edition of U.S. News and World Report highlights Wilmington as a place where seniors are coming to retire.

Under the subtitle The Graying of America the article focuses on Wilmington's growing 50+ population.

The article says Wilmington has something called street corner strange. That's the arty vibe given to a town by its arts community.

Wilmington, NC – The city's adding some adult flavor to events along Wilmington's waterfront.

The City Council approved a new policy Tuesday night to allow special events to sell alcohol in Riverfront Park between Market and Princess streets.

Events have to apply for a permit and pay a fee. The policy stipulates that any money raised from alcohol sales must go to non-profit groups.

Wilmington, NC –
Railroad Museum On the Move

Moving plans for the Railroad Museum are on are a roll.

Tuesday's City Council meeting benefited both the Wilmington Railroad Museum and the Brooklyn Arts Center, with the council approving a lease for one and a property transfer for the other.

Lease approval means the Railroad Museum is on course to take up residence in the old Atlantic Coastline Railroad's 'Warehouse B,' which the city purchased earlier this year for that purpose.

Wilmington, NC – Angry parents addressed the Board's October meeting, saying they were frustrated to learn through the district's website that their neighborhood school assignments had changed.

The complicated course to the current school boundaries started at a work session in June, when the School Board adopted a redistricting plan that would send most elementary students in New Hanover County to the school nearest their house.

Wilmington, NC – New Hanover County Commissioners are scheduled to make a decision tonight on whether a current road stub can be turned into an actual road paving the way for a new development called Nautical Greens.

Protesting the road are residents who say they've been promised that it would never be made a promise that alleviated their concerns about future traffic and prompted them to build even closer to where the road could now travel.

Wilmington, NC – The town of Topsail Beach received nearly $300,000 from the North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund to help purchase the town's marina and boat ramp.

In all, Topsail Beach has received $800,000 in grants to buy the property, which carries a $2.25 million price tag.

Located on the old Bush Marina property, the marina offers ten boat slips and a public ramp.

Topsail Beach Town Manager Jim Carter says maintaining public access to the water is a top priority.


Wilmington, NC – The Myrtle Beach Pavilion, an amusement park that has entertained the public for nearly five decades, will be turning off the lights to make room for new development.

Tim Rudy, an executive with the company that owns the park, says Saturday is the final chance to be amused at the Pavilion in what will aptly be called The Last Ride Experience.

Rudy says the Pavilion's shutting down because it was no longer making money.

Wilmington, NC – Nan Graham's book, In A Magnolia Minute, is available in bookstores or online at www.nangraham.com.

Wilmington, NC – Police say they have no identifying information for the man whose body was recovered south of the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge Wednesday night.

The body is a black man, estimated between the ages of 30 and 50. The John Doe was found wearing khaki pants and black shoes. Officers say his only identifying mark is a US Marines tattoo on his left upper bicep.

An autopsy revealed the man drowned, with no sign of foul play. Officers say it will take a month to get results from toxicology tests.

Wilmington, NC – Wilmington City Council candidate J. C. Hearne says he thinks it's too early to tell if the proposed convention center design is on the right course.

Hearne made the remark last night at a WHQR, Star-News city council candidate debate with challenger Pat Delair.

Wilmington, NC – North Carolina Victim Assistance Network, know as NC VAN, held its training conference yesterday in Wilmington.

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, District Attorney Ben David and other state law enforcement figures thanked service providers for their service and sharing strategies to best serve victims of serious crimes.

David says providing proper representation for victims is the goal of NC VAN.

Wilmington, NC – In South Carolina, officials in Horry County are itching to rid the area of an increase in mosquito hatchings.

Horry County spokesperson Lisa Bourcier says the county is working to close the mosquito season with another phase of aerial spraying.

The county pays for the aerial mosquito spraying and Bourcier says this is the fourth year it has done this.

Wilmington, NC – The Robeson County Humane Society is looking for homes for more than 50 cats that have been living with an elderly St. Paul's woman.

A code enforcement officer alerted the Humane Society earlier this month that Lessie Smith had been taking care of 60 cats.

Shelly Carey is Adoption Coordinator for the Robeson County Humane Society. She says the cats are well feed and in generally good condition because Smith bought food for them before feeding herself.

Wilmington, NC – The University of North Carolina, Wilmington says while black freshman enrollment has dropped from last year to this year, overall the campus is bringing in more people of color.

In this year's freshman class of 1,987, 105 of those students are African-American. That's eight less than in last year's freshman class.

Associate Provost Terry Curran says the university needs to work harder to reach out to the black community and high school counselors.

Wilmington, NC – Governor Mike Easley announced yesterday Pender County will get a nearly $300,000 development grant.

The money will go toward renovating and equipping a facility at Cape Fear Community College in Burgaw that teaches entrepreneurs commercial food preparation.

The facility will also help the develop product lines from produce grown in the area such as blueberries.

Pender is one of seven rural counties that received Community Development Block Grants.

(c) Richard Kornberg and Associates and William Ivey Long

Wilmington, NC – William Ivey Long has created costumes for movies, ballets, and more than fifty Broadway shows, including Guys and Dolls and Hairspray. He toured the Cameron's galleries last week to begin designing the exhibit. Having grown up in the Carolinas, Long says he's honored to be asked to display at the Cameron.

Wilmington, NC – Rabies test done on a hooded seal came back negative. The young, male seal bit an employee at the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science center who was trying to help him.

A spokesperson for the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center says the employee has several stitches and is recovering, although upset about the seal's death.

Wilmington, NC – "Slide-Stock 2006 , a festival that showcases the art of the slide guitar now eight years running, will be making its Wilmington debut this weekend.

Wilmington blues man, Mojo Collins, along with others will showcase their talents during the two-day festival.

It's got a pretty thriving blues scene here and I think it will help it out a lot and will expose a lot of people to this particular art, it is kind of a lost art to be truthful with you.

Wilmington, NC – The Castle Hayne Steering Committee is holding a B-B-Q this weekend to give candidates a chance to tell voters where they stand on the issues.

Organizers say this will be a non-partisan event with an expected 25 candidates ranging from local seats to the U.S. Senate.

Event organizer, Tom Radewicz, says this is an opportune time to for voters to get some one-on-one time with the candidates.

Virginia Beach, VA – The Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center put down the arctic ice seal to conduct a rabies test after the animal bit a staff member.

Stranding Response Program Coordinator Susan Barco described the bite as a public health issue.

Barco said staff briefly lost control of the seal while they were trying to move the animal, leading to the bite. And although she defended the Aquarium's current handing techniques, Barco said that the staff has little experience with ice seals.

Wilmington, NC – Researchers at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher say the young hooded seal found stranded on Wrightsville Beach last Friday is doing well.

Police found the juvenile male seal by the Oceanic Pier early Friday morning. Bob Schoelkopf is founding director of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in New Jersey.

He says normally two to three hooded seal strandings are recorded a year, but this year is already up to eight or nine. He says this could be due to an unusually large adult population.

Wilmington, NC – Under the Heritage Tree Program, the Wilmington Tree Commission will have the power to confer landmark status on the city's historic and noteworthy trees. Nominated trees will have to meet criteria for size, age, rarity, or historic value.

The program requires property-owner consent and has no power to prevent the removal of designated trees. However, Wilmington Environmental Planner Philip Preet, an ex officio member of the Tree Commission, says he hopes the program someday takes on a more binding role.