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2018 is likely to see normal to slightly above-normal storm Atlantic hurricane activity.  That's according to the newly-released forecast from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.   The breakdown looks like this:  10-16 named storms; 5-9 may become hurricanes.  Of those, one to four could become major hurricanes. 

NPR

Joshua Johnson is the Host of 1A, the successor to the long-running and hugely popular Diane Rehm show.  Before his move to the nation’s capitol, he lived in San Francisco, where he served as KQED’s morning newscaster. 

Paul Taylor Dance Company

Modern dance and Memorial Day remembrances might not sound like natural bedfellows.  But this year, Paul Taylor Dance Company is working to raise the profile of Folded Flag Foundation, a nonprofit that helps military families grappling with loss.  

Vince Winkel

Two bills aimed at GenX and emerging contaminants passed their first readings in Raleigh today.  Democrats and Republicans from the Cape Fear region sponsored two different versions – both filed last Thursday. 

Creative Commons

Access to mental health resources is one of six major unmet needs in the Cape Fear region.  That’s according to New Hanover Regional Medical Center’s 2016 Community Needs Assessment Survey, which examines New Hanover, Brunswick, and Pender Counties.  Suicide is one of the ten leading causes of death in southeastern North Carolina – despite the fact that it’s not in the top 10 statewide.

copied courtesy Keith Acree, NC Department of Corrections. State Archives of North Carolina, Raleigh, NC

Inmates killed five North Carolina prison workers in 2017.  Four worked as correctional officers; one as a maintenance mechanic.  Violent assaults on officers have increased significantly from previous years, according to the Associated Press. 

Vince Winkel / WHQR Public Radio

More than 350 people packed a school auditorium this week in Columbus County, to learn more about a permit application. Malec Brothers Transport wants to use methyl bromide to treat logs to kill pests before those logs are shipped to China. As they did just last week, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality hosted a public hearing. Just like last week, the public spoke loudly.

The Changing Face of the Opioid Crisis

May 15, 2018
Pexels.com

The Cape Fear Region has seen an increase in opioid use disorder, otherwise known as OUD. New Hanover County has plans to open a long-term treatment facility – for men.

People suffering from opioid use disorder contribute to jail overflows. That’s why New Hanover County Commissioners committed to funding a Trillium Health Resources facility in 2016

The Southern Environmental Law Center – or SELC -- says the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality should shut down Chemours, and they should do it now. On behalf of Cape Fear River Watch, the SELC recently told DEQ they have the power and legal authority to take that step. 

alancutlerforsheriff.com

The May 2018 primary is now over, and the candidates who made it through this elimination round now head to the ballot for the November general election.

Three Democrats battled in the 20th North Carolina House District, for the right to challenge incumbent state Representative Holly Grange, a Republican. It was a close race. 

ncleg.net

Frank Iler has served four terms as the North Carolina Representative for District 17.  Now this Brunswick County Republican heads into a general election for the fifth time.

In the primary for New Hanover County Commissioner, three Democrats ran for two spots in November’s general election: newcomer James Middleton, political veteran Julia Olson-Boseman, and current commissioner Rob Zapple.  

ncleg.net

North Carolina Representative Ted Davis, Jr. served on the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners before his appointment to the state House in 2012.  Despite a primary challenge from newcomer Hunter Ford, this New Hanover County Republican now goes on to battle a Democrat and a Libertarian in November.

Kure Beach physician Kyle Horton and Goldsboro businessman Grayson Parker squared off Tuesday, to be the Democratic nominee to challenge incumbent Republican U.S. Representative David Rouzer, of the 7th Congressional District. 

New Hanover County’s Board of Education has four Republican incumbents seeking new terms; three of them have served for more than two decades.   Three Republican challengers brought the primary candidate total to seven.

ncleg.net

North Carolina Senator Bill Rabon, a Republican from Brunswick County who represents District 8, now has two November opponents.  Democrat David Sink and Libertarian Anthony Mascolo will challenge the four-term Senator. 

Mascolo beat his Libertarian challenger, Randy Crow, by 15 votes.  That might sound like a small margin, but it equates to sixteen-and-a-half percentage points.

For more perspective, 53 people voted for Mascolo.  38 voted for Crow. 

Brunswick County’s Board of Commissioners featured two candidates on the ballot for one seat – but earlier this year, challenger Tom Adams announced he would not pursue a campaign.  Election to the county board, he said, would put him in conflict with his position as Chairman of the Board of the North Carolina State Ports Authority.  Incumbent Randy Thompson will keep his seat since he faces no Democratic opponent in November.

alancutlerforsheriff.com

The race for Pender County Sheriff was, by far, one of the more crowded primary races with seven Republican candidates. Alan Cutler took the top spot – with 50% of the vote.  Randy Burton came in a distant second – with 17.6%.  Cutler now faces Democratic challenger Lawrence Fennell.

RLH

Today is Primary Election Day.  By early afternoon, precinct officials in two separate counties reported disappointing trickles of people.

RLH

Tuesday, May 8th is Election Day -- when voters choose which candidates from each party make it to the November ballot.  Early voting totals are low, but that is common in mid-term elections, say elections officals.    It's too early to tell where this primary's voter turnout numbers will shake out in comparison to the last two mid-terms:  2010 and 2014. 

Vince Winkel

A logging operation in Wilmington pulled their permit request for using methyl bromide as a fumigant in late March. Now a transportation company in Delco, Columbus County, is asking for a Title Five permit to emit up to 140 tons of methyl bromide. A public hearing last week in Delco allowed residents to express their views to North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality.

Brunswick County Republican Party

Jerry Benton is seeking a seat on the Brunswick County Board of Education.  It’s his second run at elected office; two years ago, he challenged then-Representative Susi Hamilton for her state House seat.  However, this disabled veteran says the galvanizing issue for him remains the same:  education.

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It was 2013 that Dr. William Johnstone came to work as a Professor in the Obstetrics and Gynecology residency program at New Hanover Regional Medical Center. It didn’t take long for him to see the devastating consequences from the opioid epidemic firsthand – although back then, the community was not yet talking about it. 

One hospital administrator tells WHQR the numbers of babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome went from about 35 in 2010 to between 120 to 140 by 2016.  Officials expect those numbers to continue rising.

Richard Scearce / NC Wildlife Resources Commission

Alligator hunting in North Carolina is now legal in North Carolina after a 44-year ban.  Last October, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission updated its Alligator Management Plan and defined a potential hunting season:  from September 1 to October 1. 

In Brunswick County, three Republicans are facing off against each other for a seat on the Board of Education in District 5: Gerald Benton, Robert Cruse, and incumbent John Thompson. Today we take a  look at Cruse and Thompson.

Two Democrats are in the primary race for Pender County’s Board of Education District 4. Reginald Moore and June Robbins are looking to win a spot in November’s general election, to face Republican Ken Smith. 

ncleg.net

Ted Davis, Junior has served as the Representative for North Carolina House District 19 since 2012 – when he was appointed to fill out the term of Danny McComas.  After that, voters reelected him three more times, and now this Republican from New Hanover County says he's hoping to win his primary challenge and serve a fourth term.

Vince Winkel / WHQR Public Radio

This week New Hanover County staff and planners met to discuss the new unified development ordinance, or UDO. It’s a guideline for how land is to be used and developed in the county.  It will be months before the new ordinance is finalized.

North Carolina Representative Frank Iler was appointed to his House seat in 2009.  He won reelection four more times and is seeking his fifth term. 

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