Ending Saturday, April 10th, 2021, this week's top stories include all adult North Carolinians becoming eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, and housing bonds in the Cape Fear region. Listen for more.      



On the heels of a new affordable housing report, the city of Wilmington is getting a financial boon aimed at addressing the housing crisis.

On this episode of Around Town, Rhonda speaks with LaToia Brown, board chair of the Dreams Center for Arts Education. To celebrate its 24th year of equitable access to arts education, DREAMS is hosting a Virtual Benefit Breakfast on April 21st. 

Housing bonds have allowed several major North Carolina cities to start addressing the affordable housing crisis. Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo recently told WHQR that residents could see one on the ballot in 2022. The idea also received 78% support in an affordable housing study conducted for Wilmington and New Hanover County and presented this week. WHQR took a look at how similar bonds, which have already passed in other cities, have been used.

Stephen Sills, UNCG

  Wilmington and New Hanover County have finally released their comprehensive housing study for our area. Some of the main findings: The region’s population growth is driving the housing shortage -- and that a majority in our community worry about the cost of housing.

Stephanie Norris

In the Cape Fear Region, there aren’t many ways to get affordable units on the ground. But there is one federal program, the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), that has had some success.         

 Experts say about 50% of renters are cost-burdened – which puts people at higher risk of homelessness. So who are all these people living beyond their actual means?  You probably interact with them far more often than you know. 

Benjamin Schachtman


Early Saturday morning, shortly after midnight, a shooting at a private house party in Wilmington, North Carolina killed three and injured at least four. It’s still unclear who opened fire, or why.


Ending Saturday, April 3rd, 2021, this week's top stories include what you can do about increased aircraft noise, and how the American Rescue Act might help create affordable housing in New Hanover County. Listen for more.    

Benjamin Schachtman

*Update Monday, April 5 at 12:30 p.m. -- The Wilmington Police Department has ruled the death of David Bostian, Jr. a suicide by gun.


The Wilmington Police Department have confirmed that David Bostian, Jr. was found dead at his residence this morning by officers responding to a 911 call.


On the latest edition of our new program, The Newsroom, host and WHQR Managing Editor Benjamin Schachtman sits down with Wilmington City Councilman Kevin Spears to discuss affordable housing (or, rather, the lack of it), creating jobs, and systemic racism.

On this episode of Around Town, Rhonda speaks with Dee McGlone Webb, president of the 74th North Carolina Azalea Festival, and Alison Baringer English, festival director, who talk about this week's festival and the rescheduling of major festival events.

New Hanover County

The American Rescue Act signed into law by President Biden last month is sending roughly $45 million to New Hanover County. Officials say $4 million of that is earmarked for infrastructure improvements they say will help create affordable housing -- although it's not exactly clear how that will be worked out yet, or how much additional housing the county will be able to leverage.



Many Wilmington residents have noticed an uptick in military aircraft, flying low -- and loud -- over residential parts of the city. Here's why it's happening, and what you might be able to do about it.

I got the first vaccine dose, then I had a Covid scare... now what?

Mar 29, 2021
Katelyn Freund

As coronavirus vaccines are becoming more widely available to the public, new questions are popping up. Like: Which vaccine is best for me? And: What if I test positive for COVID between vaccine doses? WHQR has answers. 

NC League of Conservation Voters Foundation

Deborah Dicks Maxwell was born in Wilmington, North Carolina and calls it home, but she’s lived and traveled around the world. 

On this episode of Around Town, Rhonda speaks with Miriam Oehrlein of New Elements Gallery who talks about two exhibits opening this weekend. She also looks at other gallery exhibits taking place in Wilmington.   

Ashlie Anderson

NatCon is the largest annual gathering of post-9/11 US veterans in the world. Ashlie Anderson — an Air Force veteran, and president of UNCW's Student Veterans Organization — was featured as a panelist at this year’s event. She discussed the good and the bad, including the tough topic of sexual assault and discrimination in the military.

Gustavo Fring / Pexels

On Thursday afternoon, Governor Roy Cooper announced the timeline for Group 4 and 5 vaccine distribution would be moved up, meaning all adults will soon be eligible to get a shot.



Governor Roy Cooper continues to urge caution -- and will still require masks and social distancing. But, as WHQR’s Ben Schachtman reports, key Covid-19 restrictions will be further relaxed starting this Friday.    

The Superfund site in Navassa is about to see its first segment transfer to the Town for ownership. 

Norma Mortenson / Pexels

When North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper issued a statewide Emergency Declaration a year ago -- on March 10th, 2020 -- some residents called it overreach; some thought it good pandemic policy.  Whether the broad-based business and school closures were necessary to slow the spread of Covid-19 is also a point of contention. WHQR’s Rachel Lewis Hilburn talks with some local residents about how they view the policies of the last year – and explores what a year’s worth of data reveals about what works. 

Hannah Breisinger.

A year into the COVID-19 pandemic, Wilmington has found itself in a better financial situation than initially expected. And local economic experts are feeling optimistic, heading into the summer. But financial impacts to local businesses haven’t been the same for everyone — and while many business owners are thriving, others are still trying to stay afloat.

Governor Roy Cooper announced last week that North Carolina will make Group 4 vaccine eligibility a week sooner than originally planned. But technical issues continue to hamper coronavirus vaccine distribution across the country.

NHCS Facebook page

It’s been a tumultuous year for our schools for parents,  teachers, and students. After Governor Roy Cooper officially closed North Carolina schools last March, it was almost seven months before New Hanover County families had the choice to return their kids even part-time to the classroom. WHQR takes a look back at a difficult year and, at some issues that still remain.

Ending Saturday, March 20, 2021, this week's top stories includes tweaks to Project Grace, and big news in local education: New Hanover County School students can return full-time starting April 12th. Listen for more.  

The Newsroom: A special Covid-19 edition

Mar 19, 2021


This week, on a special edition of The Newsroom -- the WHQR news team takes an hour-long look at the past, present, and future of Covid-19 in the Wilmington area.

On this episode of Around Town, Rhonda speaks with Johnny Griffin, director of the Wilmington Regional Film Commission, about the local boom in film business. In addition, Rhonda reflects on the life and legacy of actor Henry Darrow who passed away in Wilmington at the age of 87.

NHCS YouTube Channel

  New Hanover County Schools secondary teachers are preparing for more students in the classroom. That’s because the district is allowing families to choose between three options: full-time, part-time, and remote. While these appease parents, some in the community are not entirely supportive.   

NHCS YouTube Channel

Middle and high school students in New Hanover County Schools now have the option to return full-time to the classroom starting April 12th.