New Hanover Regional Medical Center is exploring whether to sell, create a partnership, reorganize, or remain independent.  

Katelyn Freund / WHQR

Early voting in the 2020 Primaries is underway through this Saturday, February 29th.  Election Day is next Tuesday, March 3rd.  In the race for New Hanover County Commissioner, six Democratic candidates are competing for three open seats.  Don Betz, Leslie Cohen, and Travis Robinson are half the Democratic slate.  

In the race for the New Hanover County Commission, John Lyons, Ricky Meeks and Harry Knight are three of the nine Republicans in the running. The top three vote getters in the primary will move on to the November Election.   

The next edition of WHQR's Soup To Nuts Live! will feature Johanna Winkel on Thursday, March 5th at 7:30 pm (doors open 6:30 pm) in the MC Erny Gallery at 254 N. Front St. in downtown Wilmington. Price: $10 suggested donation at the door. Reserve a seat by sending an email to or call 910-343-1640 during regular business hours. 

There are nine Republican candidates vying to be a New Hanover County Commissioner. The top three vote getters in the primary will move on to the November Election. 

Vince Winkel

The clock is ticking for almost a dozen health care organizations, who have expressed interest in a possible merger with - or purchase of - New Hanover Regional Medical Center. They have until March 16 to get their proposals in.

North Carolina’s primary election is underway.  This is the chance for voters to decide which party nominees compete in the November election.  Early Voting runs through February 29th and Election Day is March 3rd.  

Images by Katelyn Freund


At a public hearing in Hampstead on Tuesday evening, residents of the area turned out to oppose a proposed sand mine behind Topsail Elementary School. The developer, who had originally planned to build homes on the site, is now seeking a re-zoning. Residents don’t like the idea.

Joe D'Alessandro / NC Filmmaker Series

Wilmington is rich with talented film directors, actors, and screenwriters.  But there are also makeup artists, location scouts, gaffers, prop masters. And construction coordinators.  A community of these professionals came to North Carolina in the 1980s with Dino DeLaurentiis, and now, decades later, a somewhat smaller community still calls Wilmington home. 

WHQR speaks with Jeff Schlatter about his career as a Construction Coordinator.

John Wolfe

This week the actor and producer of ‘Dark Waters’ – Mark Ruffalo – was in Wilmington for a panel discussion on PFAS and water contamination and why he chose to make the film. 

Graphic, Katelyn Freund; Images Provided by Candidates

Three Republicans are competing for one open spot in the Brunswick County District 4 Board of Education Primary. The candidates vary -- in their experience and their top priorities. But they all have two concerns in common: overcrowded schools and teacher pay.

Early voting in the North Carolina primary is underway.  Brunswick County residents who vote in the Republican primary will decide on their presidential candidate, U.S. Senate nominee, and a host of state races.  

Public Domain Vectors

Early voting is underway for primary elections in the Cape Fear Region – and finishes on Feb. 29th. Voting day is March 3rd. So what are this year's major contested races? WHQR’s Rachel Lewis Hilburn talks with Port City Daily’s Ben Schachtman.

Adobe Stock

A nationwide movement has made its way to the Cape Fear region. This week, the topic of Second Amendment sanctuaries arose at both New Hanover and Brunswick County Board of Commissioner meetings. But the meetings varied, in tone and in outcome.


Adobe Stock

Wave Transit and New Hanover County Schools were the main agenda items at the Monday, February 17 County Commissioners meeting. Commissioners voted to approve $358,000 towards school safety initiatives, in light of recent allegations of child sexual abuse by teachers. Board members also authorized the appointment of Woody White to the Wave Authority Board -- but that vote wasn’t unanimous.  

David Robinson and Catherine Cooke are facing off in the Republican primary for the District Two seat on the Brunswick County Board of Education. Cooke is an incumbent, while Robinson is a veteran of the Holden Beach Fire Department and rescue squad. 

Pawlik Lab

Coral reefs are dying in the Caribbean.  It’s especially alarming in the Turks and Caicos because the cause appears to be a rapidly-spreading new disease that started in Florida.  

Graphic, Katelyn Freund; Images Provided by Candidates

With New Hanover County Schools embroiled in controversy, four Republicans are seeking seats on the county’s Board of Education. None are currently serving on the board. WHQR spoke with two of them about how they think they can move the school system in the right direction.

WHQR / Katelyn Freund

Nativism and white supremacy, the battle over slavery, and the public adoration of explorers were critical elements of mid-19th century.  Two of the key players from that era, Jessie and John Fremont, were also America’s first big celebrities.  

Rhonda speaks with Ray Kennedy, director of Opera House Theatre's upcoming production of "The Sound of Music."

Vince Winkel

February 14 marks the first anniversary of the Environmental Protection Agency’s release of its plan to address toxic fluorinated chemicals known as PFAS. In the year since the 72-page plan was unveiled, the EPA has not yet set a legal limit for PFAS in drinking water, and has yet to clean up any existing PFAS contamination. But the EPA’s research continues. WHQR’s Vince Winkel reports from their National Research Lab in Durham.

The map for North Carolina House District 19 has been redrawn for this year.  Since 2012, Representative Ted Davis, Jr., a Republican from New Hanover County, has held the seat.  But with this year’s new maps, he moves to District 20.   

A recently released study by scientists at Duke and N.C. State Universities evaluated in-home water filtration systems.  It was no surprise as to what technology worked best.

Adobe Stock

Early voting for the 2020 Primary Elections in North Carolina begins Thursday, February 13. So what do voters need to know before heading to the polls?

Local Opportunity Zones Could Offer Tax Credits

Feb 11, 2020
Rachel Keith, WHQR

Economic Opportunity Zones are designed to create jobs and spur development in depressed areas, by providing tax benefits to private investors. Two recent development projects in the Cape Fear Region could be eligible for these federal tax credits. But these zones aren't necessarily opportunities for everyone.

New Hanover County Public Schools is facing a crisis of public confidence.  On Friday, Feb. 7th, Superintendent Tim Markley announced his resignation with a separation agreement that gives him $228,000.  That’s slightly less than half the value of the remainder of his contract.  The move comes after three high-profile cases of alleged sexual abuse of children by teachers. 

WHQR caught up with Board of Education Chair Lisa Estep.

WHQR / Katelyn Freund

North Carolina House Districts have new maps this year.  That means Representative Ted Davis, Jr., a Republican from New Hanover County who has represented House District 19 since 2012, is competing now in House District 20.  

For the newly re-drawn 19th District seat in North Carolina’s House of Representatives, David Perry and Charlie Miller are running in the Republican primary. WHQR has this preview of the race.

There are three Democrats trying to secure the nomination to challenge incumbent David Rouzer for North Carolina’s 7th Congressional District.  WHQR looks at what these three candidates are hoping to accomplish.

New Hanover County Schools Superintendent Tim Markley is stepping down.  Friday afternoon, school officials announced his resignation and separation agreement after a nearly-six hour closed Board meeting followed by a unanimous vote.