Hannah Breisinger

Reporter, All Things Considered Host

Hannah joined WHQR shortly after graduating Ithaca College, where she studied journalism and served as News Director at her college radio station, WICB. Along with her unconditional love for public radio and nonfiction storytelling, she loves being outside, belting ABBA at karaoke bars, and snuggling with her adorable terror of a cat.

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As Covid-19 spreads, scientists and healthcare providers are worried about more than the physical health of Americans. Experts warn that people need to take care of themselves mentally, as well -- now more than ever. 

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North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein is working with Amazon to investigate nine North Carolina businesses and sellers over price gouging concerns.  A press release says Stein was notified by Amazon that nine sellers had raised prices dramatically for items that have been in high demand during the coronavirus pandemic -- including hand sanitizer and N95 masks.

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Brunswick County leaders have issued a state of emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Brunswick County identified two more presumptive positive cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) Saturday, bringing the total number of identified cases to six.

Brunswick County considers and responds to presumptive positive cases as if they were positive, even while awaiting official confirmation of results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Vince Winkel

New Hanover County has issued a State of Emergency, prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people and closing public beach access points in order to ensure social distancing and reduce the risk of COVID-19. 

Hannah Breisinger

Brunswick County has identified its second presumptive positive case of COVID-19. 

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New Hanover County leaders have announced the county’s first presumptive case of the coronavirus. The person, who recently traveled internationally, is doing well, and isolating at home. They’re just one of many individuals who have received COVID-19 testing in the county.

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While health officials have yet to confirm a coronavirus case in the City of Wilmington, city leaders are working to address resident concerns. Last night’s city council meeting -- which was streamed and held in an almost entirely empty room -- featured discussions on COVID-19 testing and city-employee paid leave.

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As of Tuesday, Mar. 17, there is still only one presumptive coronavirus case in Brunswick County -- the first case in the Cape Fear region. But health officials report dozens of people in the county have been tested for the virus -- and the vast majority of those results have yet to be determined.

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New Hanover County Public Health has announced that several residents are being tested for COVID-19.  

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As coronavirus case numbers continue to climb in the United States, the elderly and the immunocompromised remain the most at-risk populations. And, with one of the country’s largest outbreaks tied to a nursing home in Washington state, some experts are concerned that assisted living facilities aren’t adequately prepared to protect their patients.

Graphic, Katelyn Freund; Images Provided by Candidates


Three Brunswick County Republican candidates will advance to the November elections. The 2020 primary victors include Pat Sykes for Commissioner in District 3, David Robinson for Board of Education in District 2, and Steven Barger for Board of Education in District 4. Those two latter races ended in upsets.

Graphic, Katelyn Freund; Image Provided by Ward


Democrat Christopher Ward will challenge incumbent Republican David Rouzer for North Carolina’s 7th Congressional District in November. Ward won the 3-way Democratic primary in the Tuesday, Mar. 3 election.

Graphic, Katelyn Freund; Images Provided by Candidates


Change is coming to the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners. Incumbent Republicans Woody White and Patricia Kusek are not seeking re-election -- but there are nine other Republican primary candidates on the ballot, vying for three open seats. WHQR spoke to two of them.

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.

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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.

 

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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.  

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.

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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?

Hannah Breisinger

The Best Friends Network -- a national animal welfare organization -- wants to make North Carolina a “no-kill” state by 2025. According to their data, NC ranks third in the country for euthanizing shelter pets. To achieve the goal of  “no-kill” status, every shelter in the state must reach a 90% live-release rate for all cats and dogs -- leaving a 10% margin for health and safety related euthanizations.

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The recycling industry is changing dramatically -- new types of materials are being produced and discarded, the international appetite for recycled materials is shrinking, and municipal recycling programs are evolving to deal with market fluctuations. New Hanover County is no exception. 

Nick Santillo


The state Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts passed a resolution earlier this month addressing concerns about GenX and PFAS chemicals. The resolution, brought by the New Hanover County Chapter of the organization, marks the first time the compounds have been formally addressed by Soil and Water Conservation at the state level.

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A project city leaders once considered beyond reach is now inching closer to reality. On Tuesday Jan. 21, Wilmington City Council members approved $2.5 million in grants to fund the Rail Realignment initiative. The money, which comes from NCDOT and the Federal Railroad Administration, marks a major milestone for project leaders and supporters.

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A new North Carolina law makes it a felony to sell opioids, cocaine and meth to someone who dies by ingesting them. It’s called Death by Distribution, and anyone indicted under the law could face charges equivalent to first-degree kidnapping, or in the case of repeat offenders, second-degree murder. It’s the latest approach communities in the state are taking to address the opioid crisis.

City of Wilmington


A rezoning request to add commercial development to a residential community generated controversy at the Tuesday, Jan. 7 Wilmington City Council meeting. The request was tabled, and was granted a 120-day extension. 

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Wilmington leaders want a 100% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. That’s the announcement Mayor Bill Saffo made at the Tuesday, Jan. 7 City Council meeting. Saffo proposes an Ad Hoc Committee to help achieve this goal. 

New Hanover County

New Hanover County kicked off its first Board of Commissioners meeting of the year on Monday, Jan. 6. The Board approved three separate rezoning requests unanimously. But one additional approved item received some pushback.

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Like many residents of New Hanover County, coyotes are relatively new to the Cape Fear region. They can pose a threat to sea turtle eggs and small house pets, but a study finds they rarely interact with people.

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Wilmington can be a dangerous place to ride a bike. According to data from 2000 through 2018, the city ranked third in the state for bike-related crashes -- topped only by Charlotte and Raleigh, two signifcantly larger cities. But making the streets safer for cyclists will take a coordinated effort. 

Hannah Breisinger


 Wilmington’s City Council has a new addition. Kevin Spears was sworn in December 3, 2019, alongside Neil Anderson, Mayor Bill Saffo, and Mayor Pro Tem Margaret Haynes. 

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