Hannah Breisinger

Reporter, WHQR News

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.

Hannah Breisinger


At a roundtable discussion last Thursday, State Attorney General Josh Stein and local leaders discussed the opioid crisis and how our region is dealing with it. The event, hosted by Stein and WECT, featured different viewpoints on the epidemic. But many of these local perspectives echoed a larger, national conversation.


Incumbent Buddy Fowler has served on the Surf City Town Council since 2004, and has been in public service for most of his life. He’s running again, and he wants to continue to work on current council projects. 

JeepersMedia


It’s been over 40 years since the U.S. banned lead-based paint for consumer-use. But the risk of lead poisoning isn’t some relic of the past. It's National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, and certain groups of people are still highly vulnerable to lead’s harmful effects.


Rick Pukenas is running for another term on Southport Board of Alderman Ward 2. He owns a bed and breakfast, and a tour company. He wants a seat so he can continue working on current city projects -- and his focus isn’t just on the immediate future:


Lowe Davis is one of six candidates running for Southport Board of Alderman Ward 2. She has experience as a journalist, a business executive, and as an Episcopal priest -- but she never pictured herself becoming involved in politics. Now, she’s changed her mind. 


Dara Royal is one of six candidates on the ballot for Oak Island Town Council. Her family first bought property in the town in the late 1950s, when she was just two years old. And just as Oak Island isn’t new to her -- neither is a seat on council.


Niki Cutler is one of six candidates on the ballot for Oak Island Town Council. She’s a musician and piano teacher, and in 2014, established a town service to address the issue of overflowing trash carts. She’s running because she thinks the current council’s priorities are in the wrong place. 

Angie Carl


Threats of forest fires are on the rise. That’s due to a flash drought -- or a drought that strikes suddenly -- that’s sweeping across North Carolina and 13 other southern states. September’s record high temperatures and lack of rainfall are leading officials to implement fire bans in some areas of the South. But fires aren’t necessarily harmful for the southern forests. 


Kathleen Sumner is running for Surf City Town Council. Aside from a career in law, she’s a former surfer and lifeguard, and spends her free time scuba diving and cleaning up the beaches. This experience motivates her to not only make sure local beaches are safe for swimmers, but also safe from future storms.


Rick Paxton is a newcomer to the Leland Town Council race. He’s an adjunct professor at Campbell University, a U.S. military veteran, and teaches concealed carry classes. He wants to see Leland’s economic growth benefit its citizens, and not impact their wallets. 

Vince Winkel


The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality is investigating a non-PFAS spill that entered the Cape Fear River from Chemours Fayetteville Works yesterday. Local water utility officials say they’ve taken measures to ensure customers aren’t impacted.


Steve Shuttleworth is the only incumbent running for Carolina Beach Town Council. He’s a land developer and real estate broker, and has served on council since 2011. He wants to continue prioritizing business and tourism, as well as the interests of local residents.

Jay Healy is running for a seat on Carolina Beach Town Council. His biggest concern? Finding a qualified town manager. With such a large budget, he says hiring the right person will save the town a lot of money. His other main priority is saving the town’s character.

Jay Godwin

The world has lost Cokie Roberts. The NPR Founding Mother died September 17th of complications from breast cancer. She was 75.

Kimberly Spader is running for Wilmington City Council. She works as a licensed clinical social worker, and wants to use her listening skills to create open dialogue between city council and residents.


Wilmington City Council Candidate Mack Coyle is a newcomer to the race. Also new? His ideas. The small business owner installs mobile solar generators, and wants to convert all electricity in city buildings to solar and wind power, and all municipal vehicles to electric. But he has other priorities, too.

Brunswick County Sheriff's Office


Dorian has left the Cape Fear region, but its impact lingers. While counties spent nearly a week preparing for Thursday night’s wind and rainfall, the most significant damage may have happened hours before the storm actually hit: from tornadoes.

Nick Harris / Creative Commons


If you are planning on leaving ahead of Dorian, today is the day to do it. Governor Roy Cooper is urging people to evacuate before the storm approaches the area tomorrow. For drivers who do need to be on the roads while or after the storm hits, the North Carolina Department of Transportation is stressing caution.

Hannah Breisinger

The civil rights movement may have peaked in the mid-20th century, but issues affecting black Americans persist. This past Wednesday, Wilmington community members gathered to address specific local concerns – such as education, health disparities, and economic empowerment. 

Annabelle Crowe

Wilmington’s history is rooted in racial tension. A local organization, Tru Colors, is trying to connect people across racial and economic divides through an unconventional event held at Ironclad Brewery last week.

Hannah Breisinger

 Correction: A mistake in this story states that the program was funded by the City of Wilmington. The city was awarded the money by the state, via an appropriation from the NC General Assembly.  It then co-tracked the work to Coastal Horizons.  

An innovative substance-recovery program in Wilmington, designed to tackle the national opioid epidemic, is seeing promising results. Just over a year into its pilot run, program leaders hope it will serve as a model across North Carolina. 

Vince Winkel


It’s not too late to receive crisis counseling from Hurricane Florence. A state-wide hurricane counseling program, Hope 4 NC, is still up and running, thanks to a $12.2 million federal grant announced by Governor Roy Cooper in April. Today, the program has made contact with 287,000 individuals in 28 North Carolina counties.

Hannah Breisinger


School safety is a collaborative effort. That was the biggest takeaway from a safety summit held by New Hanover County Schools this week. The event featured panel members from specialized areas, including local law enforcement, the county health department, and student support -- to emphasize the importance of county, faculty, and parent involvement in student well-being.

Wilmington Police Department


This past weekend’s shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas have initiated a lot of discussion -- even amongst local law enforcement agencies in the Cape Fear region. Officials with the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office say they are constantly analyzing mass shooting scenarios as a way to increase their response time.

Hannah Breisinger


Citizens can, and should, be involved in their local governments. That’s the philosophy behind a series of sessions held by New Hanover County, aimed to educate the community on the inner-workings of local services and programs. The all-day sessions are being held today and tomorrow at the county’s Northeast Library.

Annabelle Crowe

Drivers making overnight trips across the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge this week can expect some minor delays. The North Carolina Department of Transportation is training a new bridge operator, and part of that 80-hour training is lifting and dropping the bridge every 30 minutes.

Hannah Breisinger


  Starting in 2020, a new law will require North Carolina voters to present photo identification before casting a ballot. But what about voters who don’t have access to acceptable IDs? The New Hanover County Board of Elections held two seminars this week to answer questions about the law.

City of Wilmington

Young athletes in the area will soon have more fields to play on. Wilmington city council members unanimously approved a 65-acre donation from the Hammerheads Youth Football Club organization. The ten-million-dollar project will expand the Cape Fear Soccerplex.

Hannah Breisinger

Wilmington officials are working on a new noise ordinance, and they’re looking for public input. While the city has had a noise ordinance since 1989, a confusing permit process, no appeal process, unclear language, and concerns of subjectivity have led to the new proposal.

Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR)

 

North Carolina has a D grade in women’s health. That’s according to a state-commissioned report, titled, the 2019 Status of Women in North Carolina: Health and Wellness. County-by-county data in the report shows that while New Hanover County fares slightly better than the overall state, more work still needs to be done.

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