Vince Winkel


Vince Winkel joined the WHQR news team in February, 2017. He had previously been covering business and economics for the Greater Wilmington Business Journal.

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Vince began his career in public broadcasting with Monitor Radio in 1985, during which time his work received reporting awards from the Overseas Press Club of America, International Radio Festival of New York (Gold Medal), Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi, Gabriel Award: Best Feature-National Release, National Federation of Community Broadcasters, Colorado Press Association, Associated Press Television Association of California and others.

During his previous time in public radio he also was a contributor to Living on Earth, SoundPrint, Only a Game, NPR, Southern California Public Radio, Marketplace and the BBC.

Vince also helped launch Public Interactive as news director and managing editor, working with PBS and NPR stations across the country in developing content and publishing tools for station websites.

During an eight year break from radio, Vince was media director for BMW Motorcycles, managing their publications and digital media.

Daily Updates from WHQR on closures, local, state and federal efforts and other developments in  the coronavirus battle.

WHQR/Nick Santillo

Because of COVID-19, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a suspension of its enforcement of environmental laws, telling companies they won’t have to meet environmental standards during the outbreak. What does that mean for the Cape Fear Region?

Vince Winkel

The Wilmington City Council unanimously expressed support for New Hanover County’s additional restrictions designed to control the spread of the coronavirus. They went into effect Monday.   The state-wide stay at home order closing all non-essential businesses also is now in effect.  

New Hanover County, in collaboration with the City of Wilmington and the towns of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach, will be implementing additional county-wide restrictions that support the Governor’s statewide order to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and help prevent the healthcare system from becoming overburdened in the weeks to come.  

The March edition of Bottega Live features three unique artists: Sarah Brown, Josh Starkey, and the new Wilmington duo For The Birds. WHQR's Bottega Live airs each month in conjunction with Wilmington’s Fourth Friday Gallery Walk, at 8 pm that Friday.

Hedi Perotto

Nations across the world are imposing travel restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus. On March 16, Germany closed its borders with Austria, Denmark, France, Luxembourg and Switzerland. Germany is where Hedi Perotto is. The Wilmington resident went there three weeks ago for a family reunion. 

Vince Winkel

The Chemours Company in Fayetteville has scaled back both well-sampling for PFAS and the installation of filtration systems because of the coronavirus. Chemours’ request to suspend those operations has been approved by The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. 

Vince Winkel

The New Hanover Regional Medical Center’s Physician Group has implemented some operational changes to protect patients, staff, and the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

WHQR/Nick Santillo

The mission of Wilmington’s Good Shepherd Center is to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless and foster transition to housing. Today, those needs are more urgent than usual, as the coronavirus puts a strain on organizations that serve the less fortunate.

Vince Winkel

Businesses in the Cape Fear Region are facing an uncertain future, with many closing temporarily and some that may never recover. The U.S. Senate is racing to pass a trillion-plus dollar economic aid package. It is likely to include direct aid to individuals, and to small businesses in the form of long term no-interest loans to be paid back starting in 2021. 

Vince Winkel

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper today ordered a suspension of dine-in service at all bars and restaurants in the state. WHQR’s Vince Winkel spoke with restaurant owners and staff in Wilmington about the hardships that lie ahead.


North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper is ordering all restaurants and bars be closed to dine-in patrons in another effort to dampen the spread of the new coronavirus. 

Vince Winkel

The deadline for proposals for the future of New Hanover Regional Medical Center was yesterday. Six organizations submitted their pitches. Now the County’s Partnership Advisory Group will start the review process. WHQR’s Vince Winkel sat down with Medical Center President and CEO John Gizdic, to discuss the range of options being considered for the future.

Vince Winkel

With New Hanover County continuing preparations for COVID-19 cases in the area, County Commissioners briefed the media Monday with their latest information.

Vince Winkel

As of Sunday evening, there is one presumed case of the coronavirus in Brunswick County, and none so far in New Hanover.  Stores in the area report shortages of paper towels and toilet paper, as well as fresh meat and vegetables. Meanwhile, staff at the New Hanover Regional Medical Center have been busy preparing for the possibility of a flood of patients. 

As the region prepares for the possibility of confirmed coronavirus cases in our region, communities are taking steps to prepare. Over the weekend Gov. Roy Cooper announced a state-wide school closure order, and a ban on gatherings of over 100 people. Area towns are also taking steps to protect the public.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper on Saturday ordered all schools in the state to close for at least two weeks, joining other states around the country switching to online learning as the coronavirus spreads. Cooper said he is also issuing an executive order banning all gatherings of more than 100 people.  Meanwhile local businesses are adjusting.

Vince Winkel

Questions about COVID-19 and the Coronavirus dominated last night’s New Hanover County Commissioners meeting. Health and emergency officials briefed Commissioners on the current situation.

NC State

Researchers at North Carolina State University have received a five-year, $7.4 million grant to establish a Center for Environmental and Human Health Effects of PFAS Compounds.  The grant guarantees studies in the Cape Fear region will continue.

Vince Winkel

Two weeks from this coming Monday, proposals for a sale, partnership or merger with New Hanover Regional Medical Center are due. The Partnership Advisory Group, a team assembled by the County to explore the future of NHRMC, will then begin the process of going through hundreds of pages sent in from interested parties. Almost a dozen organizations may be interested in some sort of arrangement.

The map for North Carolina House District 19 was redrawn for this year. District 19 moves from northern New Hanover County to southern New Hanover County and gains most of southeastern Brunswick County. Two Republicans and two Democrats faced off, to see who will be in the November race.

There were 15 candidates for New Hanover County Board of Commissioners in Tuesday’s primary. Six Democrats and nine Republicans. Three winners from each party made the ballot for November. Meanwhile four Republicans battled it out for the county’s Board of Education. 

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, competed in the newly created House District 20. The new District 20 covers the northeastern tip of New Hanover County. This this race wasn’t close.

Vince Winkel

PFAS contamination is about more than drinking water. At a special forum last week in Fayetteville, scientists discussed how the chemical compounds might be affecting food, livestock and wells in the area. 

On this February edition of WHQR’s Bottega Live, a full hour of Rebekah Todd. Bottega Live airs each month in conjunction with Wilmington’s Fourth Friday Gallery Walk.  Growing up in the small town of Benson, North Carolina, Rebekah Todd has been surrounded by music for as long as she can remember.

Vince Winkel

The North Carolina Department of Transportation held two public meetings this week in Wilmington, to help explain the CSX Beltline Project. It’s a $41 million plan designed to improve freight rail lines and update signaling for 13 miles of rail lines in Brunswick and New Hanover counties. Most of the impact is within Wilmington city limits. 

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.   

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.

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.