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Port City Politics

Port City Politics is a podcast collaboration between investigative reporter Michael Praats and WHQR’s News Director Ben Schachtman. Each week, they'll break down the latest happenings in local politics.

Latest Episodes
  • This week, we're looking into efforts to remove Certificates of Need, or CONs, the state regulations that curb competition in the healthcare industry. Plus, Representative Ted Davis puts on a spectacular show of semantics, and CFCC President Jim Morton gets a $38,000 raise — because, of course, he does.
  • On this week's episode, we check in on the hurry-up offense leading up to 'Crossover Day,' where non-budgetary bills live or die. Plus, a closer look at an SBI investigation — and how SBI investigations come to be.
  • On this week's episode, we check in with the City of Wilmington's $70-million plans to consolidate staff from a host of separate buildings into the Thermo Fisher campus. The next hurdle: convincing the Local Government Commission that the plan is fiscally sound. Also, we look at the major announcement this week that a multi-agency, long-term investigation has arrested six people in conjunction with an alleged human trafficking operation with over 150 victims. Plus, the latest Charlotte-area shenanigans.
  • On this episode, we catch up on recent legislative moves to prevent STR bans and allow more accessory dwelling units (a.k.a. Grandma's cottages). Plus, if you think the supply and demand cycle is tough — wait until an algorithm gets ahold of it.
  • Mecklenburg Representative Tricia Cotham flipped parties this week, blindsiding and outraging the left, and giving House Republicans a supermajority to match the one the GOP won in the State Senate in the 2022 election. Now that Governor Roy Cooper's veto can be overridden — what will legislation will the GOP pass?
  • After a brief hiatus following Michael Praats' departure from Wilmington to pick up a new beat in Charlotte, we're back — hopefully on a semi-regular basis. First up on this episode, we're looking at what's shaping up to be an interesting Republican primary in the gubernatorial race. State Treasurer Dale Folwell is likely to face off against Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson in a challenge that's may split moderate conservatives from those that are more comfortable with Robinson's at-times bigotted rhetoric. Then, we look at the veto-override that led to a new law, getting rid of the state's practice of allowing county Sheriffs to perform background checks before allowing handgun purchases.
  • If you missed WHQR's February 11 Black History event, you're in luck: We have the highlights from our panel of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion experts.
  • One more episode before we go on hiatus, and we saved some big-league topics.
  • On this episode, we unpack why the Proud Boys are allowed to show up on government property while masked to conceal their identity — a violation of a 1953 law designed to prevent the Klu Klux Klan from doing the same thing. Plus, checking in on a lawsuit filed by local environmental groups against the EPA over the kinds of PFAS testing the government is making Chemours perform.
  • This week, we finish unpacking research into whether or not law enforcement officers face a real danger from exposure to fentanyl (odds-on answer, they don't). Plus, money from North Carolina's opioid settlement is supposed to be spent on medication-assisted treatment, except, it turns out, when it isn't.