Week of Feb. 28: Military jets, voter harassment, WHA, and city-county meeting
On the edition, we get updates on frustrations with low-flying military aircraft over Wilmington and the identity of organization that allegedly harassed voters — specifically an elderly black couple — in Brunswick County. Plus, the latest on the Wilmington Housing Authority and the struggle to form a plan to deal with the affordable housing crisis.
First: when the pandemic hit, and commercial air travel dropped off severely, military bases to advantage of empty runways to ramp up training flights. On top of that, a 'hot refueling' contract allowed military aircraft to gas up without taxiing off the tarmac. All this meant a lot of military aircraft, flying relatively low, over residential areas. This led to frustrated residents — who some tried to paint as unpatriotic — and political wrangling over what to do. Now, there seems to be at least a basic compromise agreement in place.
Then, a follow-up on last episode's look at some strange and apparently unauthorized 'canvassing' by a rogue group of Republicans. After WECT reported on the Black couple who felt harassed by this group, the local Democratic party condemned them — and the local and state GOP renounced them.
Plus, the latest on the troubled Wilmington Housing Authority, whose mishandling of a burgeoning mold crisis has now left 150 families — with over 300 children — displaced from their homes. We look at the latest on the crisis, plus the audit history that shows a history of management failures.
And finally a few notes on the joint meeting between the City of Wilmington and New Hanover County — which saw the death of the $50 million housing bond, the unanimous approval (by county commissioners, at least) of a replacement $15 million plan.
- Grassroots efforts to curb noise from military jets at ILM successful, new agreement in place (WECT)
- Brunswick County political parties accuse independent group of improper canvassing (WECT)
- WHA audits, records show years of ‘significant deficiencies,’ ‘material weaknesses,’ and overpayments (WHQR)
- WHA met with frustration, concern as it presents worsening displacement crisis to Wilmington City Council (WHQR)
- NHC Commission approves $15 million over the next five years for affordable housing (WECT)
- After nixing housing bond, NHC commissioners spar with city council, approve $15-million alternative (WHQR