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CAPE FEAR MEMORIAL BRIDGE: Updates, resources, and context

Port City Politics: A new collaborative podcast from WECT and WHQR

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The Port City Podcast is a collaborative effort between WECT and WHQR. Every two weeks (or so), WECT’s investigative reporter Michael Praats and WHQR’s News Director Ben Schachtman will break down the latest happenings in local politics.

The Podcast will be available from both stations. You can find thevideo version from WECT here. For now, you'll find Port City Podcast here in the Newsroom feed — but we hope to give it a home of its own soon.

County Chair Quiet on Allegations

This week, the show starts off talking about the latest news surrounding New Hanover County Commission Chairwoman Julia Olson-Boseman. A former client of Boseman’s has filed a misconduct grievance with the North Carolina State Bar, alleging that she took $20,000 from him in order to file a lawsuit on his behalf- but after nearly 18 months - he says she stopped taking his calls, and he has no evidence she has done any of the work he paid her for.

Boseman has been unwilling to speak with the media about the allegations, and last week told WECT to contact another lawyer, who confirmed he is representing her in these allegations. A criminal complaint has also been filed against Boseman.

For whom the bridge tolls... (sorry, we couldn't help it)

At the Board of Commissioners meeting, Tuesday members of the NCDOT presented plans they received for a proposed toll bridge to replace the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge. While some commissioners were against the idea, others seemed more receptive to at least hearing more about the proposal.

Ultimately, it will be up to the Wilmington Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization to decide.

Unruly school board meeting

The final topic in this week’s podcast was the New Hanover County School Board meeting earlier this month that board members actually had to recess until this week — after things got out of hand. We’ll take a look at what happened, what some of the complaints were, and possible solutions to prevent further disarray.

Ben Schachtman is a journalist and editor with a focus on local government accountability. He began reporting for Port City Daily in the Wilmington area in 2016 and took over as managing editor there in 2018. He’s a graduate of Rutgers College and later received his MA from NYU and his PhD from SUNY-Stony Brook, both in English Literature.