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The Newsroom: County Chair Julia Olson-Boseman, WHQR's Rachel Keith on the opioid crisis, and mask mandate redux

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In the first show of 2022, we tackle the opioid crisis — which is killing more Americans than ever before. Also, County Chairperson Julia Olson-Boseman on what's in store for the county this year. Then, Port City Daily journalist Alexandria Sands Williams looks behind the scenes on the county's mask mandate debate.

This week, New Hanover County Board of Commissioners Chair Julia Olson-Boseman joins us to talk about what’s in store for New Hanover County this year as officials face issues like community violence, public transportation, affordable housing, and — of course — the 2022 election.

Then, WHQR’s Rachel Keith joins us with an in-depth look at the current state of the opioid crisis.

Last year, a record number of Americans died from opioid overdoses. We’ll get into how the Wilmington area is trying to combat the crisis — and some of contention over which treatment approach to use, including at The Healing Place, the county's 200-bed treatment facility, expected to come online this year.

Plus, Port City Daily journalist and assistant editor Alexandria Sands Williams shares her latest reporting on the county’s mask mandate — a tough decision for the appointed Health and Human Services Board made against the backdrop of deep political divides and a growing weariness as the pandemic enters its third year.

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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.