Brunswick County

Graphic, Katelyn Freund; Images Provided by Candidates


Pat Sykes and Bill Flythe are the District 3 candidates for the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners. The two have very different perspectives, visions, and ideas.

Graphic, Katelyn Freund; Images Provided by Candidates


David Robinson and Sherrill Jolly are facing off for the Board of Education seat in Brunswick County’s District 2. Both candidates are newcomers to elective office -- but, they’re no strangers to the school system they hope to serve.

Town of Navassa Facebook page


  For years, the small Brunswick County town of Navassa has struggled with tax collection and budgeting issues. As WHQR reports, financial transparency continues to be a problem, and Thursday's August 21st Council meeting drew some heated discussion. 

Vince Winkel

It was a holiday weekend and the official start of summer, and for residents of coastal Carolina it was back to beaches as usual. In two weeks or so, we’ll know if the celebration was premature. 

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Cities, counties and states are moving at different speeds when it comes to lifting restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic. That can create problems between neighboring states... like North and South Carolina. 

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Brunswick County leaders have issued a state of emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Brunswick County identified two more presumptive positive cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) Saturday, bringing the total number of identified cases to six.

Brunswick County considers and responds to presumptive positive cases as if they were positive, even while awaiting official confirmation of results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Hannah Breisinger

Brunswick County has identified its second presumptive positive case of COVID-19. 

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As of Tuesday, Mar. 17, there is still only one presumptive coronavirus case in Brunswick County -- the first case in the Cape Fear region. But health officials report dozens of people in the county have been tested for the virus -- and the vast majority of those results have yet to be determined.

Graphic, Katelyn Freund; Images Provided by Candidates


Three Brunswick County Republican candidates will advance to the November elections. The 2020 primary victors include Pat Sykes for Commissioner in District 3, David Robinson for Board of Education in District 2, and Steven Barger for Board of Education in District 4. Those two latter races ended in upsets.

Graphic, Katelyn Freund; Image Provided by Ward


Democrat Christopher Ward will challenge incumbent Republican David Rouzer for North Carolina’s 7th Congressional District in November. Ward won the 3-way Democratic primary in the Tuesday, Mar. 3 election.

Graphic, Katelyn Freund; Images Provided by Candidates

Three Republicans are competing for one open spot in the Brunswick County District 4 Board of Education Primary. The candidates vary -- in their experience and their top priorities. But they all have two concerns in common: overcrowded schools and teacher pay.

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A nationwide movement has made its way to the Cape Fear region. This week, the topic of Second Amendment sanctuaries arose at both New Hanover and Brunswick County Board of Commissioner meetings. But the meetings varied, in tone and in outcome.

 

The fall 2020 school assignment of over 500 students in Brunswick County is set to change. At Tuesday night’s special meeting, the School Board voted to reassign elementary and middle school students as part of Phase One of the redistricting process.

Joe Pat Hatem

The City of Southport saw all its incumbents thrown out.  The same two mayoral candidates faced off for the third consecutive time – which turned out to be the charm for Challenger Joe Pat Hatem.  He unseated Mayor Jerry Dove by a very large margin – taking 63% of the vote. 


Rick Paxton is a newcomer to the Leland Town Council race. He’s an adjunct professor at Campbell University, a U.S. military veteran, and teaches concealed carry classes. He wants to see Leland’s economic growth benefit its citizens, and not impact their wallets. 

Brunswick County Sheriff's Office


Dorian has left the Cape Fear region, but its impact lingers. While counties spent nearly a week preparing for Thursday night’s wind and rainfall, the most significant damage may have happened hours before the storm actually hit: from tornadoes.

Vince Winkel / WHQR Public Radio

Design for the Brunswick County Northwest Water Treatment Plant upgrade and new pipeline are on schedule, according to County officials. That’s important, because water is a key to growth and development. Brunswick County in recent years has seen the largest population growth of all the state’s counties, according to the U.S. Census. It also ranked fourth in the nation for percentage growth for counties. WHQR continues its series on economic development, with a visit to Brunswick County.

A public meeting about a proposed new crossing over the Cape Fear River gets underway Monday, April 29th at 5 PM -- as stakeholders in Brunswick and New Hanover County marshal their resources. 

Katelyn Freund

In Navassa, the old U.S. Marine Plant along the Cape Fear River that once built boats has a new life. After 11 years of standing vacant, the 336,000 square foot facility will be home to a manufacturing company with approximately 300 employees.  North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper made the announcement Friday morning.

North Carolina’s Senate District 8 covers Brunswick, Bladen, and Pender Counties.  Also included is a tiny part – 2.6% -- of New Hanover County.

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In Brunswick County, the Board of Commissioners remains solidly Republican.  Incumbent Marty Cooke, who’s served on the Board since 2008, easily beat unaffiliated candidate Marilyn Priddy.  

Katelyn Freund

Representative Frank Iler has served North Carolina’s House District 17 for four-and-a-half terms; he is now seeking his fifth.  The district includes most of Brunswick County – about 72% of it.  The remainder of Brunswick County joins about a quarter of neighboring New Hanover County to make up House District 18 – which is served by Democratic Representative Deb Butler. 

Katelyn Freund / WHQR

Joe Breault, Mayor Pro Tem of the Town of Belville, is moving to Florida a little more than halfway through his second term as Commissioner. 

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 New Hanover County, following the trend of many other states and municipalities, filed a lawsuit last month against opioid manufacturers and distributors.  In the suit, the county alleges not just negligence by these huge drug companies; the county accuses  them of unfair and deceptive trade practices, civil conspiracy, fraud and racketeering.  Also in December, Brunswick County Commissioners passed a resolution indicating they might file their own suit in which they would seek damages from these companies for the public costs of the opioid epidemic.

City of Southport

Note:  The results below are based on unofficial returns.  Votes will be canvassed Friday, November 17th.

Bald Head Island (Village)

Dr. Detlef Knappe, the N.C. State scientist who uncovered GenX and other compounds in the Cape Fear River, is not happy about being pulled into tomorrow’s election for the H2GO board. He explains why he’s upset about three candidates using his name in a political ad. 

Vince Winkel / WHQR

This week Gov. Roy Cooper told the EPA to get to work. In a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Gov. Cooper asks the EPA to move quickly to finalize its health assessment and set a limit for the unregulated chemical GenX. Meanwhile the EPA earmarked more than $3 million for the NC DEQ to enforce the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act. This all happened as county and city officials held a press conference on the topic of GenX.  

Jon David and Ben David are brothers.  They also happen to be identical twins.  And they’re both district attorneys for adjacent jurisdictions in North Carolina. 

In Brunswick County, Republican Frank Williams is running for his second term representing District 5 on the Board of Commissioners, and Mike Forte is running for District 4.  Both Republican candidates are focused on economic development and education.

According to Mike Forte, the only economic engine in Brunswick County is tourism, and he says this isn’t enough:

"That’s part-time, minimum wage jobs. I have two sons—24 and 20 years old. They need full time work. Warehousing, manufacturing, industry— We need real jobs."

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