Local

Vince Winkel

The New Hanover County’s Partnership Advisory Group announced last night that 18 organizations have expressed interest in exploring a possible merger or purchase of New Hanover Regional Medical Center. Of those, six have signed Non-Disclosure Agreements with the county, allowing them to access all the medical center data.  Much of the meeting was spent discussing hospital governance.

On Wednesday's CoastLine: Beneath The Surface, The Final Dive

13 hours ago
Katelyn Freund

On Wednesday’s CoastLine, it’s a look at our year-long experiment in civil discourse with our group of 11 people.  They explore lessons they learned, mistakes we made, and their biggest surprises.  Is it possible to enjoy time with people who have drastically different world views?

Yahoo! News

On Thursday’s CoastLine, it’s a conversation with Michael Isikoff, Chief Investigative Correspondent at Yahoo! News.  We explore his recent book and podcast – and find out why conspiracy theories can have a powerful hold on the American psyche. 

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It was January of this year that WHQR brought together about a dozen people, diverse in age, ethnicity, and political affiliation.  Our objective:  to see how the tone and quality of the group’s conversation changed over the course of the year.  And to find out whether these people could come to value spending time together. 

Vince Winkel

The ‘Save Our Hospital’ group held its first public meeting Tuesday evening at the Northeast Branch Library. A standing room only crowd listened to speakers explain why they are opposed to the possible sale or merger of the New Hanover Regional Medical Center. 

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Fereydoun Nasseri will celebrate his 82nd birthday in March 2020.

He’s a Wilmington resident and business owner who escaped to United States almost 40 years ago (1981)  from the second-largest country in the Middle East:  Iran.

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A project city leaders once considered beyond reach is now inching closer to reality. On Tuesday Jan. 21, Wilmington City Council members approved $2.5 million in grants to fund the Rail Realignment initiative. The money, which comes from NCDOT and the Federal Railroad Administration, marks a major milestone for project leaders and supporters.

EWG

Today the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment, released a national report on PFAS contamination in water supplies. At the top of the list: Brunswick County, North Carolina. WHQR’s Vince Winkel spoke with one of the report’s authors. 

On September 14th, 2018, Hurricane Florence made landfall in Wilmington, NC. WHQR stayed through the storm, holed up in the third floor studios downtown even as the building began to sway from the storm’s heavy winds. 

Almost a year later, after listening to staff members discuss their experience, WHQR’s 2019 summer intern Annabelle Crowe decided to investigate how the WHQR team worked together to weather the storm. 

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A new North Carolina law makes it a felony to sell opioids, cocaine and meth to someone who dies by ingesting them. It’s called Death by Distribution, and anyone indicted under the law could face charges equivalent to first-degree kidnapping, or in the case of repeat offenders, second-degree murder. It’s the latest approach communities in the state are taking to address the opioid crisis.

Opera House Theatre Company

La Cage Aux Folles, roughly translated, means cage of the mad women.  But it’s better known as a musical by Harvey Fierstein and Jerry Herman that opened in 1983 on Broadway.  

The Cape Fear Housing Coalition hosted the first Legislative Breakfast of 2020 on Thursday. Featured speaker Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan shared how her city passed a $25 million dollar affordable housing bond in 2016. WHQR reports local officials took note.

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Lauren Collins has investigated the precise number of roses that go into a bottle of Chanel No. 5.  More recently, she covered the gender pay discrepancy scandal that has rocked the BBC and spurred new questions around salary secrecy and reporting requirements in the UK, Iceland, and other parts of the world. 

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.

It was the early 1990s when an American creative writing professor set about publishing his second novel.  The pivotal event in his book:  a 19th century bloody failure of democracy.  

Katelyn Freund

The lack of affordable housing has become an important public issue in New Hanover County. On Tuesday, the joint City of Wilmington/County Workforce Housing Advisory Committee met to approve a draft Request for Proposal to identify a consultant who will conduct a comprehensive housing study, along with a public opinion survey. Those in the field say the problem may finally be getting the attention it deserves.

Wave Transit

The public transit system in the Cape Fear region is facing criticism from the City of Wilmington and New Hanover County – the two local governments that created it.  Last week, County Commission Chair Julia Olson-Boseman declared at a press conference that it’s time for a reboot as she has no confidence in Wave Transit’s leadership.  But one Wave official says the Board had no notice of the briefing or its content. WHQR speaks with Wave Transit Vice Chair Steven Kelly about a communication gap that has spanned years.

Vince Winkel

The Partnership Advisory Group – the committee exploring the future of New Hanover Regional Medical Center – held its first meeting of 2020 on Jan. 9. Since October, the group chartered by the County has been considering whether the hospital should remain independent, be sold or enter a partnership with another health system. The PAG has finished its Request For Proposals and is now moving forward.

Apple

Monday and Tuesday leaders from New Hanover County are at Apple Computer’s corporate headquarters in Cupertino, California. Natalie English, President and CEO of the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, assembled a team of elected officials and educators for the trip. WHQR checked in with the group.

City of Wilmington


A rezoning request to add commercial development to a residential community generated controversy at the Tuesday, Jan. 7 Wilmington City Council meeting. The request was tabled, and was granted a 120-day extension. 

flickr / Creative Commons

That gap between what happens in the brain and what comes out as behavior is the field of clinical neuropsychology.  Its application can range from diagnosing and treating military personnel to people suffering from Multiple Sclerosis or dementia. 

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Wilmington leaders want a 100% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. That’s the announcement Mayor Bill Saffo made at the Tuesday, Jan. 7 City Council meeting. Saffo proposes an Ad Hoc Committee to help achieve this goal. 

Brian K. Slack at Landover / flickr

If you’re a person of color or ethnic minority, LGBTQ, a veteran, or a person with a disability, you might face a more dire cancer prognosis or struggle more with chronic disease than someone not in these groups.

New Hanover County

Public transportation in the Cape Fear region is about to get a reboot.  That’s the word New Hanover County Commission Chair Julia Olson-Boseman used to describe the revision of the Wilmington / New Hanover County joint WAVE agreement.  

New Hanover County

New Hanover County kicked off its first Board of Commissioners meeting of the year on Monday, Jan. 6. The Board approved three separate rezoning requests unanimously. But one additional approved item received some pushback.

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In October, Governor Roy Cooper released his Clean Energy Plan for North Carolina. The plan has two central pledges: a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 – and the state becoming carbon neutral by 2050. WHQR reports on what’s happening locally.

Amy K. Nelson / http://shaunassael.com/bio

Sonny Liston, heavyweight boxing champion in the early 1960s,  died near the beginning of 1971.  The reason listed on the death certificate:  natural causes.  But nearly 50 years later, the question of whether he was murdered is an open one for some.  It’s a question Shaun Assael set out to answer with his book, The Murder of Sonny Liston:   Las Vegas, Heroin, and Heavyweights. 

Wikimedia Commons / Anthere

It’s the season of casseroles and pies and heavy meat dishes.  It’s the season to loosen dietary restrictions and enjoy the abundance.  According to a 2016 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine and reported by MSN, the average American's weight increases by almost half a percent over Christmas and just two-tenths of a percent over Thanksgiving.   

It’s only problematic, according to researchers, because most people don’t lose the weight – and so each year, the scale ticks up. 

WHQR / Katelyn Freund

Frank Stasio has hosted The State of Things, WUNC’s public affairs program, since 2006.   

CFPUA

Almost two and a half years ago, the public learned that the Chemours Company was discharging a variety of toxic chemicals into the Cape Fear River. Now on both sides of the river, utilities will need to spend tens of millions of dollars on water filtration systems. The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority has chosen granulated activated carbon. In Brunswick County, it’s reverse osmosis.  Both technologies come with a hefty price tag.

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