Local

WHQR is honored to donate our great old upright piano to DREAMS. At WHQR, this beauty has been played by most musicians in town and we have many fond memories. We're sure it will make many new, exciting ones at its new home in The Gallery at DREAMS, their exhibit space. 

Vince Winkel

Tuesday in Fayetteville, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will hold an all-day series of meetings. This is in response to North Carolina residents having been exposed to chemicals like GenX in the Cape Fear River, and toxic firefighting foam on military bases around the State.

It’s not news that the Cape Fear region suffers from some of the highest numbers per capita of people addicted to heroin and opioids.  In response to what’s now commonly “the opioid crisis”, law enforcement strategies have changed, with officers carrying the anti-overdose drug Naloxone and authorities looking to put more offenders into treatment instead of jail. 

NCGA

There are 18 states in the U.S. that the League of Women Voters calls Gerrymandering Trifecta states.  That means state legislators draw their own district maps, they draw Congressional maps, and there is no citizen mechanism to change the process.  Of those 18 states, 11 are in the South.  One of them is North Carolina.

Bob Nichols / Photo courtesy of USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

North Carolina agriculture is facing a host of challenges. The Trump Administration has levied tariffs against many countries, more notably China, Mexico, the European Union, and Canada. 

Richard Scearce / NC Wildlife Resources Commission

Alligator hunting season starts next month in North Carolina for the first time since 1973.  Only Hyde County in the northeastern part of the state applied – after officials offered ten counties and their municipalities the option of an alligator population reduction hunt. 

Dorothea Lange

President Franklin Roosevelt had profound, even heartbreaking decisions to make in the months after the Japanese attack on the United State's naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Among these was one that impacted American citizens of Japanese ancestry in ways that echo into the 21st century. 

From American Public Media, WHQR presents Order 9066, the story of our government's incarceration of more than 120,000 people of Japanese descent for the duration of World War II.  https://www.apmreports.org/order-9066

WHQR will run this 3-part special over the following few weeks.

  • Wednesday, August 1st at noon -- Part 1 (repeats on Sunday at 3pm)
  • Wednesday, August 15th at noon -- Part 2 (repeats on Sunday at 2pm)
  • Thursday, August 16th at noon -- Part 3 (repeats on Sunday at 3pm)

Vince Winkel

In downtown Wilmington, businesses come and go. Crust Kitchen and Cocktails Restaurant just opened on Princess Street. Another restaurant, Grace and 2nd, just closed on Grace. And GDN – Guys Do Nails – is about to open on Princess. Downtown will always be, on some level, a revolving door of businesses.

Katelyn Freund / WHQR

The stories of Wilmington -- from mythical tales surrounding Jacob’s Run, that underground passageway in  Wilmington, to the legend of the woman buried sitting in a barrel of booze to the heroism of Abraham Galloway -- which are fact and which are fiction? 

Vince Winkel

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Air Quality Thursday announced its decision on the use of methyl bromide in log fumigation operations in Columbus County. Rather than grant a permit to the company’s facility in Delco, DEQ says more steps have to be taken. Here's the latest on a story that we first brought you last spring. 

Vince Winkel

Rhiannon Giddens is a singer and songwriter.  She plays the banjo and the fiddle.  She’s a storyteller, activist, and musical historian.  She’s also a founding member of the Grammy Award-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops -- inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 2016. 

Vince Winkel

The trade war with China and other U.S. allies is hitting close to home, as Bladen County just earned a unique distinction. According to research by the Brookings Institution, Bladen County ranks 4th among all U.S. counties that could be hurt by President Donald Trump's tariffs. 

Vince Winkel

The U.S. House passed a resolution to affirm support for the work of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency – also known as ICE – on Wednesday.  The non-binding resolution came in answer to a push by some Democratic lawmakers and progressive activists to abolish the Agency.  Democrats in the Senate blocked the resolution the same day.

Vince Winkel

The New Hanover County Airport Authority has a new chairperson... and for the first time in its history, the chair is a woman. Donna Girardot was appointed to the position last week. She becomes Chair as Wilmington International Airport goes through another year of growth. WHQR sat down with Girardot, to discuss her new role.

Sonoco Recycling

China’s ban on 24 types of trash imports is changing the recycling business and waste management in the United States.  The new policy on what China will accept limits the type of plastic and unsorted paper recycling collectors are taking, while a new threshold for acceptable contamination sits at 0.5%.  

DEQ

This week the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality hosted a public hearing in Wilmington, and nobody came. The meeting was to discuss the clean-up of hazardous materials at a site off Sunnyvale Drive. It’s not uncommon for these hearings to go unattended.

Vince Winkel

Tuesday night the Wilmington City Council will consider a resolution that asks North Carolina’s General Assembly and Governor to consider legislation that would prohibit those deemed an extreme threat to themselves or others from being able to purchase – or keep - weapons like handguns and rifles. 

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. 

A gunman shot and killed five newsroom employees June 28th at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis.  That tragedy, at a local, community paper which has been in business for nearly 300 years – yes, that’s older than the United States – has rattled newsrooms around the country. 

Google Earth

Next Wednesday the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality will hold a public hearing in Wilmington. It’s to share the final plans to clean up a hazardous waste site along Sunnyvale Drive, between Carolina Beach and River Roads. The clean-up should keep toxic chemicals out of the groundwater in the area.

Vince Winkel

On Wednesday the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s public comment period on a proposed court order against Chemours will end. That order would require the company to implement measures to eliminate or reduce air emissions and water impacts caused by GenX and related compounds from their Fayetteville facility. 

Wikimedia Commons

As of July 1st, there’s money in the North Carolina film grant program, funded yearly by the General Assembly. When the tax rebate ended in 2014, the industry left. Now, it’s returning. 

This week in North and South Carolina, Medicare recipients began receiving their replacement cards. According to the Better Business Bureau of Coastal Carolina, with those cards have come scam phone calls. 

Ken Blevins / Star News

If you have lived in the Cape Fear region for any length of time, you might recognize the name Harvard Jennings.   From 1989 until 2010, he hosted and produced a weekday radio talk show that tackled local, national and international issues. 

Vince Winkel

The images of children being separated from their parents at the U.S. – Mexico border have been all over the media in recent weeks. As a result, President Donald Trump signed an executive order on June 20 to stop the separations. There is a debate over immigration policy in this country.  That policy hits close to home.

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Laura L. Valentine

The City of Wilmington reported overall historic crime lows last year.  Crimes in Wilmington’s Central Business District, which used to have, according to Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous, a pretty bad reputation, have dropped since 2002 by about 75%.

uncwstorytelling.org

People who have disabilities, particularly physical ones, face what some social justice activists call “ableism”.  Disability Research Scholar Julie-Ann Scott-Pollock defines the term as “a cultural discourse that stigmatizes and marginalizes bodies deemed not normal through medical diagnosis”. 

Vince Winkel / WHQR Public Radio

Summer means more mosquitos in the Cape Fear region. Especially when it rains. The water creates ideal breeding conditions.  New Hanover County’s Mosquito Control Department is keeping busy.

There is more news to report on the GenX front. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry has released a draft study on the class of chemicals called PFOA and PFAS. It says the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended levels for these compounds in the water is too high. 

Chief Yeoman Alphonso Braggs, US Navy

The ice sheets that blanket Antarctica and Greenland are melting faster, and that fact is a source of concern and intense study by climate researchers. 

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