Mayor Bill Saffo

RLH

After a short speech in front of a small crowd of supporters at Wilmington International Airport early Wednesday afternoon, President Donald Trump and his motorcade headed for the Battleship North Carolina. 

In an historic announcement Tuesday night, Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo named Donny Williams as the City’s new Chief of Police. 

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Wilmington City Council has voted to adopt its 2020-2021 fiscal year budget. The $206 million financial plan does not include a tax increase. Other aspects of the budget stirred controversy at the council meeting.

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It’s been a tough year in the world of municipal finance -- with the pandemic making it difficult if not impossible to predict how the economic crisis will affect localities. Nonetheless, the Wilmington City Council will vote Tuesday, June 16 on whether or not to adopt its proposed 2020-2021 fiscal year budget.

RLH / WHQR

New Hanover County and the City of Wilmington have instituted a nightly curfew.  Officials say they respect the right to a peaceful protest – but they don’t know the identity of a group that’s gathering nightly.    

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While New Hanover County’s stay-at-home order expires Wednesday, Apr. 29, Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo has signed his own five-day-long proclamation in its place. Many of the restrictions are the same -- but a few have been lifted within city limits. 

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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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. 

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.  

City of WIlmington

Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo says the city is working towards cutting greenhouse gas emissions. This includes things like retrofitting government-owned buildings to be more energy efficient and installing LED lighting. 

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This year’s election is the closest race Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo has seen in his 12 years at the helm of city government.  It's the first serious challenge since 2007 to a Mayor now embarking upon his seventh term. 

The City of Wilmington boasts a population of around 122,600 people.   That’s a U.S. Census Bureau estimate for 2018.  But the largest municipality in New Hanover County is still expected to grow over the next quarter century, and planning officials project a population spike of about 57,000 more people by 2040.  That’s only 21 years out.   In New Hanover County, the current population is 237,689.  By 2038 – 315,475.  That’s county growth of about 33%. 

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The candidate filing period opened Friday for the November municipal elections.  It was a quiet kick-off during the long July 4th weekend.

City of Wilmington

Wilmington is home to more than 117-thousand people.   That’s growth of about 11,000 people since the last census in 2010.  73% of the population identifies as white, less than 20% is African-American, and 6% is Latino or Hispanic.

Vince Winkel / WHQR Public Radio

GenX is an emerging contaminant – a chemical compound that is both product and byproduct in this story. 

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The U.S. Department of Justice has visited Wilmington in response to at least two violent incidents between members of law enforcement and the community.  During those visits, DOJ officials evaluated local law enforcement practices and policies.  That scrutiny is occurring all across the United States, as it seems new cell phone videos showing excessive use of force by police – with people of color usually on the receiving end – seem to pop up with astonishing frequency. 

Billy Hathorn

At the beginning of this year, North Carolina’s film incentive switched from a competitive tax rebate to a very small grant fund – holding just $10 million.

Isabelle Shepherd

The legislature is out of Raleigh, but, the jury may not be out on economic incentives, including those supporting North Carolina’s film industry. 

The City of Wilmington and New Hanover County leaders plan to write to Governor Pat McCrory, asking him to reconvene the legislative session to make a final decision on economic incentives.  Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo says this is a bigger issue than just film; he wants to protect job development grants, which incentivize companies to bring their business to North Carolina:  

Blue Ribbon Commission on the Prevention of Youth Violence

Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo says we need people working and paying taxes, not jailed in a cell, which costs tens of thousands of dollars per incarcerated person.  His remarks prefaced the public update of the Blue Ribbon Commission’s mission: to build a community where the youth are safe, healthy, educated, and successful. 

As state legislators continue to hammer out the budget, citizens of all political persuasions are awaiting word on the fate of this region’s bustling film business. And that’s why this morning, a contingent of officials and residents from the Wilmington area gathered in Raleigh’s legislative building to plead with lawmakers to extend the current film incentive tax credits—instead of switching to a grant program, which they say would eliminate jobs. But rather than demonstrating film’s bona fides within the Cape Fear region, local lawmakers focused on its statewide benefits.

City of Wilmington

Mayor Bill Saffo is running unopposed this season for what will be his fifth term serving the City of Wilmington. 

Just over two years ago, the StoryCorps mobile soundbooth came to Wilmington and recorded rich stories of family, heritage, and personal struggle. WHQR News is thrilled to bring this wonderful catalog of Wilmington back for a second look.

A crowd packed WHQR’s MC Erny Gallery last night to hear a debate on whether a publicly-funded baseball stadium is a good idea for Wilmington. 

Onestanley / www.wretch.cc

WWAY NewsChannel 3 and WHQR-FM 91.3 are excited to announce that we will be co-hosting Wilmington's only "OFFICIAL" baseball stadium debate featuring Mayor Bill Saffo and City Councilman Kevin O'Grady along with "Vote No Stadium Tax Referendum" spokesperson Scott Harry and Jim Rafferty, who is also with the group.

This will be the only debate featuring both the mayor and the anti-tax funded stadium group.

Mayor Bill Saffo Talks Baseball

Sep 20, 2012
Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo

After 9 months of negotiations and hearty public debates, the Wilmington City Council approved a Memorandum of Understanding last night with Mandalay and the Atlanta Braves, bringing a minor league baseball team and a new multi-purpose stadium one step closer to the Port City. With a public vote two months away on whether or not to fund the project, WHQR’s Sara Wood spoke with Mayor Bill Saffo about what it could bring to Wilmington.

A deal on a baseball stadium is set to go before Wilmington’s  City Council at its next meeting on Tuesday night. 

Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo made two major announcements at a press conference at City Hall Tuesday regarding agenda items that city council will consider at next week’s meeting.

Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo spoke last night at City Hall downtown to deliver his State of the City Address.