New Hanover County

Graphic, Katelyn Freund; Images Provided by Candidates


Change is coming to the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners. Incumbent Republicans Woody White and Patricia Kusek are not seeking re-election -- but there are nine other Republican primary candidates on the ballot, vying for three open seats. WHQR spoke to two of them.

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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.

 

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Wave Transit and New Hanover County Schools were the main agenda items at the Monday, February 17 County Commissioners meeting. Commissioners voted to approve $358,000 towards school safety initiatives, in light of recent allegations of child sexual abuse by teachers. Board members also authorized the appointment of Woody White to the Wave Authority Board -- but that vote wasn’t unanimous.  

Hannah Breisinger

The Best Friends Network -- a national animal welfare organization -- wants to make North Carolina a “no-kill” state by 2025. According to their data, NC ranks third in the country for euthanizing shelter pets. To achieve the goal of  “no-kill” status, every shelter in the state must reach a 90% live-release rate for all cats and dogs -- leaving a 10% margin for health and safety related euthanizations.

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The recycling industry is changing dramatically -- new types of materials are being produced and discarded, the international appetite for recycled materials is shrinking, and municipal recycling programs are evolving to deal with market fluctuations. New Hanover County is no exception. 

Nick Santillo


The state Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts passed a resolution earlier this month addressing concerns about GenX and PFAS chemicals. The resolution, brought by the New Hanover County Chapter of the organization, marks the first time the compounds have been formally addressed by Soil and Water Conservation at the state level.

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.

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.

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Like many residents of New Hanover County, coyotes are relatively new to the Cape Fear region. They can pose a threat to sea turtle eggs and small house pets, but a study finds they rarely interact with people.

Hannah Breisinger


Citizens can, and should, be involved in their local governments. That’s the philosophy behind a series of sessions held by New Hanover County, aimed to educate the community on the inner-workings of local services and programs. The all-day sessions are being held today and tomorrow at the county’s Northeast Library.

Hannah Breisinger


New Hanover County Commissioners approved expanding an upcoming substance use treatment center to include 100 beds for women. The women’s facility will accompany the already-approved 100-bed facility for men, both of which have yet to enter the design-phase.

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. 

New Hanover County

Project Grace.  Some hear that term and imagine an exciting evolution of Wilmington’s downtown area – bringing together cultural attractions – such as the Cape Fear Museum, shopping, the library, affordable housing in a market that desperately needs it.  Done properly, it could turn downtown into a more of a destination for locals and tourists.

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Hurricane Florence hit the Cape Fear region September 14, 2018.   She made landfall with significantly lower wind speeds than originally predicted -- as a Category 1 – but she had expanded in size and slowed down, which meant torrential rainfall over the Carolinas along with hurricane and tropical storm force winds.  

Vince Winkel

The downtown redevelopment proposal known as “Project Grace” has taken a step closer to reality. Last week, New Hanover County held two informational meetings on its plans to overhaul a county-owned block in downtown Wilmington.  The plan comes with mixed reviews.

Vince Winkel

The temptation to venture out and drive around is going to be strong today.  But officials say the risk of injury or death is rising.

This week New Hanover County’s revamped process for funding non-profit agencies gets underway. The approach was approved by county commissioners last November, and aims to offer a more objective structure to funding such organizations.  

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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.

Brunswick County Sheriff's Office

The snow has stopped falling, and the Cape Fear region is waking up Thursday morning to a winter wonderland.  Government offices, schools, morning flights, and many businesses are shut down for the second day in row.  Despite some optimism late Wednesday, with some organizations planning to re-open at 10 AM, including New Hanover County Government offices and the Battleship, officials reconsidered Thursday morning and are staying closed.

Vince Winkel / WHQR

The New Hanover County Commissioners will soon vote on Project Grace, a redevelopment project in downtown Wilmington at the location of the New Hanover County Library and 2nd Street Parking Deck.  The parking deck would stay, but everything else could drastically change.

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.  

Vince Winkel / WHQR

State officials are releasing the first results of water quality samples and an updated preliminary health assessment for concentrations of the unregulated compound GenX in finished, or treated, drinking water. Samples were analyzed at the U.S. EPA lab in Research Triangle Park, and at Test America, a lab in Colorado under contract to Chemours. The latest results mirror those from the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority, with levels in the 68 to 125 parts per trillion range. Is that cause for celebration? Not so fast.

Vince Winkel

The future of planning for New Hanover County will be front and center this week. The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners will hold a Joint Work Session with the County Planning Board this Thursday, to discuss the Unified Development Ordinance.  There are actually two meetings planned for this Thursday.

Ocean Isle Beach in Brunswick County is the second North Carolina municipality to receive a permit for a terminal groin since a long-standing ban was lifted in 2011. 

Vince Winkel

There are plans in the works for those woods you see across the river from downtown Wilmington, between the battleship and the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge. Thursday night the New Hanover County Planning Board will hear a rezoning request for that area.

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. 

New Hanover County

The five New Hanover County commissioners unveiled this year’s state of the county via a 12-minute video late yesterday afternoon, detailing their individual visions for the area.

It's the 2017 State of the County.

The overall message was one of enthusiasm and optimism.  The entire video featured a music soundtrack, as well.

“I’m so excited about the things that we’re doing from a quality of life perspective."

That's Commissioner Jonathan Barfield.

On this edition of the CoastLine Candidate Interviews, we meet the two people in the race for North Carolina Senate District 9.  This district covers most of New Hanover County, with the exception of a small patch in downtown Wilmington, which is part of Brunswick County Senator Bill Rabon’s District 8. 

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