New Hanover County

Katelyn Freund

Tropical Storm Isaias officially left the eastern part of North Carolina in the early hours of Monday morning. In the storm’s wake -- hundreds of thousands without power and property damage from suspected tornadoes, fires, wind, and rain. As WHQR reports, Cape Fear counties are in the midst of their damage assessments.   

Pat Marriott/WHQR

Daily Updates from WHQR on closures, openings, local, state and federal efforts and other developments in  the coronavirus battle.   

The number of COVID-19 cases in North Carolina continues to rise. Thursday afternoon Gov. Roy Cooper addressed both the increase, and the issue of schools reopening. 

Vince Winkel

The Partnership Advisory Group has voted unanimously to recommend Novant Health as the best choice for the future of the Regional Medical Center. Next week, the Board of Trustees will consider the matter, and on July 13 the decision reaches the County Board of Commissioners. 

Vince Winkel

As the decision draws near on the Medical Center’s future, the Partnership Advisory Group resumed its in-person meetings last night at the Burney Center on the UNCW campus. 

Vince Winkel

It was 11 months ago that New Hanover County announced they were going to explore selling the Regional Medical Center.  Last week, county officials and residents heard from the top three candidates under consideration.

Vince Winkel

In the wake of George Floyd’s death, the protests began in Wilmington on May 30 with a gathering at 1898 Memorial Park. The next day, they moved to the steps of Wilmington City Hall. Every day and night since, people have gathered with signs protesting racism and police brutality.  One voice has stood out from the crowd. 

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.    

RLH / WHQR

New Hanover County officials presented the proposed budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1st at a meeting Monday morning.   With the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and the beginning of what could be an above-average hurricane season, there is no proposed tax increase.  

NOAA

Hurricane season officially starts June 1. And the 2020 Atlantic season is forecast to be more active than usual, according to the National Hurricane Center. Some are even calling for an “extremely active” season. New Hanover County is preparing for the worst. 

RLH / WHQR

North Carolina is set to launch Phase One of its reopening 5 pm on Friday, May 8th.  There are four major metrics that state officials are watching to see how the Covid-19 pandemic is playing out in the state.  

Vince Winkel

At least anecdotally, it seems that a few months of isolation has triggered a need for human contact. Old friends are connecting after years of being out of touch.  Have you heard from an old friend lately? 

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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. 

Starting Wednesday, April 29th, New Hanover County will offer free drive-through diagnostic testing for the coronavirus. The County will continue this service for four weeks, to help determine how the virus is affecting the Cape Fear Region. WHQR explains how the process will work.

Vince Winkel

Six proposals were made public last week regarding the future of New Hanover Regional Medical Center. A group opposed to selling the facility, Save Our Hospital, did not like what it saw.  WHQR’s Vince Winkel spoke with the organization’s President, Gene Merritt.

The March edition of Bottega Live features three unique artists: Sarah Brown, Josh Starkey, and the new Wilmington duo For The Birds. WHQR's Bottega Live airs each month in conjunction with Wilmington’s Fourth Friday Gallery Walk, at 8 pm that Friday.

WHQR/Nick Santillo

The mission of Wilmington’s Good Shepherd Center is to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless and foster transition to housing. Today, those needs are more urgent than usual, as the coronavirus puts a strain on organizations that serve the less fortunate.

Vince Winkel

New Hanover County has issued a State of Emergency, prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people and closing public beach access points in order to ensure social distancing and reduce the risk of COVID-19. 

Vince Winkel

Businesses in the Cape Fear Region are facing an uncertain future, with many closing temporarily and some that may never recover. The U.S. Senate is racing to pass a trillion-plus dollar economic aid package. It is likely to include direct aid to individuals, and to small businesses in the form of long term no-interest loans to be paid back starting in 2021. 

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New Hanover County leaders have announced the county’s first presumptive case of the coronavirus. The person, who recently traveled internationally, is doing well, and isolating at home. They’re just one of many individuals who have received COVID-19 testing in the county.

courtesy CDC

The unprecedented move, just days ago, to cancel events that might draw more than 100 people came from an Executive Order out of the North Carolina Governor’s office.  This statewide mandate is now enforceable, yet it’s hardly the most extreme measure officials have taken to slow the spread of the new coronavirus – known as COVID-19.  

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While health officials have yet to confirm a coronavirus case in the City of Wilmington, city leaders are working to address resident concerns. Last night’s city council meeting -- which was streamed and held in an almost entirely empty room -- featured discussions on COVID-19 testing and city-employee paid leave.

 

New Hanover County emergency officials held a media briefing Friday afternoon to update the community on the coronavirus.

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


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.

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