whqr

Pat Marriott/WHQR

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

This week researchers from North Carolina State University released new findings in a study of PFAS contaminants in the blood samples taken from Wilmington volunteers. 

Vince Winkel

With a 4 – 1 vote, New Hanover County Commissioners voted to approve a letter of intent to sell New Hanover Regional Medical Center to Novant Health. 

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

At his Covid-19 press conference on Wednesday, June 24, Governor Roy Cooper announced his decision to extend Phase II restrictions and require mandatory masks in public places. Meanwhile, Wilmington has launched an initiative which allows businesses on some streets to move off the sidewalk and on to the street to serve customers during specific hours.

Vince Winkel

Three Wilmington police officers have been fired from the force for violating Department policy concerning inappropriate language.  Chief Donny Williams confirmed the move at a press conference Wednesday afternoon. 

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. 

NHRMC

A survey of 667 New Hanover County residents—commissioned by the  Save Our Hospital Group and conducted last week—shows a range of concerns about the sale of the Regional Medical Center. 

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. 

Nick Santillo for WHQR

It was three years ago this weekend that the story broke...there are chemical contaminants in the Cape Fear that are also in our drinking water.  WHQR’s Vince Winkel has been following the story from the beginning.  He looks back over what’s happened...and where we are today.

 

On November 10, 1898, an angry white mob led by prominent Wilmingtonians like Alfred Moore Waddell, Hugh MacRae, George Rountree, and J. Allen Taylor, murdered anywhere from a dozen to 300 people. These white supremacists forcefully removed black politicians from power, and hundreds of black business owners and residents fled in the aftermath. This feature includes video interviews with local leaders.

Vince Winkel

Two demonstrations in Wilmington over the weekend. Both were about George Floyd – the black man killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis last week. Saturday afternoon’s was peaceful. Sunday evening’s turned into a confrontation. Just before 10 pm, Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo declared a state of emergency and put a curfew in place until 6 am Monday morning.  WHQR’s Vince Winkel was at both events and filed this report.

Vince Winkel

Over the weekend, protests continued all across the country over the death of George Floyd, the unarmed black man who died from the knee of a white Minneapolis police officer. At least fifteen states and the District of Columbia have either activated or requested the National Guard to assist local law enforcement. In Wilmington, the Saturday demonstration at 1898 Memorial Park was peaceful. 

Vince Winkel

It was a holiday weekend and the official start of summer, and for residents of coastal Carolina it was back to beaches as usual. In two weeks or so, we’ll know if the celebration was premature. 

Vince Winkel

The May Edition of Bottega Live features some superb singer-songwriter talent. We kick off the show with the duo of Madonna Nash and Chris Cole. The second half of the show features Sarah Brown. WHQR's Bottega Live airs each month in conjunction with Wilmington’s Fourth Friday Gallery Walk, at 8 pm on that Friday.

Vince Winkel

On Friday morning Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo announced several changes effective at 5 p.m. Friday as part of the next phase of the city’s State of Emergency Declaration. UPDATE:  Under the revised order breweries, wineries and distilleries will be permitted to re-open, provided they comply with reduced capacity and social distancing requirements.

UNC-TV

Gov. Roy Cooper has announced that Phase 2 of the reopening will begin Friday afternoon. Restaurants and salons will be able to open at a limited capacity, but bars, gyms, and movie theaters will remain closed. That isn’t what a lot of people had expected. 

Vince Winkel

This Morning New Hanover County Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the Partnership Advisory Group’s recommendation to focus on three potential partners for New Hanover Regional Medical Center: Atrium Health, Duke Health and Novant Health.  The vote came after some spirited debate. 

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. 

Vince Winkel

On Friday, Phase 1 of North Carolina’s coronavirus recovery plan went into effect. That meant that retail businesses across the state could begin to reopen.  A lot of shoppers were out this weekend.

Vince Winkel

At its Thursday meeting, the Partnership Advisory Group, charged with recommending a future for New Hanover Regional Medical Center, narrowed its focus from the six submitted proposals to three it believes are worth further consideration.  

Nick Santillo for WHQR

Friday at 5 p.m. Phase 1 of Governor Roy Cooper’s reopening plan will take effect. The biggest change is that a wider range of retail stores will be allowed to open. Stores will still need to limit shoppers to 50% of capacity, and maintain sanitary and social distancing. This phase is set to last for at least two weeks. 

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? 

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.

file photo

Cities, counties and states are moving at different speeds when it comes to lifting restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic. That can create problems between neighboring states... like North and South Carolina. 

Vince Winkel

On Tuesday New Hanover County published online the six proposals it received regarding the possible future of New Hanover Regional Medical Center. County Commissioners are slated to decide on one of the proposals, or not, later this year. The proposals range from $1.25 to over $3 billion.

Because of COVID-19 and social distancing regulations, theaters and concert halls are closed across most of the country. Here in the Cape Fear region all music venues, theaters, and galleries are shuttered. So painters and musicians are going virtual. WHQR visits with one artist who’s doing both.

Vince Winkel

In North Carolina schools are closed, and for many the school year appears to be over. That means thousands of high schoolers in the Cape Fear region are at home. Many use Zoom for lectures, and email to turn in assignments. Their parents juggle work, if they still have a job, with helping their kids. WHQR  checks in with one Wilmington family.

[SOUND OF BABY CRY AND MICHAEL TITTERTON'S INTRODUCTION].

Those are the first sounds and the first voice heard on WHQR when it came to life on 91.3 FM 35 years ago.

Pages