Military jets, voter harassment, WHA and town-county reunion

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Port City Politics is a collaborative podcast between WECT and WHQR. Every two weeks, WECT investigative reporter Michael Praats and WHQR news director Ben Schachtman will break down the latest happenings in local politics.

The podcast will be available on both stations.

In the edit, we get updates on frustrations over military planes flying low over Wilmington and the identity of the organization that allegedly harassed voters — particularly an elderly black couple — in Brunswick County. Plus, the latest on the Wilmington Housing Authority and the struggle to develop a plan to address the affordable housing crisis.

First: When the pandemic hit and commercial air travel plummeted, military bases took advantage of empty runways to ramp up training flights. In addition to this, a “hot refueling” contract allowed military aircraft to refuel without leaving the tarmac. All of this meant lots of military aircraft, flying relatively low, over residential areas. This led to frustrated locals – which some have tried to paint as unpatriotic – and political wrangling over what to do. Now there appears to be at least a basic compromise agreement in place.

Then, a follow-up to the latest episode’s look at a bizarre and seemingly unauthorized “solicitation” by a group of rogue Republicans. After WECT reported on the black couple who felt harassed by this group, the local Democratic party condemned them — and the local and state GOP backed down.

Plus, the latest on the struggling Wilmington Housing Authority, whose mishandling of a burgeoning mold crisis has now left 150 families – with more than 300 children – displaced from their homes. We review the latest information on the crisis, as well as the audit history which shows a history of management failures.

And finally some notes on the joint meeting between the City of Wilmington and New Hanover County – which saw the death of the $50 million housing bond, unanimous approval (by county commissioners, at least ) of a $15 million replacement plan.

Connections:

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