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Port City Politics Week of Feb. 28: Military jets, voter harassment, WHA, and city-county meeting

Port City Politics
Port City Politics(WECT)
Published: Mar. 7, 2022 at 9:11 AM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Port City Politics is a collaborative podcast between WECT and WHQR. Every two weeks, WECT’s investigative reporter Michael Praats and WHQR’s News Director Ben Schachtman will break down the latest happenings in local politics.

The Podcast will be available from both stations.

On the edition, we get updates on frustrations with low-flying military aircraft over Wilmington and the identity of organization that allegedly harassed voters — specifically an elderly black couple — in Brunswick County. Plus, the latest on the Wilmington Housing Authority and the struggle to form a plan to deal with the affordable housing crisis.

First: when the pandemic hit, and commercial air travel dropped off severely, military bases to advantage of empty runways to ramp up training flights. On top of that, a ‘hot refueling’ contract allowed military aircraft to gas up without taxiing off the tarmac. All this meant a lot of military aircraft, flying relatively low, over residential areas. This led to frustrated residents — who some tried to paint as unpatriotic — and political wrangling over what to do. Now, there seems to be at least a basic compromise agreement in place.

Then, a follow-up on last episode’s look at some strange and apparently unauthorized ‘canvassing’ by a rogue group of 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 renounced them.

Plus, the latest on the troubled Wilmington Housing Authority, whose mishandling of a burgeoning mold crisis has now left 150 families — with over 300 children — displaced from their homes. We look at the latest on the crisis, plus the audit history that shows a history of management failures.

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

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