February’s popular reads: Duke Energy nuclear plants, Azalea Fest 2021, former health director’s insubordination [Free]

SOUTHEASTERN NC — As we approach the halfway mark in February, we are only 36 days away from spring’s arrival — and 53 days away from Wilmington’s most popular springtime party, Azalea Festival.

The 74th annual event, which was held virtually in 2020, will return with a hybrid model of virtual events (April 7-11) and in-person events slated for summer. “2021 Azalea Festival releases event lineup, moves concerts to August” has ranked in the number-two spot of most popular reads so far this month. It clocks in right ahead of our coverage on why former Public Health Director Phillip Tarte was dismissed from his position in mid-January.

“Supervisor wanted former New Hanover County health director out months before pandemic even began” revealed numerous insubordinations county health officials had marked against Phillip Tarte as far back as fall 2019. According to documents obtained by Port City Daily, Tarte failed to get ahead of the global pandemic and the vaccination rollout, ultimately leading to his termination.


As much as coal ash sweeps headlines for Duke Energy, we’ve learned so does its nuclear power plants. To date this month, our most read story, “Duke Energy wants to keep Brunswick Nuclear Plant running,” reports on Duke Energy’s license renewal for its six locations across North and South Carolina, including the local plant in Southport.

Here is a rundown of the top 10 stories our readers have enjoyed most, Feb. 1-14, 2021, in case you missed it.

1. Duke Energy nuclear plant license renewals

2. Azalea Festival 2021

3. Public health director’s insubordination

4. Cooper releases emergency Covid-19 budget plans

5. NHC school board looks at revising policies

6. Local musician Emily Roth plans a move to Nashville

7. Gordon Road might welcome workforce housing

8. Local providers cite problems with feds in vaccine rollout

9. NHRMC reroutes vaccine supply to public health

10. Local business finds success despite Covid-19


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