Sunday, June 16, 2024

Podcast April 20 – Lawsuit to stop treatment center, CFPUA deal has strings attached

Also this week: Wilmington hands over its crime lab to the county, pumping the brakes on Project Grace, and the ‘gambler’s fallacy’

We kick off this week’s podcast with a look at the transfer of the Wilmington Police Department crime lab to the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office. The lab has struggled financially for over a decade and wasn’t recently shaken by the firing of a chemist who lied about performing his duties.

We had questions, including why officials waited so long to make the move, why there were almost no details about the new arrangement, whether the handover was done at the request of the state (which is handling drug testing in the wake of the chemist’s firing), and whether the lab will ever be handed over to the state as was originally planned over a decade ago.

Up next, New Hanover County Commissioners pump the brakes on Project Grace, a proposed public-private redevelopment project for a county-owned block in downtown Wilmington (home of the county’s downtown library location). We get into the complaints and concerns about the project.

Another county project in Wilmington in the news this week is The Healing Place, a planned “wet” peer-run detox and treatment center and shelter. After numerous delays and opposition from neighboring medical facilities, Wilmington City Council approved the project. Now, a lawsuit has been filed to stop it.

We get into what those complaints are and what comes next.

Then it’s time to talk about CFPUA’s recent deal with Wrightsville Beach. After contaminants from CFPUA’s aquifer apparently leaked into the town’s own water well, CFPUA offered a deep discount on bulk water. But the agreement comes with strings — for one, the town will have to join CFPUA, or pay back the savings. Also, CFPUA is protected from future lawsuits over contamination, and they don’t promise the water they’re providing is contaminant free.

Lastly, it’s time to talk about hurricanes, specifically the (apparently) controversial comments made by National Weather Service Meteorologist Steve Pfaff.

Pfaff said the region is overdue for a major hurricane, reminding residents that – despite the catastrophic damage done by rain – Florence was only a Category 1 storm. We talk about the difference between prediction and statistics, and why people got so upset about this story.

If you missed any of these stories, you can catch up below. Then take a deeper dive with our weekly podcast.

Funding, staffing issues prompt turnover of Wilmington police crime lab to county

Wilmington approves Oleander project, one vote against to protest lack of affordable housing

County Commissioners put brakes on Project Grace to ‘explore alternative options’

Rock and a hard place: Getting to the bottom of concerns over The Healing Place treatment center

Healing Place treatment center neighbors file lawsuit over security concerns, commissioner calls move ‘selfish’

‘We are way overdue for a major hurricane’: National Weather Service talks hurricane season at Carolina Beach

CFPUA discounts water rate for Wrightsville Beach but town could be made to repay savings or join

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