Pender Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees Endorse Recommendation to Partner with Novant Health, UNC Health, and UNC School of Medicine

BURGAW, NC – The Pender Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees has endorsed a recommendation for New Hanover Regional Medical Center to form a partnership with Novant Health, an agreement that would also lead to an expanded relationship with UNC Health and UNC School of Medicine.

At their meeting on July 10, 2020, the PMH Board of Trustees voted to endorse the recommendation from the NHRMC Partnership Advisory Group, which also earned the support of the NHRMC Board of Trustees on July 7, 2020.

“Our community went through similar discussions 21 years ago when we asked how we could best provide healthcare to our residents. We wisely decided to partner with NHRMC, which has strengthened our hospital and improved the healthcare in our county,” said Sonny Davis, chair of the PMH Board of Trustees. “We trust NHRMC to make the right decisions to benefit Pender County, and we are excited about all a partnership with Novant Health and an expanded relationship with UNC could bring to our region.”

Two PMH Trustees, David Williams and Barb Biehner, served on the 21-member Partnership Advisory Group, which made a unanimous recommendation after nine months of evaluation.

“I am proud to support this partnership with Novant Health and UNC because it will transform healthcare throughout the region while ensuring we can continue to offer care that’s needed locally as our population grows,” said David Williams, who is also a Pender County Commissioner and represents PMH on the NHRMC Board of Trustees.

“As physicians, we always want the best for our patients – the best care and the best outcomes,” said Dr. Heather Davis, who serves as chief of PMH’s medical staff. “I am recommending this partnership because I want the best for Pender Memorial and all our patients.”

The Partnership Advisory Group’s recommendation, with the endorsement of the NHRMC Board of Trustees, will go to the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners at its meeting on July 13. If the Commissioners approve the recommendation, NHRMC and New Hanover County will execute a letter of intent with Novant Health and move toward a definitive agreement, which would be made public for further review and comment before any final decision is made.

Proposals and meeting information are available online at

Public comment accepted through Aug. 10 regarding Chemours permit to keep PFAS from the Cape Fear River

Community response accepted regarding Chemours permit to keep PFAS out of Cape Fear River

RALEIGH – The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is seeking public comment on a draft discharge permit for a water treatment system at the Chemours Fayetteville Works site to remove PFAS contamination. Chemours is required under the terms of paragraph 12(e) of the Consent Order to reduce by at least 99% PFAS in the groundwater flowing from the site through Old Outfall 002 into the Cape Fear River and downstream intakes.

The treatment system must be operational by September 30, 2020, according to the Consent Order. The system will treat groundwater that currently discharges without treatment into the river, and it is not designed for process wastewater from the facility. Since 2017, Chemours has been prohibited from discharging process wastewater into the Cape Fear River.

DEQ will accept public comment through August 10, 2020. Comment may be submitted via email to (please include “Chemours” in the subject line), or by mail to:

Wastewater Permitting
Attn: Chemours Permit
1617 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, N.C., 27699-1617

The draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit and factsheet are available online.

The February 2019 Consent Order and related documents are available online at:

Warm weather, recent rains bring mosquitoes and potential for diseases

Pender County Health Department Urges Residents to Take Precautions

The Pender County Health Department is encouraging residents to take the necessary precautions to prevent mosquito bites because recent weather conditions have created an environment for mosquitoes to thrive. Mosquitoes carry diseases such as the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile Virus (WNV).

To prevent mosquito bites, it’s important to remember to Tip, Toss and Cover.

Once a week:
TIP CONTAINERS– drain standing water from garbage cans, pet bowls, birdbaths, flower pots, gutters, pool covers or any other container that has collected standing water. Mosquitoes lay eggs in standing water.
TOSS– old tires, drums, bottles and other outdoor items that are outside and are not being used.
EMPTY AND SCRUB-birdbaths and pet’s water bowls at least once or twice a week.
Once a month:
MAINTAIN– apply a larvicide to standing water that cannot be emptied or drained. Larvicides can be found at home improvement and hardware stores.
Cover yourself with:
CLOTHING: Wear long, loose, and light- colored clothing and shoes and socks.
REPELLENT: Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing. Always use repellents according to the label.

“We have been educating the public to help stop mosquitoes from living and multiplying around their homes and business” says Benjamin Kane, who heads up the mosquito control program for Pender

Contact Pender County Health Department’s Mosquito and Vector Control Hotline at 910-259-1326 for more information or visit their website.

July 4th safety message from Pender County’s first responders

BURGAW – With so many communities canceling firework displays, residents may be tempted to host their own July 4th celebration with store-bought fireworks. In North Carolina, fireworks that do not fly or explode are legal.

“If you plan on having fireworks only Safe and Sane fireworks are legal in North Carolina,” said Alan W. Cutler, Pender County Sheriff.

Fireworks classified as Safe and Sane include sparklers, fountains, smoke devices, snake and glow worms, party poopers or snappers.

“Fireworks are beautiful, but they can be a recipe for serious burns and injuries,” warns Woody Sullivan, Pender EMS & Fire Chief. “No one under the age of 16 years old should handle a firework unsupervised.”

Each year, fireworks are linked to a few deaths and thousands of injuries as well as causing wildfires.

“Enjoy the 4th of July weekend with family and friends and please leave the fireworks to the professionals,” said Tommy Batson, Pender County Fire Marshal and Assist Emergency Management Director. “Thousands of people are injured each year and many accidental fires are started from consumer fireworks.”

“The most dangerous illegal fireworks include explosive or aerial fireworks and Roman candles,” said Carson Smith, Pender County Emergency Manager Director. “These are unpredictable explosives.”

Smith reminds residents that all fireworks require extreme caution, including sparklers.

Sullivan said sparklers burn at a temperature of around 2000 degrees, which can cause third-degree burns.

“Children should never handle sparklers without parent supervision,” said Sullivan. “Sparklers can quickly ignite clothing and often burn the feet of children who drop a sparkler.”

Smith also reminds residents, if fireworks are exploding in a neighborhood, remember to secure your pet. Animals are often frightened by the loud noises. Pets tend to run away from the loud noises.

“Please be mindful of people and animals during this holiday weekend,” said Cutler.

Another summer concern is water safety. Pender County’s emergency responders remind us to swim in a supervised, marked area with a lifeguard present if available, and swim with others, never swim alone.

“Sadly, most deaths from drowning occur within a few feet of safety,” said Cutler.

Pender County, as with many beach communities, has experienced rip currents. If you are caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current. Once you are free, turn and swim toward shore. If you can’t swim to the shore, float or tread water until you are free of the rip current and then head toward shore.

Pender County Sheriff Alan Cutler, Pender County Emergency Management, and Pender County EMS & Fire personnel wish you a safe and Happy 4th of July but urge caution when participating in all summer activities.

Read the state’s toolkit of options for schools’ re-opening

Parents of school-age children are wondering what the 2020-2021 school year will hold for their children amidst a pandemic. The state has released a toolkit of options that district may consider. The entire toolkit is available to read here.

Governor Cooper announced on Wednesday that North Carolina will continue working with schools to prepare to re-open safely for in-person instruction. Schools were asked to create plans based on the criteria and scenarios in the Strong Schools NC Public Health Toolkit, which laid out essential health practices.

“We want to get our students back in the classroom, and we want to make sure we get this right. My number one opening priority is classroom doors,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “We encourage our public schools to continue planning, with a special focus on how teachers, staff, and students can best be protected – especially those who are high-risk.”

To help schools prepare, the state distributed supplies of personal protective equipment to schools across the state for use in the upcoming school year. The North Carolina National Guard and other contracted shipping services will continue delivering PPE Starter Pack supplies to the 116 public school systems and 203 alternative schools.



System Pressure Advisory Rescended

Pender County Utilities issued a Pressure Advisory on June 26, 2020 System Pressure Advisory issued to its water customers along US Highway 117 South in Rocky Point and all side roads and neighborhoods off US Highway 117 South from Rocky Point Elementary Road to Strawberry Lane.

Bacteriological analysis results of drinking water samples collected after completion of the water system repair on Friday June 26th show no coliform bacteria present.

The system has resumed normal operations, and you may use the water without boiling.

Additional flushing was performed in this area on Friday to help remove trapped air and any loose sediment from the repairs. Please, remove and clean strainers on faucets in your house to also remove potential debris,

The system pressure advisory is hereby rescinded today, June 27, 2020.

Thank you.

Virtual meeting open houses with the Wilmington Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization

Important notice from our planning department

To complete the final review of the draft metropolitan transportation plan, Cape Fear Moving Forward 2045, the Wilmington Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization will host three virtual public open houses on the evenings of July 6, 7, and July 8.

The plan includes an evaluation of potential aviation, bicycle and pedestrian, ferry and water transportation, freight and freight rail, public transportation, and roadway projects to meet the needs of the region over the next 25 years.

The plan area includes Hampstead, Rocky Point, and other areas of southern Pender County along with New Hanover County and portions of Brunswick County.

Join Zoom Meeting:…

Meeting ID: 993 0733 3187
Password: MTP2045
Or by phone, dial:
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago) or
+1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 993 0733 3187
Password: 056526

Zoom in for any one of the three virtual meetings:
Monday, July 6, 2020
5:00pm – 7:00pm

Tuesday, July 7, 2020
5:00pm – 7:00pm

Wednesday, July 8, 2020
5:00pm – 7:00pm


Attention water customers south of Rocky Point Elementary to Strawberry Lane

System Pressure Advisory!

Water customers of Pender County Utilities, in Pender County, on US Highway 117 South in Rocky Point and all side roads and neighborhoods off US Highway 117 South from Rocky Point Elementary Road to Strawberry Lane are advised that due to a water main repair, water has been temporarily turned off to conduct a water main repair in the area to start at 8:00 am, Friday, June 26, 2020. We expect water to be off for nine hours while repairs are performed. Approximately, 60+ homes are affected. These areas included but not limited to East and West Strawberry Lanes, Fall Brook Lane and neighborhood, Lecy Padgett Road, Bridge side Road, Via Dolorosa, Rocky Point Training School Road, Rocky Point Elementary Road and all roads from these streets.

Water service will be returned upon completion of the work. Periods of low or no pressure in the distribution system increases the potential for back siphonage and introduction of bacteria into the water system.

Therefore, consumers in the area noted above are advised to boil all water used for human consumption (including drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes and food preparation) or use bottled water until this advisory is lifted. This advisory will be in effect for a minimum of 36 hours.

Vigorous boiling for one (1) minute should kill any disease-causing organisms that may be present in the water. Water customers are strongly urged to conserve water whenever possible.

This advisory remains in effect until further written notification is issued.

This advisory will go in effect on Friday 6-26-2020 at 8:00 am by:

James Proctor, W & S Superintendent
Pender County Utilities

NC pauses in Safer At Home Phase 2, adds statewide requirement for face coverings.

As trends move in the wrong direction, state will not yet move into Phase 3

RALEIGH: Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen today announced that North Carolina will remain in Safer at Home Phase 2 for three more weeks. Cooper also announced that face coverings must be worn when people are in public places as officials seek to stabilize concerning trends of increasing viral spread.

Cooper and Cohen were joined by Dennis Taylor, President of the North Carolina Nurses Association and Eugene A. Woods, President and CEO of Atrium Health.

“North Carolina is relying on the data and the science to lift restrictions responsibly, and right now our increasing numbers show we need to hit the pause button while we work to stabilize our trends,” said Governor Cooper. “We need to all work together so we can protect our families and neighbors, restore our economy, and get people back to work and our children back to school.”

“I know North Carolinians are strong, resilient and care deeply about our communities. We pride ourselves on helping our neighbors. The best way we can do that now is by taking the simple action of wearing a face covering that covers your nose and mouth. If we each do our part, we can get back to the people and places we love,” said Dr. Mandy Cohen, NCDHHS Secretary.

Growing evidence shows that cloth face coverings, when worn consistently, can decrease the spread of COVID-19, especially among people who are not yet showing symptoms of the virus. Until now, face coverings had been strongly recommended. Under today’s executive order, people must wear face coverings when in public places where physical distancing is not possible.

In addition, certain businesses must have employees and customers wear face coverings, including retail businesses, restaurants, personal care and grooming; employees of child care centers and camps; state government agencies under the Governor’s Cabinet; workers and riders of transportation; and workers in construction/trades, manufacturing, agriculture, meat processing and healthcare and long-term care settings.

“Wearing a face covering is an easy thing to do that can make a huge impact for all of us. A major spike in cases would be catastrophic to the system, and without your cooperation, nurses and our fellow healthcare providers will have a harder time caring for sick patients for weeks and months to come,” said Dennis Taylor, a nurse, and President of the North Carolina Nurses Association.

“As the leader of the state’s largest health system, I am pro-health and also 100 percent pro-business. In fact, the two are inextricably connected and I’m very proud of the way business leaders and health experts are working together to keep our economy strong,” said Eugene A. Woods, President and CEO of Atrium Health. “Medical science says to reduce the spread of COVID-19 masking works, and my sincere hope is that all the people of North Carolina can join forces to make wearing a mask not something we feel we have to do – but something that we want to do to keep each other, our neighbors, our children and our loved ones healthy and safe”

Based on the metrics laid out in April by Governor Cooper and Secretary Cohen, North Carolina is evaluating a combination of the data from the following categories that shows the indicators moving in the wrong direction, causing officials to implement today’s pause in Phase 2.

Trajectory in COVID-Like Illness (CLI) Surveillance Over 14 Days
• North Carolina’s syndromic surveillance trend for COVID-like illness is increasing.

Trajectory of Lab-Confirmed Cases Over 14 Days
• North Carolina’s trajectory of lab-confirmed cases starting to level, but is still increasing.

Trajectory in Percent of Tests Returning Positive Over 14 Days
• North Carolina’s trajectory in percent of tests returning positive remains elevated.

Trajectory in Hospitalizations Over 14 Days
• North Carolina’s trajectory of hospitalizations are increasing, though we have capacity in our healthcare system.

In addition to these metrics, the state continues building capacity to be able to adequately respond to an increase in virus spread. These areas include:

Laboratory Testing
• North Carolina is averaging more than 17,000 tests a day for the past week and there are more than 500 sites listed on online plus additional pop-up sites.
• North Carolina labs and labs around the country are seeing supply shortages for laboratory chemicals needed to process tests.

Tracing Capability
• There are over 1,500 full-time and part-time staff supporting contact tracing efforts at the local health department level, including the 309 Carolina Community Tracing Collaborative contact tracers. These new hires reflect the diversity of the communities they serve, and 44% are bilingual.

Personal Protective Equipment
• Our personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies are stable.

Businesses can download templates for signs on face coverings here. Downloadable social media graphics are also available for use.

Read Executive Order No. 147 that implements the June 24 announcement.

Read Frequently Asked Questions about today’s executive Order and mandatory face coverings.

Read NCDHHS guidance on face coverings.

View the slide presentation from the June 24 briefing.

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