Kelly Kenoyer

Watchdog reporter and weekend host for WHQR in Wilmington, NC. I've covered inequality, city government, the alt-right, transit, and urban planning. I'm always on the prowl for my next investigative story.

Previous bylines: The New Era, Portland Mercury, Eugene WeeklyThe GuardianThe Lund Report, and Willamette Week.

Want to work together? Email me at

Features and Investigations

The Newsroom: What makes a city, a city?

What defines a city? It’s not all housing and transportation: sometimes it’s the very fabric and stitching that holds a community together. It's the rules, regulations, and design philosophies that decide the economic, social, and visual coherence of a city — and whether any of it is sustainable. So which neighborhoods are the most sustainable in Wilmington? And how can other neighborhoods follow suit? And why is rent so high!?

The Newsroom Special Edition: The Northside Story - segregation, gentrification, and zoning in Wilmington

We’ll start with a close look at the Brooklyn Arts District — formerly known as Brooklyn Heights. That historically black neighborhood in Wilmington's Northside has seen just about every element of segregationist policy known to America… and now, it’s becoming integrated. Then, a conversation with two academics who know the ins and outs of zoning, housing, and segregation. And finally, a look forward: to the proposed land development codes here in Wilmington, and what other cities and states ar

Test Drive: WHQR tries out WAVE's micro-transit system

I've been excited about RideMicro for a while now, but haven't had the chance to use it because I rarely cross the river into Leland. But I finally had time this holiday season, and made the journey using WAVE's newest innovation. WAVE transit’s micro-transit system has been running for over a month, and is slowly expanding in phases. The grant-funded service is meant to bridge gaps in within New Hanover County and surrounding areas.

Part IV - Behind hotel doors, a look at the lives disrupted by WHA's mismanagement

One way to understand the mold crisis at the Wilmington Housing Authority is by the numbers: 78 families displaced, hundreds of thousands of dollars a month in rent and stipends to keep them in hotels around the city, and untold millions to repair their homes. And those numbers make a point — but to be honest they also miss part of the story, the story of people, who had lives, families, careers, and dreams before they had to pack what they could in a suitcase and leave their homes, not knowing for how long. Everyone's experience of displacement has been — and continues to be — different. For some, the hardest part is being away from their community and family, for others it's the isolation and claustrophobia of a hotel room, and for still others, it's the lack of answers from WHA.

Part III - WHA is in 'a tailspin.' Residents are paying the price. Who's responsible?

The Wilmington Housing Authority is marred by institutional failures and opaque communication, and these systemic problems are now exacerbated by a power vacuum. What’s more, it’s difficult to ascertain the truth about who knew what and when, as the leadership that is likely to blame have all left the authority. Inspectors and even community members outside WHA knew about severe mold problems in WHA housing projects as early as 2019.

Part I - Wilmington Housing Authority's mold disaster: chronic mismanagement, soaring costs, and hundreds displaced

This is Part 1 of an investigative series on mold problems in the Wilmington Housing Authority. Sonya Muldrow has lived in Creekwood for 9 years, but she grew up there too. After her mother got divorced, she moved in as a teenager. The public housing development is her community, and she’s planted down roots: including a couple of community garden beds in her back yard.

Ranked choice voting: A more democratic system for North Carolina?

Many voters agonize over picking a favorite candidate in a crowded field, especially if their values are split between different candidates or different parties. But there may be a solution: an alternate type of ballot that lets voters vote with their hearts, with no fear that their votes will be wasted. It's called ranked choice voting, and there's an entire non-profit dedicated to bringing it to North Carolina. The most common mode of democracy in the United States is called the “voting plur

A System of Neglect

When last surveyed by DHS on Feb. 9, River Grove was out of compliance with more than a dozen Oregon Administrative Rules. The facility was understaffed, the staff was undertrained, and diet and hydration programs did not meet standards of frequency, nor did the facility meet sanitation standards. Retirement homes are meant to be places where the elderly can live comfortably. But many facilities in Oregon are rife with abuse and neglect. Severe understaffing can set up caregivers for failure, and all it takes is one mistake to kill a member of this vulnerable community.

Family reunited with local homeless man after 20 years of silence

On a bright Saturday morning in mid-October, Louis Carreiro anxiously waited for a car he wouldn't recognize, peeking out of his tent at every sound. He had hardly slept that night, nervous and excited in equal measure for the arrival. Carreiro hadn't seen his mother, or any of his family for that matter, in more than 20 years, but she was coming for a visit that day. He'd been on the streets since the late 1990s, when methamphetamine addiction and stints in jail left him on the streets of Medford, his hometown. It took more than a decade for him to kick that addiction, and by then he had decided he wasn't worth his family's time.

Brick By Brick

You’re standing on the corner of West Burnside and Broadway when it happens: The Cascadia Subduction fault line snaps. The fault has been straining underneath the Pacific Ocean for hundreds of years—and now centuries of geologic force are rumbling towards Portland. The ground starts rolling. Cars swerve into nearby buildings as you stumble across the splintering sidewalk. Dust from lurching buildings rises into the air. You grab a telephone pole and watch as bricks rain down from the Stewart Apartments building. The façade of Bailey’s Taproom falls onto the street, crushing several pedestrians below. You hear a tremendous crash as the Burnside Bridge collapses into the Willamette. After five agonizing minutes of the ground shaking, some of the buildings around you have completely collapsed.

Homelessness in Sweet Home

Pastor Bethanie Young didn't expect to become an impromptu camp host for the homeless, but when COVID-19 shut down warming shelters in March, it was hard to turn the needy away. Young, after all, is the leader of the Sweet Home Church of Nazarene, which is a mission-minded church bent on helping others. "Our congregation members have been compassionate about the homeless in the community," she said, pointing to the church's longtime support of Sweet Home Emergency Ministries. So when a couple

Challenges of Blue Pool

Tamolitch Falls spills into a jewel of a pool in the midst of the Willamette National Forest. The miniature lake there, popularly known as "Blue Pool" for its iridescent hue, draws tens of thousands of visitors each year. It's an hour from Sweet Home and just a bit further from Eugene, so it's an attraction that draws visitors from all across the region, and even from around the world. But that popularity has led to some danger and some degradation, according to first responders and foresters.

Vulnerable Populations Face Higher Risk, Fewer Personal Care Attendants Due to COVID-19

For hundreds of elderly and disabled residents in Missouri, personal care attendants, or PCAs, are a lifeline that stave off isolation and help them stay out of nursing homes. The field was already facing a shortage of workers before the COVID-19 pandemic began, but now, things are even worse. PCAs are a lifeline for their clients, according to Melinda Cardone, the executive director of Independent Living Resource Center in Jefferson City.

At Missouri's Flagship Campus, Students Struggle To Get By

On any given weekday, University of Missouri student Jack Hale is working six to eight hours and dashing to class in between. “I wake up a little after five and I do not stop until 11 p.m. most days,” Hale says. Between a full load of classes and two jobs taking up nearly 40 hours a week, he barely gets enough sleep. “My body is just so accustomed to getting like, five or six hours, sometimes less, that when I sleep a normal amount, it does not do me any good,” he says.


Beneath the surface of liberal Eugene, there’s a war brewing. And both sides are recruiting. The two sides say they consider it a war for the very soul of this nation. They both track their opponents and sometimes participate in violent protests. They’re both grassroots, and while the issue is national in scale, both sides are very, very local. Propaganda is being plastered on telephone poles around town, marking territory — safe spaces for fascists or anti-fascists respectively.
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