Good News Friday: NC Finally Gets a Wawa, And Our Wetlands Are Making a Comeback

North Carolina is finally getting a Wawa, the popular convenience store chain. (Shutterstock)

By Leah Sherrell

May 19, 2023

Our weekly roundup of good news also has some cool national honors for three North Carolina cities.

You know what day it is – Good News Friday! And this week we’ve got family love, made-to-order sandwiches, environmental wins, and some pretty cool stats. 

Let’s dive in. 

A Young Boy is Spreading Autism Awareness With His Brand New Book 

Earlier this month, 12-year old author Devin Leake of Monroe, N.C., released his book “The Awesome Adventures of Awe-Tism (Autism)” with his mom. The book talks about David’s relationship with his younger brother Vance who has autism, and how it’s a pretty awesome superpower. The book not only spreads awareness about autism, it’s loaded with good information and resources for kids.

Wawa coming to North Carolina 

Have you ever been to a Wawa? I haven’t, but the things I’ve heard about it make me want to go. 

The Pennsylvania gas station convenience store chain is kind of like Sheetz with made to order sandwiches, snacks, sides, and a coffee bar to die for. Now, we may have the chance to see what all the fuss is about. There’s a location going up in Kill Devil Hills, plans for one in Wilmington, and who knows? Maybe we’ll soon see them spread throughout the state. 

An NC Wetland Came Back From the Dead  

Wetlands are a key feature of our state’s landscape. They protect water quality, prevent floods, and provide a home to a diversity of plants and animals. A lot of our state’s wetlands have been drained for development and agriculture, but the North River Wetlands Preserve in Carteret County has made a comeback. For over 20 years the North Carolina Coastal Federation has been restoring the area and has seen it return to its natural glory.

Good News Friday: NC Finally Gets a Wawa, And Our Wetlands Are Making a Comeback
One of NC’s largest wetlands restoration projects, the North River Wetlands Preserve is thriving again. (Image via NC Coastal Federation)

3 NC Cities Are Named “Best-Performing Cities”

The Milken Institute, a non-profit, non-partisan think-tank conducted studies on the best big and small cities based on labor market conditions, high-tech presence and growth, and residents’ access to economic opportunities (via housing and digital services). 

North Carolina cities took up three spots in the top tier of their categories.  Raleigh and Wilmington ranked 3rd and 7th, respectively, in the “big cities” category, which was a significant increase from their positions in 2022.  Burlington came in at 14th in the “small cities” class, a jump from 36th in 2022.


  • Leah Sherrell

    Leah Sherrell is a multimedia reporter for Cardinal & Pine. A graduate of UNC-Wilmington, she's a resident of Kernersville with a background in video production and communication. Leah uses many forms of media to explore the multifaceted lifestyles and cultures present in North Carolina.

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