StarNews moves operations to downtown Wilmington after Florence

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The StarNews staff is moving into offices on 1st and 2nd floors of the Harrelson Building.

WILMINGTON – Displaced during Hurricane Florence, the StarNews began moving this past week into new temporary offices in the heart of downtown.

The newspaper’s home since 1970 at 1003 South 17th St. suffered significant damage during the storm and its aftermath.

Since then, the reporting and editorial staffs have found temporary work spaces at the Hampton Inn at Medical Park, WWAYTV3 in Leland, and the homes of several staffers and their families. The business office and advertising remained closed in the interim. But starting this week, staff began the move to the Harrelson Building at 115 Third St. in downtown Wilmington.

“The advertising department was able to get moved into the first floor suites this week, and the newsroom, circulation and administration will take occupancy on the second floor on Monday,” said publisher Mike Distelhorst.

Business hours for the new offices will be 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

The building is also home to CresCom Bank and City of Wilmington staff.

The transition to the Harrelson Building brings the paper back downtown, where it operated from 1935 to 1970 out of the Murchison building on North Front Street.

The StarNews, the state’s oldest continuously published newspaper, never stopped reporting during Florence, despite treacherous weather conditions.

“I can’t say enough about the efforts and resilience shown by our employees to produce and deliver — in print and online — the story of Hurricane Florence,” Distelhorst said. “As we learned through this storm, we can produce our news from just about any location or condition.”

Reporter Hunter Ingram can be reached at 910-343-2327 or