You should check the encoding of the db and tables in it as well as the character set encoding on the pages that will display this data. You should be able to access your db and check these character sets directly and make updates to them. You will probably also see this information in the .sql file that is in the default files that you download. Once all of the character sets match for UTF-8 then the characters should all display correctly for you.
The pound character should display in ASCII as far as I know, but UTF-8 should definitely allow this character and many others to be displayed.