Rachel Keith

News Graduate Fellow

Rachel is a first-year graduate student enrolled in University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Master of Public Administration program. She attended N.C. State University both as a graduate and undergraduate student earning a Master of Education and two Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and French Language and Literature. She enjoys spending her time with her husband and two-year-old twins, and ocassionally, goes surfing.

Ways to Connect

On Thursday’s CoastLine, Hunter Ingram of the Star News is rolling out a podcast on historic Wilmington. Tune in to hear stories behind the Cape Fear Region’s legendary events and figures…

On Wednesday’s CoastLine, musician Rhiannon Giddens joins us to talk about her recent solo albums, her work with the Grammy-award winning Carolina Chocolate Drops, and her recent MacArthur Genius Award…  And she’s taking your questions…

Sonoco Recycling

China’s ban on 24 types of trash imports is changing the recycling business and waste management in the United States.  The new policy on what China will accept limits the type of plastic and unsorted paper recycling collectors are taking, while a new threshold for acceptable contamination sits at 0.5%.  

Katelyn Freund / WHQR

Joe Breault, Mayor Pro Tem of the Town of Belville, is moving to Florida a little more than halfway through his second term as Commissioner. 

A gunman shot and killed five newsroom employees June 28th at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis.  That tragedy, at a local, community paper which has been in business for nearly 300 years – yes, that’s older than the United States – has rattled newsrooms around the country. 

Ken Blevins / Star News

If you have lived in the Cape Fear region for any length of time, you might recognize the name Harvard Jennings.   From 1989 until 2010, he hosted and produced a weekday radio talk show that tackled local, national and international issues. 

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Laura L. Valentine

The City of Wilmington reported overall historic crime lows last year.  Crimes in Wilmington’s Central Business District, which used to have, according to Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous, a pretty bad reputation, have dropped since 2002 by about 75%.

uncwstorytelling.org

People who have disabilities, particularly physical ones, face what some social justice activists call “ableism”.  Disability Research Scholar Julie-Ann Scott-Pollock defines the term as “a cultural discourse that stigmatizes and marginalizes bodies deemed not normal through medical diagnosis”. 

Wikimedia Commons

When #METOO went viral last October, no one could have predicted how many women and men would add their voices to what has become the name of a movement. 

By NASA Goddard Space Flight Center from Greenbelt, MD, USA [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0) or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By the year 2100, sea levels could rise three to six feet.  That’s according to a study published in the scientific journal Nature just this month.  One of the major contributors:  ice melting in Antarctica.

Tumisu / Pixabay

Blockchain. It’s the platform that Bitcoin runs on. So what’s the basic premise? It’s a decentralized ledger system that keeps track of data points or “blocks” in real time.  Advocates for the emerging platform say it allows for personal transactional control over information shared on the blockchain.

More than half of all waste that heads to the landfill in New Hanover County is food waste or some other compostable material.  Local environmental management officials estimate the real number is between 65 and 70%. 

RedforEdNC

Teachers held walkouts this year in at least six states:  West Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arizona, Colorado, and North Carolina. The reason often cited in news headlines is salary.  But take a deeper dive, and you hear concerns about pension funds, funding for K-12 curriculum, and intangibles – like the lack of respect for the profession.

Billy Hathorn

 

Words On Bathroom Walls is, so far this fiscal year, the only film to take advantage of North Carolina industry incentives.  Five Home Depot commercials also claimed some state grant money over the last fiscal year.  While there are efforts underway in Raleigh to sweeten the pot and lure made-for-TV movies and smaller film projects, the industry in Wilmington is not even a shadow of its former self. 

NOAA (Storm image), NASA (Land image) - NOAA CLASS (class.ncdc.noaa.gov), EOSDIS Worldview

2018 is likely to see normal to slightly above-normal storm Atlantic hurricane activity.  That's according to the newly-released forecast from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.   The breakdown looks like this:  10-16 named storms; 5-9 may become hurricanes.  Of those, one to four could become major hurricanes. 

Creative Commons

Access to mental health resources is one of six major unmet needs in the Cape Fear region.  That’s according to New Hanover Regional Medical Center’s 2016 Community Needs Assessment Survey, which examines New Hanover, Brunswick, and Pender Counties.  Suicide is one of the ten leading causes of death in southeastern North Carolina – despite the fact that it’s not in the top 10 statewide.

copied courtesy Keith Acree, NC Department of Corrections. State Archives of North Carolina, Raleigh, NC

Inmates killed five North Carolina prison workers in 2017.  Four worked as correctional officers; one as a maintenance mechanic.  Violent assaults on officers have increased significantly from previous years, according to the Associated Press. 

http://www.Pexels.com / Wikimedia Commons

It was 2013 that Dr. William Johnstone came to work as a Professor in the Obstetrics and Gynecology residency program at New Hanover Regional Medical Center. It didn’t take long for him to see the devastating consequences from the opioid epidemic firsthand – although back then, the community was not yet talking about it. 

One hospital administrator tells WHQR the numbers of babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome went from about 35 in 2010 to between 120 to 140 by 2016.  Officials expect those numbers to continue rising.

Richard Scearce / NC Wildlife Resources Commission

Alligator hunting in North Carolina is now legal in North Carolina after a 44-year ban.  Last October, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission updated its Alligator Management Plan and defined a potential hunting season:  from September 1 to October 1. 

The City of Wilmington and New Hanover County recently approved a financial incentive package worth $580,000 for National Gypsum.

The Cape Fear region is competing with Tampa for the company’s business. 

Jamie Rotenberg / HTTPS://JAMIERBIRDS7.WIXSITE.COM/EVSJR

It was an expedition into the Mayan Mountains in 2005 which led Jamie Rotenberg to the Bladen Nature Reserve in Belize where he spotted a juvenile harpy eagle.  More than five years later, he discovered a harpy eagle nest – creatures once thought to be extinct. 

German Federal Archive / Wikimedia Commons

Imagine growing up in a world during a time in which it’s prudent to hide the fact that you’re Jewish because you might be barred from common public spaces or forced to attend schools that keep you apart from non-Jewish Germans. 

cjs.nhcgov.com / New Hanover County Community Justice Services

When kids get into trouble, when they fail in school, and turn to destructive paths seeking power, money, and a sense of belonging, it’s easy to dismiss the child as a “bad kid”, write him off, cope with his presence in school, keep him out of the way of the students who are succeeding, wait it out until he’s no longer there.

 April 4th, 2018 marks the 50th Anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior.  The news of King's murder reverberated around the world, but the loss for students, parents, and staff at Williston Senior High School in Wilmington was particularly wrenching.  Dr.

U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Elliott Sprehe

The debate on firearms continues at the local, state, and national levels. As informed citizens, we look for debates based on logic and reason; but with more polarizing issues, it’s worth taking a look at the personal experiences that influence perceptions and resulting policy positions.   

NC Courts

Research shows that minority students are more likely to face disciplinary action in school than white students.  When students face more detentions, suspensions, and expulsions from school than their white counterparts, we also see more children of color in juvenile and criminal courts.  That phenomenon is often called the school-to-prison pipeline. 

Mitch Barrie from Reno, NV, USA / Wikimedia Commons

A 19-year-old gunman killed 17 people with an AR-15 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida about three weeks ago. 

Max Pixel

The kind of energy that human beings use to power their lives is shifting around the globe.  Renewable sources of energy are on the rise; the International Energy Agency expects renewable electricity generation to increase by more than a third over the next four years.  That’s according to CNBC. 

In the last 12 years, Charlotte-based Duke Energy has invested about six billion dollars in wind and solar energy, said company spokesman Randy Wheeless.  He identified North Carolina as second in the nation for solar energy. 

Samuel King, Jr. / U.S. Air Force

Active shooter situations are, by nature, unpredictable and evolve quickly. That’s the first observation officials with The Department of Homeland Security make before offering what tools and resources they have.  In many cases, DHS officials say, there is no pattern or method to the selection of victims by an active shooter.

The Carousel Center

North Carolina’s latest child health report card, just out this week, gives the state an ‘F’ in “Housing and Economic Security” due to the high percentage of children living in low-income homes and neighborhoods. Children from families that are not financially secure, according to NC Child, fare worse in almost every indicator of health, including birth outcomes, access to care, health-risk behaviors, and mortality.

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