Rachel Lewis Hilburn

News Director, All Things Considered Host, CoastLine Host / Producer

Rachel Lewis Hilburn came to WHQR in the spring of 2011.  After serving as back-up host for Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Classical Music for a year, she was named News Director in July of 2012. 

She moved to Wilmington from Los Angeles, where she worked as a financial advisor for Morgan Stanley.  After joining the local ABC affiliate in Wilmington, she wrote and produced local TV newscasts, a 30-minute special program for the Cape Fear Museum showcasing its renovation and new exhibits, and independently wrote and produced a documentary on the lingering effects of the 1898 coup d'etat in Wilmington.   Before joining the staff, Rachel co-produced Stories, Wine, and Cheese - a series of local, live storytelling events which aired on WHQR.  

Ways to Connect

On July 2, 1961, Ernest Hemingway rose quietly, so as not to disturb his wife.  He put on his bathrobe and slippers, walked down to the basement of his Idaho home, and unlocked his gun case.  He climbed the steps to his foyer, placed his favorite shotgun to the roof of his mouth, and blew the top of his head off.

Courtesy Martha Peterson

It was 1975 when Martha Peterson’s plane landed in Moscow and launched her assignment as an American case officer for the CIA inside Russia. 

Klaus Toxic via Wikimedia Commons

Five women hanged during the Salem witch trials in Massachusetts were memorialized Wednesday, July 19th on the 325th anniversary of their deaths.  Sarah Good, Elizabeth Howe, Susannah Martin, Sarah Wildes, and Rebecca Nurse might sound like familiar names -- either from history class or the Arthur Miller play, The Crucible, which was based on the Salem Witch Trials.  Twenty people were killed during that 17th century witch hunt. 

White House Photograph Courtesy Gerald R. Ford Library.

North Carolina state legislators have passed House Bill 527 – also known as an Act to Restore and Preserve Free Speech on the Campuses of the Constituent Institutions of the University of North Carolina -- almost exactly along partisan lines.  Sponsored by North Carolina State Representative Chris Millis, a Republican from Pender County, the bill now sits on Governor Roy Cooper’s desk.

WHQR, StarNews, and WWAY sponsored a public forum at Odell Williamson Auditorium to explore persistent questions about the fluorochemical load in the Cape Fear River -- which is much of southeastern North Carolina's drinnking water supply.

WHQR invites you to a public forum on the GenX water issue Wednesday night, July 19th from 7 - 9 PM at Odell Williamson Auditorium.  The StarNews, WWAY, and HQR News will pose your questions to a panel of experts. You can also listen live, on 91.3 FM, WHQR. 

Cleve Callison is probably a name you associate with WHQR fundraising -- whether it’s the signature at the bottom of a donation request letter or the voice singing Super Chicken when an hourly goal is reached during an on-air pledge drive.  When you hear the name Cleve Callison you might think about HQR’s weekly segment featuring your calls and emails – Friday Feedback.

Gerry Dincher / Flickr

New Hanover County shows significant demographic and achievement disparities across its 42 schools.  That’s according to analysis from the Inclusion Project – a report out of the University of North Carolina’s Center for Civil Rights in Chapel Hill.   Between 2006 and 2010, New Hanover County’s School Board adopted a neighborhood school model that, according to that report, has exacerbated the disparities.

Jason W. Smith via Wikimedia Commons

Short term rentals:  they’re those properties that are rented out by an owner to vacationers or tourists -- often for a week, a few weeks, or a few days.  Vacation Rental By Owner ( VRBO) and Airbnb are two of the most popular websites for these types of rentals. 

Vince Winkel / WHQR

GenX is an emerging contaminant – a chemical compound that is both product and byproduct in this story. 

Ladynylon / Wikimedia Commons

HB2, the North Carolina legislation that mandated bathroom use according to the gender on one’s birth certificate, helped to stoke a mainstream national conversation about people who are transgender.  

Citizens from in and around Wilmington packed UNCW’s Kenan Auditorium Wednesday night to get answers from a panel of experts about the GenX water crisis. 

Martin Benavides

One shark expert recently described these sea creatures as the most poorly-understood mega-fauna, not just because of popular culture with the movie Jaws in its canon (never mind Shark Week), but because the travel patterns of sharks cover great distances.

On this edition of CoastLine, we, yes, de-bunk some of those pop culture myths – but more importantly, we learn about what kind of shark research is taking place in and around the waters of North Carolina. 

Lower Cape Fear Historical Society

The City of Wilmington saw a rash of urban fires in the 19th century – making the surviving buildings that much more precious.  Urban renewal in the mid-20th century had a similar effect on some of Wilmington’s historic legacy, but heritage tourism is booming.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The North Carolina Fisheries Reform Act will be 20 years old this AugustAs we learned last week, that policy came to be after extended and heated debate from stakeholders on all sides of the issue.  Most of those involved at the time describe it as better than nothing – but most definitely a compromise.

Stilfehler / Wikimedia Commons

Many of us have heard that playing Mozart for a baby in utero can help with brain development.  We’ve heard that plants do better when classical music is played vs. hard rock. 

It’s the time of year when municipalities and counties are putting the finishing touches on their budgets for the next fiscal year. 

Rachel Lewis Hilburn

The 2017 North Carolina Republican Convention in downtown Wilmington brought the state legislative leadership to the floor Saturday morning. 

Rachel Lewis Hilburn

Lara Trump is in charge of President Donald Trump’s digital campaign strategy.  The Wrightsville Beach native says the Trump Campaign for 2020 is already in high gear.

Rachel Lewis Hilburn

Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to President Donald Trump, spoke to a room of about a thousand people at the 2017 North Carolina Republican Convention this weekend.   During her speech, she encouraged potential candidates to ignore naysayers.

Ragesoss / Wikimedia Commons

Earlier this week, more than 30 people, including North Carolina NAACP President Reverend William Barber, were arrested at the State Capitol for demanding that the Republican-led legislature expand Medicaid. 

As lawmakers in Washington wrangle over exactly when and how to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with something else, state-level officials are scrambling to anticipate the fallout. 

At the same time, auto insurers in the state are seeking a nearly 14% hike in rates from the North Carolina Rate Bureau which, if approved, would go into effect this fall.

Pixabay

A quick sweep of news headlines about guns in North Carolina shows stacks of stories about illegally-obtained weapons.  Two men made national news earlier this month by breaking into two gun shops in North Carolina and stealing more than 100 weapons.  They were arrested by the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

NPR

Our guest on this edition of CoastLine holds the title of Special Correspondent at NPR.  But if you’re an All Things Considered listener, you will probably recognize her voice as the one paired with Robert Siegel – for more than a decade -- from 2003 to 2015. 

David Gessner’s life is about the wild – and wildness.  You may know him first as a nature writer from the books All The Wild That Remains or My Green Manifesto or

Pixabay

More than 90 percent of people think it is important to talk about end-of-life care.  Fewer than 30 percent actually do it.  That’s according to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, a Massachusetts-based independent nonprofit.

HAMZA BUTT on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/141735806@N08/34367774536/

The business of publishing news is radically changing.  That’s present-tense.  We all know the old hometown local paper has undergone what could fairly be called profound transformation – but it’s still going on and what the Executive Editor of the StarNews in Wilmington calls “a period of disruption” continues. 

Creative Commons Zero - CCO

The North Carolina Fisheries Reform Act will be 20 years old this August.  It was the result of heated debate from stakeholders on all sides of the issue – and while most describe it as a compromise bill, signed by Governor Jim Hunt in 1997, most also say it was better than nothing.  There is new legislation coming through the pipeline in Raleigh that could fundamentally change the way fisheries are regulated, and that has reignited a decades-old battle – that reaches beyond th

Mahalie Stackpole / Wikimedia Commons

Across the United States, fewer girls aged 15 to 19 are are having babies.  That’s according to the Centers for Disease Control.  A report published last year shows that in 2015, teen pregnancies hit a historic low for a birth rate of 22.3 per 1,000 women ages 15 – 19 years old.  In New Hanover County, the teen pregnancy rate is slightly lower than the national number:  just over twenty 15-19-year-old girls out of a thousand gave birth in 2015.    In Pender County, the rate is slightly above the national rate at more than 25 per 1,000 girls. 

Derek Keats, Flickr Creative Commons: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dkeats/5645778206/

New legislation is working its way through the North Carolina General Assembly, and its focus is on the balance between conservation and sustainability of fish stocks. On last week’s CoastLine, Rachel Lewis Hilburn sat down with biologist Jess Hawkins, Dick Brame of Coastal Conservation Association of North Carolina, and Jerry Schill of the North Carolina Fisheries Association. While all guests share a love of fishing, their ideas about preservation are quite different…

New Hanover County Health Department

People in New Hanover County are getting fatter.  And this is not a body image problem; it’s an issue that’s leading to chronic disease and early death.  60% of New Hanover County residents are either overweight or obese.  That’s according to a New Hanover County health report published last year that uses only self-reported data. When the data is broken down according to race – a sad but predictable picture emerges:  58% of white people fall into the overweight / obese category.  But people of color in New Hanover County report much high

Pages