Rachel Lewis Hilburn

Acting 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 in 2003 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 c0-produced Stories, Wine, and Cheese - a series of local, live storytelling events which aired on WHQR.  

Ways to Connect

Wikimedia Commons

The Orlando shooting has reignited talk of gun control measures… Republican U.S. Senators are grappling with whether and how to get behind the presumptive presidential nominee, Donald Trump.  And a three-judge panel is considering the legality of voting law changes in North Carolina… Could that case wind up in the Supreme Court? 

Language is widely considered to be as much a function of gender as any other gender expression – whether clothing, gender-normative interests such as interior decorating, or personality traits.  But is language so different between the sexes? 

Bonnie Monteleone

When you use a disposable diaper, some scientists would tell you the plastic in that diaper actually stays in the environment for hundreds of years.  The plastic bag you brought home from the grocery store?  Estimates vary, but some put the number of years it takes to decompose as high as one thousand.  Whether those numbers are accurate or more research needs to be done doesn’t change what we know about how plastics are showing up in oceans all over the world – and not only harming marine life – but becoming part of the human food chain. 

Wikimedia Commons

  North Carolina’s state legislature passed HB2 earlier this year, otherwise known as the “Bathroom Bill”, and unwittingly launched a broader, national conversation about how public policy impacts minorities – specifically people who are transgender.  Performers canceled concerts, companies shelved plans to move to or expand in North Carolina, and revenue from tourism dropped. 

By Bundesministerium für Europa, Integration und Äusseres (Arbeitsbesuch Mazedonien) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Syria’s civil war erupted five years ago in the summer of 2011.  According to Al Jazeera, it is the deadliest conflict of the 21st century thus far.  To put that into perspective, the United Nations estimated the death toll to be a quarter of a million people as of last August.  But that’s a fraction of the people who have fled the violence in Syria.  The BBC puts the number of displaced people at 11 million.  And all sides in this conflict have engaged in war crimes -- torture, rape, kidnapping… Public amputations of fingers, hands, feet – and gruesome executions are commonplace. 

We’ve spent week after head-scratching week following outrageous developments – often in the form of Tweets -- from Republican presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump.  We’ve witnessed the convention-shattering roller coaster of the Hillary Clinton / Bernie Sanders contest.  And, as North Carolinians, we’ve enjoyed the national spotlight for several months thanks to the recent passage of HB2…

Today, we’re getting professional help.  In the form of laughter. 

Guests:

Photo: Rachel Lewis Hilburn; gardenia: Jeff Hunter

If we had an in-studio camera on this episode, you would have seen two people wearing headphones, a series of microphone set-ups, and sitting on top of a small, round table covered with a layer of green felt, you would notice a mason jar filled with a cutting from a Gardenia bush.  If you looked more closely at the jar, you would have observed tiny insects covering the petals of the white Gardenia blossom.  On this edition of CoastLine, we find out from plant and garden expert Tom Ericson what these bugs are and what to do about them. 


U.S. Department of Justice

On this edition of CoastLine, we shine a light on a criminal enterprise that has overtaken illegal gun trafficking as the second-most prolific crime around the globe for making money.  Human trafficking, which can include sex trafficking, is on the rise around the world and here in southeastern North Carolina. 

www.farms.com

Broilers, fryers, roasters, turkey, chicken – and eggs – those are the products of the poultry industry in North Carolina.   The Poultry Federation claims that it contributes more than $34 billion to North Carolina’s economy.   Statistics from the North Carolina Poultry Jubilee are a bit more moderate:  they claim an economic impact to the state of $12.8 billion.  They don’t disagree so much, however, on the number of jobs this business creates:  between 109,000 and 110,000 people make their living bringing birds and eggs to the table.     

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