Rachel Lewis Hilburn

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

Rachel Lewis Hilburn came to WHQR in the spring of 2011.  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

 

Cape Fear Public Utility Authority has now lifted the "do not drink" alert for the entire northern groundwater system served by the Richardson Nanofiltration Groundwater Plant. However, as a caution, CFPUA says sections of the affected service area are now under a precautionary boil water advisory.

Julia Olson-Boseman

Julia Olson-Boseman served as a New Hanover County Commissioner from 2000 until 2004 -- then won three terms as a North Carolina State Senator.  As she tells WHQR’s Rachel Lewis Hilburn, she’s proud of her work on film incentives for the state and bringing Verizon Wireless to Wilmington.  

The Center for Nanoscale Materials at the Advanced Photon Source. Photo courtesy of Argonne National Laboratory / Matt Howard

North Carolina added more than 10,000 jobs in the tech sector last year alone.  That makes it seventh in the nation for job growth, according to a study by Computing Technology Industry Association, a nonprofit advocacy group.

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.

If Ed Higgins wins a seventh term on New Hanover County’s Board of Education, he will have served nearly three decades.  Bruce Shell, also an incumbent, is seeking his second term.  In a Republican primary field of seven candidates, both men are competing for one of the four open seats.

 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.

Bill Rivenbark for Board of Education

  

North Carolina’s primary election takes place on May 8th – when voters decide on their November candidates for school boards, county commissions, sheriffs, congressional representatives, and the state legislature.  Bill Rivenbark, who currently works at a New Hanover County ABC store, is running for a seat on New Hanover County’s Board of Education. 

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. 

A letter full of racist invectives addressed to the Minister / Head Pastor arrived at Speaks Temple AME Zion Church late last month.  Postmarked February 14th from Charlotte, North Carolina, the same day as the Parkland, Florida school shooting and Valentine’s Day, no one seems to know who wrote the letter or why they sent it to a small church in Wilmington. 

CFCI

There are now 173 charter schools in North Carolina.  After the General Assembly lifted the cap of 100 in 2010, the number of public charter schools soared.  In the past four years, four new charter schools opened in Wilmington alone putting the total at six.  If approved, a seventh, the Wilmington School of the Arts, will open in the fall of 2019.

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.

So much of Michelle Rhinesmith’s journey so far was not part of the official plan.  From capturing the attention and becoming the mentee of a well-respected NPR veteran to counseling people diagnosed with potentially terminal cancer to grappling with her own bouts – yes, that’s plural – bouts with cancer – to losing her mother in December, her beloved dog, Chloe on February 15th and her grandmother the very next day, the ride has been anything but predictable and smooth. 

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.

John N. Smith Cemetery Restoration and Preservation, Inc.

Archaeologists have determined that 900 graves lie unmarked at the John N. Smith Cemetery in Southport.  This African American Cemetery, located on Leonard Street in the heart of Southport, has stories both known and many that are yet to be uncovered.  The oldest headstone, with a date of death in 1874, belongs to John N. Smith himself.  

Pixabay

The prospect of drilling off the coast of North Carolina for oil and natural gas is a real one.  Last month, President Donald Trump proposed the opening of nearly all American waters to offshore drilling. This new five-year plan is scheduled to start in 2019.

So far North Carolina’s elected officials are split on whether to support drilling off the coast.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office

Seventy-seven people killed their intimate partner in North Carolina last year.   62% of those people used a firearm.  That’s according to the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence, a  statewide nonprofit organization.

Wikimedia Commons

This year’s flu is the worst in nearly a decade.  So far this season, 63 elderly people have died in North Carolina alone from the flu.  25 people between the ages 50 to 64 have passed from the flu -- and four deaths fall into that low-risk category of people ages 25 to 49.  The total death toll in North Carolina from flu this season:  95.

philipgerard.com

If you’ve listened to WHQR for any length of time, you probably know Philip Gerard as one of the regular commentators.  But those three-and-a-half minute pieces are comparable to an amuse-bouche.  The other courses Philip Gerard serves up include his work as a Professor of Creative Writing and Creative Non-Fiction at the University of North Carolina Wilmington in both the BFA and MFA programs. 

Development-driller-3 Petty Officer 3rd Class Patrick Kelly / Wikimedia Commons

North Carolinians have one shot to voice their opinions in person about offshore drilling at a single public hearing.  So far, February 26th in Raleigh is the only scheduled “open house”.  But Democratic Governor Roy Cooper is asking Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke for a 60-day extension of the public comment period and three additional public hearings – all at the coast.  This comes after a weekend meeting that brought together coastal stakeholders, the Governor, and Secretary Zinke. 

Robert Parr

NASA ranks 2017 as the second hottest year on record behind 2016. The National Climate Assessment, a report published by the federal government in November of last year, states unequivocally that humans are causing climate change and the time to act is now. While there are no policy recommendations in this federal report, many state and municipal governments are taking their own steps to curb the impacts of climate change.

Good Shepherd Center

A third of the population in New Hanover County pays more than they can afford for housing.  That’s true for both homeowners and renters, but in the rental market, it’s worse.  Nearly half -- about 46% of people who rent in New Hanover County pay more than a third of their income for housing.  Some community leaders call that a clear sign of a shortage of affordable housing. 

Cape Fear Public Utility officials say they can no longer trust Chemours to control discharges from its site.  

In a statement issued early Wednesday evening, officials say North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality informed CFPUA that as late as December, regulators measured levels of GenX in the Cape Fear River near the plant at 2,300 parts per trillion.  That’s far higher than the established human health goal of 140 parts per trillion.

Gentrification is a loaded word.  It typically connotes a rise in property values in a traditionally low-income neigborhood.  Wealthier people move in.  Those who’ve lived there and are already struggling to pay bills from month to month can no longer afford to live there due to rising rents and property taxes. 

North Carolina General Assembly

The way judges wind up on the bench in North Carolina is changing this year.  For one thing, elections will be partisan thanks to the passage of House Bill 100 last March.  Governor Roy Cooper vetoed that bill, and the legislature easily overrode the veto the next day.  Supporters contend partisan races give voters more information; opponents say they further politicize the court.  

University of North Carolina

Update:  On Thursday, January 18th, the Supreme Court granted a stay so that legislators do not have to meet the lower court's deadline.  The Court is considering two other gerrymandering cases in Wisconsin and Maryland and offered no reason for its ruling. 

Villalobos, Horacio, Photographer / National Archives and Records Administration

Men are taking on more responsibility in the household today than they did a generation ago.  But according to the Pew Research Center, women are still doing the majority of the domestic work.  That’s true across the spectrum – including couples in which both people work full-time outside the home.  So what does this mean for a career professional who is female? 

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