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

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. 

Pixabay

13 Reasons Why – first a book, then a Netflix series, tells the story of Hannah Baker, a high school student who dies by suicide.  But before she carries it out, she creates old-school cassette tapes – each one telling the story of a particular person who hurt her which add up to the 13 reasons why she decided to die.  They’re various injuries, small and large, including her rape by a classmate.   

Skeeze / Pixabay

With the region’s latest heat wave and the tropical soup that’s spawned Hurricane Gert and three other potential systems in the North Atlantic, it’s hard to think about getting outside and planting anything that isn’t zoned for a humid, subtropical climate. 

But fall will be here before you know it, and in southeastern North Carolina and northeastern South Carolina, fall is a great time to plant.  We find out why on this edition of CoastLine from our experts, and we hear about the latest garden trends, but most importantly, we get your gardening questions answered.

Hannes Grobe / Wikimedia Commons

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President Donald Trump signed an executive order in late April to expand energy exploration drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans.  The order puts in place a new five-year program, 2019-2024, that will supersede the earlier one – essentially reversing the Obama Administration’s decision to remove the mid-Atlantic region from consideration for offshore drilling. 

There are crooks, criminals, and hucksters out there trying to get your money through investment scams, retail fraud, identity theft, and they’ve been there since commerce began.  But are there degrees of hucksterism?  What’s the line between an enthusiastic entrepreneur with a brilliant, albeit untested idea versus a good, old-fashioned snake oil salesman who doesn’t really care if what’s in the bottle he’s selling doesn’t work?  His goal:  to make the sale and move on. 

This is a small sample of interviews with candidates in the 2016 election seeking federal, state, and local office. 

CoastLine Candidate Interviews during the 2016 election season included:

North Carolina's 7th Congressional District (David Rouzer vs. Wesley Casteen)

North Carolina House District 17 (Frank Iler, R-Brunswick County)

North Carolina House District 19 (Ted Davis, R-New Hanover County)

North Carolina House District 20 (Holly Grange, R-New Hanover County)

Ladynylon / Wikimedia Commons

  This interview was part of the June 28, 2017 edition of CoastLine.

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.

Oxford University Press

If you’ve ever marveled at the artistry of Citizen Kane or sneered at the 1990s cult film Starship Troopers  or decided that Raging Bull is the greatest film of all time, then today’s discussion is for you.  We explore why films give us pleasure.

Dram Tree Shakespeare

There’s an old saying about Shakespeare plays:  they’re a lot more fun to act in than they are to watch. 

However, there are efforts in town that are shaking apart that old idea and building a whole new paying audience for Shakespeare.  We’re seeing this most notably with Dram Tree Shakespeare and Alchemical Theatre, whose productions are associated with the Theater Department at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

Guests: 

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.

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