Rachel Lewis Hilburn

News Director

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 partnered with New York co-producer Linda Bianchi and produced Stories, Wine, and Cheese - a series of local, live storytelling events which aired on WHQR.  


12:41 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Brunswick County Primary Results: Sales Tax Fails, BHI Bond for Terminal Groin Passes

Randy Thompson, Candidate Brunswick County Commission, District 1
Randy Thompson

Brunswick County voters had to decide a County Commission race, District 13’s GOP candidate for District Attorney, and the Republican candidate for State House District 17 in yesterday’s primary – along with whether to green light a new sales tax.  

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12:35 am
Wed May 7, 2014

New Hanover County Primary Results and North Carolina Senate District 9

Skip Watkins, New Hanover County Commission Candidate (R)

The race for New Hanover County's Board of Commissioners was packed on the Republican side with ten candidates competing for two open seats.  

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10:02 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Environmental Coalition Seeks to Ignite Local Activism on Coal Ash

Duke Energy's Sutton Plant, New Hanover County
Google Maps

A coalition of environmental groups is working to ignite local activism on the coal ash front.  

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4:30 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Pharmaceutical Clinical Trials Economic Boon for Southeastern North Carolina

PPD Headquarters, Wilmington, NC

Listen to the story here.

Economic growth strategy is dominating conversations from neighborhood associations to cities and counties -- to the state and federal levels.  New Hanover County Commissioners recently paid for an analysis on the best ways to grow the area’s economy.  

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3:04 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Unemployment Drops Again in NC, but parts of the Southeastern Region are Still Struggling

Unemployment Rates, County by County, February 2014
NC Dept. of Commerce

Unemployment is down across most of North Carolina.  That’s according to the latest analysis from the Department of Commerce.  

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2:46 pm
Sun April 6, 2014

Charleston's Digital Corridor Could Offer Lessons for Wilmington

Ernest Andrade, Exec. Dir., Charleston's Digital Corridor; Keynote Speaker, WITX 2014

Ernest Andrade, Executive Director of Charleston's Digital Corridor, talks with Rachel Lewis Hilburn.

The expansion of the Digital Corridor is one of Charleston, South Carolina’s chief growth strategies.

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6:20 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Garner Report says SUP is Business Deterrent; Area Lacks Economic Leadership

Jay Garner, Economic Development Consultant
Garner Economics, LLC

Listen to the audio version here.

New Hanover County is well-positioned to serve international markets through its port facilities, but the area doesn’t have sufficient access to national markets. 

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10:00 am
Wed March 26, 2014

DENR to Reevaluate How Groundwater Contamination is Regulated, How to Move Ahead in Duke Lawsuits

The two ash impoundments at Duke Energy’s Asheville Plant near the French Broad River.
Roy Tennant

Listen to the audio version here.

It will be another three weeks before Duke Energy must formally respond to accusations of illegally pumping coal ash waste into a tributary that connects to the Cape Fear River. 

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12:00 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

Candidate Profile: Walter Martin (D), 7th Congressional District

Walter Martin (D-Johnston County), Candidate for NC 7th Congressional District
Walter Martin for Congress

Listen to an excerpt of the interview here.

The specter of home-grown terrorism:  it’s one of the main reasons Walter Martin says he hopes to win the Democratic Party nomination for North Carolina’s 7th Congressional District.

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4:39 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

DENR Estimates 61 Million Gallons from Duke's Coal Ash Ponds Poured into Cape Fear River

Cape Fear Plant, Moncure, NC
Duke Energy Progress

Sixty-one million gallons:  that’s the amount of untreated wastewater from coal ash ponds that state regulators estimate poured into a tributary of the Cape Fear River.  

State regulators have issued a citation to Duke Energy for violating its wastewater permit in Chatham County.


The Department of Environment and Natural Resources is required to give the nation’s largest electric utility 30 days to respond to the notice of violation. 

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