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

GE-Hitachi’s subsidiary, Global Laser Enrichment, is facing the last regulatory hurdle before a 40-year license is granted to enrich uranium in Castle Hayne – just outside of Wilmington.   Judges with the Atomic Safety Licensing Board have closed the final hearing to the public in its entirety.  But as WHQR’s Rachel Lewis Hilburn reports, one nuclear watchdog group is urging officials to reconsider that closed-door decision.

General Electric

One of the final regulatory hurdles before GE-Hitachi receives a 40-year license to enrich uranium in Castle Hayne will happen behind closed doors. 

Last year in North Carolina, fire departments responded to more than 111 fireworks-related calls with property damage estimates of a quarter-million dollars.   As WHQR’s Rachel Lewis Hilburn reports, many people falsely believe that because sparklers and similar fireworks are legal and readily available, they are safe.

City of Wilmington officials say people planning to attend the fireworks show should be prepared for delays coming and going.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission delivered its annual performance assessment of Progress Energy’s Southport nuclear power plant last night.

A report from the state auditor's office says the North Carolina Education Lottery violated state law by failing to collect damages from its primary vendor.

A Robeson County manufactured home dealer cannot take new orders or accept payments until all previous orders have been filled – or consumers get their money back.


As GE-Hitachi considers whether to build a laser-based uranium enrichment plant on its campus in Castle Hayne, members of the surrounding community are generally in the dark when it comes to what – exactly -- the industrial giant might be creating in their backyards.

Residents and businesses in the unincorporated portions of New Hanover County could soon see a sizable drop in their homeowner’s insurance premiums. 

General Electric

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will decide by August whether to grant a 40-year license allowing GE-Hitachi to enrich uranium at a new facility in Castle Hayne.


New Hanover County has designated June as “Elder Abuse Awareness Month.”

Dr. Ruth Funk, a community activist and classical music lover – among many other things – passed away Friday morning at home. 

Today is the first day of the 2012 Hurricane Season; but area residents have already seen two named storms. 

courtesy: NASA

The early arrivals of Tropical Depression Beryl and Tropical Storm Alberto put their unique emphasis on Hurricane Preparedness Week. 

courtesy: NOAA

Tropical Depression Beryl makes her way through the Cape Fear Region during Hurricane Preparedness Week -- and on a day of particularly salient focus.

courtesy: NOAA

Hurricane Preparedness Week focuses on a different aspect of storm hazards and hurricane readiness each day.

Hurricane Preparedness Week continues through Saturday.  And organizations like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Weather Service are using each day of the week to focus on a specific aspect of disaster readiness.  As WHQR’s Rachel Lewis Hilburn discovers, today is about getting your plan in place.

courtesy: NOAA

The 2012 Hurricane Season should be a “near normal” season – according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – or NOAA.

The state House has voted to make it much more difficult for cities to expand by annexing land if property owners object.  And, as WHQR’s Rachel Lewis Hilburn reports, another House-approved bill would cancel contentious annexations by nine towns and cities.

Pharmaceutical Product Development – better known as PPD in Wilmington – announced this morning that it’s Board of Directors has named a new chairman and CEO.

The Cape Fear Economic Development Council hosted a community conversation in WHQR’s Gallery Space last night. 

The Regulatory Reform Act of 2012, which will likely be voted on during the General Assembly’s current short session, makes further changes to the way North Carolina creates and enforces environmental regulations.

A new cultural arts center is slated to open next year in Leland.

The City of Wilmington must pass its budget for the next fiscal year by the end of June.

Of the 26 million Americans who have diabetes, a quarter of them don’t know they have it.

Last night, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission held a public review of the final Environmental Impact Statement and Safety Evaluation Report for GE Hitachi’s proposed uranium enrichment facility. 

GE-Hitachi is working toward building a facility that would enrich uranium for utility companies to use as fuel in their nuclear power plants.

While the nation’s eyes are turned on North Carolina as it becomes the 30th state to adopt a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, New Hanover County delivered a strikingly high percentage of votes opposing the amendment.  WHQR’s Rachel Lewis Hilburn reports. 

In a surprising primary upset, State Senator David Rouzer beat Ilario Pantano by a four percent margin in the race for the 7th Congressional District.  

In State House District 18, Democratic Incumbent Susi Hamilton trounced challenger James Knox by taking home 70 percent of the vote. And in the race for House District 19, WHQR’s Rachel Lewis Hilburn reports New Hanover County Commission Chair Ted Davis will face Democrat Emilie Swearingen in November.