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

On this edition of the CoastLine Candidate Interviews, we meet North Carolina Representative Susi Hamilton, a Democrat from New Hanover County, who has held the seat for three terms and is seeking a fourth. 

But first, we hear from her Republican challenger this November – Gerald Benton. 

https://www.facebook.com/sunger4nchouse/

On this edition of CoastLine Candidate Interviews, we meet Steve Unger, the Democrat who is challenging Chris Millis, the Republican incumbent, in North Carolina’s House District 16, which includes Pender County and the northwest corner of Onslow County. 

This is the second time Steve Unger has challenged Chris Millis for the seat. 

www.bcswan.net

On this edition of CoastLine, we’re taking the time to learn about two of the bonds that will appear on the November ballot.  One of those bonds would bring improvements and some facilities to the Brunswick County Schools System.  The other would develop and enhance parks and green space within the City of Wilmington. 

Segment 1

During the upcoming election, Brunswick County voters will be asked to vote on a $152 million school bond referendum. 

Guest:

http://hollygrangeforhouse.com/

On this edition of CoastLine Candidate Interviews, we meet North Carolina Representative Holly Grange, a Republican from New Hanover County who was appointed to the seat in August after Rick Catlin announced he was stepping down.  Holly Grange won the March primary in a contest with current New Hanover County School Board member Tammy Covil.  She has no Democratic Challenger in November. 

NOAA: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphics_at4+shtml/213512.shtml?5-daynl

From the National Weather Service in Wilmington, NC

UPDATED:  2:46 PM ADVISORY — SUNDAY, OCT. 9, 2016            

The National Weather Service has canceled all alerts, watches and warnings for the late unlamented Hurricane Matthew. Cleanup and power restoration are proceeding today, aided by cool dry weather (some would call it a perfect fall day).

Comedian Paula Poundstone of NPR’s Wait! Wait! Don’t Tell Me notoriety is coming to Wilmington this Friday.  She recently spoke with me about one critical revelation regarding alcohol, why the HB2 controversy won’t keep her out of North Carolina, and lessons the Democrats still need to learn. 

RLH:  You’ve grappled very publicly with substance abuse.  You even joked that you didn’t get the advantage of the second A in AA…

PP:  No, I did not.  I was actually court-ordered to Alcoholics Anonymous on television…

Paula Poundstone is at her best when she is unscripted.  As a panelist on the NPR news quiz show Wait! Wait! Don’t Tell Me, she writes only two sections in advance:  Bluff the Listener – in which contestants try to identify the real news story – and the last joke of the show. 

ncleg.net

On this edition of the CoastLine Candidate Interviews, we meet North Carolina Representative Ted Davis, Junior, a Republican from New Hanover County, who has held the seat in House District 19 for two and a half terms.  In 2012, he was appointed to finish out the term of Danny McComas, who stepped away to take the helm of the North Carolina Ports Authority Board of Directors.  Ted Davis went on to win the seat in the next election.  He won a second term in 2014, and will soon embark upon his third as he is unopposed this November.

On this edition of the CoastLine Candidate Interviews, we meet the two people in the race for North Carolina Senate District 9.  This district covers most of New Hanover County, with the exception of a small patch in downtown Wilmington, which is part of Brunswick County Senator Bill Rabon’s District 8. 

On this edition of CoastLine, it's a Political Reporter Round Table.  We’re tackling the issues that will shape your decisions this November – as well as the unorthodox election season and how that’s playing out in local and state races.

Guests:

Tim Buckland, Senior Political Reporter, Local Government Editor, StarNews

Derrick Hickey, a Republican seeking one of three seats on New Hanover County’s Board of Commissioners, is taking his third run at the office.  This former Board of Education member wants to focus on child development and providing quality after-school programs – which, he says, starts with the County Commission.

www.patriciakusek.com

One of the three Republican candidates for New Hanover County Commissioner, Patricia Kusek, served as Chair of the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority for two of her five years on that Board.  This independent financial advisor says the lessons she teaches her clients would also benefit county government.  

Donkey Hotey on Flickr -- https://www.flickr.com/photos/donkeyhotey/

Before the presidential campaign even started, we witnessed gridlock on Capitol Hill that, at one point, quite literally shut down the government. During this presidential election season, we’ve watched month after month of political surprises and levels of division that pundits declare unprecedented. Books are written on the battle of ideologies and willingness to compromise is positioned as weakness. One well-known NPR political commentator compared the heightened vitriol to pre-Civil War era dialogue.

New Hanover County

New Hanover County voters will choose three out of six candidates to represent them on the Board of Commissioners for the next four years.  Woody White is completing his first term, but he says he undertook some soul-searching before deciding to run again.

Six people are competing for three open seats on New Hanover County’s Board of Education.  The one Republican candidate who is a newcomer to politics is also a lawyer, the father of two small children, and a graduate of New Hanover High School.

Shifting the Spanish Immersion program from Forest Hills Elementary over to Gregory was evidence to David Wortman of the lack of consideration given to parents in the school district.  If elected to the School Board, Wortman says he’ll make sure those voices are heard. 

New Hanover County Public Schools

Three open seats on New Hanover County’s Board of Education this year mean voters will decide among two incumbents and four political newcomers.  One of those incumbents, Republican Jeannette Nichols, is seeking her fifth four-year term.

New Hanover County’s Board of Commissioners has three open seats this year.  On an earlier edition of CoastLine Candidate Interviews, we met the Republicans.  On this edition, we meet the Democrats vying for those spots – which carry four-year terms.  

As of last year, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated New Hanover County’s population to be a little over 220,000.   

New Hanover County’s Board of Commissioners has three open seats this year.  Here are the three Republicans vying for those spots – which carry four-year terms.

Guests in order of appearance:

Derrick Hickey, seeking first term

Patricia Kusek, seeking first term

Woody White, seeking second term

Segment 1

New Hanover County’s Board of Education has three open seats this year.   On September 7th, we met the Republicans.  On this edition of CoastLine, we meet the Democrats vying for those spots – which carry four-year terms.  All three are seeking first terms on what is currently an all-Republican Board.

Guests:

Sandra Leigh, seeking first term

Emma Saunders, seeking first term

Kevin Spears, seeking first term

This edition of CoastLine marks the beginning of our election-focused candidate interviews.  It also marks the return of CoastLine two days a week – Wednesdays and Thursdays with Sunday re-broadcasts of both.

New Hanover County’s Board of Education has three open seats this year.  Here are the three Republicans vying for those spots – which carry four-year terms.  Two of the Republican candidates are incumbents; one is seeking elected office for the first time.   

Guests:

Sandra Leigh

Sandra Leigh is one of three Democrats running for a seat on New Hanover County’s Board of Education.  If elected, it would be her first time holding elected office.  As a relative newcomer to Wilmington, the retired third-grade teacher and principal says she’d like to institute universal pre-school.           

Brunswick County Sheriff's Office

Update on Tropical Storm Hermine, Friday, September 2, 2016, 7:45 PM:

The center of Hermine was about 120 miles southwest of Myrtle Beach, according to Michael Caropolo, Meteorologist in Charge at the National Weather Service in Wilmington.  The rain we’re seeing now is definitely part of the Tropical Storm Hermine system – which will be moving through the Cape Fear region in the next couple of hours.

Kljania / Wikimedia Commons

Spring planting is embedded in our DNA – when the days get longer, the weather warmer, and we know it’s time to take stock of the greening of our piece of the garden.  When it comes to fall, some people are vaguely aware of pumpkins and gourds and, perhaps, cabbage, but there's a great deal more to take advantage of with the cooler, rainier weather.

Guests:

Barbara Sullivan, Author, Garden Perennials for the Coastal South

Rachel Lewis Hilburn

Republican Vice Presidential Nominee Mike Pence is known for his record as a conservative Republican and Tea Party supporter.  At a rally in Leland Wednesday afternoon, Pence explained his running mate’s sometimes-controversial off-the-cuff remarks. 

By James (scubadive67) from Boulder, USA - Flickr, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=63606

Alligators call North Carolina home – but it’s a cold home for them – and until recently the state was considered the northernmost part of their habitat in the United States. We find out on this edition of CoastLine whether that’s still the case. And we explore the implications of human encroachment on alligator habitat – how it’s affecting this species and whether it’s posing an increased risk of danger for humans, particularly in light of the June alligator attack at a Disney resort in Florida that killed a two-year-old boy.

www.tomvmorris.com

Tom Morris has written more than 20 books – most of which distill ancient wisdom from the Greek and Roman philosophers into practical ideas for living in the modern world.  Some of the titles you might recognize:  If Aristotle

Billy Hathorn

On the corner of Market and Third Streets, at the entrance to downtown Wilmington, there is a statue of George Davis.  He was the last Confederate Attorney General.  Third Street near Dock boasts a monument to soldiers of the Confederacy.

The StarNews recently wrote about streets in Wilmington’s Pine Valley neighborhood that are named after Confederate officers.  The namesakes include General Robert E. Lee, Lieutenant General Nathan Bedford Forrest, John D. Barry. 

Ildar Sagdejev / Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Department of Justice has visited Wilmington in response to at least two violent incidents between members of law enforcement and the community.  During those visits, DOJ officials evaluated local law enforcement practices and policies.  That scrutiny is occurring all across the United States, as it seems new cell phone videos showing excessive use of force by police – with people of color usually on the receiving end – seem to pop up with astonishing frequency. 

RLH

A 2015 assessment of cities in North Carolina with a population of 10,000 or more ranked Wilmington second after Asheville for crashes.  For every one minute a freeway lane is blocked due to a crash incident, four minutes of travel time are added.  About 30% of all crashes are secondary crashes -- caused after the initial crash -- possibly due to a sudden stop, distracted driving, or rubber-necking.  Those statistics are courtesy of Jessi Leonard, Division Traffic Engineer for the North Carolina Department of Transportation. 

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