Rachel Lewis Hilburn

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 c0-produced Stories, Wine, and Cheese - a series of local, live storytelling events which aired on WHQR.  

Claudia Durand

Bald Head Island sits on the East side of the Cape Fear River – at the confluence of the river and the Atlantic ocean.  It is one of the wealthier municipalities within Brunswick County.  Only accessible by ferry, Bald Head Island’s popular reputation is that of an island playground for the affluent.  Golf carts, bicycles, and feet are the primary means of on-island transportation.  And although it’s largely a place of second homes, with the human population peaking in the summer months, estimates of the number of year-round residents range from 160 to 220 people. 

On the next CoastLine:  the Bald Head Island Conservancy marks the end of an era as Suzanne Dorsey closes the chapter on a decade of leadership.  But first, she joins us to explore what she's learned as a coastal scientist from both the turtles and the people of North Carolina.    

Listen for CoastLine Wednesday at noon on HQR News 91 3 FM.  You can ask a question any time by emailing coastline@whqr.org.  Follow us on Twitter at coastlinehqr.


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.  After training at CIA headquarters in Virginia, she would be one of the first women in U.S. history to embark on such a mission.  Less than two years after her arrival on a cold November day in Moscow, she would be ambushed at a drop site, arrested, and hauled in for questioning by KGB agents. 

By Miguel Discart from Bruxelles, Belgique (2014-04-07_20-23-08_NEX-6_DSC01281) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The conversation about masculine and feminine expectations and how we socialize children has been going on in academic circles for decades.  But it’s only recently that a mass shooting like the one in Orlando launches a different narrative.  Of course, the predictable yet important debate about gun policy is re-engergized.  But the emerging profile of the shooter at the Pulse nightclub who killed nearly 50 people has also generated a wider, public conversation about the effects of hypermasculinity on boys and young men. 

Wikimedia Commons

The Orlando shooting has reignited talk of gun control measures… Republican U.S. Senators are grappling with whether and how to get behind the presumptive presidential nominee, Donald Trump.  And a three-judge panel is considering the legality of voting law changes in North Carolina… Could that case wind up in the Supreme Court? 

Language is widely considered to be as much a function of gender as any other gender expression – whether clothing, gender-normative interests such as interior decorating, or personality traits.  But is language so different between the sexes? 

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. 

Wikimedia Commons

  North Carolina’s state legislature passed HB2 earlier this year, otherwise known as the “Bathroom Bill”, and unwittingly launched a broader, national conversation about how public policy impacts minorities – specifically people who are transgender.  Performers canceled concerts, companies shelved plans to move to or expand in North Carolina, and revenue from tourism dropped. 

By Bundesministerium für Europa, Integration und Äusseres (Arbeitsbesuch Mazedonien) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Syria’s civil war erupted five years ago in the summer of 2011.  According to Al Jazeera, it is the deadliest conflict of the 21st century thus far.  To put that into perspective, the United Nations estimated the death toll to be a quarter of a million people as of last August.  But that’s a fraction of the people who have fled the violence in Syria.  The BBC puts the number of displaced people at 11 million.  And all sides in this conflict have engaged in war crimes -- torture, rape, kidnapping… Public amputations of fingers, hands, feet – and gruesome executions are commonplace. 

We’ve spent week after head-scratching week following outrageous developments – often in the form of Tweets -- from Republican presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump.  We’ve witnessed the convention-shattering roller coaster of the Hillary Clinton / Bernie Sanders contest.  And, as North Carolinians, we’ve enjoyed the national spotlight for several months thanks to the recent passage of HB2…

Today, we’re getting professional help.  In the form of laughter.