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

New Hanover County

Woody White is seeking a second four-year term as a New Hanover County Commissioner.  He’s competing against six other Republican candidates for one of three open seats in the March 15th primary. 

Wilmington Police Department

Wikimedia Commons

A series of Town Hall meetings began a couple of years ago in Wilmington after a spike in concerns over violent interactions between law enforcement officers and members of minority communities. 

New Hanover County Commissioner Woody White, in cooperation with two other Republican candidates for the County Board, delivered a scathing criticism of Chairperson Beth Dawson, after her state of the county address Monday nightThe response, posted on YouTube, attacks Dawson, who is a Republican, for abandoning GOP principles and cooperating with the Democrats.   

-----------------------

New Hanover County


http://www.figure8island.com/


Flip Schulke / Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Over the first weekend of 2016, federal immigration agents raided homes in Texas, Georgia, and North Carolina.  They detained people thought to be illegal immigrants – primarily from Central America.  The raids have prompted an outcry from Hispanic and Latino advocacy groups and a letter, signed by 130 Congressional Democrats, calling for an end to the raids. 

If you’re part of that 45% of Americans who make New Year’s resolutions in hopes of becoming healthier, more successful, more mindful, whatever it is – congratulations.  But here’s something to consider:  out of that group, only 8% are likely to succeed with their resolutions.

Comedian John Oliver recently had some fun with the fact that if you haven’t yet broken your resolutions, statistically, you’re about to... Along with that bit of New Year’s cheer, he offers some advice: 

The first New Hanover County Board of Commissioners meeting in 2016 started with the adoption of a code of ethics.  Commissioners also paved the way for a new subdivision in the northern part of the county.

Georgia Dept. of Natural Resources / NOAA Fisheries

Offshore wind is working its way to the mid-Atlantic – and specifically to areas off the North Carolina coast.  Broadly supported by environmental advocates, this form of energy exploration faces some resistance by coastal communities concerned about visual impacts on tourism and real estate values. 

Now that the Environmental Assessment is complete, the next step in the development of offshore wind is the publication of a proposed sale notice.   

Chalmers Butterfield

Health disparities between white America and racial and ethnic minorities are well-documented.  The American Psychological Association says those disparities continue into the senior years – with minorities less likely to get medical help – and more likely to face chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes.   But race isn’t the only determining factor for seniors who struggle with access to adequate health care.

Kaiser Family Foundation

In the United States, 14.5 % of the population is 65 or older.  That’s according to the most recent census.  In North Carolina, the number of elderly people is a fraction of a percentage higher at 14.7%.  In New Hanover County, nearly 16% of residents are 65 or over.  And that number shoots to almost a third of the population in neighboring Brunswick County.

According to the American Psychological Association, the number of Americans over age 85 is increasing faster than any other group. Since 1900, the proportion of Americans age 65 and older has more than tripled.

The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners has a new chair:  Beth Dawson takes the helm after a narrow three-to-two vote at Monday's meeting. 

Skip Watkins nominated Woody White for Chair; White seconded the motion. 

Jonathan Barfield nominated Beth Dawson – as he promised publicly that he would a year ago.  This was widely expected after Dawson helped Barfield to the Chairmanship in a three-to-two vote last year.   The local Republican Party blasted Dawson last December for that move.

Open Blue

The United Nations Climate Change Summit is underway in Paris, and for the first time in years, world leaders are hopeful a global agreement is possible.  Without organized cooperation, NASA scientists say the Earth will see an escalation of catastrophic weather events – such as longer and more intense heat waves, more severe storms, flooding, sea level rise… the list goes on – impacting everything from human health to food production. 

Good Shepherd Center

Most Americans look forward to a feast on Thanksgiving Day.  It’s a day of gratitude, time with family, and let’s be honest – unbridled consumption.  But for more than half a million people, the question of what to cook for the big dinner is overshadowed by much more basic concerns:  where to spend the night, how to stay warm, where to find food – any food.

UNC Pembroke

Local entrepreneurs have a new option for assistance growing from an idea into a viable business.  The University of North Carolina at Pembroke will soon cut the ribbon on a brand new facility for start-ups.

Eno Publishers

The recently-published anthology, 27 Views of Wilmington: The Port City in Prose and Poetry, compiles literary pieces from 27 accomplished, local writers – in addition to an introduction by Celia Rivenbark.   It’s produced by Eno Publishers -- a very small non-profit that puts out about two books a year.  27 Views of Wilmington is the last in the 27 Views series, which now has eight different editions, spotlighting Charlotte, Chapel Hill, Ashevil

New Hanover County Commissioners have rejected a proposed limit on travel expenses for Board Members. 

At Monday's regular meeting, Commissioner Woody White suggested travel decisions be shaped by the answers to three questions.

"Is the travel, whether it’s by a commissioner or particularly by employees or department heads and so forth, is it necessary for licensing and certification?  Secondly, is the topic of the conference relevant to an issue we’re addressing?"

Cucalorus Connect is an important new element in this year's Cucalorus Film Festival slate.  It's an offering that organizers hope will support the synthesis of arts and business -- to empower entrepreneurs, introduce them to artists, and possibly even connect investors with start-ups. 

On this edition of CoastLine, we explore how the confluence of artists and businesspeople might change Cucalorus and whether, by association, it could change the Wilmington area. 

An alternate funding option for smaller filmmakers will soon be a reality in North Carolina.  Cucalorus, in partnership with the North Carolina Film Office, is announcing a new film incentive for projects with budgets under a quarter of a million dollars.

Once the popular tax-rebate form of the film incentive expired in North Carolina and legislators replaced it with a grant fund, film production in the state dropped significantly.  With those big-budget films and longer-running television series also went the support structure for smaller projects.  

Municipal elections across North Carolina have concluded; the results are in. 

Wilmington City Council welcomes back its two incumbents – Margaret Haynes and Neil Anderson.  Paul Lawler was the third-highest vote-getter – winning the seat Laura Padgett vacated after more than two decades on Council.  The window between Paul Lawler and fourth placer-Deb Hays wasn’t huge:  88 votes. 

Brunswick County

The Village of Bald Head Island, with a year-round population of less than 170 people, has approved a $10 million bond for a broadband network.  But barely.  The “yes” vote squeaked through by four votes – not unusual, though, in a small municipality.

Village residents will see a new slate of council members.  The two incumbents running for reelection, Gene Douglas and Bob Helgesen, lost their seats to top vote-getters Kit Adcock, John May, and John Pitera. 

Town of Kure Beach

Carolina Beach Mayor Dan Wilcox will keep his seat for another term.  Challenger Bob Lewis lost to Wilcox by 276 votes.  On the Town Council, incumbent Steve Shuttleworth also kept his seat and won the most votes of all seven candidates competing for two seats.  Tom Bridges won the second open seat by a wide margin.  The third-place vote-getter, Tammy Hanson, came in a distant third – losing to Bridges by 319 votes.  That’s a percentage difference of almost 12 points.

Pender County Board of Elections; Wikimedia Commons; Robeson County Board of Elections

PENDER COUNTY

In Pender County, the Town of Burgaw voted Wilfred (Red) Robbins, Vernon Harrell, and Bill George III onto its Board for 2016. 

Surf City’s unopposed Mayor Zander Guy will serve another term.  Top vote-getters for the three open Council seats are Buddy Fowler, Donald Ray Helms, and Nelva Albury. 

Neighboring Topsail Beach re-elected Howard Braxton as Mayor – by a roughly 30% margin.  Steve Smith and Linda Stipe won the two seats on Topsail’s Board of Commissioners.

ONSLOW COUNTY

In Brunswick County, the Town of Oak Island will see some new faces on Council.  The Brunswick County beach town has a new mayor – and two new council members. 

Cin Brochure, the current Director of Tourism for the City of Southport, will serve as the new Mayor of Oak Island.  Three-term mayor Betty Wallace decided not to seek another term.   

The Town of Leland saw a major upset on Election Day.  One polarizing issue --  how to plan for the Town’s future water supply – could have been a factor. 

Mayor Brenda Bozeman handily kept her seat winning 81% of the vote to challenger Glenn Thearling’s 19%.

Pages