Rachel Lewis Hilburn

News Director, All Things Considered Host, CoastLine Host & Producer

Rachel Lewis Hilburn came to WHQR in the spring of 2011.  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.  

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Wilmington Police Department

Businesses are slowly and carefully starting to open.  At Costco in Wilmington, which opened for just a few hours yesterday, shoppers went in 200 at a time.  A few grocery stores and some restaurants opened their doors around Leland and Wilmington.  

RLH

Flooding will affect the Cape Fear region at least through this week, but the rainfall will be the least of it.

First, the good news:  the Cape Fear region has seen the majority of the rain from Florence. 

RLH

Governor Roy Cooper is re-routing interstate traffic around North Carolina.  Floodwaters are rising, and roads that have never flooded before are now at risk.  The death toll from Florence has reached 14, and the coastal city of Wilmington is essentially cut off from the rest of the state.

RLH

Stay off the roads.  They are not safe, and they are getting worse.  That’s the urgent travel alert from North Carolina officials and those in the Cape Fear region.  

Vince Winkel

The temptation to venture out and drive around is going to be strong today.  But officials say the risk of injury or death is rising.

Vince Winkel

Tropical Storm Florence is still impacting the Cape Fear region – and is likely to continue through tonight. 

Now officials turn their attention to the risk of flooding, flash flooding, and tornadoes. 

Florence is battering the North Carolina coast – flooding beach town roads from the Outer Banks to Carolina Beach.  Officials expect the shellacking to last through Friday and into Saturday.

National Hurricane Center / NOAA

The long, slow, slog is underway.  As 500-mile-wide Florence moves further into North Carolina, she’s bringing storm surge, winds, flooded roads and downed power lines.  

The ed17 / Wikimedia Creative Commons

The first effects of Hurricane Florence are nearly hitting the North Carolina coast.  While coastal stakeholders are concerned about storm surge, farmers are also looking at losses.

National Hurricane Center / NOAA

Hurricane Florence is nearly upon coastal North Carolina.  While the system lost some strength Wednesday, Florence is still a life-threatening, historic storm.

NASA

 

Hurricane Florence is a Category 2 hurricane as of Thursday morning with sustained winds of 110 miles per hour.  That’s a slightly less powerful hurricane than earlier, but officials still expect widespread damage.

National Hurricane Center / NOAA

Even though Hurricane Florence has dropped to a Category 3 with sustained winds at 125 miles per hour, she’s still a major hurricane.  As WHQR’s Rachel Lewis Hilburn reports, the storm now looks like it might pass just south of Bald Head Island.

NC DPS

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper is directing people in the state to obey evacuation orders as Hurricane Florence will affect the entire state of North Carolina.

Our listening area is now under a Hurricane Warning and officials across the region have declared multiple States of Emergency. Hurricane conditions, including very high winds, heavy rain and storm surge, are expected within 48 hours. 

National Hurricane Center / NOAA

Evacuation orders are in place for Brunswick County, Topsail Beach in Pender County, and now, New Hanover. 

National Hurricane Center / NOAA

Hurricane Florence has turned into a Category 4 storm -- which is a major hurricane.

By mid-morning on Monday, officials had announced the closing of New Hanover and Brunswick County Schools Tuesday through Friday.  In Brunswick County, officials have also issued mandatory evacuation orders for those in unincorporated areas who live in low-lying and flood-prone areas or substandard or mobile homes, beginning at daylight Tuesday.

As Hurricane Florence keeps the Cape Fear region in her sights, officials at the University of North Carolina Wilmington have now issued a mandatory evacuation for students and declared a State of Emergency.

National Hurricane Center / NOAA

Hurricane Florence is strengthening as she moves across the Atlantic.  While it’s not yet a fait accompli  that she’ll ram the Southeastern North Carolina coast, she will bring impacts.  Here are some preparation guidelines.

Katelyn Freund

North Carolina Senate District 8 covers 100% of Brunswick, Bladen, and Pender Counties.  Also included in Senate District 8 is a tiny part – 2.6% -- of New Hanover County. 

Amy K. Nelson / http://shaunassael.com/bio

Sonny Liston, heavyweight boxing champion in the early 1960s,  died near the beginning of 1971.  The reason listed on the death certificate:  natural causes.  But nearly 50 years later, the question of whether he was murdered is an open one for some.  It’s a question Shaun Assael set out to answer with his book, The Murder of Sonny Liston:   Las Vegas, Heroin, and Heavyweights. 

Edward Hawfield

Edward Hardin joined the U.S. Army in the summer of 1917 when he was 24 years old.  Despite getting expelled from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for fraternity pranks that involved laxative-laced hot dogs and cows inside buildings, the native Wilmingtonian earned his undergraduate degree in pharmaceutical chemistry and a graduate degree in Pharmacy by 1914.  Both before and after World War I, Edward worked as a pharmacist at his family’s business, Hardin Pharmacy.

Ron Cogswell / Creative Commons

The news of a well-organized band of protestors pulling down Silent Sam last week has launched another round of emotional debate over the handling of Confederate monuments.  University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol Folt says the eyes of the nation are upon her institution, and that she and her Board of Trustees are now charged with finding a lawful, lasting way to protect the monument by November 15th. 

Flickr.com, Mark Moz

Horror stories abound of homeowners’ associations nitpicking over paint colors, dinging people for landscaping choices they never submitted for approval – even fining property owners to the point of bankruptcy.

http://laurenzcollins.com/about/

Lauren Collins has investigated the precise number of roses that go into a bottle of Chanel No. 5.  More recently, she covered the gender pay discrepancy scandal that has rocked the BBC and spurred new questions around salary secrecy and reporting requirements in the UK, Iceland, and other parts of the world. 

It’s not news that the Cape Fear region suffers from some of the highest numbers per capita of people addicted to heroin and opioids.  In response to what’s now commonly “the opioid crisis”, law enforcement strategies have changed, with officers carrying the anti-overdose drug Naloxone and authorities looking to put more offenders into treatment instead of jail. 

NCGA

There are 18 states in the U.S. that the League of Women Voters calls Gerrymandering Trifecta states.  That means state legislators draw their own district maps, they draw Congressional maps, and there is no citizen mechanism to change the process.  Of those 18 states, 11 are in the South.  One of them is North Carolina.

Bob Nichols / Photo courtesy of USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

North Carolina agriculture is facing a host of challenges. The Trump Administration has levied tariffs against many countries, more notably China, Mexico, the European Union, and Canada. 

Richard Scearce / NC Wildlife Resources Commission

Alligator hunting season starts next month in North Carolina for the first time since 1973.  Only Hyde County in the northeastern part of the state applied – after officials offered ten counties and their municipalities the option of an alligator population reduction hunt. 

Katelyn Freund / WHQR

The stories of Wilmington -- from mythical tales surrounding Jacob’s Run, that underground passageway in  Wilmington, to the legend of the woman buried sitting in a barrel of booze to the heroism of Abraham Galloway -- which are fact and which are fiction? 

Vince Winkel

Rhiannon Giddens is a singer and songwriter.  She plays the banjo and the fiddle.  She’s a storyteller, activist, and musical historian.  She’s also a founding member of the Grammy Award-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops -- inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 2016. 

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