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.  

Ways to Connect

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. 

Vince Winkel

The U.S. House passed a resolution to affirm support for the work of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency – also known as ICE – on Wednesday.  The non-binding resolution came in answer to a push by some Democratic lawmakers and progressive activists to abolish the Agency.  Democrats in the Senate blocked the resolution the same day.

Sonoco Recycling

China’s ban on 24 types of trash imports is changing the recycling business and waste management in the United States.  The new policy on what China will accept limits the type of plastic and unsorted paper recycling collectors are taking, while a new threshold for acceptable contamination sits at 0.5%.  

Katelyn Freund / WHQR

Joe Breault, Mayor Pro Tem of the Town of Belville, is moving to Florida a little more than halfway through his second term as Commissioner. 

A gunman shot and killed five newsroom employees June 28th at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis.  That tragedy, at a local, community paper which has been in business for nearly 300 years – yes, that’s older than the United States – has rattled newsrooms around the country. 

Ken Blevins / Star News

If you have lived in the Cape Fear region for any length of time, you might recognize the name Harvard Jennings.   From 1989 until 2010, he hosted and produced a weekday radio talk show that tackled local, national and international issues. 

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Laura L. Valentine

The City of Wilmington reported overall historic crime lows last year.  Crimes in Wilmington’s Central Business District, which used to have, according to Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous, a pretty bad reputation, have dropped since 2002 by about 75%.

uncwstorytelling.org

People who have disabilities, particularly physical ones, face what some social justice activists call “ableism”.  Disability Research Scholar Julie-Ann Scott-Pollock defines the term as “a cultural discourse that stigmatizes and marginalizes bodies deemed not normal through medical diagnosis”. 

Chief Yeoman Alphonso Braggs, US Navy

The ice sheets that blanket Antarctica and Greenland are melting faster, and that fact is a source of concern and intense study by climate researchers. 

Wikimedia Commons

When #METOO went viral last October, no one could have predicted how many women and men would add their voices to what has become the name of a movement. 

By NASA Goddard Space Flight Center from Greenbelt, MD, USA [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0) or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By the year 2100, sea levels could rise three to six feet.  That’s according to a study published in the scientific journal Nature just this month.  One of the major contributors:  ice melting in Antarctica.

Tumisu / Pixabay

Blockchain. It’s the platform that Bitcoin runs on. So what’s the basic premise? It’s a decentralized ledger system that keeps track of data points or “blocks” in real time.  Advocates for the emerging platform say it allows for personal transactional control over information shared on the blockchain.

New Hanover County Department of Environmental Management

Food waste and other organic material accounts for more than half of New Hanover County’s landfill stream.  That’s why a new food waste collection program starts July 1st.

More than half of all waste that heads to the landfill in New Hanover County is food waste or some other compostable material.  Local environmental management officials estimate the real number is between 65 and 70%. 

Vince Winkel

New Jersey decided late last year on a regulatory first:  to establish stringent standards for two types of perfluorochemicals in their environment.  According to a November press release, the state’s Department of Environmental Protection is the first to set maximum contaminant levels for perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, and perfluorononanoic acid, or PFNA.  GenX is one of more than a dozen similar compounds found in the Cape Fear River, the source of drinking water for hundreds of thousands of southeastern North Carolina residents. 

Should teachers carry weapons onto school grounds?  That’s a question one recent North Carolina poll attempted to answer.  And a bill that would allow teachers to have firearms in the classroom is now in the Rules Committee of the North Carolina General Assembly.   Republican Representative Larry Pittman of Cabarrus County filed the School Self-Defense Act last month. 

RedforEdNC

Teachers held walkouts this year in at least six states:  West Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arizona, Colorado, and North Carolina. The reason often cited in news headlines is salary.  But take a deeper dive, and you hear concerns about pension funds, funding for K-12 curriculum, and intangibles – like the lack of respect for the profession.

By Frank Schulenburg [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Coyotes, raccoons, and foxes are synurbizing.  That’s what researchers call the animals’ adaptive behavior when their natural habitat shrinks due to urban development.  A recent study out of Penn State shows white-tailed deer fawns have better chances of survival in mixed-cover areas -- a combination of agricultural or landscaped areas and forests versus forests.  In forests alone, the average survival to six months of age was about 41 percent. 

Billy Hathorn

 

Words On Bathroom Walls is, so far this fiscal year, the only film to take advantage of North Carolina industry incentives.  Five Home Depot commercials also claimed some state grant money over the last fiscal year.  While there are efforts underway in Raleigh to sweeten the pot and lure made-for-TV movies and smaller film projects, the industry in Wilmington is not even a shadow of its former self. 

NOAA (Storm image), NASA (Land image) - NOAA CLASS (class.ncdc.noaa.gov), EOSDIS Worldview

2018 is likely to see normal to slightly above-normal storm Atlantic hurricane activity.  That's according to the newly-released forecast from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.   The breakdown looks like this:  10-16 named storms; 5-9 may become hurricanes.  Of those, one to four could become major hurricanes. 

NPR

Joshua Johnson is the Host of 1A, the successor to the long-running and hugely popular Diane Rehm show.  Before his move to the nation’s capitol, he lived in San Francisco, where he served as KQED’s morning newscaster. 

Paul Taylor Dance Company

Modern dance and Memorial Day remembrances might not sound like natural bedfellows.  But this year, Paul Taylor Dance Company is working to raise the profile of Folded Flag Foundation, a nonprofit that helps military families grappling with loss.  

Creative Commons

Access to mental health resources is one of six major unmet needs in the Cape Fear region.  That’s according to New Hanover Regional Medical Center’s 2016 Community Needs Assessment Survey, which examines New Hanover, Brunswick, and Pender Counties.  Suicide is one of the ten leading causes of death in southeastern North Carolina – despite the fact that it’s not in the top 10 statewide.

copied courtesy Keith Acree, NC Department of Corrections. State Archives of North Carolina, Raleigh, NC

Inmates killed five North Carolina prison workers in 2017.  Four worked as correctional officers; one as a maintenance mechanic.  Violent assaults on officers have increased significantly from previous years, according to the Associated Press. 

alancutlerforsheriff.com

The May 2018 primary is now over, and the candidates who made it through this elimination round now head to the ballot for the November general election.

ncleg.net

Frank Iler has served four terms as the North Carolina Representative for District 17.  Now this Brunswick County Republican heads into a general election for the fifth time.

ncleg.net

North Carolina Representative Ted Davis, Jr. served on the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners before his appointment to the state House in 2012.  Despite a primary challenge from newcomer Hunter Ford, this New Hanover County Republican now goes on to battle a Democrat and a Libertarian in November.

New Hanover County’s Board of Education has four Republican incumbents seeking new terms; three of them have served for more than two decades.   Three Republican challengers brought the primary candidate total to seven.

ncleg.net

North Carolina Senator Bill Rabon, a Republican from Brunswick County who represents District 8, now has two November opponents.  Democrat David Sink and Libertarian Anthony Mascolo will challenge the four-term Senator. 

Mascolo beat his Libertarian challenger, Randy Crow, by 15 votes.  That might sound like a small margin, but it equates to sixteen-and-a-half percentage points.

For more perspective, 53 people voted for Mascolo.  38 voted for Crow. 

Brunswick County’s Board of Commissioners featured two candidates on the ballot for one seat – but earlier this year, challenger Tom Adams announced he would not pursue a campaign.  Election to the county board, he said, would put him in conflict with his position as Chairman of the Board of the North Carolina State Ports Authority.  Incumbent Randy Thompson will keep his seat since he faces no Democratic opponent in November.

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