Rachel Lewis Hilburn

CoastLine Host, Senior Reporter

Rachel hosts WHQR's local public affairs show, CoastLine, which she helped to create.  She also reports on issues affecting southeastern North Carolina.  Before joining WHQR, Rachel wrote and produced local TV newscasts for the Wilmington ABC-TV affiliate. She also wrote and produced a 30-minute TV special program for the Cape Fear Museum showcasing its renovation and new exhibits, and she independently wrote and produced a documentary on the lingering effects of the 1898 coup d'etat in Wilmington.   

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Dean Neff, Chef, Owner, Seabird in downtown Wilmington

Restaurant owners – the independent ones – often start their businesses because they are chefs – artists whose medium is food and drink.  As Governor Roy Cooper cautiously allows the state to move into Phase 2, they’re going to need all their creativity just to keep their businesses going. 

Doc Jarden

The red-cockaded woodpecker is not actually red – except for a tiny, nearly invisible red streak on male birds at the upper border of their cheek.  They’re mostly black and white.  And they were one of the first federally-protected species – landing on the Endangered Species list in 1970 – three years after officials created the first list in 1967.  (The Endangered Species Act had to wait until 1973.) 

Red-cockaded woodpeckers are still on that list more than half a century later.   

RLH / WHQR

New Hanover County officials presented the proposed budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1st at a meeting Monday morning.   With the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and the beginning of what could be an above-average hurricane season, there is no proposed tax increase.  

University of North Carolina Gillings School of Public Health and the Carolinas HealthCare System

The novel Coronavirus is infecting and killing black Americans at disproportionately high rates.   That’s according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention.  

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

In North Carolina today, people of color face inequities that affect their health and their vulnerability to diseases like Covid-19.  CDC and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services data show that minorities now represent a disproportionate number of both Covid-19 cases and fatalities.  Social factors and implicit bias play a significant role. 

RLH / WHQR

By May 12th, North Carolina was four days into Phase 1 of the reopening process.  Governor Roy Cooper says he’s encouraged by the initial numbers, but those pushing for earlier relaxation of restrictions are up against Cooper’s reliance on what he calls “data, facts and science.”

RLH / WHQR

North Carolina is set to launch Phase One of its reopening 5 pm on Friday, May 8th.  There are four major metrics that state officials are watching to see how the Covid-19 pandemic is playing out in the state.  

RLH / WHQR

Depending on which grocery store you visit in the Cape Fear region, some employees might wear face coverings.  Some might not.  Costco is a notable exception in requiring some kind of nose and mouth covering for both employees and customers.  But as WHQR uncovered, the variance might be due to a common misunderstanding about the mask’s purpose. 

The New Hanover County School system is facing at least two lawsuits and multiple questions about an alleged failure over decades to protect children from sexual predators.  When he took the post as Interim Superintendent in February, Dr. Del Burns understood his top priority as the development of more effective protocols for complaints and misconduct. 

WHQR spoke with Dr. Burns about the changes he says are needed.

NC DHHS

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper is hopeful the state can move forward with its planned reopening by May 8th.  However, there are four indicators – or metrics – that state officials say must go in the right direction before they greenlight Phase 1.  

Melody Moezzi

Melody Moezzi describes herself first as Iranian-American.  She is then Muslim.  After that, she’s an author, attorney, and activist.  She is also a Visiting Professor of Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.  

Wikimedia Commons

Covid-19 is hitting people of color, especially African American communities, much harder than white communities.  The impact shows up as both a higher percentage of positive cases and a higher number of deaths from the disease.  But there’s also a different kind of price that people of color are likely to pay.

RLH / WHQR

The Stay At Home Order in North Carolina is now extended through May 8th.  State officials say it’s clear the restrictions are working to flatten the curve and slow the spread of Covid-19.  They also lay out the plan for gradually reopening the state.

Valerie L. Robertson, Cape Fear's Going Green

April 22nd marks the 50th year the world celebrates Earth Day.  This Friday, April 24th is National Arbor Day.  As people self-isolate, vehicle traffic has lessened, parks have quieter days, and some environmental essayists suggest the Earth is breathing a sigh of relief.  

RLH / WHQR

Covid-19 is now the leading cause of death in the United States.  Officials in North Carolina are watching the state numbers rise as calls for reopening the state grow louder.

RLH / WHQR

Each Sunday night at 5 PM, on a Wilmington street named for a southern flower, a few neighbors gather outside their houses for the big show.  Children, parents, grandparents, and even some college students sit or stand at social distances for a new way to stay connected. 

 WFAE, WUNC, WHQR and other public radio stations from around North Carolina join together to look at the impact of COVID-19 on the health, economy, and education of the state.

florencemontmare.com

The Artist’s Way, A Course In Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self, first landed in booktores before the age of Amazon – in 1992.  Almost three decades later, Author Julia Cameron can point to a long list of published works, more than 40, fiction and nonfiction -- many of them bestsellers.  They include The Vein of Gold, The Right To Write, Finding Water, Transitions, and her own memoir, Floor Sample.  The woman who "invented the way people renovate the creative soul", according to The New York Times, has used her own life as a laboratory for developing her processes

Pleasure Island Rentals

If the stay-at-home orders last into summer, businesses like Britt’s Donuts on the Carolina Beach boardwalk in New Hanover County will have to stay shuttered.  In Brunswick County, Southport has cancelled its summer market and concert series, and the official North Carolina Fourth of July Festival, which draws tens of thousands of tourists.  

RLH / WHQR

The Coronavirus crisis has not left many sectors of the economy alone in its destruction – with the possible exception of manufacturers of toilet paper, hand sanitizer, face masks, ventilators and other items in short supply right now.  

Temple of Israel

High holy days for three major world religions all occur in April this year.  Muslims observe the month of Ramadan beginning April 23rd.  Jews mark the week of Passover starting tonight, and Christians celebrate Easter this Sunday.  While the holidays traditionally mean larger congregations and shared meals, the 2020 versions will be more solitary.

March 2020
RLH / WHQR

Weekend weather in the Cape Fear region will be sunny and warm, according to the National Weather Service.  And it has authorities deeply concerned the temptations of spring will cause residents to ignore the statewide Stay At Home order.

CDC.gov

Finding a way to serve people who are homeless is posing new problems in the age of COVID-19.  

Maintaining physical distance is increasingly difficult as shelters see higher demand.  

Beth Gaglione / Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina - Wilmington

Since last week, Governor Roy Cooper has handed down a statewide Stay At Home Order.  Some counties and municipalities have gone even further with stay-at-home guidance.  For example, New Hanover County has defined specific businesses that must close such as auto dealerships and hotels and motels. When there are discrepancies between the state and local orders, the more restrictive version takes precedence.  

RLH / WHQR

Help is on the way for small businesses and families – from the state and from federal stimulus checks.  But there’s more.  North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has issued a new Executive Order to help people worried about paying bills on April 1st. 

Governor Roy Cooper has issued a statewide Executive Order.   It requires all North Carolinians to stay at home except for absolute necessities. 

NC DHHS

Coronavirus Edition #2.  So much has changed in a week.  Many more people are working from home – or not working at all.  North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has lowered the threshold for mass gatherings from 100 to 50.  He’s ordered more business closures – gyms, movie theaters, salons.  He’s extended public school closures to May 15th. 

RLH / WHQR

As North Carolina sees the number of positive COVID-19 tests rise – now over 600 cases covering more than half of the state – officials continue to emphasize social distancing.  

Rachel Keith

The North Carolina death toll from COVID-19 is now two.  In a recent media briefing, Governor Roy Cooper reminds people that these deaths are just the beginning.  

RLH / WHQR

Widespread testing for COVID-19 is a strategy that works in the first phase of a pandemic – containment.  But that’s not where North Carolina health officials are now.  WHQR speaks with New Hanover Regional Medical Center Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Kamitsuka about what this mitigation phase means. 

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