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.   

Ways to Connect

WHQR / Katelyn Freund

Frank Stasio has hosted The State of Things, WUNC’s public affairs program, since 2006.   

Straight Arrow PR

It's 1934, the middle of the Great Depression in America. The federal government sends hundreds of jobless World War I veterans to the Florida Keys for a work program. On its face, it's a great idea – pay these men to build a highway between Miami and Key West as part of a New Deal construction project. The men have jobs live in a mild climate and are out of public view, but the plan doesn't take into account a major hurricane.

Vince Winkel

The impeachment proceedings on Capitol Hill, new indicators of a warming climate, the battle over a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, the handling of migrants who’ve crossed the border, what will happen in the 2020 race for the White House:  these are all, arguably, worth discussion as the big stories of 2019.  But a great deal happened that impacts quality of life for residents in southeastern North Carolina.   

U.S. Air Force photo illustration/Steve White

  Paul Gauguin, the French artist of the late 19th century, routinely had sexual relationships with children and painted nude portraits of his victims.  The New York Times reports that museum curators, other artists, and social activists have, over the last several years, asked the Woody Allen question about Gauguin:  can you abhor the person and appreciate the art? 

Eleven people diverse in age, ethnicity and political leanings are engaged in a year long experiment in civil discourse. Each month we bring you a conversation with members of the group. 

Georgia Dept. of Natural Resources / NOAA Fisheries

       

                                                

Whales are the largest mammals on earth.  They’ve also been around a long time.  According to the University of California, Berkeley’s Evolutionary Biology website,  the first whales evolved over 50 million years ago from a terrestrial ancestor. 

Consider the human – thought to have first appeared in Africa about 300-thousand years ago.  Although whales and humans have shared the planet since humans popped up, it’s striking how little we understand about these marine creatures.

Wave Transit

It was a surprise to Wave Transit officials and to some fellow Commissioners when Julia Olson-Boseman, Vice Chair of the New Hanover County Board, made a motion to end the County’s agreement with Wave.  

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman John Nieves Camacho

Alfred Schnog, known for his harrowing escape from Nazi Germany during World War Two, has died. 

WHQR

Voters turned out in larger numbers for this year’s municipal elections.  Brunswick County saw a 2% increase compared to 2017.  In Pender County, turnout ticked up about a point and a half, and in New Hanover County, 19% of registered voters cast a ballot.   That’s the biggest jump – nearly four-and-a-half points compared to 2017. 

contributed photo

If you traveled to London and someone asked you to tea, would you know what the invitation meant?  What about an invitation to supper, cream tea, high tea, or afternoon tea? 

Joe Pat Hatem

The City of Southport saw all its incumbents thrown out.  The same two mayoral candidates faced off for the third consecutive time – which turned out to be the charm for Challenger Joe Pat Hatem.  He unseated Mayor Jerry Dove by a very large margin – taking 63% of the vote. 

Brenda Bozeman

Brenda Bozeman has served as the Mayor of Leland for eight years – which means she’s served four terms.  Here's a look at what her fifth term could mean for Leland.

Voters across the Cape Fear region who live in cities, towns, and villages elected their leaders November 5, 2019.

https://www.h2goonline.com/home

H2G0 could be back on track for its own reverse osmosis water treatment plant.  Brunswick Regional Water and Sewer H2G0, the utility that serves just over eleven-thousand people in Brunswick County, is embroiled in a legal battle over its assets and direction.  

contributed photo

This year’s election is the closest race Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo has seen in his 12 years at the helm of city government.  It's the first serious challenge since 2007 to a Mayor now embarking upon his seventh term. 

Doug Medlin

The Town of Burgaw had three open seats on its Board; all three incumbents won re-election:  Vernon Harrell, Red Robbins, and Bill George, will serve another four years. 

In the Town of Surf City, which stretches into Onslow County, the fiercely-fought battle between long-time incumbent Mayor Doug Medlin and current City Council Member Jeremy Shugarts ended with Mayor Medlin easily winning the seat again  with 67% of the vote.

RLH / WHQR

Tuesday is Election Day for most municipalities in North Carolina.  And the prevailing sense among poll workers and voters is that more people are turning out to vote in municipal elections than in years past. 

Katelyn Freund / WHQR

This month's topic:  Donald Trump:  Impeach or Not?  It's a look at the qualities we seek in our leaders.

Courtesy Tom Arthur

At first glance, it looks as though early voting in New Hanover County is up slightly in the first twelve days compared to the last municipal election.  As of October 29th,  2019, 18% more people voted compared to 2017.   This does not necessarily mean that voter turnout as a whole will be higher in 2019; that remains to be seen. 

Greg Buscemi

Greg Buscemi is hoping to be the next Mayor of Wrightsville Beach.  He’s a practicing lawyer, loves the beach, and says the current Board of Aldermen is not doing enough to communicate with its citizens.  

Jeremy Shugarts is a member of Surf City’s Town Council with two years left in his term.  But he’s running for mayor this year, partly, he says, because the Mayor controls the agenda.

Shugarts agrees with Surf City’s current strategy of keeping zoning ordinances strict on the beach while letting commercial development blossom on the mainland. But, he says, local government isn’t listening as well as it should to constituents.  One way to solve that:  create more citizen advisory committees – in addition to the existing six. 

The City of Wilmington boasts a population of around 122,600 people.   That’s a U.S. Census Bureau estimate for 2018.  But the largest municipality in New Hanover County is still expected to grow over the next quarter century, and planning officials project a population spike of about 57,000 more people by 2040.  That’s only 21 years out.   In New Hanover County, the current population is 237,689.  By 2038 – 315,475.  That’s county growth of about 33%. 

WHQR / Katelyn Freund

Southport is a waterfront city at the confluence of the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean in Brunswick County.  

John Allen

Southport has grown by 25% in the last eight years to nearly four-thousand people.  That’s according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  The City is governed by a six-member Board of Aldermen divided into two wards.  John Allen, a candidate for one of two open seats in Ward Two, says he wants to heal the mistrust between citizens and local government.

Creative Commons / pxhere

Prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer and contributes to the second most cancer-related deaths in men in the United States – and in North Carolina.  That’s according to the Centers for Disease Control.  But in 2015, the cancer that killed the most North Carolinians:  lung cancer.

Town of Oak Island

Oak Island Town Council member Jeff Winecoff is seeking a third term. He tells WHQR he wants to see the town’s general fund debt paid off completely – and he hopes to find grant money for a renovation of the Town’s recreation center. 

Courtesy of Mark Sinclair / One Love Tennis

World tennis champion Althea Gibson gave Lenny Simpson his first tennis racket.   She's called one of the greatest tennis players who ever lived by the coach of Venus and Serena Williams.  She's the woman who broke the international tennis color barrier, and who now has a monument outside Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York.  

Affordable housing.  It’s a phrase that towns and cities are attempting to define – and it’s a sector of the real estate market that local leaders are struggling to foster.  

contributed photo

Surf City is a beach town in Pender and Onslow Counties with a population of slightly more than three-thousand people.  Mayor Doug Medlin grew up on Topsail Island, raised his kids there, and now they’re raising their children in town.   

Katelyn Freund

 

Love Letters, a play by A.R. Gurney, tells its story with two actors who sit at a table throughout, read their letters from over the years to each other, and never touch. 

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