Rebecca Martinez

Morning Producer

Rebecca Martinez produces WUNC’s broadcast of Morning Edition. She reports breaking news as well as feature stories and interviews about a range of subjects, including immigration enforcement and environmental sustainability. She knows a lot about municipal solid waste.

Rebecca is also the co-creator and founding producer of The Civilist with Steven Petrow. The podcast is a partnership between WUNC and PRI, and it explores how people can talk respectfully about controversial and awkward topics.

Before coming to North Carolina, Rebecca was a reporter and host at Wyoming Public Radio, where she created the "Upstarts" entrepreneur profile series. She won a PRNDI award for soft feature reporting in 2012 and has edited and produced several PRNDI award-winning stories and episodes of "Open Spaces." Rebecca has reported on agriculture and community issues at The News Leader in Staunton, VA. She spent two years cutting tape, booking interviews and running scripts at NPR's Washington, DC headquarters. Her reporting has aired on NPR, the BBC, PRI, Marketplace and National Native News.

She lives in Durham, where she volunteers on the crisis line at Durham Crisis Response Center. She also occasionally leads bike tours of the city’s murals.

Ways to Connect

Gretchen Engel, executive director of the Center for Death Penalty Litigation, sits in her Durham office and looks through mandalas and other pictures colored by death row inmate James Davis.
Rebecca Martinez / WUNC

At the Center for Death Penalty Litigation, the filing cabinets in the corner office are adorned with pictures of vibrant mandalas. The intricate geometric patterns were colored in by James Davis. The artist received a Purple Heart for his service during the Vietnam War. Davis reportedly suffers from PTSD and other mental illness. In 1995, Davis murdered three people, and has been on death row ever since. He's an old man now.

foster care children
Credit U.S. Navy / Wikimedia Commons

North Carolina has about 117,000 young parents between age 18 to 24. Few of these young parents have a degree, and most of them are poor, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation's Kids Count report.

Health Services Lead Debbie Hayden, RN consults with mother Jaquana regarding care for her one-year-old Aliyah, while at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Friday Center on September 17, 2018.
Daniel Cima / American Red Cross

As flood waters subside, Carteret County has been sending buses to shelters to bring home evacuees displaced by Hurricane Florence. Many of those evacuees have been staying at a megashelter in Chapel Hill since the storm made landfall last week.

Nchole Yeo / Flickr

UNC-Chapel Hill Grad Student Janel Burns sat at a laptop in her Durham apartment, taking a sample personality test. It was the kind you might take when you've applied for a new job.

North Carolinians have been clearing grocery shelves and stocking up on clean water in anticipation of Hurricane Florence. However the insurance industry says if you want to really prepare for the worst, you need to take stock of what you've already got at home.

A picture of Stuart McLamb of The Love Language.
Marci Hohner / Merge Records

Stuart McLamb had to make a big move to complete his new album under the moniker The Love Language. Baby Grand got its start in a warehouse in Virginia, but it was McLamb's move to the west coast that prompted a creative surge that completed the collection.  Each song inhabits its own universe and stands alone, but it also holds together as an expression of McLamb's creative vision.

A picture of a plastic bag floating underwater.
polandeze / flickr.com/photos/polandeze/378698004

A massive amount of plastic is ending up in our oceans. It’s a global challenge that could be solved only with a huge, coordinated effort. North Carolinians are doing their part both by adding to, and lightening the load.

North Carolina, like the rest of the world, has a plastic problem. And with more than 3,000 miles of ocean and sound coastline, the plastic that is dropped along a roadside or blown into in a ditch has a direct route to the sea.

A picture of a bull elk.
Mark Williams / NC Wildlife Resources Commission

North Carolina's recovering elk population has about 2,030 more acres to spread out into. The Conservation fund and the state Wildlife Resources Commission helped acquire nine properties outside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to create the William H. Silver Game Land.

A picture of Amanda Shires.
Elizaveta Porodina / All Eyes Media

The surprisingly hard rocking song "Eve's Daughter" is just one of the stand-out singles on Amanda Shires' new record To The Sunset. The singer-songwriter and fiddler wrote her fifth collection of songs while sharing child-care duties with her partner Jason Isbell.

A crane lays the final girder on the Bonner Bridge replacement project.
Jamison Padgett / PCL Construction

More than two years after breaking ground, PCL Contruction crews have connected both portions of the Bonner Bridge Replacement Project. The 2 1/2-mile bridge will allow motorists to cross Oregon Inlet on North Carolina Highway 12 in the Outer Banks.

The Be Loud Sophie Foundation will host its 5th anniversary show at the Cat's Cradle this weekend.  

The annual event raises money to benefit adolescent and young adult cancer patients at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center in Chapel Hill. The foundation honors the memory of Sophie Steiner, a Chapel Hill teenager who died of cancer in 2013. It was founded by her parents Lucy and Niklaus Steiner.

aaronHwarren / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/6NykjK

Storms brought heavy rain to the Triangle overnight. Several roads flooded, and drivers needed to be rescued from submerged vehicles along the Raleigh beltline.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Michael Strickler says resident can expect more of the same tonight.

Photo of prescription bottle and pils
Eric Norriss / Flickr Creative Commons

The number of drug overdose deaths in North Carolina jumped by more than 22 percent in the past year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. North Carolina saw the second-highest spike in the country after Nebraska.

Photo: 'Vote Here' sign in English and Spanish
Flickr user Erik Hersman

Wake County Commissioners voted unanimously Monday to put three separate bond referendums on the November ballot.

A drawing of stacked suitcases.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

If there was one thing Tyler Wetherall learned growing up it was "don't tell anyone who you are."  She would go on to live with her family in more than a dozen homes in five different countries by the time she was a teenager. 

phot of thom tillis
Wikimedia Commons

Democrats on the U.S. Senate Judiciary committee have asked the National Archive for thousands of documents related to President Trump's nominee for the open spot on the Supreme Court.

File photo of a comic strip.
Elizabeth Baier / WUNC

The Trump Administration tariffs on paper are forcing the Robesonianan newspaper to cut its 8-page Sunday color comics section. Editor Donnie Douglas wrote an editorial explaining that the cost of Canadian newsprint has become too expensive to keep printing that section.

A picture of the Cowboy Junkies.
Heather Pollock

Cowboy Junkies have been making music together for more than 30 years. 

Siblings Michael, Margo and Peter Timmins are once again joined by childhood friend Alan Anton for their first new recording is six years.  It's called All That Reckoning, and it reflects a more direct political stance from the band.

File photo of plastic straws.
Alex Brown / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/8bjPGB

Some North Carolina bars and restaurants are are phasing out the use of plastic straws because drinking straws are not recyclable and often make their way to the ocean, where they can injure marine life.

gavel
wp paarz / Flickr - Creative Commons -https://flic.kr/p/GDRLvC

The North Carolina Central University Law School says alumni who sat for the state bar exam today have reason to be confident.

File photo of a smiling alligator.
Photo Kent / Flickr - Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/bBxRbp

For the first time in decades, some hunters will get the chance to harvest an alligator in select parts of Hyde County this fall. Alligators are federally listed as a threatened species, because of their similar appearance to the American Crocodile, prized for its skin.

Criminal: The Job

Jul 23, 2018
A drawing of vertical bars.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

Capital punishment is almost unheard of in Oregon. The state has executed two men in the past half century. 

Frank Thompson oversaw both of those executions in the 1990s, when he was superintendent of the Oregon Department of Corrections.  The implementation of the death penalty was so rare in the state that Thompson had to rewrite the manual on what the procedure should be.

SNAP
Dept. of Agriculture

The federal government has discontinued a contract with Novo Dia Group, the company whose smartphone app allows local farmers markets to process SNAP benefits -- or food stamps.

sea nettle
Selbe Lynn / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/5T5RvL

If you love swimming in the warm, salty water of North Carolina's coastal estuaries, be warned: so do sea nettles.

The waterway advocacy group Sound Rivers said on its Facebook page that the stinging jellyfish have been spotted in the Neuse River near Oriental, as well as the Pamlico River near the intracoastal waterway.

Three FedEx trucks are shown while platooning along a highway.
Courtesy of FedEx

Volvo Trucks North America has been testing autonomous driving technology with tractor-trailers on the Highway 540 Triangle Expressway.

Federal regulators have approved that roadway for tests like these, including Volvo’s advanced driver assistance system, or ADAS.

A man walks out of the Art Institute at the American Tobacco Campus in downtown Durham on Monday, July 2, 2018.
Elizabeth Baier / WUNC

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Wake Technical Community College are two public institutions encouraging students from three for-profit colleges to consider them for transfer this fall.

wild horses along Outer Banks
Thomas Wheeler / AltAdjust.com

The Corolla Wild Horse Fund is urging tourists not to feed the 100 or so horses wandering near the beaches of Currituck County.

A drawing of a naked person running.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

Streaking is a stunt that has stood the test of time. People have been streaking at least since the 1700's, some saying it started with Quakers running through the streets to show the "naked truth of the Gospel." These days, it's sporting events where we are most likely to see someone naked running across the field.  In the latest episode of the Criminal Podcast, host Phoebe Judge takes a look at the legal history of streaking.  

The Criminal podcast is recorded at WUNC.

Anton Moussaev, center, stands with family and friends after his naturalization ceremony in 2017.
Courtey of Anton Moussaev

It's Anton Moussaev's birthday. Well, he was born in the Soviet Union in March 37 years ago, but he officially became an American on July 4, 2017 at a naturalization ceremony at Old Salem. So, he said that's his "second birthday."

Cedar Fork Elementary in Wake County would have to add three more kindergarten classrooms under the class-size change scheduled to go into effect in the fall.
Jess Clark / WUNC

Aspiring teachers are more likely to mistake emotions for anger in the face of a black person than a white person, according to a new study published in the journal "Contemporary Education." It also found that participants were more likely to view the behavior of black boys as hostile.

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