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

Image of Jay Styron working with oysters
Baxter Miller / Bit & Grain

Some North Carolina lawmakers want to help the state make a name for itself in oyster farming.

The Advocacy group Environment North Carolina is leading the charge to ban the use of single-use polystyrene, better known as styrofoam.
romana klee / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/r78ZQJ

Environmental activists are calling for a statewide ban on single-use polystyrene, better known as styrofoam. The plastic food and drink containers don’t biodegrade, and often end up in waterways and marine animals.

UNC System President Margaret Spellings in her office
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

UNC System President Margaret Spellings says the university is committed to promoting economic mobility and helping low-income North Carolinians to succeed.

File photo of a mobile home park.
Eric Allix Rogers / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/9NbMTp

Fayetteville building code officers have finished a sweep of the city's 75 mobile home parks.

During six months, inspectors turned up nearly 700 violations, according to Michael Martin, of the Development Services Department.

A bar graph showing available technology jobs in North Carolina each month over the past year.
North Carolina Technology Association

Information Technology jobs are still in high demand across the state, according to the latest Tech Talent Trends Alert from the North Carolina Technology Association.

photo of an apple on top of books
Kate Ter Haar / Creative Commons

Former Microsoft executive Steve Ballmer has given $20 million to College Advising Corps.

The Chapel Hill-based organization places advisers in high schools to help first-generation and underrepresented students navigate their way to college.

Greensboro city skyline
Mark Goebel / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/4UYDyX

A petition is circulating to demand a thorough housing inspection of a low-income housing apartment building in Greensboro. Five children, who were Congolese refugees, died after a fire broke out Saturday.

Beth Benton co-manages Greensboro's Compliance division. She said there had been complaints against that apartment in the past, but it had been fixed and passed its last inspection in 2013.

Overhead view of Hurricane Matthew
NASA / Flickr

It's Hurricane Preparedness week, and North Carolina public safety officials want residents to consider how vulnerable they'd be if a big storm hit their area.

A picture of a gavel on a table.
Joe Gratz / Flickr Creative Commons

Durham County Magistrates will no longer offer civil domestic violence restraining orders. Until Tuesday, it had been one of the few counties to offer this option.

High Point Stadium
Courtesy of Odell Associates, Inc.

High Point University has donated $22 million to go toward the city's downtown revitalization efforts. The plan centers around a sports arena, which broke ground last month. A professional baseball team plans to kick off its season next spring.

A sample REAL ID, with the identifying gold star.
https://www.ncdot.gov/dmv/driver/realid/ / NCDOT

It's been a year since North Carolina began offering REAL ID cards in compliance with federal law, which requires extra documentation to get the card.

Visitor spending in North Carolina by year.
Visit North Carolina / N.C. Department of Commerce

North Carolina brought in a record $23.9 billion in tourism spending in last year.

Moreover, North Carolina's tourism industry supported a record 225,000 jobs in 2017.

Image of police tape
Tony Webster / Flickr Creative Commons

More people on the roadway in North Carolina means more vehicle crashes, but also more hit-and-runs. A report from AAA Carolinas says that, nationally, hit-and-runs have increased 7 percent every year since 2009.

strawberries
NC Strawberry Association

Many North Carolina farmers have opted out of the organic strawberry business, saying conventional berries are hard enough to grow.

Courtesy of NC Coastal Land Trust

A 1,000-acre tract of land along Salmon Creek in Bertie County might one day become a state park. 

Debris and downed power lines block a portion of Sunnycrest Avenue in Greensboro. An EF-2 tornado hit eastern Greensboro Sunday evening.
Naomi Prioleau / WUNC

As Guilford County continues to recover from a tornado, Emergency Management Director Don Campbell is praising the automated software system that alerted residents by phone, text and email ahead of the twister.

a sign showing gas prices
Shawn Honnick / flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/sXP1h

Gas prices have jumped to about $2.70 per gallon in the Triangle, and fuel analysts blame high oil prices.

Plant, Sprout, Garden, Soil, Dirt, Hands,
istockphoto.com

Horticulture students have designed therapeutic gardens for juvenile detention centers in Chatham and Cumberland Counties. Now they're raising money to build them. The state will provide the land, but not funding.

JULIENNE ALEXANDER / Criminal

When Sheila Wysocki decided that she would solve the murder of her college roommate, she had no idea that it would lead to a life of private investigation. But that's just what happened. (You can hear more about that Cold Case here.) This week's Criminal podcast tells Sheila's story. Host Phoebe Judge went to Nashville to shadow her at work.

A map of economically vulnerable areas in Wake County.
Wake County Economic Development

Businesses that set up shop in poor parts of Wake County could soon receive financial incentives, provided they pay employees a living wage. That means employees can meet their basic needs without public or private assistance.

Fayetteville Police Department Captain Lars Paul shows a naloxone injectable kit and a naloxone nose spray Fayetteville police use to reverse opioid overdose.
Raul Rubiera / For WUNC

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is distributing grants of up to $150,000 to support community projects that fight the opioid crisis.

stack of money
Flickr user 401(K)2013

Tomorrow is Equal Pay Day, a day that symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year.

crab pots
Darren Pullen / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/2frpk5

Commercial fishermen retrieved 3,500 lost crab pots from coastal waters this winter. Storms and boating can cause buoys to separate from these wire cages, which makes the traps hard to find.

Vidant Health has a new app that allows North Carolinians to see a doctor whenever they want. The Vidant Now app allows a user to connect instantly with a physician for about $50 per consultation.

Prescription pills
Wikpedia

The North Carolina Department of Insurance is encouraging everyone to do some spring cleaning in their medicine cabinets. Operation Medicine Drop is looking for unused pills, especially pain killers, to be delivered to secure collection sites.

An analyisis by the Carolina Population Center finds that 49 percent of adults in North Carolina were born outside the state.
Carolina Population Center

Nearly half of all adults in North Carolina were born outside the state, according to an analysis by the Carolina Population Center.

Duke Energy provides electricity for most of North Carolina since the 2012 merger.
Duke Energy

Duke Energy has committed $500,000 to help replace inefficient wood-burning stoves in Western North Carolina.

a blue water well
Let Ideas Compete / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/7VkN8Y

Researchers from UNC Chapel Hill and the nonprofit RTI international want to study the prevalence of lead in private wells in Wake County.

A sign indicates the janitor closet inside a Wake County public school.
Brian Batista / For WUNC

The Durham Board of Education has voted to make custodians Durham Public Schools employees once again. This means ending its contract with an outsource management company, acquiring cleaning equipment, and giving custodial staff higher pay and benefits. The change will cost DPS about $1.1 million.

A graph showing poll results.
Elon Poll

North Carolina teachers do not want their colleagues — not even trained ones — to carry guns in school, according to a new Elon University Poll.

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