Rebecca Martinez

Podcast Producer

Rebecca Martinez produces podcasts at WUNC. She’s been at the station since 2013, when she produced Morning Edition and reported for newscasts and radio features. Rebecca also serves on WUNC’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accountability (IDEA) Committee.

Rebecca began her radio career at her college station in Harrisonburg, VA before moving onto NPR, Wyoming Public Radio, and WUNC. Her work has aired on NPR, APM, the BBC, National Native News and Gimlet Media, and it has received several PRNDI awards.

Rebecca has a Master’s Degree in Social Work and is an LCSWA. She works as a therapist a few hours per week. She lives in Durham with her family. She loves to hike and probably drinks a little too much coffee.

Ways to Connect

A picture of glass bottles and jars
Creative Commons /

Moore County has made a deal with the country's largest glass recycler, and now, officials hope it will enable county residents to keep glass bottles and jars out of the landfill.

Red circles show earthquake epicenters in the eastern United States from 1972-2012
Courtesy of Scott Marshall / Appalachian State University

There was a 2.2 magnitude earthquake west of Asheville earlier this week.

A picture of glass bottles and jars
Creative Commons /

One town in Moore County is no longer accepting glass bottles and jars in curbside recycling bins. It's a cost-saving measure amid skyrocketing fees.

Recycling is becoming more expensive pretty much everywhere. But Moore County faced sticker shock this summer when a fire closed the material recovery facility that had its contract. The county tipping fee jumped from $25-per-ton to $100, making recyclables much more expensive to haul than garbage.

canned food at food bank
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

UNC REX Healthcare has launched a new food bank in response to rising rates of hunger and gaps in the federal SNAP program. North Carolina has the 8th highest rate of food insecurity in the country.

A poster of general, statewide accepted recyclable materials as described by the Department of Environmental Quality.
Courtesy of Department of Environmental Quality

If you've ever thrown out your recyclables in a garbage bag, you personally have contributed to the rising cost of recycling in America. Garbage bags aren't recyclable in conventional material recovery facilities (MRFs) and often get tangled up in the machines that sort your paper from your glass from your plastic. Then somebody has to go in, fish out that mangled plastic bag, and dispose of it properly. The same goes for textiles, scrap metal, electrical cords.

A picture of Greg Hawks.
York Wilson Photography

Greg Hawks says his new record is a culmination of all of his musical influences. That means the songs on I Think It's Time contain nods to classic country, 1970s pop/rock, rhythmic soul and his roots in the American South.

A picture of Michael Rank
Bowie Ryder /

Michael Rank is doubling down on his musical move to funk and soul. The Triangle-based singer/songwriter was known for his Stones-y, outlaw country swagger and dusty folk on a series of recordings before pivoting to Sly and The Family Stone and D'Angelo on last year's Another Love.

Duke researchers used used a commercially available instrument called the Polarstar Optima from BMG Labtech for vapor odor detection.
Courtesy of Hiro Matsunami

Researchers at Duke University have created a machine that can smell target odors, such as drugs or explosives.

Hiro Matsunami is a molecular genetics and microbiology professor at Duke. He conceded that the drug- or bomb-sniffing dogs are pretty good at their jobs, but there are downsides.

"Training dogs is pretty expensive and time consuming, and the dogs are not always motivated and available in many places," he said.

A picture of a Green Zone Drop Zone bin in Durham
Rebecca Martinez / WUNC

So you've unpacked your winter clothes and are packing up your warm weather duds to hibernate until spring. But what about all the leftover clothes? Not the gently worn items that might fetch a couple bucks at a consignment store -- go ahead and sell or donate those.

Animal collisions in North Carolina ticked up in 2017, but were still well below a few years ago.
N.C. Department of Transportation

As the days get shorter, motorists should be on the lookout for four-legged obstacles on the road.

A picture of Mountain Man.
Elizabeth Weinberg

The wait is over, and your patience is being rewarded. Mountain Man has released Magic Ship,  a new album of sparse and dreamy new Appalachian-inspired folk songs.  Amelia Meath (Sylvan Esso), Molly Sarle, and Alexandra Sauser-Monnig (ASM) have been busy with their other bands and with solo recordings since Mountain Man's debut Made the Harbor was released eight years ago. 

calculator with the word college
Jake Rustenhoven / Flickr Creative Commons

The state's free college planning service is urging high school seniors and others interested in college to consider their financial aid options this week.

Transgender advocates were available outside the State Health Plan Board of Trustees meeting in Raleigh on Oct. 22, 2018. From left to right: Max Kadel, Noah Lewis, Connor Thonen-Fleck, Alexis Thonen, Deborah Thomson, Jeanne Duwve, Ames Simmons.
Courtesy of by Paul E. Smith

The open enrollment period ends next week for 720,000 North Carolina employees and teachers, and for the second year in a row, the State Health Plan coverage excludes gender dysphoria treatment for transgender and non-binary employees.

An infographic from the CDC on how to spot Acute Flaccid Myelitis in children.
Courtesy of the CDC

A rare and mysterious affliction appears to be on a national upswing, and North Carolina has two possible and one confirmed case of Acute Flaccid Myelitis so far this year. 

The Eastern Spadefoot toad
Jeff Hall / North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

Coastal and Sandhill residents say they've seen a jump in the frog and toad population since Hurricane Florence.

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 /

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,

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
Erik Hersman / Flickr

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.