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

Greensboro Science Center
Greensboro Science Center

The zoo at the Greensboro Science Center will double in size to make room for more endangered species habitats.

A stack of letters
Creative Commons / pixabay.com/en/stack-letters-letter-handwriting-447579/

In this all-advice episode, Steven Petrow answers a handful of questions from his mailbag. He’ll tell you whether you have to tip the owner of a service business, how to make amends for an RSVP wedding failure, and why it’s okay for a gay southern bachelor to call himself a widower. Plus 1A host Joshua Johnson and queer activist James Parker Sheffield weigh in on digital black face and outing a lesbian’s transgender boyfriend.

At least seven people have died from flu complications in North Carolina, according to health officials.
Mike Mozart / flickr, Creative Commons

North Carolina is in the throes of a widespread, high-intensity flu season, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

A drawing of Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

This week, the Criminal podcast tells the story of how a juvenile detention center breathed life into a dying Mississippi town. That facility later became the most violent prison in the state.

Host Phoebe Judge says Walnut Grove, Mississippi, is a small town about an hour from the state capitol. It's always had economic problems, but it was buoyed by a manufacturing industry until those dried up during the Recession. That's when the state built a juvenile detention facility there in 2001.

An empty supermarket shelf on Thursday, January 5, 2016. Triangle area residents prepared for the first major snowstorm of the season by stocking up on the basics.
Elizabeth Baier / WUNC

Updated 1:20 p.m. Jan. 6, 2017.

The Triangle is bracing for up to eight inches of snow Saturday, with slightly smaller accumulations in the Triad and the Sandhills.

A young adult looking confused at a laptop.
CollegeDegrees360 / flickr.com/photos/83633410@N07/7658225516

Young people who were in foster care on their 18th birthday may now apply to stay in the system until age 21. Before the General Assembly approved expansion last year, foster kids aged out at 18 unless they were in college full time. The expansion became effective with the new year.

A picture of downtown Belhaven.
Property Wizard / Wikipedia

Demolition has begun on the former Pungo District Hospital in Belhaven, after Superior Court Judge Gregory McGuire denied a request to prevent the destruction.

Credit cards
Lotus Head / commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Credit-cards.jpg

People who rush to make holiday travel plans risk falling victim to scammers, according to officials with the Better Business Bureau.

Solomon 2015 PEN Gala, May 5, 2015, American Museum of Natural History
Beowulf Sheehan/PEN American Center / ommons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Andrew_Solomon_2015.jpg

It's easy for many to feel a little blue this time of year, now that we're now smack dab in the dark days of December. The holidays can be especially difficult for people who struggle with depression.

It's been a busy month for the Criminal Podcast. Host Phoebe Judge and her producers recently returned from a 14-city tour across the U.S. and Canada.

"I think our favorite show was right here in Durham," said Phoebe, adding that she told stories on stage, but also did a magic trick.

photo of a unisex bathroom sign
Tombe / Wikipedia

Transgender state employees will soon be able to get hormonal treatments and gender confirmation surgery under the State Health Plan.

Fraser Fir Christmas tree production in western North Carolina
Dr. David Lindbo of the Department of Soil Science at NC State University / Wikipedia

Wildfires and a prolonged drought appear to have spared North Carolina's Christmas tree farms this year. The state is a top producer of the holiday staple nationally.

A picture of wrapped holiday gifts.
Queen Bee of Beverly Hills / flickr.com/photos/queenbeebh/8179594700

Retail spending is expected to jump this winter, and residents of Cary can afford the seventh-highest holiday spending budgets in the country. That's according to a report from the financial web site WalletHub. Their calculations say the average Cary resident can spend $1,948 dollars per person.

a sustainable carry-out box
Courtesy of Damian House

Sustainability advocates are raising money to create a reusable restaurant carry-out container system in Durham.

A picture of lights on a police car.
Alejandro Mejía Greene/JubiloHaku / Flickr Creative Commons

Updated 10:15 a.m. 11/23/2016

A Durham man was shot and killed by Durham Police Tuesday in a neighborhood east of N.C. Central University.

Frank Clark, 34, died after what Durham Police officials described as a "struggle."

a sample police body cam
Utility, Inc. / Flickr, Creative Commons

In an effort to increase police accountability, the Durham City Council has approved a plan to spend $1.4 million dollars to outfit police officers with body cameras for the next five years.

Steven's "famous" pecan pie
Steven Petrow

Kim Severson of The New York Times joins me for a  special holiday episode of The Civilist podcast. Right at the top we make a promise: To give you the best advice we know to make your Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or Christmas run smoothly, whether you're talking politics or turkey.

Kim and I tackled a number of “battleground” issues, including:

Chinyere Amanze, Steven Petrow, Monique LaBorde
Rebecca Martinez / WUNC

In this episode of The Civilist podcast, I invited two kick-ass college senior to join me in answering questions from their peers about college life, free speech, trigger warnings and more.

A drawing of a cigarrette butt.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

On the last Criminal podcast, we heard from Melinda Dawson. She learned as a girl that her parents had secretly purchased her from a man called Dr. Hicks at his Georgia clinic. Dawson and her mother, Judy, became outspoken about the realities of life as a so-called "Hicks Baby."

Elizabeth Hadfield, Steven Petrow and Matthew King
Rebecca Martinez / WUNC

With less than two weeks to go before we elect a new president, a third of the US Senate and the entire House of Representatives, it sure is a nasty, beat-'em-up, free-for-all on my social media feeds, especially Facebook and Twitter.

A drawing of a hand paying a stork with a bundle.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

People can become parents in the usual ways: by birth, by marriage and by adoption. But in this week's Criminal podcast, we hear from Melinda Dawson, who learned as a girl that her parents had secretly purchased her from a clinic doctor many miles away.

Andrew Solomon
Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

Earlier this week, #mentalhealthday was a trending topic on Twitter. To end the stigma and breach the loneliness, I hope our attention goes beyond this — very successful — one-day event.

To do just that,  I sat down to talk with the remarkable Andrew Solomon for the latest episode of The Civilist podcast. Solomon, a professor of clinical psychology at Columbia and the author of "Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression," recommends that people come out about their depression, when they can and when it’s safe.

Contentnea Creek
Jay Price / WUNC

Updated 3:15 p.m. October 17, 2016

Governor Pat McCrory was in New Bern this afternoon to survey damage from the floods left behind by Hurricane Matthew. 

The state Department of Transportation says many roads are still closed in eastern North Carolina, but I-95 has reopened from Fayetteville to Lumberton.  At least 25 people have died in North Carolina. Most were trapped in the vehicles in the flooding.

Officials estimate that flooding from Hurricane Matthew has caused $1.5 billion in damage to 100,000 homes, businesses and government buildings.

flooding south of downtown Lumberton
Jay Price / WUNC

Officials say the death toll in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew has risen to 17.

Earlier in the day, officials in Robeson County said they found the body of a man who was in a car when it was washed away in the flooding. All but one of the victims were in vehicles when they died, according to authorities.

A drawing of a brain scan.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

On the last Criminal podcast, we heard from a woman who learned that her mother had stolen her identity, ruined her credit and never came clean. Axton Betz-Hamilton now suspects that her mother was a psychopath. In this week's episode, several experts explain what it really means to be a psychopath. 

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