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

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.

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. 

Palm trees sway in high gusts of wind, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016, in Vero Beach, Fla. Hurricane Matthew continues to make a path for Florida's east coast from the Bahamas.
Lynne Sladky / The Associated Press

Update 2:15 p.m. Friday, 10/7/16

The eye of Hurricane Matthew is now expected to come closer to the North Carolina coast than forecasters predicted. In a press conference Friday, New Hanover County Director of Emergency Management Warren Lee warned the county's coastal residents to move inland.

Kilmartin at The Stand in August 2016.
Lisa Gansky / commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Laurie_Kilmartin.jpg

Steven calls on the wisdom of cancer bloggers who found real-life support systems online. Guest experts Anne Strainchamps and Joshua Johnson return to weigh on on gay PDA at a conservative wedding, cutting in line at the airport, and how to handle that “nasty” relative who's always looking for a fight.

A drawing of falling cash.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

Axton Betz-Hamilton is an expert on identity theft. The issue hits close to home because her own identity was stolen when she was just a child. In this week's Criminal podcast, host Phoebe Judge tells the story of Betz-Hamilton's crusade against identity theft and the discovery of her own perpetrator.

Gas prices are up in North Carolina as supply is dwindling.
Jess Clark / WUNC

Gasoline prices are up across North Carolina, and some stations are running out of fuel.

Colonial Pipeline shut down the line that pumps a million barrels of gas a day to North Carolina and five other Southern states. That's because of a leak that was discovered along the Alabama stretch on September 9.

Advice and manners books in Steven Petrow's home library.
Steven Petrow

Steven digs into Bathroom Laws, and just what the rules are for everyone. In New Rules For Better Behavior, is the wife’s word the last word in deciding on baby number 3? Joshua Johnson and Anne Strainchamps also weigh in on how to close an open relationship.

Ji-Ho Park
Steven Petrow

Steven Petrow sits down to chat with transgender activist and singer Mx. Justin Vivian Bond, who says respect must trump grammar. Guest experts Kim Severson and Shereen Marisol Meraji debate Groucho glasses for a vain man’s next party appearance.

A photo of the American flag flying over a rainbow flag.
Steven Petrow

Hello friends, new and old.

I live in North Carolina, where I write the “Civilities” column for the Washington Post, which is about LGBT and straight social dilemmas. I also pen the “Digital Ethics” column for USA Today.

Criminal's 50th episode logo.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

The Criminal podcast focuses on stories of people who have done wrong, been wronged or gotten caught somewhere in the middle. The 50th episode is checking in with some of the show's most memorable guests. Criminal is recorded here at WUNC. Host Phoebe Judge reached out to Criminal listeners and asked them to decide which stories to follow up on.

Teenage Fanclub
Courtesy of Donald Milne

After a six year hiatus, Scottish alt-rock favorite Teenage Fanclub is out with a new album called Here. It's safe to say that the gaps between some of the band's records can be as long as some musicians' careers. Since the late-1980s, Teenage Fanclub has sustained a die-hard fan base with songs built around chiming guitars, harmony-laden vocals and a democratic approach to songwriting.

John Paul White
Allister Ann / Sacks and Co.

John Paul White was one half of the four-time Grammy winning duo The Civil Wars.  Since finishing with that band, he has founded a record label, built a studio and collaborated with artists including Jason Isbell, Roseanne Cash and Emmylou Harris. 

When he paused long enough to write some songs, his new solo recording Beulah was born.

a photo of an aedes aegypi mosquito
James Gathany / Flickr Creative Commons

Researchers say practicing safe sex is now even more important, as the Zika virus continues to spread.

Thirty-three people in North Carolina have been infected with Zika as of August 12 after traveling to high-risk areas, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

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