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

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.

Hiram Reynolds of Fayetteville, N.C. served in the U.S. military for 12 years. He joined other protesters in downtown Raleigh on Saturday, June 30, 2018 to protest the Trump administration’s immigration policies.
Rebecca Martinez / WUNC

Thousands of people gathered across North Carolina this weekend to protest the Trump administration's immigration policies. 

Uriel Rodriguez, 12, watches on as other speakers prepare to take the podium at the "Families Belong Together" rally to protest a recent Trump administration policy of separating families detained after illegally crossing the Mexico border.
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

Thousands of people are expected to rally in cities across North Carolina Saturday to protest the Trump Administration's immigration policies. Among those are a ban on immigration from predominantly Muslim countries the separation and detention of families at the U.S.-Mexico border.

A picture of two children playing Pokemon GO on smartphones.
Creative Commons / https://pxhere.com/en/photo/562059

Orange County Schools has hired an online security company to scan social media for threats, but it's unclear what they're looking for or what they'll do about it.

View from the hilltop at Carver Pond Apartments on Meriwether Drive in Durham, North Carolina
Ildar Sagdejev

Housing advocates in the Cape Fear region are offering landlords an incentive to help end homelessness. Those who register to rent to a homeless tenant will be guaranteed up to $2,000 in case the tenant breaks the lease or damages the property.

The glass panes in the Forest Aviary at the North Carolina zoo need replacement, according to Zoo officials.
Courtesy of the North Carolina Zoo

The North Carolina Zoo has a $20 million backlog of maintenance projects. But the zoo can't touch the funding from the Connect N.C. bond initiative for things like a new aviary dome or HVAC system, according to Director Pat Simmons. That’s because the $25 million in bond money has been set aside for an Australia and Asia exhibit, which Simmons said is also necessary.

Rendering of the Oak City Center, which is scheduled to open in February 2019.
Courtesy of Wake County

Wake County officials broke ground this morning on a community center for people experiencing, or at imminent risk, of homelessness.

Abbie Szymanski runs the Raleigh/Wake Partnership to End and Prevent Homelessness. She said the new Oak City Cares center will offer a one-stop coordinated intake process to let clients access numerous services. This alleviates the client's burden of traveling from one shelter or agency to another and having to explain their story ad nauseam, Szymansky said.

Heat Advisory forecast from the National Weather Service for Wed., June 20, 2018.
Courtesy of NWS

A heat wave is bringing sweltering temperatures to most of North Carolina, with highs in the upper 90s this week.

File photo of a house on Nags Head. By the year 2045, 2,000 homes in Nags Head and Hatteras can expect flooding every other week, according to the non-profit Union of Concerned Scientists.
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

In 30 years, more than 15,000 North Carolina homes will be chronically inundated, meaning they're flooded about every other week, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. The nonprofit advocacy group released a report today showing where and when sea-level rise is likely to impact residents' daily lives.

Recycling bin.
Town of Chapel Hill

You mean well, and want to help the environment. But have you ever tossed a plastic bag in your blue curbside recycling bin? Or a styrofoam container? You might be part of the reason America has such a lousy reputation for recycling.

A picture of curbside recycling carts in Durham.
Ildar Sagdejev / Wikipedia

Recycling is becoming more popular across North Carolina, and Dare County recycles the most household paper and container materials per-capita in the state.

Corolla Beach
Thomas Wheeler / AltAdjust.com

Three swimmers drowned at Cape Hatteras National Seashore last week. Two had been caught in rip currents.

Rips are strong, narrow currents that pull water directly away from shore. They often form near a break in a sandbar.

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.

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