Rebecca Martinez

Morning Producer

Rebecca Martinez produces WUNC’s broadcast of Morning Edition, and occasionally fills in as host.

Before coming to North Carolina, Rebecca was a reporter and host at Wyoming Public Radio, where she created the “Upstarts” entrepreneur profile series and reported on environmental and cultural issues. 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. As an intern at Team Group Media in DC, she was charged with ordering stage blood and vintage furniture for a documentary that aired on A&E.

A New Jersey native, Rebecca is a graduate of James Madison University’s School of Media Arts and Design. She plays roller derby. Yes, really.

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Business & Economy
8:52 am
Fri April 4, 2014

GPS Spying? Odometer Fees? NCDOT Considers A Mileage Tax

NCDOT is looking for alternative revenue sources to cover road repairs and upgrades needed to accommodate a rapidly-growing population.
Credit Dave DeWitt

North Carolina's Department of Transportation is considering taxing drivers by the mile to help pay for road construction and upgrades. As cars become more efficient, the gas tax is becoming a less effective revenue source.

The department's Funding and Appropriations Strategies committee – or FAST – has been meeting with leaders and researchers across the state to hear concerns about population growth and potential solutions for insufficient infrastructure.

NC State researchers suggested a revenue model using annual odometer checks or GPS technology to tax motorists.

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Business & Economy
8:44 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Nash Health Joins UNC’s Hospital System

Nash Health Care System in Rocky Mount is the latest hospital to join the UNC Health Care system.
Credit Nash Health Care System

Nash Health Care in Rocky Mount is the newest hospital to join the UNC Health System. Their affiliation agreement allows UNC to manage operations at Nash.

Nash Health CEO Larry Chewning will now be on UNC Health's payroll, but Nash will continue to be governed by its independent board of directors.

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Business & Economy
9:05 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Federal Cuts Could Close 115 Year Old Beaufort Marine Lab

A National Center for Coastal Ocean Science researcher looks into a beaker containing lionfish eggs. Scientists agree NOAA's Beaufort lab has been the site for valuable fisheries research for more than a century. If Congress passes President Barack Obama's budget proposal, the lab will close.
Credit NOAA

If Congress passes the president's proposed 2015 budget, North Carolina's coast could lose a century-old marine lab.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's lab in Beaufort is on the chopping block.

Ciaran Clayton is a spokeswoman for NOAA.

“The current cost per year to operate and maintain the facility (is) about $1.6 million per year,” Clayton said. “It's an aging facility and would require additional funding to make those improvements, something that is just not currently in our current budget or in our future budgets.”

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Business & Economy
8:31 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Manufacturers Brainstorm To Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Packaging Materials

More manufacturers are working to make their packaging recyclable or compostable.
Credit gfpeck / Flickr

A growing contingent of manufacturers is working to make products with packaging that won't end up in a landfill.

They'll have a workshop devoted to education and idea-swapping at this week's Zeroing in on Waste Reduction event in Asheville. Carolina Recycling Association hosts the annual conference and trade show, which will gather 700 exhibitors, businesses, speakers and participants.

Diane Davis is the executive director of the CRA. She said making products that limit waste can be cost-effective while being environmentally friendly.

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Business & Economy
8:47 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Rural County Residents Continue Flocking To Metro Areas

Census estimates show that people are moving from rural counties to metropolitan centers, like the Triangle. Experts say jobs and cultural events are a draw from young people from rural areas.
Credit Leo Suarez / Flickr

North Carolina's dozen metropolitan areas are growing faster than the country as a whole. That's according to US Census Bureau's county and metro area population estimates from 2012 to 2013.

During that time, the US population grew by .7 percent. Wake County had the second-highest growth – after Mecklenberg – with 2.3 percent.

Rural counties, including Pasquotank and Halifax were among those losing the most residents.

Bob Coats works in the state budget office and the State Data Center. He says people are migrating to urban centers with more robust economies.

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Business & Economy
8:45 am
Wed March 26, 2014

SAS Offers Free Software To Help Next Generation Of Managers Understand Data

SAS is offering free analytic software for university students and professors to use. The company says there will be a shortage of business analysts across industries in a few years.
Credit SAS

A Cary-based software company is offering a free service to university students and professors.

SAS Analytics U will allow them to use statistical tools to manage data, identify trends, and make decisions in their research and class work. Analytics U also allows them to share their work in online communities.

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Business & Economy
9:01 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Durham Mayor: New Ideas To Shrink Poverty, One Neighborhood At A Time

Durham Mayor Bill Bell has launched a campaign to decrease poverty in the city.
Credit durham.gov

Durham Mayor Bill Bell has set in motion his campaign to reduce poverty. 

Bell said Durham has a lot of resources: good universities, a creative class, and a growing number of jobs. He believes that by using UNC Center for Urban and Regional Studies data about distressed neighborhoods, surveying residents, and planning area specific solutions, this push could make a difference.

“Poverty is an issue that I think we should be able to deal with in this community in a much more collaborative way than we're doing now,” said Bell.

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Environment
8:40 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Storm System Grazes NC Today

Light flurries are possible in the Triangle, and heavier toward the Triad today.
Credit Alexei Kljatov / Creative Commons 2.0 http://earthdesk.blogs.pace.edu/files/2013/12/snowflake.jpg

A storm system is moving up the East Coast, but it's not likely to have a heavy impact South of Virginia.

Ryan Ellis is a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Raleigh. He says we should expect some light precipitation and temperatures in the 30s this morning.

“Still cold enough to get some snow, but certainly not cold enough to cause major impacts,” said Ellis. “And this time of year, in late March, we know, from climatology, that it's just very hard to get a significant event here in North Carolina this late in the year.”

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Business & Economy
8:01 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Google Backs Durham Program Connecting Women-Led Start-ups With Capital

Soar is a new program meant to help female entrepreneurs find funding for their companies.
Credit Soar

A new program in Durham is seeking to help female entrepreneurs close the gender gap in securing startup money.

Google is putting up $15,000 to fund the new organization called Soar, which will help women-led start-ups connect with venture capitalists and similar businesses that have gotten funding.

The non-profit Kauffman Foundation says only 5 percent of all venture capital goes to fund women-led start-ups, even though companies with female leaders are found to be more efficient and bring in bigger returns.

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Business & Economy
8:38 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Unemployment Shrinks With North Carolina’s Labor Force

North Carolina gained 70,000 jobs in 2013, but the workforce shrank by 60,000 people.
Credit Creative Commons / http://mycareerinfo.ca

The state unemployment rate is dropping, but the labor force is also shrinking. 

The North Carolina Department of Commerce reports unemployment fell from 8.8 percent in January 2013 to 6.7 percent in January 2014.  But that number doesn't include people who have stopped looking for work.  The state's labor force is made up of people who work or are trying to find jobs, and that pool shrank by more than 60,000 people during the year. 

North Carolina State University Economist Michael Walden said 2013 was somewhat of a disappointing year for job growth.

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