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

photo of Wildin Acosta
Courtesy of the Acosta family

The U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Immigration Appeals will reopen the case of an undocumented Durham teen in Georgia's Stewart Detention Center.

Wildin Acosta, 19, was arrested in January on his way to Durham's Riverside High School. He says he came to the U.S. illegally to avoid gang violence in his native Honduras.

Workers at a Piedmont Improvement Project site.

The state is expanding track capacity on the rail line connecting Raleigh and Charlotte. It's part of the Piedmont Improvement Project, which received $520 million dollars in federal funding.

Marijuana is slowly being legalized, with legitimate, profitable businesses popping up in several U.S. states. But in this week's Criminal Podcast, Phoebe Judge tells the story of Meridy Volz, who pioneered a booming pot brownie business in 1970s San Francisco.

Food Research & Action Center

North Carolina has more trouble putting food on the table than most other states, according to a nonprofit anti-hunger organization.

A report from the Food Research and Action Center shows 17 percent of North Carolinians face food insecurity, making the state the 13th worst in the country.

Dr. Douglas Miyazaki of Novant Health's new Pelvic Health Center in Winston-Salem
Patti Friend / Novant Health

Novant Health opened a comprehensive pelvic health clinic in Winston-Salem this week. It's one of only a few in the state that offers a wide range of treatment and conducts research on organ prolapse and incontinence. 

Tony the Tiger
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

The Criminal podcast team recently took a trip to Louisiana to see a special tiger named Tony.  But Tony the Tiger wasn't at a zoo or nature preserve.  He lives at a gas station called the Tiger Truck Stop.

Drought Map as of June 21, 2016.
North Carolin a Drought Monitor

Summer has brought moderate-to-severe drought conditions to 14 counties in the southwest corner of the state.

The area usually sees about an inch of rain per week, but not so this year, according to State Climatologist Rebecca Ward.

pottery remains
National Park Service / Fort Raleigh National Historic Site

Archeologists have found a rare Elizabethan-era medicinal jar near the site of the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island.

The National Parks Service Southeast Archeological Center recently excavated an area at Fort Raleigh Historic Site threatened by erosion.

A picture of the Vidant Health clinic in Belhaven.
Courtesy of Vidant Health

Vidant Health has opened a 24-hour urgent care clinic in Belhaven. It offers minor emergency and pre-natal care, a full lab, X-rays and a general family practice.

The Jayhawks
All Eyes Media

The Jayhawks' tour for their new album Paging Mr. Proust brings them to Carrboro today. With more than a few Americana classics under their collective belt, the Minneapolis natives sound energized and excited 30 years into their career.

Through that time, lead singer-songwriter and guitarist Gary Louris has been a driving force behind the band's success. He stopped into WUNC's Chapel Hill studio this week.

The cover of the 2016 Kids Count Data Book
The cover of the 2016 Kids Count Data Book

Health and education indicators are improving among North Carolina children despite spotty economic recovery, according to an annual report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The 2016 Kids Count Data Book ranks North Carolina 34th in the country for overall wellbeing, which is up one spot from the year before.

photo of Wildin Acosta
Courtesy of the Acosta family

Officials at the Stewart Detention Center in Georgia have released an undocumented Durham teenager from restrictive housing after nine days.

A drawing of Alabama.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

Convicted criminals can sit on death row for many years after the crime scene is cleaned up and packed away.

In this week's Criminal Podcast, host Phoebe Judge interviews attorney and activist Bryan Stevenson of the Equal Justice Initiative in Alabama, a state with one of the highest execution rates in the country.

Stevenson started out at Harvard Law School, but was ambivalent about his career choice until an internship sent him to Atlanta to inform an inmate that his execution date wouldn't come within a year.

A picture of a gavel on a table.
Joe Gratz / Flickr Creative Commons

A local distributor of Anheuser-Busch products has pulled unauthorized ads using the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina's logo.  Now the tribe is suing the brewer and wholesaler.

Hollerin Road street sign in Spivey's Corner, N.C.
Badagnani / Wikipedia

The organizers of the National Hollerin' Contest are canceling their annual hollerin' contest, which began 47 years ago as a fundraiser for the Spivey's Corner Volunteer Fire Department.

Contest organizers say hollerin' was a long-distance form of vocal communication developed long before telephones and sirens.

A picture of Skylar Gudasz.

Update: Due to anticipated thunderstorms, tonight's Skylar Gudasz show has been moved to Motorco Music Hall.

The Music In The Gardens series is underway at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens in Durham. This year's performers include several luminaries from North Carolina including Mount Moriah and Skylar Gudasz.

Two maps show new boundaries for Wake County Schools starting in 2016.
Wake County Board of Education

Candidate filing begins today for the Wake County Board of Education, and all nine seats will be on the November ballot.

Board-member turnover is likely, since all but one of the school board members will find themselves in the same district as another incumbent.

A picture of a laptop.
Kristoferb / Wikipedia

The Wake County Board of Education has voted to update its discipline policy.

The changes will limit the number of students in long-term suspension, according to Bren Elliot, Wake's Assistant Superintendent for Student Support Services, adding that principals will have more discretion to transfer students to an alternative web-based education track called SCORE.

Durham County Detention Facility
Ildar Sagdejev (Specious) / Wikimedia

A federal review of the Durham County Detention Facility recommends creating a separate unit for inmates with mental health diagnoses.

Drawing of faces and organs.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

On this week's Criminal podcast, we hear about a mystery surrounding the death of a horse thief.

Host Phoebe Judge and Elana Gordon of WHYY's "The Pulse" tell the story of John Frankford, a notorious horse thief from Pennsylvania in the mid-to-late 1800s.

Frankford also frequently got arrested.

Let’s Move! Executive Director and White House Senior Policy Advisor on Nutrition Sam Kass speaks at a 2013 event with the National Parks Service and the Department of the Interior.
Tami A Heilemann / U.S. Department of the Interior

North Carolina has lost more than 2,600 farms in the last decade. To fight that trend, the Center for Environmental Farming Systems and the WC Breeze Family Farm are hosting their annual fundraiser. The Farm to Fork Picnic supports beginning farmer training programs.

Durhamites gathered at the LGBTQ Center to write letters.
Rebecca Martinez / WUNC

Nearly a dozen people are hunched over a long table at the LGBTQ Center of Durham on a recent evening.

They're scrawling hopeful sentiments on brightly-colored pieces of paper. The letters of support are headed to six young men arrested in North Carolina in targeted immigration enforcement actions in January.

Julienne Alexander / Criminal

This week's Criminal podcast examines the history of the 1979 clash in North Carolina now known by many as the Greensboro Massacre, which left five people dead and nine more injured.  Host Phoebe Judge spoke with Civil Rights activists Nelson Johnson and Signe Waller Foxworth about their run-ins with the Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party.

An image of Sammy Bananas playing at Moogfest in Asheville, 2014

Moogfest -- the event that celebrates music, art and technology from around the world -- is expected to attract thousands to the Bull City this weekend.

Moogfest combines panels and exhibits on creative technology in the music industry with concerts featuring Moog synthesizers, named after the electronic music pioneer Robert Moog.

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

The Greensboro Police Department will now require a report with an explanation every time someone is charged with resisting, delaying or obstructing an officer.

Deputy Chief James Hinson says this comes after community focus groups pointed out racial disparities in the prevalence of these RDO charges.