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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Politics & Government
10:09 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Have You Heard? The President Is Coming To Raleigh (And Nine More Headlines of Interest)

President Obama speaking in Mooresville, NC on a previous trip.
Credit The White House

Good morning. Here are some of the top headlines from around the state that we're keeping an eye on.

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Business & Economy
7:50 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Wake County Landfill Buys 10 More Years

The amount of garbage going into the Wake County land fill has shrunk over the last four years.
Credit N.C. Division of Waste Management

The amount of garbage headed to the Wake County has dropped significantly in the past few years.

In 2009, the county buried 460,000 tons of garbage. That dropped to 400,000 last year.

Wake County Solid Waste Manager John Roberson says a number of factors impacted the reduction in waste going to the landfill: People bought and threw out less during the recession, recycling options improved, and commercial waste businesses disposed of garbage elsewhere.

Roberson says his division saw a $2 million drop in revenue over the past four years.

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Winds
9:20 am
Mon January 13, 2014

'Oh No, Look At That!' Cameraman Captures Collapse Of Building In Weekend Winds

Ed Braz was recording rough weather outside when he captured the collapse of a nearby structure
Credit Ed Braz

Strong wind gusts whipped across central North Carolina over the weekend.  National Weather Service Forecaster Mike Strickler says straight wind gusts in Wake and Johnston Counties reached 100-plus miles per hour.

Raleigh Durham International Airport recorded its fastest wind gusts ever. 

A residential building under construction was blown apart. Videographer Ed Braz captured this remarkable footage of the collapse:

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Ear Tubes
10:54 am
Sun January 12, 2014

Study: Children's Ear Tube Surgery Might Be Unnecessary In The Long-Term

A report shows that children with ear fluid pressure who undergo surgery to implant tubes fare just as well in the long run as those who don't.
Credit Seaman Erica Mater / U.S. Navy 040203-N-4182M-001

Researchers at the University of North Carolina and RTI International have found that children who have tubes implanted in their ears to remove fluid pressure fare just as well in the long run as kids who wait out the symptoms under a doctor's care.

The small tubes are surgically implanted in a child’s eardrums to relieve the condition, called otitis media with effusion. Nearly 670,000 kids undergo the procedure in America each year, making it one of the most common surgeries for children.

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Science & Technology
8:47 am
Wed January 8, 2014

NC State Researchers Develop Cheap Biofuel Production Without Touching Food Supply

NC State researchers have developed a new process that dissolves lignin in liquid salt, leaving cellulose behind as a solid. This process could make biofuels cheaper to produce.
Credit Ezinne Achinvu / North Carolina State University

As corn prices rise and ethanol production competes with food sources, the energy industry is looking for other ways to produce biofuels.

Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a simple, efficient and inexpensive way to extract energy-rich cellulose from non-edible plant matter, like corn husks, grasses, and wood chips.

PhD student Ezinne Achinivu  says labs often run into trouble trying to remove a protective material called lignin. It's bonded to the cellulose, but hinders its efficiency.

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Cold Weather
8:17 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Arctic Cold Front Could Bring Single-Digit Temperatures To North Carolina

North Carolina temperatures are expected to drop to the single digits tonight, as an Arctic cold front moves into the area.
Credit David Park, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on 27 Dec 2009. / Wikipedia Creative Commons

It will feel a lot like a breezy spring morning across much of the state, but temperatures will turn icy this afternoon and into tomorrow.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Phil Badgett said temperatures will be in the 60s in some places early in the day, before an Arctic cold front moves in this afternoon.

“We're looking for lows tonight of between 5 and 10 degrees,” Badgett says. “And we haven't been that cold since January of 1996.”

Badgett says his colleagues call cold fronts like these "The Polar Express".

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New Year's Eve
4:59 am
Tue December 31, 2013

The Triangle Boasts New Year's Celebrations For Music Lovers, Families

Instead of a "ball", Raleigh drops a giant acorn at its First Night festival each New Year's Eve.
Credit Ke4roh / Wikipedia Creative Commons

New Year's Eve revelers will have plenty of options for live music across the Triangle tonight.

In true out-with-the-old sprit, The Casbah in Durham will host live jazz music. It's the last music show there, before the venue becomes a game room.

The Carolina Symphony begins early in the evening at the Meymandi Concert Hall. For less formal listening, Southern Culture on the Skids will play absurdist Rockabilly tunes at the Southland Ballroom in Raleigh.

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Water Quality
7:56 am
Mon December 30, 2013

NC Will Stop Monitoring Water Quality At 41 Swimming Locations

After the EPA cut $22,000 from a water monitoring grant, the NC Division of Marine Fisheries will drop 41 swimming sites from list of spots it tests for harmful bacteria.
Credit NASA / PD-USGOV

Federal cuts mean the state will stop monitoring water quality at several dozen swimming sites along coastal rivers and sounds in the coming year. The Environmental Protection Agency cut $22,000 from a grant for the testing.

The North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries uses a combination of state and federal funds to test 240 swimming areas for certain bacteria.

Director Louis Daniel says the division has notified county heath and summer camp directors that it will stop testing water quality at 41 swimming areas in coastal rivers and sounds.

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Solar Center
8:15 am
Fri December 27, 2013

NC Solar Center Can Now Certify Systems For Tax Breaks

The NC Solar Center can now test manufactured solar panels according to international quality standards, and can offer SRCC certification.
Credit Marc Hall / North Carolina State University

The North Carolina Solar Center has become the fifth lab in the country approved to test solar hot water panels to the market standard.

The federal government requires home solar water heating systems to have Solar Rating and Certification Corporation—or SRCC—certification in order to be eligible for a 30-percent tax credit.

The Center has also been recently accredited to test efficiency and calibrate panels according to international standards.

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Weather
7:57 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Freezing Rain Gives Way To Warmer Days Before New Storms Approach

Freezing rain has coated much of the Triangle over the past two nights.
Credit David Park, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on 27 Dec 2009. / Wikipedia Creative Commons

Winter weather has made for treacherous roadways in the Piedmont over the last couple of nights.

Barrett Smith is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Raleigh. He says freezing rain is responsible for a number of traffic accidents in Chapel Hill and the Northern Triangle.

Smith says that freezing rain occurs when the air on the ground is colder than the air in the clouds.

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