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

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

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.

Rev. William Barber
NAACP / http://www.naacpnc.org/president

The North Carolina NAACP says Harnett County Sheriff's Office targets poor, rural residents. Now, the organization is calling on the U.S. Department of Justice for a thorough investigation.

The DOJ is already looking into the killing of a man by a deputy intending to search a home without a warrant, and the possible mishandling of another murder investigation.

A red wolf
Joan Lopez via Flickr/Creative Commons

An endangered red wolf pup has been born at the North Carolina Zoo.

The sole pup is the sixth litter of red wolves born at the zoo, but the first since 2010.

Songs In The Key Of Animals album cover
Merge Records

Charlotte native Benji Hughes has a fun, funky new album from Merge Records called Songs in the Key of Animals.

An image of artwork for the Criminal Podcast
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

This week's episode of Criminal examines the legal battles of a man who made it his mission to give the middle finger to every law enforcement officer he saw. Robert Ekas's story raises questions of  how "flipping the bird" fits into free speech. Criminal is a podcast recorded at WUNC and hosted by Phoebe Judge.

A n illustration of Rogers' Cessna over the Sierra Madre mountains.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

In this week's episode of Criminal, a murder mystery is solved by some surprising sleuths: a married pair of accountants.  Host Phoebe Judge spoke with Texas-based CPAs Hugh and Martha Gardinier about how an audit unraveled a complicated criminal case. Criminal is a podcast recorded at WUNC.

Author John Claude Bemis.
Jen Bauldree

Author John Claude Bemis may live in Hillsborough, but he spends much of his time in an imaginary world where myths and legends come alive. 

Bemis created the Clockwork Dark Trilogy, which weaves American folklore with the fantasy genre.  In his new book, "The Wooden Prince" Bemis has completely overhauled the classic story of Pinocchio, and introduces us to a magical place called Abaton.  

Author John Claude Bemis.
Jen Bauldree

Author John Claude Bemis may live in Hillsborough, but he spends much of his time in an imaginary world where myths and legends come alive. 

Bemis created the Clockwork Dark Trilogy, which weaves American folklore with the fantasy genre.  In his new book, "The Wooden Prince" Bemis has completely overhauled the classic story of Pinocchio, and introduces us to a magical place called Abaton.  

A picture of a wallet with cash in it.
401(k) 2013 / Flickr

North Carolinians are having more trouble attaining the American Dream, according to a new report from Durham-based research center MDC and the John M. Belk Endowment.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services says it's working to reduce the error rate in Medicaid payments to providers and hospitals.

A new report from State Auditor Beth Wood says North Carolina improperly spent $835 million last year.

North Carolina's Joel Berry II, right and head coach Roy Williams laugh during a news conference
Charlie Neibergall / AP Photo

Carolina is headed to the NCAA basketball tournament final. The Tar Heels beat Syracuse Saturday. Tonight, this number one seed will take on second-seeded Villanova.

Carolina head coach Roy Williams praised his players and said he was ecstatic.

"These guys up here were sensational, and I couldn't be having a more fantastic ride than I'm having right now," said Williams.

Tar Heels are one win from the program's sixth NCAA title.

Hope Mills Dam after the replacement failed in 2010.
gerrydincher / Wikipedia

Hope Mills began work on a new dam this week. It's been 13 years since the original earthen dam washed out, taking Hope Mills Lake with it.

Mayor Jackie Warner called Thursday's groundbreaking "very exciting."

"It's been a determined and sort of a impatient wait just to get to where we are today because everybody wanted water sooner."

Under past leadership, the town hired inexperienced contractors to build a replacement dam in 2008, and it failed just two years later. Hope Mills won $9.4 million in a settlement.

Anthony Foxx
Bz3rk, Creative Commons

U.S. Transportation Sec. Anthony Foxx is pushing for a federal highway policy that meets the country's transportation needs while considering the impacts on communities.

A drawing of a man with a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

Bourbon is a hot commodity these days, but one brand is considered among the finest in the world.  It's called Pappy Van Winkle.  In this week's episode of Criminal, Phoebe Judge examines the rise of the brand, and how a theft in 2013 made it even more popular.

Demonstrators gathered on Franklin Street to protest House Bill 2.
Jessa O'Connor

Amid national criticism over the law that restricts anti-discrimination protection, McCrory says he's willing to "make this bill better."

Vote
Theresa Thompson / Creative Commons/Flickr

Young people are voting in record numbers, and they're getting encouragement from school systems and voter advocacy organizations.

More than 3,600 Wake County high school students have registered to vote this school year. The school district's voter registration coordinator Abby Stotsenberg says that's three times as many students as registered last year.

Syringe
Jill Brown / flickr.com/photos/jill_a_brown/2629206800

A Danish pharmaceutical company broke ground on its second facility in Johnston County Monday. Novo Nordisk says the $1.8 billion plant will be built next to an existing company facility and share its infrastructure.

Site Director Gary Lohr says the new plant will manufacture the company's products, instead of just packaging them.

"We've been manufacturing diabetes medicines out of Kalundborg and out of our site Denmark facilities. and this is the first time we've actually moved it outside of Denmark."

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