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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Health
8:44 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Report: Left Unchecked, Diabetes Will Cost NC Billions

A report from Harvard University says diabetes is a growing problem in North Carolina, and offers advice for how to prevent and treat the disease.
Credit .:[ Melissa ]:. / Flickr

A report from Harvard University says one-in-10 North Carolinians has diabetes, and that the disease will cost the state $17 billion per year by 2025.

Sarah Downer is a fellow at Harvard's Health Law and Policy Clinic. She said limited access to healthcare, nutritious foods and safe places to exercise are dangerous to communities.

North Carolina has the fifth highest rate of food insecurity, meaning people don't have regular access to nutritious meals. The state also ranks fifth for early childhood obesity.

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Law
8:04 am
Thu May 29, 2014

NC Appeals Judge's Order For A New Trial Two Decades Into Darryl Howard's Prison Sentence

A Durham Superior Court Judge has ordered a new trial for a man who has been locked up for two decades.
Credit Joe Gratz / Creative Commons

The state of North Carolina is appealing a judge's order for a new trial for Darryl Howard. Howard has been in prison for 19 years for the 1995 murder of Doris Washington and her daughter, Nishonda.

Judge Orlando Hudson cited new evidence and misconduct by former Durham prosecutor Mike Nifong. Nifong failed to provide Howard's attorney with a memo from a tipster who said members of a New York drug gang raped and killed Washington and her daughter. DNA evidence found on Washington's body matched another felon’s, not Howard's.

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Military
5:01 am
Sun May 25, 2014

Your Guide To Memorial Day Events In North Carolina

A field of flags outside the Airborne and Special Operations Museum in Fayetteville, NC.
Credit Gerry Dincher / Flickr/Creative Commons

People will gather across the state for Memorial Day ceremonies honoring men and women who died in service to the US military.

Governor Pat McCrory and the commander for Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune will gather for a ceremony at the Battleship North Carolina in Wilmington.

During World War II, the battleship participated in every major naval offensive in the Pacific, survived a broadside torpedo attack, and earned 15 battle stars.

Marine Brigadier General Robert Castellvi said the armed forces are facing new issues since the time the North Carolina sailed.

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Military
8:56 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Female Marines Volunteer for ‘Historic’ Combat Training

The military is studying how women stand up to training that was previously only open to men.
Credit Expert Infantry / Creative Commons

Women are still excluded from certain areas of military service, but the Department of Defense has given branches until 2016 to eliminate "unnecessary gender-based barriers to service". Now, bases are evaluating how women fare during training that was reserved for men.

Camp Lejeune is studying enlisted female Marines who have passed their first 29 days of general training and volunteer for another 30 days of specialized training. At the end of it, their male peers can become machine gunners and missile men.

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Arts & Culture
7:59 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Third Time's The Charm: Asheville Rocker Becomes American Idol

Caleb Johnson, 23, of Asheville won Season 13 of American Idol last night.
Credit wn.com

The newest American Idol comes from Asheville. Caleb Johnson won Season 13 of the televised singing competition last night.

Johnson took the stage with Kiss. Together, he and the band performed a medley of "Love Gun" and "Shout it out Loud."

He beat out Jena Irene Asciutto from Michigan.

Third time was the charm for Johnson, who had been an American Idol contestant twice before. He only made it as far as the Hollywood auditions in previous seasons.

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Law
9:46 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Bill Would Create Fund To Buy Oregon Inlet

NC Rep. Bill Cook is sponsoring legislation that creates a fund to buy the Oregon Inlet from the federal government.
Credit Vbofficial / Wikipedia

A new bill introduced in the North Carolina Senate would allow the state to offer to buy or trade the federal government for the Oregon Inlet.

The Department of Interior took over ownership of the waterway in 1958. It charges the Army Corps of Engineers with dredging there -- being that it's an important access point for commercial fishermen and boat builders.

But state Representative Bill Cook said the feds rarely put up enough money to manage shoaling in the Oregon Inlet.

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Arts & Culture
7:48 am
Mon May 19, 2014

Grandma Sparrow: Like Children's Music for Adults

Musician Joe Westerlund's new album is Grandma Sparrow & His Piddletractor Orchestra.
Credit Spacebomb Records

Drummer Joe Westerlund is a busy man.  He plays with Triangle based band Megafaun as well as Califone and Durham's Mount Moriah.

But recently he's been working on something else altogether.  It's called Grandma Sparrow & His Piddletractor Orchestra. 

Westerlund describes it as a psychedelic children's song-cycle for adults.  It recons Frank Zappa, Monty Python and Firesign Theater.

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Business & Economy
7:37 am
Mon May 19, 2014

NC Cooperative Extension Celebrates Its 100th Birthday

The NC Cooperative Extension, which runs 4-H and other agriculture and family development programs, celebrates its centennial this week.
Credit Green N' Growing collection / North Carolina State University Libraries

Employees from the North Carolina Cooperative Extension will travel from across the state to Raleigh today and tomorrow to celebrate the organization's 100th anniversary.

The Cooperative Extension is based out of North Carolina State University and NC A&T State University. Their personnel work in every county to connect farmers with new research and technology. But the organization, which runs 4-H, is also invested in helping families in general.

Sheri Schwab is an associate director of the Cooperative Extension at NC State.

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Military
7:31 am
Mon May 19, 2014

Fayetteville Police Ready To Silence Sirens For Veterans In Crisis

The Silent Siren program seeks to make a registry of veterans with PTSD and traumatic brain injury, so police know to respond to emergencies at their homes without blaring sirens or flashing lights.
Credit Alejandro Mejía Greene/JubiloHaku / Flickr

Police and community leaders in Fayetteville are working on a local incarnation of the Silent Siren program to help veterans in an emergency.

Fayetteville police responded last week to a call from a woman whose husband, a soldier, was parked outside a Walmart threatening to kill himself. Police approached the stand off without lights, sirens and shouting.  They were able get the soldier help.

Fayetteville wants to expand that gentle approach for emergencies involving veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or traumatic brain injury.

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Politics & Government
8:44 am
Fri May 16, 2014

NCDOT Spending Targets Roadway Congestion

The state Strategic Transportation Investments law allows NCDOT to allocate revenue for projects based on data-driven scoring and local input.
Credit NCDOT

The North Carolina Department of Transportation has ranked 3,100 proposed transportation projects. They're all vying for a chunk of the $15 billion expected to be allocated in the 2015 Transportation Improvement Program.

NCDOT's Chief Deputy Secretary Nick Tennyson said the department prioritized projects that would alleviate serious, ongoing traffic congestion. For that reason, many of the higher ranked projects are in the Triangle and Charlotte areas.

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