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.

Ways to Connect

A stamp of heroin.
Psychonaught / Wikipedia

Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone suspects five deaths in his eastern North Carolina county in the past two weeks were caused by unintentional drug overdoses.

photo of a unisex bathroom sign
Tombe / Wikipedia

A high school student is petitioning the Wake County Public School System to create a policy allowing transgender students to use the restroom that corresponds with their gender identity.

CJ Lewis's petition on change.org has more than 600 digital signatures.

A picture of a man using an e-cigarette.
www.vaping360.com / Vaping3650/Flickr

The number of underage teens who smoke cigarettes has dropped since regulators began imposing stiff advertising restrictions in the 1970s. But a new report from the Centers for Disease Control says the number of young people who say they're exposed to ads for electronic cigarettes has skyrocketed.

A picture of the BCBS NC Headquarters in Durham.
Jed Record / flickr.com/photos/jedstr/14797220372

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is scrambling to make things right for customers who purchased their own health insurance.

Image of Greensboro Skyline
Beyonce245 / Wikimedia Commons

Greensboro's economy is recovering from the recession, according to the city's annual growth and development trends report.

Planning Department Director Sue Schwartz says the recession hit Greensboro early, when the local textile and furniture manufacturing jobs moved overseas. Schwartz says aviation manufacturing jobs are making a difference.

"We've seen smaller scale manufacturing coming back, but we've also seen growth in the financial sector and in health care. So we're a more diversified economy, but it takes a while to get to that point."

A picture of J. Cole performing in London in 2011.
thecomeupshow / flickr.com/photos/thecomeupshow/6149980678/in/photostream/

This weekend, HBO will release the concert film from hip hop star J Cole's homecoming show in Fayetteville.

Cole returned a hero this summer after a tour to promote his Platinum album 2014 Forest Hills Drive. That's the address of his childhood home in Fayetteville.

Rap superstars Jay-Z and Drake took the stage at this performance.

Former Charlotte-resident Scott Lazer directed the concert film and the Road to Homecoming series leading up to the big show.

A drawing of a syringe.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

The Criminal Podcast tells stories of people who've "done wrong, been wronged, or gotten caught somewhere in the middle." This week, host Phoebe Judge introduces us to Martha Elliot. She's a journalist and rape survivor who, for years, was a devoted friend to a rapist and murderer on death row.

A picture of a Wake County Sheriff patch.
scoutnurse / flickr.com/photos/scoutnurse/5362436543

Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison plans to hire three new investigators to halt the increase of heavy drugs circulating in the area.

The Greensboro Police Department has been training and deploying its new Civil Emergency Unit.

Captain John Wolfe commands the 90-member team, which is most often mobilized to observe and respond to public demonstrations. The CEU trains several times a year. Wolfe says it has learned from the mistakes of departments who have sent untrained officers to deal with tense protesters.

A picture of a homeless man bundling up on a bench.
Ed Yourdon / flickr.com/photos/yourdon/4299779303

Freezing temperatures led Wake and Guilford County homeless shelters to issue a white flag alert Monday night, allowing anyone who came to the shelters a guaranteed safe place to spend the night.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Barrett Smith said an arctic air mass is responsible for the cold snap. Temperatures have dropped more than 50 degrees since the warm spell around Christmas.

Optical fiber used for high speed internet.
Michel Tronchetti

What began as a fiber optic network for a more efficient traffic light system in Greensboro could mean better Internet access for the Triad.  Greensboro laid a fiber network for its traffic signals seven years ago.  But much of that high-speed cable is going unused. 

Carolina Panthers Logo
Carolina Panthers

In pro-football, the Carolina Panthers captured the NFC's Number 1 seed for the first time in their history with a 38-10 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

Quarterback Cam Newton says the Panthers are just two home game wins from reaching the Super Bowl.

"We find our edge in playing in front of our home crowd," Newton said.

"Everything just feels just right. We don't have to necessarily travel to a hostile environment, you know, when this is our house and hostile for our opponents to come through."

A set of three security cameras on the side of a church all pointing in the wrong direction in Durham, North Carolina.
Ildar Sagdejev / Wikipedia

County sheriff offices across North Carolina are now offering security training for churches.

Eddie Caldwell of the North Carolina Sheriff's Association said churches began asking for help after the mass shooting at a church in Charleston, S.C. this summer.

Richard Foster / Flickr Creative Commons

A study from NC State University found that more than 40 percent of young American adults have moved away from home, but they aren't financially self-reliant.

People walk past erosion on the beach caused by Hurricane Ophelia on Kure Beach, N.C. in 2005.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Kure and Carolina Beaches are closed until spring for a roughly $10 million beach nourishment project. Sand dredged up from the ocean is being used to replenish the eroding beaches.

Balabhadra (left), Subhadra (center) and Lord Jagannath (right) on display at a temple in Bhubenswar, India.
Krupasindhu Muduli / Wikipedia

Pilgrims flocked to the Hindu temple in Morrisville this weekend to celebrate the installation of three new deities there.

Trilok Pillai of the Hindu Society of North Carolina says about 1,000 people came to honor Lord Jagannath, who is considered by some Hindus to be a form of the protector god Vishnu. Jagannath  was installed with his brother and sister deities, Balahadra and Subhadra.

Pillai says the temple was already well attended, but he expects the new installations will draw more faithful.

Carolina Panthers Logo
Carolina Panthers

Quarterback Cam Newton led the Carolina Panthers to their 18th-straight regular season victory Sunday. They beat the New York Giants 38-35.  Newton threw for five touchdowns to build up a 28-point lead before New York stormed back to tie it with less than two minutes remaining.

A picture of a homeless man and a shopping cart.
Matthew Woitunski / Wikipedia

Greensboro's homeless population is now guaranteed a safe place to spend the night when the weather drops to dangerous temperatures. This "white flag" emergency system was created after the city's two shelters turned people away on such nights last winter because they reached capacity.

Dave Mascarenas took a dangerous dive into the La Brea tar pits searching for police evidence.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

Maybe your idea of a typical crime scene is set in a ransacked hotel room or a dark alley.

But Los Angeles Police Sergeant Dave Mascarenas doesn't investigate crimes on land. He heads up the LAPD's dive team, and one of his most harrowing adventures is the subject of this week's Criminal podcast, hosted by Phoebe Judge

Criminal is a podcast recorded at WUNC.

A picture of a traffic stop
Ildar Sagdejev / Wikipedia

Greensboro's police chief is reporting a steep drop in racially disparate traffic stops.

A picture of a bed in an emergency room.
Jacob Windham from Mobile, USA / Wikipedia

North Carolina would need to increase the number of beds at its psychiatric hospital in Butner by 165 percent to get the waiting list down to one day.

Researchers from UNC's Gillings School of Global Public Health published their findings in the journal Psychiatric Services.

Ashley Hentze, left, of Lakeland, Fla., gets help signing up for the Affordable Care Act from Kristen Nash, a volunteer with Enroll America, a private, non-profit organization running a grassroots campaign to encourage people to sign up for health care, T
Chris O'Meara / ASSOCIATED PRESS

It's the last day to sign up for a health insurance plan under the Affordable Care Act that begins January 1.

Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez speaks to a group of concerned citizens during a community meeting in Durham, N.C., Monday, Feb. 18, 2008.
AP Photo/Gerry Broome / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Durham is launching a national search for a new chief of police.

City Manager Tom Bonfield asked current Chief Jose Lopez to step down after residents and City Council members reported deep dissatisfaction with the police department. The 59-year-old Lopez will retire at the end of the month.

Durham spokeswoman Beverly Thompson said it will be crucial that the new police chief be experienced and prioritize communication with the public.

Robert Cohen captured the image of Edward Crawford throwing a tear gas cannister during a protest in Ferguson, Missouri. The photo went viral and won a Pulitzer Prize.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

It's been more than a year since Michael Brown was shot and killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo. The incident drew a wave of news stories and protests that sometimes turned violent.

Criminal host Phoebe Judge talks with a man who became an icon of the demonstrations in Ferguson. That's the subject of this week's episode. Criminal is a podcast recorded at WUNC.

A picture of a poultry house.
Joe Valbuena / USDA

A worker at a Perdue Farms contract poultry operation in Richmond County has been arrested and charged with four counts of felony animal abuse. An advocacy group's undercover video showed workers kicking the birds like footballs and spinning them by their heads to break their necks.

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