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

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.

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

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.

A picture of a highway traffic jam.
Simon Forsyth / Flickr

Wake County Officials have unveiled a 10-year Recommended Wake County Transit Plan. It would expand bus service, create a Bus Rapid Transit system, and build a 37-mile rail line from Garner to Durham.

Carolina Panthers Logo
Carolina Panthers

The Carolina Panthers claimed the NFC South with a 41-38 victory over the New Orleans Saints yesterday.

An American Airlines Boeing 777-200 from London-Gatwick landing at RDU in 2005.
Ken Thomas / Wikipedia

Officials at Raleigh Durham International Airport say coming infrastructure upgrades will not interfere with plans for a direct flight to Paris.

A map of North Carolina's Interstate highways.
Algorerhythms / Wikipedia

Congress has has approved a five-year highway bill that would designate two planned routes from the Triangle to coastal ports as future interstate highways. They include a corridor from Raleigh to Norfolk, Virginia, and from Garner to Morehead City, then continuing to the Wilmington area.

Jay Price / WUNC

Updated at 9:40 a.m.

A lockdown has been lifted at UNC-Chapel Hill and at Chapel Hill/Carrboro schools after unconfirmed reports of an armed person at the Carolina ROTC building.  Someone spotted a man carrying a long case that could contain a rifle or shotgun.

A picture of a round wall thermostat.
midnightcomm / Flickr

County social service agencies are now accepting applications for the state's Low Income Energy Assistance Program. Qualified LIEAP applicants will get a one-time credit to be applied to their utility account.

A bunch of red balloons.
LeAnn E. Crowe / Flickr

It's World AIDS Day, a time when health educators work to raise awareness about the threat of HIV/AIDS. The state Department of Health and Human Services estimates that more than 36,000 North Carolinians are living with HIV

A drawing of a bank bag and money before a Texas flag.
Julienne Alexander / Criminal

Bank robbery is an American criminal tradition, with heists laying the scene for some of Hollywood's most exciting movies.

In this week's Criminal podcast, host Phoebe Judge talks with Clay Tumey, a Houston man who became a real-life bank robber. That's the subject of this week's episode of Criminal, a podcast recorded at WUNC.

Clay Tumey had always been fascinated by bank robber: For him, it was a romantic, exciting crime. His friend Audrey Fernandez recalls Tumey chatting about plans to rob a bank, even as a teenager.

Voter Sticker
Vox Efx on Flickr

The NAACP is seeking an injunction to halt the state's new voter identification law in the March primary elections.

Litigation over the law was put on hold until January, after legislators amended it this summer. Under the revised law, voters who don't have state-issued IDs must fill out a form explaining why they couldn't get one.

North Carolina NAACP President Rev. William Barber says an amendment to the law now requires voters without IDs to fill out a form explaining why they couldn't get one. Barber says that's confusing and intimidating.

A picture of an elderly couple holding hands.
Garry Knight / Flickr

The federal Administration for Community Living has awarded Orange County $900,000 over the next three years to help make the community a more inclusive place for families touched by Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

A picture of a young man with his head in his hands.
Sander van der Wel / Wikipedia

More adults are coming under the legal authority of guardians. Many adults who are declared incompetent by a court have a relative who takes over guardianship. But for those who don't, the state takes over that role.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said in an e-mail that there were about 3,000 adults with public guardians in 2007. That number is expected to double by about 2017.

A picture of a folded wad of cash. / Flickr

Wake County Commissioners voted yesterday to raise the pay floor for county employees to $13.50 per-hour.