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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Business & Economy
9:34 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Tar Heel State In Bottom-Third Nationally For Financial Literacy; What We're Doing About It

The North Carolina Bankers Association has set up a new center to develop curriculum that can help state residents better manage their finances.
Credit Kenteegardin / Flickr

Banks, businesses and non-profits are joining forces to help North Carolianians take control of their money.

A report from the finance web site WalletHub found that the Tar Heel State ranks in the bottom-third nationally for financial literacy.

Jan Dillon is the director of the new North Carolina Center for Financial Literacy.  She said financial literacy is knowing the skills to live comfortably within one's means, like budgeting, saving and planning.

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Education
8:45 am
Wed April 23, 2014

North Carolina A&T Nursing School: Future Uncertain

North Carolina A&T School of Nursing
Credit North Carolina A&T

North Carolina A&T's nursing degree program is in peril after the UNC Board of Governors decided to temporarily suspend enrollment.

In 2010 and 2011, fewer than 75 percent of A&T's nursing school passed the National Council Licensure Examination on the first try.  That could have terminated the program, but the Board of Governors gave the nursing school two more years to get passing scores above 85 percent.

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Business & Economy
8:04 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Cary Tells You Where You Can Put That Cracked Patio Chair

Residents of Cary can now place bulky #2HDPE plastics in their curbside recycling bins.
Credit Cary

Starting today, residents of Cary can recycle even more waste materials.  In addition to soda bottles and milk jugs, Cary will accept bulky #2 HPDE plastic in its curbside recycling bins.

Solid Waste Division Manager Bob Holden said that includes old patio furniture, storage bins, and garbage cans.

“We listened to our citizens,” Holden said. “Our citizens wanted us to look for more ways to recycle more things. And working with our contractor, they found a domestic market that would accept these specific items to make paint cans out of them.”

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Business & Economy
7:35 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Raleigh Planner Leaves For The Big Apple

Raleigh Planning Director Mitchell Silver is leaving to become the Parks Commissioner of New York City.
Credit City of Raleigh

Raleigh is bidding farewell to its planning director.

Mitchell Silver took the post in 2005, when Raleigh was a mid-sized city grappling with rapid population growth. Silver says the city was able to ride the wave by becoming an attractive place to live and work.  He cites changing density and zoning ordinances, building the Raleigh Convention Center, and revitalizing Hillsborough Street and Cameron Village as successes.

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Science & Technology
7:32 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Research Shows The Civil War, Trail Of Tears Impacted Cherokees’ Physical Development

A study from NC State University shows that traumatic experiences, like the Civil War and the Trail of Tears, had an impact on the way Cherokee skulls developed at the time.
Credit NCSU

New research from North Carolina State University has found a connection between historical stressors and physiological development in the Cherokee nation. 

In the late 19th century, anthropologist Franz Boas measured the skulls of adult Cherokees from groups who had grown up as the nation was split. Some were driven west on the Trail of Tears, and others fled to the Smoky Mountains for safety. 

NC State Forensic Anthropologist Ann Ross analyzed that data and found that Cherokees from both groups developed smaller skulls with different shapes.  

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Education
5:00 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

UNC’s New Grading System Could Show What That ‘A’ Is Really Worth

Starting this fall, UNC student transcripts will offer grades alongside the median score and ranking among classmates.
Credit UNC / insidehighered.com

Student transcripts from the University of North Carolina will look pretty different this fall. Beyond course grades and GPAs, the records will also include the median grade and where the student ranked among their classmates.

Sociology Professor Andrew Perrin is leading the charge for the transition to "contextual grading."

“I think this is both about reinforcing our ability to offer excellent education and then also being faithful and fair in our reporting about how well we think students have actually performed in the classroom,” Perrin said.

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Arts & Culture
7:38 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Merge Turns 25 in Durham

Merge Records is hosting a series of events at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park and Duke Gardens to celebrate its 25th anniversary.
Credit Merge Records

It's a big year for Merge Records. The Durham-based label is celebrating its 25th birthday with a series of events, which has included concerts, limited release recordings and a 25K run.

Mac McCaughan and Laura Ballance founded the label in Chapel Hill to promote their band, Superchunk. A quarter-century later, dozens of other celebrated artists have jumped on board, including the Grammy-winning Arcade Fire.

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Business & Economy
9:17 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Park Service Hustles To Staff Cape Hatteras Seashore With Lifeguards

Lifeguard funding has been cut for the Cape Hatteras Seashore. Now, the National Park Service is looking for contractors who can help tighten belts while staffing three beaches with lifeguards.
Credit Creative Commons

The National Parks Service is trying to keep at least a few lifeguards on the Cape Hatteras Seashore this summer.

Federal officials cut the $200,000 program that staffed three beaches seven days a week during the summer.

Now, Outer Banks Group Superintendent Barclay Trimble said he wants lifeguard service contractors to offer bids that can accommodate a tighter budget.

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Environment
9:11 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Federal Cuts Slow Dredging, Fishing At Oregon Inlet

Federal funding cuts are limiting the state's ability to dredge the Oregon Inlet.
Credit Vbofficial / Wikipedia

Federal budget cuts are making it harder to keep a shipping channel open on the Outer Banks.  Fishermen use the channel to get in and out of Oregon Inlet under the Bonner Bridge. 

Bob Sattin is the Chief of Operations with the Wilmington District of the Army Corp of Engineers.  He said one dredge is working to clear the inlet, but paying for it is a problem.

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Environment
8:56 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Some Energy Speculators Drop Drilling Leases In Lee County

North Carolina has not yet allowed drilling for natural gas in its Triassic shale basins.
Credit NC DENR

Energy speculators snapped up natural gas drilling leases over Lee County's Triassic shale in a frenzy in 2009. But some energy speculators have begun relinquishing their claims.

In February, Denver-based WhitMar Exploration walked away from a leasing agreement for more than 2,700 acres. That's according to records at the Lee County Register of Deeds.

WhitMar declined to comment to WUNC, but told other media outlets that North Carolina is moving too slowly on hydraulic fracturing.

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