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 picture of a foreclosure sign in front of a house.
Jeff Turner / Flickr

Foreclosures have slowed in recent years, but many families still struggle to pay their mortgages since the Recession.

A program set up to help North Carolinians pay their mortgage after a layoff or the death of a bread-winner has about a year's worth of money left. Bob Kucab  directs the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, which administers the program with money from the U.S. Treasury's "Hardest Hit" fund.

Jose Lopez, Durham Police Department
Durham Police Department

Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez will retire at the end of 2015, the city announced Tuesday. The department has come under fire in recent years, especially after 17-year-old Latino Jesus Huerta died from a gunshot wound while in police custody in 2013.

"The last two years have been difficult for law enforcement, but together we have weathered it in a manner in which we can all be proud," Lopez wrote in a letter to his department.

A picture of a crying person.
Joe Penna /

North Carolina's new Mental Health and Substance Abuse task force meets for the first time Tuesday.

An image of the cover for 'Criminal'
Julienne Alexander /

In 2002, a professional soccer player living in Philadelphia found himself working alongside homicide police to try and solve a grisly murder.  Adam Bruckner's story is the topic of the latest episode of the Durham-based podcast, Criminalhosted by Phoebe Judge

An image of musician Phil Cook
Middle West Management


Wisconsin native Phil Cook headed south for a new home in North Carolina 10 years ago.  Since then, he has been in a band with Justin Vernon from Bon Iver, formed Megafaun with his brother Brad Cook and drummer Joe Westerlund, and has played on or produced records by everybody from Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls to Hiss Golden Messenger.

Along the way, Phil got married, had a son and settled himself deep in North Carolina's red clay.  Now he's releasing his first solo record called Southland Mission.  Fans of Megafaun will find Cook’s new music to be groovier with a more rootsy vibe than some of that band's work, but there are hints of the past in some of the vocal harmonies and instrumentation. On the whole, the album reflects a passion for southern music that’s been growing in Cook for decades.

"I had the title of the record before I had the songs written. I liked the idea that a title for a record is a theme for your life, a theme for your music, and seems to be the title of the chapter for wherever you’re at," Cook said. "To me, Southland Mission seemed like a great way to sum up being in the South for 10 years now, and longed to be in the South 10 years before that. I had built up quite a mission in my mind about, 'What was I coming down here for?' Well, it was the music."

A picture of a slave deed.
Guilford County Register of Deeds.

Guilford County's Register of Deeds is putting bills of sale from the local slave trade on display at the International Civil Rights Center and Museum in Greensboro until October 31.

The Register of Deeds made information from these slave records available online several months ago for people doing historical and genealogical research.

County Registrar Jeff Thigpen says this new display can make the same information seem more real.

A picture of summit participants at a table in 2014.
Innovate Raleigh

Area youth and minority leaders will rub elbows with representatives from large tech firms and start-ups at the fourth annual Innovate Raleigh Summit today.

The non-profit Innovate Raleigh works to connect entrepreneurs and resources. Executive Director Jenny Hwa says the organization will study whether it's a gap in education that limits diversity in the tech industry.

An image of young kids learning to play the harmonica
National Council for the Traditional Arts / NCTA

Musicians and dancers across the country are converging in Greensboro this weekend for the 75th annual National Folk Festival.  The festival begins Friday, September 11 and goes through Sunday, September 13. It is the first time the festival has come to the Tar Heel State.

A picture of a baby born prematurely.
Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Matthew Jackson / US Navy via Wikipedia

A study from the Womack Army Medical Center shows a connection between deployments and premature delivery as well as postpartum depression.

Captain Christopher Tarney is an obstetrician and lead author of the report published in the Internet Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics. His team studied about 400 women who, throughout their pregnancies, had husbands deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A man in handcuffs.
Lionel Allorge / Wikipedia

Durham is expanding a program that allows young first-time offenders to remove a misdemeanor conviction from their record.

Previously available to 16 and 17 year olds, those 21 and under can complete the misdemeanor diversion program beginning in October. Instead of facing jail time or a fine, participants go to court, attend workshops and do community service work.

Durham Chief District Court Judge Marcia Morey says during a typical misdemeanor court appearance, an offender is able to have just a few seconds before a judge, plead guilty, and pay a fine.