Rebecca Martinez

Reporter

Phone: 307-766-2405
Email:  

Rebecca Martinez is a general assignment reporter and host for Wyoming Public Radio. Recent features include Yellowstone warding visitors off wildlife after four people in the area were killed by grizzly bears (picked up by NPR) and one covering efforts by the Northern Arapaho Tribe to preserve its language on the Wind River Indian Reservation, (part was re-aired on National Native News). She regularly reports on agriculture and environmental issues, focusing especially on waste management and water quality. Rebecca reported a story featured in a PRNDI-award-winning episode of Open Spaces in 2011. She edited other PRNDI-award winning stories.

After earning her B.A. in Journalism and Media Design at James Madison University, Rebecca worked as a production and editorial assistant at NPR headquarters in Washington D.C., where she produced pieces and wrote scripts for Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition and Tell Me More. She arranged and scripted interviews for ME and ATC during the 2008 Presidential Election Season and helped organized live coverage on Super Tuesday in New York City.

Rebecca has reported pieces for NPR, APM’s Marketplace,  the BBC/PRI’s The World, National Native News, WAMU-FM in Washington, D.C. and the CBC. Before coming to Wyoming Public Radio, Rebecca moved to Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, where she covered the agriculture, environment and community beats at the News Leader, a century-old newspaper in Staunton. She continued audio reporting by producing Soundslides videos for the newspaper’s web site. Much of her reporting focused on the cattle industry, water and soil quality issues, and the effects of environmental legislation on farmers.

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News
5:11 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

Hogadon Ski Area postpones opening day

Warm weather has caused Casper’s Hogadon Ski Area to postpone its opening day. The slopes were set to open this Saturday, but Anna Wyttenback of Casper’s Leisure Services Department says they’ll push it back more than a week in hopes of some 15° or colder days, when they can start making snow. Wyttenback says Hogadon isn’t worried about its ski season yet.

“I think we’ll cross that bridge as we get there, but we’re definitely hoping for a snowfall like we had last winter. And we’ll just have to wait a little further into December and see how that goes.”

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News
4:52 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

Playing with food: Laramie carries on turkey curling tradition for charity

Members of the Clucker Chuckers chase a sliding turkey down the ice at Laramie’s annual turkey curling food drive to benefit local charities.
Rebecca Martinez

Curling has developed a competitive following in Laramie in recent years… but the age-old winter sport has developed a softer, sillier side once a year to benefit local charities. Wyoming Public Radio’s Senior Poultry correspondent Rebecca Martinez attended the town’s annual Turkey Curling tournament last weekend and filed this postcard.

 

REBECCA MARTINEZ: Turkey curling is ridiculous, in a really fun way.

(Ambi: “Yeah, baby!”) (Ambi: Curling sounds)

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Business
4:12 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

What could a second Obama term mean for energy, the environment?

During the campaign season, many fossil fuel developers dreaded the idea of a second term for President Obama.

Bruce Hinchey of the Petroleum Association of Wyoming says during the last four years, it’s been harder to secure oil and gas leases on federal land, get drilling permits, and have environmental impact statements approved.

But Bob Spencer of the Equality State Policy Center says it’s prudent for the administration to strike a balance between mineral production and preserving land for wildlife and public enjoyment.

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Open Spaces
4:49 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

November 16th, 2012

Health Department director proposed new Medicaid Idea 
One of the costs that continues to grow in Wyoming’s budget is the cost of Medicaid.  Lawmakers were so distressed that they ordered the Department of Health to look for ways to control those costs. Department of Health Director Tom Forslund has proposed a plan to address the issue.  But first he explains why those costs have gone up.

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Open Spaces
4:11 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

The Importance of Being A Loser

Author Scott Farris can empathize with famous political losers. He was once the Democratic nominee for Congress to Wyoming, but lost to Barbara Cubin in 1998. Farris takes a look at the legacies of some notable-yet-unsuccessful presidential candidates in his book, “Almost President, the men who lost the race but changed the nation.”

This year, Mitt Romney garnered attention for a hard-fought campaign followed by a gracious acceptance speech. Scott Farris tells Rebecca Martinez that speech is a crucial part of every election.      

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News
9:41 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Jackson Hospital CEO Says Parts Of The Health Care Overhaul Will Remain

The fate of the Affordable Care Act has been a contentious issue in this year’s election season.

President Obama promises to stand behind the law, which promises certain benefits to families and, especially to women.  Gov. Mitt Romney has vowed to repeal the law because it will be too expensive.

Physician Louis Hochheiser is the C-E-O of St. John’s Medical Center in Jackson. He said that he thinks insurance companies are likely to still offer these benefits, regardless of who is elected president.

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Open Spaces
4:10 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

November 2nd, 2012

Riverton House and Senate Debate Recap
On Thursday night, candidates for U-S House and Senate gathered in Riverton for a set of debates. They answered questions ranging from how to address the Medicare shortfall … to their views on climate change and the energy industry. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck was one of the moderators … and he joins Willow Belden from Riverton to talk about the debate.

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Open Spaces
3:34 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

St. John’s CEO is optimistic about ACA benefits to women

The fate of the Affordable Care Act has been a sticking point for both presidential candidates. Mitt Romney has said he intends to repeal it, while President Obama has promised to protect the promises it makes to reform parts of the healthcare system. Dr. Louis Hochheiser, CEO of St. John’s Medical Center, has studied the ACA, and says the law is already breaking down barriers, especially for women.

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Open Spaces
4:33 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

October 26th, 2012

Gov. Mead reflects on GREG report, promises cuts
The Consensus Revenue estimating group came out with projections that lawmakers will have about 85 million more dollars to spend this session.  The CREG report is main tool government officials use to forecast how much money the state will have.  Governor Matt Mead joins Bob Beck to discuss the report and the impact it has on his budget as he prepares to present it in December.

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News
5:10 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

New water rights bill would allow holders to change use, help fish

Representative Rosie Berger of Big Horn is sponsoring a bill that would allow water rights holders to temporarily change their use to benefit certain fisheries areas in the state.

Under current law, if a private citizen wants to restore in-stream-flow on his property, he must permanently donate his water rights to the state. Also, holders can lose their water rights if they don’t use them to their full extent. Berger’s bill would allow holders to retain water rights, even if they stop irrigating part-way through the summer… thus leaving more water for the fish.

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News
5:23 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Wyoming’s unemployment rate dropped in September

The state unemployment rate dropped to 5.4-percent in September, giving Wyoming the 6th lowest rate in the country.

Senior Economist David Bullard of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services says the state economy seems to be growing stably.

“There appears to be growth in construction, as well as mining, including oil and natural gas… growth in accommodation in food services, and local government, which includes public schools, colleges and hospitals. So there are a number of sectors that appear to be growing around the state.”

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News
5:21 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Mead calls broadband access the new 'railroad', hopes will spur growth and connectivity

Governor Matt Mead says the future is bright for technology in Wyoming. At the first Wyoming Broadband Summit in Cheyenne today, Mead highlighted recent progress in improving Internet access across the state. In 2011, access to high speed downloads grew from 54-percent to 85-percent of the population, according to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and Federal Communications Commission.

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News
4:43 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Wind River Reservation could lose trash disposal services

The Wind River Indian Reservation could lose its trash disposal services if the tribes there do not negotiate a new contract with Fremont County before the existing one expires on December 14th.

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Solid Waste, Election
4:35 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Teton County must decide how to pay for new landfill cap

Voters in Teton County will decide next month whether an existing excise tax should cover the capping and remediation of the old Horsethief Canyon Landfill, among other waste management improvements.

The landfill has been closed for 23 years, but groundwater contamination has been discovered at the site and the Department of Environmental quality requires that the county re-cap the landfill and mitigate further contamination.

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State Treasurer
4:10 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Wyoming GOP seeks new State Treasurer

The Wyoming Republican Party is seeking applicants for the position of State Treasurer.

Republican Treasurer Joe Meyer passed away last week, and Governor Matt Mead formally notified the GOP of the position vacancy on Wednesday. Under state law, the party has 15 days to select three finalists for the job, and the governor will pick the new treasurer.

Wyoming Republican Party Chair Tammy Hooper says the next state treasurer will have some big shoes to fill.

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Natural Gas
3:23 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Dealerships, state could profit from market for natural gas vehicles

Wyoming Natural Gas Vehicle Infrastructure Coalition member organizations

This week, Governor Matt Mead announced three winners of bids to sell natural gas powered cars to the state of Wyoming. This is part of a 22-state effort to create national demand for vehicles that would be powered by the fuel that is plentiful in Wyoming.

The Wyoming dealerships selected to sell the vehicles to the state are Fremont Motor Company, Fremont Chevrolet-GMC and Spradley Barr.

Karl Florence is the fleet manager for Fremont Motors, and is a member of the The Wyoming Natural Gas Vehicle Infrastructure Coalition.

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News
6:24 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Salazar visits Cheyenne, gives green light to America's largest wind project

US Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar

The US Department of the Interior has authorized America’s largest wind energy project to be built in Wyoming, south of Rawlins.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar visited Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne this morning. He authorized the Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project, which would cover almost 220,000 acres and generate up to 3,000 megawatts of power.

Salazar says he’s proud that the project has put the Department over its goal to generate 10-thousand megawatts of renewable energy on public land in 2012.

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Open Spaces
4:38 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

October 5, 2012

Wisconsin hunters set up camp above the Gros Ventre River, where they're pursuing deer but some Wyoming hunters are targeting wolves.
Jennifer Tennican

Wyoming's Wolf Hunt Begins

Nearly 3,000 hunters have purchased permits to target wolves in Wyoming's first regulated wolf hunt, which began on Monday. Conservation groups, meanwhile, are preparing to challenge Wyoming's approach in court. As of Thursday, hunters had reported killing six wolves since opening day. Rebecca Huntington has more.

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Open Spaces
3:27 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Northern Arapaho tribal entities work to preserve their language in the face of extinction

Arapaho Preschool
Rebecca Martinez

HOST: The number of Northern Arapaho tribe members who speak their native language is dwindling. Tribal entities have been working for decades trying to preserve the language. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez reports that they’ve been having mixed success.

(Sound: kids speaking Arapaho)

REBECCA MARTINEZ: Tribal elder Alvena Oldman is the director of an Arapaho language immersion preschool in Ethete.

OLDMAN: Hinono’ Eitiino’ Oowu’. Arapaho Language Lodge.

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News
6:25 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Wyoming's Unemployment Rises Slightly

Statewide unemployment rose slightly in August.

The Wyoming Department of Workforce services says it was 5-point-7 percent, rising a tenth of a percent from the month before, but is lower than the same month last year. It remains well below the national average jobless rate of 8-point-1 percent.

Senior Economist David Bullard says Wyoming’s economy weakened during the summer.

"Bullard Natural gas prices have remained fairly low, and we’ve heard media reports of coal mines cutting back production, laying off some workers.”

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AML funds
8:59 am
Thu October 4, 2012

Rep. Lummis reacts to loss of AML funds


Wyoming Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis says it is highly unlikely that state leaders will be able to recover millions of dollars that were taken away from the state in Abandoned Mine Land funds. 

Wyoming’s AML money was capped at 15 million dollars a year.  The state had 150 million dollars to spend last year and expects to lose 700 million over the next ten years. 

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News
5:50 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Wyoming cost of living rises

The cost of living in Wyoming rose in the second quarter of 2012, compared with the same time last year. That’s according to the state Economic Analysis Division, which calculated a 2.4-percent inflation across six cost of living categories, including rent and food prices. Wyoming Senior Economist Amy Bittner says that’s higher than the national average. “The us over that same time period, measured by the US Consumer Price index was 1.7 percent,” Bittner said. Bittner says a 3.4-percent rise in the cost of rent statewide accounted for a large portion of the state’s inflation.

News
5:45 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

UW job fair reflects a boost in hiring prospects for students

The University of Wyoming’s fall job fair was Tuesday, and the students’ outlook was optimistic. A survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers projects hiring will increase 13-percent for college graduates this spring compared with the same time in 2012.  The number of businesses represented at the fall job fair rose slightly this year, from the mid-80s to low-90s.

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University of Wyoming
5:42 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

Trustees might keep candidates for next UW president position a secret

David Bostrom, President of UW Board of Trustees

The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees met today to discuss the selection process for President Tom Buchanan’s replacement. Buchanan will leave UW next summer.

In the past, U-W has brought finalists for the job to visit with students and faculty. But under the new plan, the Trustees wouldn’t release the candidates’ names to the public until the new university president has been chosen.

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News
5:48 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

Interest high in Wyoming wolf licenses

As of Monday morning, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department has sold more than 800 wolf tags.  

Wolves were delisted in Wyoming last month, and this is the first time hunters have been able to buy licenses to hunt them in the state.

Before a hunter can shoot a wolf in one of the 12 legal hunting areas, he or she has to call an 800-number to confirm the wolf harvest quota hasn’t been reached. After a wolf is killed, the hunter has to call an 800-number again to notify Game and Fish of the kill.

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Open Spaces
4:24 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Volunteers make EMS possible in rural Wyoming, but numbers are dwindling

An ambulance staffed a team of experienced first-responders can make a world of difference in an emergency. This is especially true in rural Wyoming, where the hospital can be an hour away or more. What many people don’t realize is that most of Wyoming’s Emergency Medical Services – or EMS – workers are volunteers, and their numbers are dwindling. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez filed this report.

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Healthcare
9:11 am
Fri September 14, 2012

Noyes clinic’s sudden closure leaves healthcare void in Baggs

The Little Snake River Rural Health District is looking for someone to operate a clinic in Baggs.

The unexpected closure of the Noyes Health Care Center in Baggs has left the rural area with almost no access to healthcare.

Bagss Mayor Kathy Staman  says the clinic ceased operation one day in March with no more notice than a posted sign saying it was closed.

The Baggs town attorney, Tom Thompson, decline to comment on the clinic closure, and Noyes clinic board members could not be reached for comment.

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Wildfire
12:57 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Wildfire consumes house near Upton

The Cemetery Fire, burning two miles east of Upton, has consumed about 235 acres.

Weston County Fire Warden Daniel Tysdal says crews have been working hard and making progress.

“The fire was staffed all night with volunteers and we’ve got additional crews coming in today.”

Tysdal says the blaze destroyed one house and several out-buildings. Nine residences remain within the fire perimeter, but evacuation orders for the surrounding area have been lifted.

Tysdal says he’s optimistic fire crews will have the blaze 100-percent contained today.     

Drought
8:13 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Wyoming could be at risk of fire until snowpack develops

The National Weather Service says Wyoming might not see relief from drought and fire danger until it starts snowing.

For much of the summer, the NWS has issued “Red Flag Warnings” across the state.

NWS Forecaster Paul Skrbac says these warnings mean that low humidity and heavy winds make it even easier for dry plant matter to catch fire.

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