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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Wild Horses
5:15 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

BLM to auction off wild horses, burros

The Bureau of Land Management will auction off wild horses at the Wyoming Honor Farm in Riverton Saturday morning. Wild horses have no natural predators in Wyoming, so the BLM captures the horses and hosts adoptions to control the population and prevent forage scarcity. BLM Wild Horse Specialist Steve Fluer says buyers adopt wild horses for pleasure, novelty, ranch work, and a variety of other reasons. "They’re very agile. They’re very sure footed. They come in a variety of colors. Kinda the mystique to the American public… they’re sort of a legend in the sense.

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Open Spaces
4:28 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

May 18th, 2012

This well pad near Pinedale is outfitted with a variety of green features meant to capture ozone-causing emissions.
Willow Belden
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Open Spaces
4:03 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

Casper’s yard waste ban could save the city big bucks

The Casper Landfill grinds the city’s discarded branches into woodchips of varying grains, which is sells to commercial operations and the public. The city’s new yard waste ban will likely increase the amount of compost and woodchips the landfill produces
Rebecca Martinez

Casper has begun banning grass clippings and other yard waste from the trash that goes into their landfill. Officials expect it to save the city tens of thousands of dollars, but people who are into living green are pretty excited, too. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez reports.

(sound of mulch mower cutting grass)

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News
6:04 am
Thu May 17, 2012

Buffalo Bill Museum wraps up renovations

The Buffalo Bill Historic Center in Cody will host a “First Look” at the museum’s reinstallation. The Buffalo Bill Museum recently wrapped up a two-year campaign, during which it raised 2-point-7-5 million dollars to cover renovations and update technology.

Executive Director Bruce Eldredge says the museum will offer updated website components, videos and smart phone apps that share additional information about objects in exhibit.

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News
6:18 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Wyoming microbreweries unveil collaboration beer

It’s American Craft Beer Week, and Wyoming microbrewers are unveiling their collaborative effort on tap.
This spring, the state’s 13 microbreweries gathered at Wind River Brewing Company in Pinedale to make the country’s first 100-percent participation collaboration brew.

Steve Simpson is the head brewmaster at Snowy Mountain Brewery, and came up with the idea for the project.

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Open Spaces
4:33 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

May 11th, 2012

Election year politics are derailing efforts to improve Wyoming’s economy.
President Obama is chiding Congress for not acting on his slimmed down plan to spur economic growth in Wyoming and elsewhere. Matt Laslo reports from Washington that election year politicking is expected to derail this latest effort to get the economy moving.

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News
7:15 am
Fri May 11, 2012

WY 130 to open early

Wyoming Highway 130 between Saratoga and Centennial could open two weeks early this year because of mind winter weather.

The Wyoming Department of Transportation is working to remove remaining ice and snow. Tim McGary is WYDOT’s district maintenance engineer for Southeast Wyoming.

“We’ve had significantly less snow up there – in a lot of places less than 50 percent of the normal snowpack – so we have had to use a lot less equipment and we started earlier because a lot of the road was already bare.”

Animal Welfare
5:46 pm
Tue May 8, 2012

Humane Society video spurs investigation at Wheatland factory farm

 

Authorities are investigating a factory pork farm in Wheatland after the Humane Society filed a complaint about harsh treatment of pigs there.

The Humane Society sent an undercover investigator to work at Wyoming Premium Farmsfor an unknown period of time, where she filmed workers kicking piglets and punching sows. The group sent complaints and videos to the Platte County Sheriff’s Office and the Wyoming Livestock Board.
The sheriff was unavailable for comment, but Jim Siler of the Livestock Board says they’ve begun investigating conditions at the farm.

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News
6:22 am
Tue May 8, 2012

Gov. Mead opposes BLM’s oil shale plan

Gov. Matt Mead says he opposes a federal proposal to reduce the amount of public land in Wyoming available for possible oil shale development.

Last week, Mead sent a letter to the Bureau of Land Management to disagree with their plan that would exclude oil shale development in places with wilderness characteristics and in areas of critical environmental concern.

Oil shale development involves extracting a petroleum-substance called kerogen that can be cooked and potentially turned into a liquid fuel. The process is known to use a lot of water.

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News
6:56 am
Mon May 7, 2012

Pavillion residents feel betrayed by EPA report delay

A group of Pavillion residents says Wyoming officials betrayed them by delaying the release of information tentatively connecting hydraulic fracturing with groundwater pollution in the area.

An Associated Press investigation shows that Gov. Matt Mead convinced the Environmental Protection Agency to delay its draft report on the contamination by a full month. Mead and other state officials used the extra time to try and debunk the findings before they could harm the oil and gas industries.

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News
6:24 am
Mon April 30, 2012

Wyoming hires seven OSHA consultants

Wyoming has hired seven new Occupational Safety and Health Administration safety consultants to improve workplace safety in the state.

Workplace safety has been a real problem in Wyoming. The state ranked among the top two in the nation in workplace fatalities in eight of the last nine years. 

John Ysebaert of Workforce Services will oversee the program. He says that, instead of doling out fines for workplace safety violations, the OSHA consultants willhelp small businesses to develop and comply with safety requirements on a voluntary basis.

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News
6:18 am
Mon April 30, 2012

Casper yard waste ban begins this week

Casper residents should think twice before tossing yard clippings in the garbage. In May, the city will begin implementing its ban on putting yard waste in dumpsters to be landfilledas a cost cutting measure.

Casper has a composting program that turns yard waste into wood chips and compost for soil, but branches, grass, leaves and other organic matter still make up about 18-percent of what the city pays to put in the landfill.

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Open Spaces
4:32 pm
Fri April 27, 2012

April 27th, 2012

Bob Beck

 

Douglas residents react to Chesapeake Energy gas leak
This week, there was an explosion at an oil rig near Douglas. Natural gas spewed from the well, and about 50 people were evacuated from their homes. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden visited Douglas shortly after the accident and put together this montage of residents’ reactions.

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Open Spaces
4:07 pm
Fri April 27, 2012

Cody looks to summer tourism season, braces for rising gas prices

Analysts are making conflicting predictions about where gas prices will go this summer. Some are forecasting record highs, while others say prices at the pump have already peaked. Businesses in Wyoming’s service industry hope for the latter, as they depend on an injection of tourism dollars each summer. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez spoke with several businesses near Yellowstone about what might happen if gas prices climb with the temperature.

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Open Spaces
7:12 pm
Fri April 20, 2012

April 20th, 2012

 

Increase in coal exports on the horizon
There are more new ports designed for coal export being proposed in the U.S. and Wyoming’s Powder River Basin coal producers are training their eye on the developments. With some of the most efficient economies of scale in the world, a larger percentage of PRB coal could be making its way across the ocean soon. What would that mean for Wyoming and the global community? Irina Zhorov reports. 

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News
5:45 pm
Mon April 16, 2012

Casper police say that huffing is a growing problem

 

A Casper woman who huffed compressed air before causing a fatal car crash will spend at least eight years in prison. Heather Marie Christensen, 39, plead guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide last week.

Authorities say in November, she and her friend, Richard Condelario, 50, bought dust cleaner at Walmart before driving toward Christensen’s home.

Christensen says she doesn’t remember striking another vehicle, orthe wreck that killed her friend.

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Buford
5:42 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

New owner will sell Vietnamese goods in Buford

Vietnamese media have identified the buyer of Buford, Wyoming. Pham Dinh Nguyen placed the winning bid of $900,000 at auction last week, giving him a month to finalize payment and take over the 10 acres marketed as “The Nation’s Smallest Town.”

Sole Buford resident Don Sammons paid $155,000 for the property in 1992. Adjusted for inflation, that's about $250,000 today.

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Water
2:36 pm
Thu April 12, 2012

State engineer to restrict well development in Laramie County

 

The Wyoming State Engineer’s Office has announced that groundwater pumping in eastern and central Laramie County will be restricted for the next year-and-a half.

State Engineer Pat Tyrrell  says groundwater levels in the area have been declining since the 80s.  He says his office has allocated water for irrigation, municipal use and the oil and gas industry primarily through temporary water use agreements.

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Scam
6:00 pm
Tue April 10, 2012

Sec. Maxfield warns about snail mail scam

The Wyoming Secretary of State’s office is warning businesses to be on guard against a fraudulent solicitation letter that appears to be a government document.

Businesses in other states, including Colorado, have received what appears to be an Annual Minutes Disclosure Statement, asking them to fill out information and pay a fee in order to comply with state and federal law.

Secretary of State Max Maxfield says the form might look like an official government document, bear an official-looking seal, and quote other laws.

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Open Spaces
3:35 pm
Fri April 6, 2012

Buford, Wyoming auctioned off to foreign bidders; after 30 years, Population: 1 retires to CO

The Buford Trading Post closed in December, when owner Don Sammons – the lone resident of Buford – decided to retire. The 10-acre “town” was auctioned off Thursday for $900,000.
Rebecca Martinez

 

Listen to the story

An Oklahoma-based company auctioned off Buford, Wyoming Thursday afternoon. For a winning bid of $900,000, the property will move to the control of two unnamed businessmen from Vietnam. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez has more.

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News
11:08 am
Fri April 6, 2012

Buford sells for $900,000

Bidders and spectators from around the area and around the world flocked to Buford, Wyoming today/yesterday for the auction of what’s been called “The Nation’s Smallest Town.”

Four months after the doors of the Buford Trading Post were shuttered, the parking lot was once again filled with cars and trucks. Williams and Williams, the Oklahoma-based auction house, re-opened the Trading Post to sell of Buford’s 10 acres and five buildings, which include the service center.

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News
11:06 am
Fri April 6, 2012

Gas prices continue to climb in Wyoming

Gas prices have risen quickly in Wyoming over the past month in keeping with national trends.

The average statewide cost reached $3.61 per gallon this week. That’s almost a 47-cent increase from a month ago, according to GasBuddy.com, a company that tracks prices at gas stations across the U.S. and Canada.

Wyoming’s average gasoline cost is still $.28 cheaper than the national average.

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Open Spaces
1:33 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Sheep shearers travel further, work harder to meet rising demand

Rindy Harkness, 30, runs Top Notch Shearing and Fitting, a contractor that shears sheep in seven states, including Wyoming. In the off season, Harkness shears in Australia and New Zealand
Rebecca Martinez

The American sheep industry has exploded in recent years, causing many producers to expand their operations. But more sheep means more people are needed to shear them, and the number of professional shearers has declined over the decades. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez tagged along with a Wyoming-based shearer during a gig in Douglas and filed this report.

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Municipalities
4:53 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

What makes a town? Here’s the Census Bureau’s definition

Buford, WY is famous for its population of one. And with the upcoming auction of Buford, it has drawn the interest of people who might like to own what’s marketed as “the nation’s smallest town.” So what does it take to make a town? 

 

Amy Bittner is senior economist at the state Economic Analysis Division, and her office is the contact for the state’s census data center program.

 

 “Essentially, cities and towns are incorporated places. They have an official boundary, they have a local government,” Bittner says.

 

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ROADWAYS
4:51 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

WYDOT gears up for statewide repairs

Wyoming motorists can expect some delays around roadwork projects planned for this summer. The Wyoming Department of Transportation plans to begin repairs on 31-million dollars-worth of flood damages on the state’s roads.

Cody Beers is a spokesman for WYDOT’s District 5, which covers most of central and northwest Wyoming. He says increased snowpack and the long cold winter caused heavy, concentrated flooding in his area, especially outside of Yellowstone National Park.

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Livestock
5:38 pm
Wed March 14, 2012

Stock Growers Assoc. promotes cattle health warranty

Cattle-ranching is hard enough without having to worry about Bovine Tuberculosis and Brucellosis.

A national company, U.S. Livestock Producers, has begun selling warranty packages to ranchers who want to insure their herd against certain diseases. Among those covered is Bovine Brucellosis, which is spread by elk and Bighorn sheep, and has recently caused cattle losses in Northwestern Wyoming.

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Open Spaces
4:29 pm
Fri March 9, 2012

Wyoming has big plans for the state’s film industry

Listen to the story

The Wyoming Film Office has grand plans for the state’s film industry, and it’s making progress. A prime-time network sitcom, and a major Hollywood movie have filmed here in the past year, but shooting in the Cowboy State still brings its own challenges. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez filed this report.

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News
4:21 pm
Fri March 9, 2012

Kenny Sailors to be inducted to Hall of Fame

Former Cowboys Basketball star and three-time All American Kenny Sailors of Laramie will be inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in Kansas City, Missouri this fall.

Sailors, who is now 91, is the second Cowboy to join. His first college-level coach, Everett Shelton, was inducted in 2006.

“Ev was the greatest coach I’ve ever played for, and I’ve played for about 25, 26 coaches,” Sailor said. “He had a real knowledge of the science and tactics of the game of basketball that I frankly don’t think a lot of coaches have today.”

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