Rebecca Martinez


Phone: 307-766-2405

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.


Open Spaces
11:53 am
Thu January 5, 2012

November 4th, 2011

Open Spaces
11:49 am
Thu January 5, 2012

October 21st, 2011

Open Spaces
10:56 am
Thu January 5, 2012

September 30th, 2011

Mine Layoffs
5:31 pm
Wed January 4, 2012

Wyodak coal mine lays off dozens of workers

Black Hills Corp.

Twenty-one employees and 13 temporary workers at the Wyo-dak coal mine near Gillette have been laid off as the mine has cut back hours of operation.

Black Hills Corporation owns the mine and says it’s no cause for alarm; the most recent production contract simply reached its termination date.

Greg Hager (HAY-gur) of Black Hills says coal mining in the Powder River Basin is a competitive business, and coal consumer companies can take their pick of sites.

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Teen Suicide
4:57 pm
Wed January 4, 2012

Missing teen committed suicide

Carey Junior High School in Cheyenne is remembering a teenage boy who took his life this week. An employee of the Union Pacific Railroad found the body of 13-year-old Alexander Frye early Tuesday morning.

Lew Simpson, a spokesman for the Cheyenne Police Department, says volunteer search parties had been looking for him since his father reported he’d run away early Sunday.

Simpson says it’s disheartening to know a child in the area experienced such despair.

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5:10 pm
Mon January 2, 2012

Falling prices could slow Wyoming gas development

Natural gas prices have declined steadily in recent months. The price of gas produced at the Opal Hub in south central Wyoming has dropped by about 60 cents since June.

Jim Robinson is the senior economist for the state Economic Analysis Division. He says gas development has grown in Wyoming, but it’s increasing drastically in other states as well, including Pennsylvania and New York.

7:16 am
Mon January 2, 2012

Oil and gas jobs up in 2011

Oil and gas jobs in Wyoming rose sharply in 2011, according to the state Economic Analysis Division.

There were more than 18,000 drilling, mining and support jobs in Wyoming as of November. That’s almost 3,000 more than a year before.

State Senior Economist Jim Robinson says these jobs are a subsector of the mining industry, and this growth is a sign of a thriving energy industry.

3:58 pm
Fri December 30, 2011

State sales and use tax collection up in 2011

Wyoming collected more sales and use taxes this year than last. The state brought in almost 28 million dollars more by the end of November. That’s almost a 10-percent increase over the same period in 2010.

Wyoming Senior Economist Jim Robinson says Natrona leads all Wyoming counties in increased sales and use tax collections.

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Yellowstone Over-Snow Travel
3:53 pm
Fri December 30, 2011

Yellowstone will transition completely to over-snow travel this weekend

Roads in Yellowstone National Park will open this weekend to guided snow coaches and snowmobiles.
Associated Press

This week's heavy snow in western Wyoming will allow Yellowstone National Park to transition completely to over-snow travel Saturday morning.

Yellowstone’s “snow season” officially started December 15, when park roads were only open to guided rubber-track snow coaches. Until this week, however, there wasn’t enough snow for snow mobiles to travel over the roads. 

Park spokesman Dan Hottle says that’s changed, so now commercially guided snow coaches and snowmobiles will have access to most major roads through the park, though some parts remain dicey.

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Bank Robbery
3:44 pm
Thu December 29, 2011

Laramie police search for armed bank robber

The gunman who robbed the First Interstate Bank in Laramie Wednesday wore a hat and beard and avoided looking at security cameras.
Laramie Police Department

Police are searching for a man who robbed a Laramie bank at gunpoint Wednesday afternoon.

A bearded man wearing a black cowboy hat and wielding a chrome or silver-colored pistol robbed the First National Bank on Grand Avenue before leaving on foot.

Laramie Police Commander Mitchell Cushman said it was a low-key robbery. No one was injured, and some people in the bank didn’t even realize it was happening.

Cushman says that’s not the work of a nervous amateur.

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Low Gas Prices
5:31 pm
Wed December 28, 2011

Low gas prices mean more travel, more shopping

Unleaded gas at the Gasamat in Laramie cost $2.73 Wednesday.
Rebecca Martinez Wyoming Public Media

Low gas prices since Thanksgiving means Americans feel better about traveling this holiday season, and Wyoming has some of the lowest gas prices in the region.

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Wyoming Snowfall
1:34 pm
Tue December 27, 2011

Wyoming should expect more snowfall

Associated Press

Wyoming’s in a dry spell. The Natural Resources Conservation Service says the state’s river basins are at 80-percent of their average rainfall. Wyoming Tourism has expressed concern about the lack of snowfall near Jackson during the holiday travel season.

But the state’s luck is about to change, according the National Weather Service.

Meteorologist Charles Baker says a strong La Niña climate pattern meant many Wyoming basins received an excess of snow last year.

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4:58 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

Frazil Ice Strikes Jackson

Frazil Ice
Army Corps of Engineers

Anchor ice has been wreaking havoc on some Jackson residents and businesses this week. Also called frazil ice, it’s a rare phenomenon in which the river freezes from the bed up, so flowing water spills out from the sides of the waterway.

Teton County Emergency Management Coordinator Rich Ochs says Jackson’s Flat Creek is one of the few places in the country with prime conditions for anchor ice to form, winter after winter. Ochs says this year has been particularly tough because of the constant freezing temperatures.

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Bullying report
5:37 pm
Wed December 14, 2011

Bullying is on the rise in Wyoming schools, study shows

Wyoming Department of Education

TheBullying is on the rise in Wyoming middle and high schools, according to a new report by the Wyoming Department of Education.

2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey allows students to anonymously share their experiences regarding a host of health risk behaviors including sex, intentional and unintentional injury, unhealthy diet and exercise, and the use of tobacco, alcohol and drugs.

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Barrasso GOP
4:00 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

Barrasso elected chairman of GOP Policy Committee

Senate Republicans have elected U-S Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming to become G-O-P policy committee chairman.

The policy committee chair is the fourth most senior position in the Republican Party, and Barrasso says he’s honored to be chosen.

On his website, he says he intends to work with Republicans as they brainstorm ways to create jobs, cut spending, develop energy resources and protect the country.

8:01 am
Tue December 13, 2011

Northeastern Wyoming could be a carbon sink

The U.S. Geological Survey has published a study examining the current and projected carbon storage in the Great Plains region, including Northeastern Wyoming.

Carbon dioxide is the most common greenhouse gas in Earth’s atmosphere. The study found that the region to be a “carbon sink,” meaning the trees, grasses and soils absorb more carbon dioxide than the area emits into the atmosphere. For now. Jonathan Smith of the U-S-G-S says that could change if people are not careful.

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10:16 am
Mon December 12, 2011

Wolverine research to be highlighted

The Wildlife Conservation Society is releasing reports from its research about wolverines in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The first article will run in the Journal of Wildlife Management this spring, and the reports are meant to guide management practices for the species.

Wildlife Conservation Society wolverine researcher Bob Inman says little was known about wolverines before this research, but the animals are pretty cool.

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Open Spaces
12:05 pm
Sat December 10, 2011

Sheep ranchers: “The best of times… the worst of times”

Riverton rancher Pierre Carricaburu examines sheep before fall shearing.
Rebecca Martinez

Listen to story

With soaring lamb and wool prices, raising sheep has recently become more lucrative than ever for Wyoming ranchers. Even with the payoff, raising sheep is a tough job, and poses the same challenges it has for thousands of years… And the number of sheep ranchers in Wyoming has been on the decline for years. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez reports.

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4:33 pm
Fri December 2, 2011

UW Foundation could lose matching funds

When Governor Mead announced his biennial budget proposal this week, it didn’t include the 50-million-dollars in state matching funds the U-W Foundation requests, and often receives, year after year to incentivize major private donations.

U-W Foundation President Ben Blalock says he will petition the Legislature to approve the request for matching funds, which are an important fundraising tool for the university.

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HIV testing
5:53 pm
Wed November 30, 2011

Health Department offers free HIV testing statewide map of participating clinics

The Wyoming Health Department will work with public health offices and family planning clinics to offer free HIV testing statewide.

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7:14 pm
Fri November 25, 2011

Buffalo H.S. to gain mobile industrial arts lab

Buffalo High School will receive a $40,000 grant from Devon Energy. The money will go to purchase a mobile lab to offer hands-on plumbing, H-VAC and electrical experience for the school’s industrial arts program.

Principal Chad Bourgeois says the training simulators, paired with guidance from local technical professionals, will provide and edge for students. For example: a 17 year old who wants to be an electrician.

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Admissions Standards
6:10 pm
Fri November 18, 2011

Hill criticizes U-W's plan for higher admissions standards

Wyoming Superintendent Cindy Hill asked the University of Wyoming’s Board of Trustees to reconsider raising its admission standards so as not to exclude Wyoming high school students who struggle with their test scores.

Under the new guidelines, in order to be assured admission admitted, students would need three-point-oh G-P-As and an A-C-T score of 21. They would also have to take additional foreign language classes in high school. Students who don’t meet certain standards would be admitted, on condition of participating in a ‘Synergy Program’ to bring them up to speed.

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4:11 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

Head On Crash Resulting In Five Deaths May Have Been Suicide

Authorities believe a head-on crash that killed five people near Lander last week wasn't an accident but a suicide that resulted in the deaths of four others.

Seventeen year-old Mathew Denton was driving a Chevy Suburban northbound on Wyoming 789, when it crossed into oncoming traffic and collided with a Dodge caravan carrying four occupants.

Investigators found that Denton had been driving 97 miles per hour, and there was no evidence of brake marks from his vehicle or an attempt to avoid the collision, according to a Wyoming Highway Patrol statement.

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Fast and Furious
3:23 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

Rep. Lummis calls for Eric Holder's resignation

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has admitted things went wrong when the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted a firearms-trafficking sting.

Now, Congressional Republicans, including U.S. Representative Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming are calling for Holder’s resignation.

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6:18 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

Conservationists Oppose Wyomings Wolf Plan At Public Meeting


Wyoming’s proposed wolf management plan, which could remove wolves from federal protections, continues to draw ire from conservationists. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hosted the state’s only public informational meeting about the plan in Riverton Tuesday night.

Daryle Murphy of the Sierra Club’s Wyoming chapter called it a “wolf killing plan, not a management plan.” He’s talking about the plan Gov. Matt Mead and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar agreed to this summer.

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6:15 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

Game and Fish Officials Urge Hunters To Dispose Or Carcasses Properly

Three Grizzlies Chow Down On A Dead Deer
Prairie State Outdoors

The Wyoming Department of Game and Fish wants hunters to properly dispose of animal carcasses in landfills and not in the wild.

A Wyoming man was bitten by a weak, old grizzly bear while hunting near Cody last week.

Denny Hammer of the local Game and Fish office says the bear was unable to hunt and had dragged discarded carcasses to a dense area of willows where it made a day bed. The hunter surprised it when he passed, and the bear bit his leg. The man remained hospitalized for two days. Hammer says Game and Fish trapped and euthanized the bear.

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