Tag Archives: The News Leader

The News Leader: Writing Samples

From spring 2009 to summer 2011, I was a reporter at The News Leader, a century-old daily newspaper in Staunton, VA. I was hired as a multimedia and roving reporter, but was also assigned to the agriculture and community beats. … Continue reading

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Splendor in the grass: Appreciating Augusta’s largest crop (Sunday, June 5, 2011)

Rebecca Martinez/staff MOUNT SOLON — To the untrained eye, it might just look like grass. But it’s never just grass. Not to a cattleman. The rolling fields of Augusta County are carefully planted with crops of orchard grass, fescue and … Continue reading

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High demand drives up lamb prices (Monday, May 9, 2011)

Rebecca Martinez/staff STAUNTON — You won’t find lamb on the all-you-can-eat $8.95 lunch buffet at Taste of India in downtown Staunton anymore. Lamb is huge in Indian cuisine, but at current prices, owner Ashok Kunver said it’s too expensive to … Continue reading

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Fans of unpasteurized milk buy shares of cows to avoid health laws (Monday, March 28, 2011)

Rebecca Martinez/staff STAUNTON — It’s thick. It’s creamy. It’s controversial. It’s raw milk, and it’s in quiet demand among natural food fans across the country. Bottled and refrigerated right from the cow, this milk skips the pasteurization process, during which … Continue reading

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Highland meat facility is under way (Sunday, February 6, 2011)

Rebecca Martinez/staff MONTEREY — The guide books love to point out that with a population of less than 2,500, Highland County has more sheep than people. The dry air and cool season grasses make Highland County a fine place for … Continue reading

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Farmer has big plans to make the Valley beef central (Sunday, January 30, 2011)

Rebecca Martinez/staff STAUNTON — For all the cattle raised in Augusta County, they sure don’t stick around. Calves were sold, often in lots, at the Staunton Union Stock Yards Friday. Most of them will be sent to Pennsylvania or the … Continue reading

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Trash talk: Landfill does what it can with what it’s given (Monday, January 24, 2011)

Rebecca Martinez/staff  From atop a million tons of garbage, you can see pretty far. “Nothing beats seeing the sun rise above the mountains from the top of the landfill,” said Greg Thomasson, director of Solid Waste Management at the Augusta … Continue reading

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Looking back at integration in Waynesboro (Sunday, September 12, 2010)

Rebecca Martinez/staff WAYNESBORO — Janitha “Nita” Bellamy fondly remembers being a student at Rosenwald School, which served black elementary and high school students in Waynesboro. She worked hard in class, respected her teachers and played with her friends. She had … Continue reading

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Police crack down on Commerce Ave. apartments: Patrols beefed up around low-income housing (Sunday, August 15, 2010)

Rebecca Martinez/staff WAYNESBORO — When Cpl. Steve Byrd is assigned to the north side of the city on a Saturday evening, he hits four hot spots first. First he stops at The Quadrangle Apartments, a brick complex on Fourth Street, … Continue reading

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Fresh, never frozen turkeys: Staunton farm sells birds for Thanksgiving (Wednesday, November 24, 2010)

Rebecca Martinez – ROVING REPORTER STAUNTON — One sure way to avoid a long, messy thawing process in the days before Thanksgiving is to buy a turkey that’s never been frozen. It’s a selling point for Guy Freesen, who does … Continue reading

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