Will Michaels

Producer, "The State of Things"

Will Michaels is a fan of news, sound and story. He started as an intern at WUNC when he was a student at the University of North Carolina. As a part of his internship, he worked for a semester on the daily national show, The Story with Dick Gordon. Will concentrated on radio while at college, studying under veteran NPR reporter Adam Hochberg. He began as a reporter for Carolina Connection, UNC's radio news magazine, and then became an anchor and managing editor for the program in 2009, when it was named the best college radio news program in the country by the Society of Professional Journalists.

Will came back to WUNC in 2010 as the producer for Morning Edition for a couple of years, rising before the sun to help morning host Eric Hodge gather and present the news. In 2014, he produced WUNC's My Teacher series, part of the North Carolina Teacher Project. He is now a producer for The State of Things.

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The State of Things
12:06 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Expanding The Gender Spectrum

Laverne Cox giving a speech in 2013. Cox was the first transgender person to appear on the cover of TIME magazine earlier this year
Credit UMKC / Flickr Creative Commons

    

November 20 is the Transgender Day of Remembrance. It is meant to honor those who have died from violence against transgender people.

On top of the hostility, those who do not identify themselves within the historical definitions of gender struggle with daily issues from filling out the gender section on medical forms to using a public restroom without ridicule.

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The State of Things
11:55 am
Wed November 19, 2014

A Chapel Hill Playwright's Social Commentary On World War I

A scene from World War I at the North Carolina Veterans Memorial
Credit Universal Pops / Flickr Creative Commons

  

At the peak of the Great Depression in the 1930s, legendary Chapel Hill playwright Paul Green collaborated with composer Kurt Weill to create a socially conscious musical about World War I.

In fact, Johnny Johnson was a blend of comedy, tragedy and satire. The musical pits a pacifist American against The War to End All Wars.

The title character is thrust into it after his girlfriend threatens to leave him for lack of patriotism, but Johnny finds his lighthearted and joking nature does not mesh with the horrors of war. 

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The State of Things
11:40 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Javier Diaz de Leon Advises Mexicans In North Carolina As Washington Talks Immigration Reform

Javier Diaz de Leon
Credit Consulado General de Mexico en Raleigh

    

Nearly 30 percent of immigrants in the United States are from Mexico, but migration between the two countries is changing. A study from the Pew Research Center indicates this country is at the tail end of the largest wave of immigration in American history.

And in North Carolina, more families are permanently relocating here rather than traveling for temporary work.

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The State of Things
11:39 am
Thu November 13, 2014

NPR's 'Ask Me Another' Comes To Durham

Ophira Eisenberg
Credit NPR

  

The comedy of Ophira Eisenberg includes many elements of her former dating life like lamenting about online dating and unreasonable expectations from your partner.

The charming brand of stand-up allowed Eisenberg to make a seamless transition to radio as host of the NPR trivia program Ask Me Another.

The show features contestants guessing about everything from Shakespearean soliloquies to the names of French pastries.

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The State of Things
11:36 am
Tue November 11, 2014

Understanding And Treating PTSD In The Military

Credit U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

    

Nearly one in five veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will be diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

That’s a sobering statistic for the researchers and psychologists who are trying to understand and treat PTSD. It also means more veterans than ever are suffering from PTSD’s debilitating symptoms.

But the research is yielding new treatment strategies and veterans are finding new ways to fight the severe depression and anxiety that comes with the disorder.

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The State of Things
12:06 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

NC Justice Department Investigates Problems At Asheville PD

Credit Osajus / Flickr Creative Commons

  

The state Justice Department is looking into allegations of administrative failure at the Asheville Police Department.

One lieutenant says he faced retaliation for raising concerns about outdated equipment and a short staff of patrol officers. Another says Police Chief William Anderson asked him to lie during an SBI investigation of the chief’s son.

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The State of Things
12:15 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Election Analysis On The State Of Things

Voter Sticker
Credit Vox Efx on Flickr

    

Republican State House Speaker Thom Tillis defeated incumbent Senator Kay Hagan in one of the most-watched and most expensive races in the country. Hagan's defeat was one of several nationwide that gave Senate control to the GOP.

At the state level, the Republican party maintained control of both houses of the legislature.

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The State of Things
1:37 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

What To Do With A Surplus Of Hog Waste In Eastern North Carolina

A hog waste lagoon in Beaufort County, NC. The lagoon turns pink when bacteria colonize the waste.
Credit DefMo / Flickr Creative Commons

  

It’s been an environmental quandry for years: what to do hog waste in North Carolina.

The state is home to nearly 9 million hogs, which produce massive amounts of waste.

Some of it goes back onto the farms of eastern North Carolina as fertilizer, but much of it is stored in open-air lagoons, which have been known to contaminate groundwater and produce a putrid smell for nearby homes.

A new technology exists to convert the waste into energy but it is not affordable for most hog farmers.

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Health
4:32 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

State Health Secretary: NC Needs Federal Cooperation To Expand Medicaid

Credit Morgan via Flickr/Creative Commons

State health secretary Aldona Wos says North Carolina would likely need to change some of its Medicaid rules to expand the program under the Affordable Care Act. 

The health care law offered to pay for expanded Medicaid through 2016, but North Carolina was one of 24 states that rejected the expansion last year.  Gov. Pat McCrory said the state's Medicaid program was broken, and was not confident the federal government would cover the costs. 

But Wos says Medicaid is now more stable, and she plans to present the governor with options for expanding Medicaid. 

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The State of Things
11:49 am
Tue October 28, 2014

DHHS Evaluates The State Of Medicaid In North Carolina

Credit North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

    

North Carolina’s Medicaid program covers 1.7 million people at a cost of $14 billion per year.

The program for low-income and disabled residents has had a turbulent past. Last year, computer glitches created a long backlog of applications and payments for providers. And Medicaid has been a question mark in the budget, causing cost overruns for several years.

But health officials say the system is improving enough that the state could reconsider expanding Medicaid to half a million people who do not have health insurance.

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