Will Michaels

News Producer

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 anchored the student news reports, and then came full-time to WUNC. He was the Morning Edition producer for a couple of years for the station, rising before the sun to help morning host Eric Hodge gather and present the news. He is now working on WUNC's North Carolina Teacher Project.

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Politics & Government
11:31 am
Wed May 22, 2013

NC Farmers Wait For Details Of Federal Farm Bill

A tobacco crop at Strickland Farms
Credit Leoneda Inge

Farmers in North Carolina and around the country are keeping their eyes on Washington, where Congress is crafting a new Farm Bill

The Senate's version cuts more than $2 billion in agricultural spending per year, but includes about $100 billion in subsides over the next five years.  President Obama has asked Senators to find more ways to save money, including cuts to a farm insurance program.

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Health
4:55 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

UNC Researchers Map American Eating Habits

A shopper examines produce at Deep Roots in Greensboro.
Credit Deep Roots Coop

Researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill are gathering massive amounts of nutritional information to create a better picture of what Americans are eating. 

Scientists are looking at caloric data for every packaged food on the shelves and comparing that to food sales in order to see how they work into Americans' diets.  Professor Meghan Slining says the research will show how quickly manufacturers change ingredients in each product and how that changes nutrition.

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Science & Technology
7:49 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Shearon Harris Shutdown Likely To Come Up At Annual Assessment

The Shearon Harris nuclear power plant in New Hill was shut down last week.
Credit Nuclear Regulatory Commission / nrc.gov

An annual public meeting about the Shearon Harris nuclear power plant will likely raise questions about the recent decision to shut down the reactor. 

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Politics & Government
4:35 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

NC Rep. Jones Calls For US To Stop Funding Afghanistan

Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC)
Credit US House of Representatives

North Carolina Congressman Walter Jones is among those calling for an end to U.S. spending in Afghanistan. 

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Environment
1:31 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Duke Study Shows No Contamination Near Fracking Wells In Arkansas

A Marcellus Shale drill rig in Pennsylvania used in the fracking process.
Credit Ken Skipper, USGS

New tests near hydraulic fracturing sites in Arkansas show no evidence of methane leaking into groundwater supplies. A study released Wednesday from Duke University found no negative effects on drinking water near fracking operations. 

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Environment
10:06 am
Tue May 14, 2013

Aquatic Plant Pest Spreads To Eastern NC

A stem of the hydrilla plant. Biologists say the invasive aquatic weed is spreading to bodies of fresh water on the Coastal Plain.
Credit Reinaldo Aguilar / Flickr Creative Commons

An invasive plant called hydrilla is spreading from the Piedmont toward lakes near the coast. 

Biologists say the aquatic weed first found in Wake County is now on river banks in northeastern North Carolina and in lakes near Wilmington.  Dr. Rob Richardson is a crop science professor at N.C. State University.  He says the plant grows in thick patches, which can cause problems in drinking water supplies.

"Large mats have, at times, clogged turbines," says Richardson.

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Science & Technology
4:00 am
Thu May 9, 2013

NC State Uses Herbs And Spices To Clean Produce

N.C. State and University of Tennessee researchers are extracting oils from herbs and spices to use as a disinfectant for produce.
Credit NC Strawberry Association

Researchers at N.C. State say oils extracted from herbs and spices could act as a natural disinfectant for fruits and vegetables. 

A joint project with the University of Tennessee aims to find an alternative to chlorine used on produce grown for mass consumption. Dr. Penelope Perkins-Veazie is a horticultural science professor at N.C. State's research campus in Kannapolis.  She says pungent spices tend to be best at fighting harmful germs.

"They have a very distinct odor, like cinnamon, for instance," Perkins-Veazie says.

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Health
7:29 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Duke Identifies Shortcomings In HIV Vaccine

HIV microscope image
Credit Duke University

Researchers at Duke University are using a flaw in an HIV vaccine in order to develop new formulas to fight off the virus. 

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Transportation
6:00 am
Mon May 6, 2013

More Shoaling Slows Hatteras-Ocracoke Ferry As Summer Looms

A map of the channel depths shows how sand moved back into the original channel over the course of a month (Box AA). The NC Ferry Division says summer service will start as scheduled on Tuesday, using the longer alternate route.
Credit NCDOT / Facebook

The state DOT says Hatteras Inlet remains impassible in some areas as ferries prepare to switch to a busier summer schedule. 

A series of storms clogged the channel between Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands this winter, forcing crews to clear a longer detour.  A dredge has been clearing the original route, but officials say a boat bottomed out during a trial run last week.

"It's hard to say what's causing the changes there," says Jed Dixon, deputy director of the NC Ferry Division.

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Sports
6:26 am
Thu May 2, 2013

NC Sports Hall Of Fame Adds 11 New Faces, Two New Sports

Carolina Hurricanes legend Ron Francis is the first hockey player to enter the NC Sports Hall of Fame.
Credit Benjamin Reed / Flickr Creative Commons

Eleven new members are set to join the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.  Thursday night's induction ceremony and banquet marks the museum's 50th anniversary. 

Hall of Fame executive director Don Fish says the class of 2013 includes hockey legend Ron Francis, who retired a year before the Carolina Hurricanes won their first and only championship.

"It changed the face of sports in North Carolina," Fish says.

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