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.

Ways to Connect

A new facility for the treatment of HIV, AIDS and other infectious diseases opens today in Greensboro. It's a joint project between Moses Cone Memorial Hospital and HIV/AIDS care providers in North Carolina. Doctor Jeff Hatcher is the medical director of the clinic. He says it's the only infectious disease facility in the state that offers several different services in one place:

North Carolina's first Invasive Plants Awareness Week begins today. State officials are encouraging residents to keep aggressive vines like kudzu and wisteria out of their gardens. Experts say invasive plants can wipe out large areas of vegetation native to North Carolina.  Debbie Crane of the North Carolina Nature Conservancy says they can also deal a blow to the state's tourism industry.

Wolfpack mascot
www.ncsu.edu

N.C. State and Loyola University are discussing legal issues related to their common use of the Wolfpack mascot. Both schools have used the mascot since the early 20th century, but N.C. State registered a trademark in 1983.

Triangle Transit Authority wants to hear from residents about plans for expanding bus and rail lines as the population grows. Transit experts will be on hand at a series of meetings this week to present a proposals for Wake, Durham, and Orange Counties. The U.S. Census Bureau expects more than a million more people will be in the Triangle by 2030. Brad Schulz of Triangle Transit says this week's meetings get under way tonight in Raleigh:

Safer Road Edges

Mar 23, 2011
dot.gov

The North Carolina Department of Transportation is trying a new resurfacing technique intended to help drivers who drift off the road. A pilot program is starting Johnston County that uses a piece of paving equipment called the Safety Edge. Crews add a 30 degree angle of asphalt between the surface of a road and the shoulder. Current resurfacing projects leave a vertical drop-off at the edge of roads, which is filled in with loose materials, but can erode over time.

Harrier at night aboard USS Kearsarge
26th MEU

Marines from Camp Lejeune are part of the coalition conducting air-strikes on Moammar Gadhafi's forces in Libya. The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit joined attacks yesterday. Officials said they were successful in destroying military targets near Bengazi. Marines in the 26th began their deployment by aiding refugees of massive floods in Pakistan last August.

A food distribution program at UNC-Wilmington is opening a food processing center this week for local farmers. The center will act as a way to deliver locally grown fruits and vegetables to area schools and restaurants. Farmers can store their goods at the center and make a profit from distribution.

Leslie Hossfeld is a co-founder of the program that sponsors the food center, called Feast Down East. She says the facility has partnered with more than 70 restaurants in Wilmington:

A local newspaper called The Garner Citizen is no longer circulating. Owners say their revenue wasn't keeping up with production costs. Officials with the Audit Bureau of Circulations say newspaper circulation nationwide dropped nearly 9 percent last year. The last print edition of the Garner Citizen was delivered yesterday morning. Founder and executive editor Barry Moore says the paper was losing subscribers as fast as it gained them:

North Carolina State University is reorganizing many of its departments and services to prepare for more budget cuts. The plan includes eliminating at least five high-ranking positions and merging different student services under one roof. State officials have told public schools to prepare for budget cuts of as much as 15 percent. N.C. State has seen budget cuts every year since 2007.

Duke Energy Corporation is providing a $10 million line of credit for next year's Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. The credit was required by the Democratic National Committee as part of the agreement to bring the convention to the Queen City. The contract also says the convention's host committee must raise more than $36 million to cover production expenses. 

Fix A Leak Week

Mar 14, 2011
The EPA's Fix a Leak Week
epa.gov

Local utilities officials in the Triangle are encouraging residents to check for plumbing leaks in their homes this week. Durham and Cary have partnered with the Environmental Protection Agency in the "Fix a Leak Week" campaign. It works to inform utilities customers about how to check for leaks and step up efforts to conserve water. Cary's director of public works and utilities Steve Brown says toilet leaks are the most common:

Methamphetamine labs are on the rise in North Carolina. That's according to state officials who say drug makers are finding new ways to produce it. The number of meth labs had dropped dramatically in 2007, when state lawmakers passed a bill limiting sales of decongestant medicines containing pseudoephedrine. That's a key ingredient in methamphetamine.

Attorney General Roy Cooper says meth producers are now making the drug in smaller batches to get around the law and avoid detection:

A brown pelican that ended up in Canada after after being blown off course by Hurricane Earl has arrived in North Carolina. A wildlife organization in Nova Scotia nursed the injured seabird after it was found there last September. The species' natural habitat generally extends from the coast of northern Virginia to Peru. The pelican, nicknamed Ralph, arrived at the Outer Banks Wildlife Shelter in Newport this morning after he was deemed healthy enough to travel. 

Clinic supervisor Maria Rush says the first step in Ralph's rehabilitation is reintroducing him to his own kind.

The Chatham County Board of Commissioners has votedto ease energy efficiency regulations for new and renovated county buildings. The decision repeals a policy that required any county construction projects of 20,000 square feet or more to include certification from Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Commissioners say the new policy will save money by allowing for more ways to design the county's new judicial facility.  Chatham County manager Charlie Horne believes the county can maintain a high standard of energy efficient buildings without having LEED certification.

ncturnpike.org

State transportation officials say drivers will pay 15 to 24 cents per mile to drive on the Triangle Expressway when it's complete. The North Carolina Turnpike Authority announced this week drivers will be charged electronically to use the road. The state will start selling transponders this fall that connect to a prepaid account. Sensors on the road will deduct 15 cents per mile along the way. Drivers don't have to buy a transponder, but cameras will photograph their license plates and send a bill through the mail for 24 cents per mile. 

Fayetteville Police officers will receive training from the U.S. Justice Department about how to avoid racial profiling. That's according to city manager Dale Iman. He says he asked for help in response to concerns raised by local activist groups. Statistics from last year show police searched three times more black drivers than white ones in Fayetteville. The Justice Department says that trend holds across the country. Iman says he welcomes the training,  in addition to training from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. 

Entrepreneurs in the Triangle have the chance to tell the federal government how it can help grow their businesses. The U-S Small Business Administration will host a roundtable in Durham today to gather ideas for reducing small business regulations. S-B-A press secretary Hayley Meadvin says Durham is the first stop in the series of meetings called Startup America.

Section of off-road Greenway in North Carolina
Dave Connelly, greenway.org

The East Coast Greenway Alliance is moving its national offices to Durham this spring to work on trails in the South. The Greenway is a network of biking, jogging, and walking trails that run from Maine to the Florida Keys. More than 80 percent of trails in North Carolina follow roadways.

Students at Wake Technical Community College will face serious consequences if they decide to smoke on campus. College administrators hope new regulations that go into effect today will compel students to comply with the school's tobacco-free policy. Wake Tech spokeswoman Laurie Clowers says the new level of enforcement involves strict disciplinary action. 

"The third offense will result in a three-day suspension from classes. And after that if students refuse to cooperate or there are more than three offenses, they will be suspended for the remainder of the semester."

weather
noaa.gov

North Carolina's Severe Weather Awareness week is underway. Meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Raleigh say it's the time of year when the threat of thunderstorms and other severe weather returns to the area. Among this week's events is a statewide tornado drill Wednesday morning. Meteorologist Darin Figurskey says seasonal weather changes can cause twisters to develop during the spring and summer months.

defense.gov

New barracks at Fort Bragg will improve the way the fort treats wounded soldiers. That's according to officers with the fort's Wounded Warrior Battalion. They say the building will consolidate operations from nine facilities to one. Major Dennis Small is the executive officer of the battalion. He says the new barracks advance a recovery process that already works.

A video gaming convention in Asheville is bringing together game developers and scientists to discuss the future of science-based games. The conference is called Gaming the Future. It will unveil a climate change game called Fate of the World. Gaming the Future spokeswoman Karen Tessier says the convention brings a new industry to western North Carolina. 

"Asheville has quite a reputation for art, design, technology, and science. There are several hundred scientists working here. We already have some other gaming companies locating here, which we're quite excited about."

A wildfire in Cumberland County has destroyed about 1,000 acres of woods since Monday afternoon. The blaze continues to burn about five miles south of the Cedar Creek community in Fayetteville. State officials say firefighters are successfully controlling the fire. But Brian Haines of the North Carolina Forest Service says it's too early to tell exactly when crews will have the fire fully contained.

A North Carolina historian says a recent storm revealed a shipwreck on Hatteras Island. Scott Dawson was exploring a remote area of the island last week with friend Matthew Farkas when they came across a 20-foot-long steel vessel with a square-shaped bow. Scientists think the ship might have been a ferry or transport ship for troops during World War II. Dawson says the front of the ship was sticking out of the sand almost entirely intact.

Village leaders on Bald Head Island say their deer population is near the limit the island can support. One solution they're considering is shooting female deer with contraceptive-laced darts. But biologist Robbie Norville of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission says most wildlife contraceptives simply aren't effective.

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