Will Michaels

Daily News Producer

Will Michaels started his professional radio career at WUNC.

He was first an intern while studying at UNC-Chapel Hill. 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 after graduation in 2010 as the producer for the local broadcast of Morning Edition, rising before the sun to help 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 joined the team for The State of Things later that year.

In 2016, Will became WUNC's first Daily News Producer, creating content for WUNC newscasts and periodically filling in as host for Morning Edition or All Things Considered.

Outside of radio, Will holds a seat on the board of the North Carolina Governor's School Alumni Association. He attended Governor's School in 2005 for drama, and still considers himself a theatre geek at heart.

Ways to Connect

This year's harsh winter has led to a steep decline in North Carolina's shrimp catch. That's according to state wildlife officials, who say cold waters killed the majority of white shrimp in North Carolina water. That species usually spends the winter near the shore and swims out to sea around the beginning of June. Carlyle Gilgo is a seafood dealer in the town of Sealevel near Morehead City. He says he hasn't caught any shrimp yet this year.

A non-profit organization has released a report that claims private utilities are not providing affordable or healthy water to some small communities in North Carolina. The report from Clean Water for North Carolina says private companies charge their customers using a system called single tariff. It allows them to raise rates if they make more investments in water systems. Katie Hicks is the lead author of the report.

The North Carolina Shakespeare Festival has canceled its fall season for the first time in 34 years. Administrators made the decision in light of the state budget proposal, which cuts essentially all state funds for the festival. About 15 percent of the organization's $1.1 million budget comes from the state. Artistic director Pedro Silva says the festival has to start looking for other sources of funding as the next fiscal year approaches.

Sports equipment manufacturers meet with medical experts in Chapel Hill Thursday to consider ways to prevent sports concussions. The conference is meant to address research connecting concussions to dementia in retired athletes. A recent Wake Forest University study of football helmets says there is no helmet that can fully prevent concussions. But manufacturers have made progress in producing helmets that reduce the odds of a head injury. Robert Parish is the President and CEO of Jarden Team Sports, which owns the Rawlings brand of sports equipment.

North Carolina lawmakers discuss a proposal this week that would require consumers to get a prescription for medicines that contain pseudoephedrine. That's a key ingredient in methamphetamine. The number of meth labs has been on the rise lately as producers are finding more efficient ways to make it. Consumer advocates say the bill would make it difficult to buy medicine for common ailments like seasonal allergies. But Attorney General Roy Cooper says more restrictions would cut criminal activity.

Local business owners in northeastern North Carolina say the Dare County wildfire hasn't stopped tourists from coming to the beach. The blaze started more than three weeks ago and covers nearly 28,000 acres in and around the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. Forecasters say Dare County is still under heavy smoke and fog advisories for some areas. But Paul Charron says it was business as usual this weekend at his restaurant in Manteo. 

Attorney General Roy Cooper objects to the part of the North Carolina Senate's budget proposal that includes an overhaul of the State Bureau of Investigation. The spending plan released this week directs the SBI to move out from under the Attorney General's supervision. A cabinet-level secretary would oversee the bureau and the state crime lab. Some lawmakers have called for the move in light of more than 200 mishandled cases at the SBI's blood unit. Cooper says moving the SBI to another law enforcement agency would not satisfy critics.

State health officials have approved reinstating of the bachelor's program in nursing at Fayetteville State University. Chancellor James Anderson suspended the program two years ago due to low test scores and conflicts among nursing instructors. Nursing Department Chair Afua Arhin says there are now safeguards to prevent those issues.

Geologists say North Carolina's natural gas reserves in one Piedmont sub-basin could power the state for 40 years. The North Carolina Geological Survey completed research last week that suggests a basin underneath Lee, Chatham and Moore Counties is rich in natural gas deposits. State Geological Survey chief Kenneth Taylor says North Carolina sent samples to federal geologists to confirm the findings.

Jennette's Pier reconstructed, aquarium, coast,
NC Aquariums

  A historical fishing pier reopens Saturday in Nags Head after Hurricane Isabel destroyed it nearly eight years ago. Jennette's Pier was absorbed by the state Aquariums soon after the storm leveled it in 2003. The General Assembly approved an $25 million reconstruction in the 2009 budget. Aquariums director David Griffin says the new structure hardly resembles its old self. He says it now stands higher above sea level than most piers.

David Griffin: "We've elevated this

The state Department of Transportation has released a survey that identifies a need for improving bicycle and pedestrian safety. Nearly three quarters of respondents said they don't feel safe biking through their communities on a daily basis. That number was about 50 percent for pedestrians. The survey identified a lack of bicycle lanes and sidewalks as the top safety issue. But DOT spokeswoman Julia Merchant says there also needs to be a mutual respect among drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians.

A vaccination incentive program for students in Orange County's school districts is drawing criticism from some parents. The county Health Department is entering students into a drawing for an iPod or laptop if they get immunized for meningitis this month. The Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools district says it has received 19 complaints. Alan Phillips says the drawing puts undue pressure on his children to get the vaccination, which is not required to enroll in school.

Cumberland County Schools will be offering new biomedical college prep classes starting this fall. Douglas Byrd and Howard Health and Life Sciences High Schools are adding programs to areas of study within the schools called academies. Students will study in focused health and science classes while partnering with local health care providers. Suzannah Tucker of Cumberland County Schools says academies require students to gain real-world experience before they graduate.

Dozens of lawyers in North Carolina are taking their names off the list of court-appointed defense attorneys for low-income clients. The state Office of Indigent Services says it is cutting its compensation rate of 75 dollars an hour for defense attorneys. The Office's executive director says the current budget proposal leaves the department with a 12-million dollar shortfall. The department has not yet decided on a new rate of compensation. Attorney John Cox is one of about 15 lawyers from Alamance County who have submitted letters of resignation.

Doctors at UNC Hospitals are enlisting hair stylists to help detect skin cancer. The university's Cancer Care center hosts an event today called Care Behind the Chair to teach barbers about melanoma and how to spot it. Doctor David Ollila says hair stylists get a close look at melanoma problem spots like the scalp, neck and shoulders.

North Carolina military bases are on a heightened level of security after Osama bin Laden's death this week. Top commanders directed all U.S. military installations to a status called Force Protection Condition Bravo. It's the middle level of a five-stage security system. The order came Sunday morning, before President Obama announced American forces had killed bin Laden. Camp Lejeune spokesman Nat Fahy says marines and sailors are taking basic steps to ensure safety.

Surry County communications operators are testing a developing 911 call system to improve emergency response networks. A grant program is funding a test system called Next Generation 911 from Greensboro-based Synergem Emergency Services. Surry County communications director Roger Shore says the system allows 911 operators to field calls more efficiently.

Port of Morehead City
NC Ports Authority

  North Carolina agriculture leaders say the state is losing exports to neighbors like Virginia and South Carolina. State Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler told the Ports Authority board almost 90 percent of North Carolina's overseas agricultural exports leave from other states. He says it's too expensive to transport goods to the coast and ports don't have the right equipment to handle large loads.

The new exterior of CAM Raleigh
CAM Raleigh

  Raleigh's Contemporary Art Museum, or CAM Raleigh, opens at its new location tomorrow. The museum is moving from its original location in Moore Square to a newly renovated warehouse on Martin Street. Administrators host a sold-out street party there tonight. CAM Raleigh spokeswoman Rosemary Wyche says the museum is partnering with North Carolina State University to open new exhibits and host art classes.

Two North Carolina men convicted of murder say there is new evidence that shows they are innocent. Kenneth Kagonyera and Robert Wilcoxson pleaded guilty to second-degree murder charges in connection with a shooting in Buncombe County more than 10 years ago. They appear before the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission today. That panel is responsible for last year's exoneration of Greg Taylor, who spent 16 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit.

Transportation officials are slowly opening new lanes this week on Interstate 40 in west Raleigh. It's part of the North Carolina Department of Transportation's long-term plan to expand freeways in the Triangle. DOT spokesman Steve Abbot says the section of I-40 between Harrison Avenue and Highway 1 will widen from four lanes to six.

Steve Abbot: "That is one of the biggest bottlenecks of traffic in the Triangle and we widen that just to alleviate traffic, make things safer and help traffic flow better. We are on target to be finished about the end of June of this year."

Brookridge ribbon cutting
DHIC, Inc.

  Low-income people in Wake County got access some more housing options this week when officials dedicated a supportive housing development. Brookridge is a neighborhood of 40 studio apartments in south Raleigh.

Residents make 50 percent or less of the area's median income. Program manager Annemarie Maiorano says the development supports a population that is susceptible to becoming homeless or falling back into homelessness.

Students of Ben Martin Elementary School in Fayetteville are back in class after a tornado devastated the campus last weekend. Forecasters say one of Saturday's fiercest tornadoes touched down in Cumberland County with maximum winds of 140 miles per hour. Damages to Ben Martin Elementary could be more than $5 million. Principal Crystal Brown surveyed the school grounds on the day of the storm.

Woody Durham
tarheelblue.com

 

  "Snap. Spot. Kick away. High enough, long enough... It's good! It's good! Carolina has won the game on a 42-yard field goal by freshman Connor Barth. Good gosh girdy!"

 That's sportscaster Woody Durham calling the game-winning play in North Carolina's 2004 upset win over Miami. Durham announced yesterday he will retire after 40 years of broadcasting Tar Heel football and basketball games. 

Wake County Emergency Management workers continue disaster relief efforts this morning. Saturday's tornadoes and severe thunderstorms left many homeless. Emergency Operations Center manager Steve Newton says his first priority is helping those residents start the recovery process.

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