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

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.

Wake County is hosting a networking fair today for organizations that support military personnel and their families. County leaders say the event is designed to develop stronger ties between local military groups. Randy Marsh is chair of the Wake County Military and Veterans Resource Coalition.

A state trust fund that provides money for water pollution cleanup could shrink significantly under the budget proposed by the state House. That's according to Richard Rogers, the Chief Executive of the Clean Water Management Trust Fund. He says the House budget appropriates 10 million dollars to the trust fund, 80 percent less than the 50 million proposed by Governor Bev Perdue in her budget.

The North Carolina House has proposed budget cuts that include more than $170 million from public safety agencies. Part of that spending plan would eliminate nearly 400 jobs from the court system. Officials say services like drug courts and family courts would have to make significant cutbacks. John Smith is the director of the state Administrative Office of the Courts.

John Smith: "We were prepared to reduce our positions by as many as 200 positions and felt that we could continue to provide the services. This will be double that."

The owners of a historic house in eastern North Carolina are donating it for use as an African-American history museum. The Picot-Armistead-Pettiford House has stood in the small town of Plymouth for nearly 200 years. Local folklore links the house to the Underground Railroad before the Civil War despite Census data that shows the tenants were white and owned slaves. Willie Drye is the leader of a downtown development committee in Plymouth. He says free African-Americans bought the house at auction after the war.

The Fayetteville Police Department is changing its search policies in response to accusations of racial profiling. The department stopped and searched three times more black drivers than white ones last year. That concerned local activist groups, who want a review of the traffic stops. Lieutenant Chris Davis says Fayetteville Police are now requiring officers to give a detailed written reason for each search they conduct based on probable cause.

Senators Kay Hagan and Richard Burr have joined several lawmakers who want the federal government to adopt a budget process similar to North Carolina's. Hagan and Burr have co-sponsored a bipartisan bill that would require Congress to write budgets every two years rather than annually. Lawmakers face a government shutdown if they don't agree on a spending plan before this weekend.

Ferry terminal on Ocracoke Island
ncdot.org

Some of the budget cuts under consideration by state lawmakers could lead to increased tolls for ferry services on the Outer Banks. The state Department of Transportation has come up with budget options for the state Ferry Division. One proposal would charge a 10-dollar toll for ferry services that are currently free, and double the price of other ferries. Residents of Ocracoke Island aren't happy with that idea.

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.

Pages