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
6:00 am
Mon July 4, 2011

Transit Tax on the Ballot in Durham

Voters in Durham County will decide on a half-cent sales tax designed to increase revenue for a future rail line in the Triangle. Commissioners voted unanimously last week to place a referendum on November's ballot. It would raise more than $18 million to fund Triangle Transit Authority's proposal for a train network connecting Chapel Hill to Garner. Wake and Orange Counties decided to put off referendums until next year. Durham commissioner Ellen Reckhow says it makes sense for the county to take the lead on the project due to its central location in the Triangle.

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Arts & Culture
2:49 pm
Thu June 30, 2011

National 9/11 Flag in NC for July 4th

An American flag salvaged from the World Trade Center on 9/11 will be in North Carolina this Independence Day. The National 9/11 Flag is touring the country before going on exhibit at the September 11 Memorial Museum at Ground Zero. It arrives at the North Carolina Fourth of July Festival in Southport on Monday. Event coordinator Brad Fisher says the flag is the centerpiece of this year's festivities.

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Business & Economy
5:10 pm
Wed June 29, 2011

NC Gas Tax Rises as Prices Fall

North Carolina's gas tax will increase by 2.5 cents this week. Analysts say that will cost drivers about $20 per year while raising about $150 million for the state's transportation fund. About 60 percent of that money comes from the gas tax. The increase goes into effect Friday, just before the holiday weekend. But Tom Crosby of Triple A Carolinas says it won't stop drivers from hitting the road for Independence Day.

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Environment
2:10 pm
Tue June 28, 2011

Firefighters Contain Dare County Wildfire

Firefighters took a step forward this week in controlling North Carolina's wildfires. Forestry officials say the blaze in Dare County was fully contained Monday night. But Division of Forest Resources spokesman Chris Carlson says firefighters still face the daunting task of putting it out.

Chris Carlson: "There are some areas within the interior that are just too far to get water to, so they may continue to smolder for a while. The peat soil is deep, so the only thing that we can do is monitor it and wait for Mother Nature itself to put it out with lots of rain."

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Environment
5:50 am
Tue June 28, 2011

Electronics Banned From Landfills Friday

A North Carolina law goes into effect this week that bans electronics from landfills. Starting Friday, materials like computer equipment and televisions will have to go to local recycling facilities. Lowell Shaw of Wake County Waste Management says the law keeps elements in electronics hardware like cadmium and mercury from seeping into groundwater.

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Politics & Government
6:00 am
Mon June 27, 2011

NC Tornado Victims' Extended Deadline Approaches

Victims of North Carolina's April tornadoes are entering their last week to apply for disaster aid. The Federal Emergency Management Administration extended the deadline from last week to July 5th. The extension came after the state said less than a quarter of victims who claimed they needed assistance had submitted applications. Officials also added Alamance County to the list of North Carolina disaster areas last week. North Carolina Emergency Management spokeswoman Julia Jarema says some residents are still assessing the damage done to their homes.

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Health
5:30 am
Tue June 21, 2011

Depression During Pregnancy Linked to Abuse and Eating Disorders

A study from UNC-Chapel Hill has found elevated levels of abuse and eating disorders in pregnant women who experience depression. Doctors at the UNC School of Medicine say about one-third of pregnant women with depression also experienced eating disorders. About 1 percent of the general population has an eating disorder. Doctor Samantha Meltzer-Brody is the lead author of the study. She says physicians should routinely test pregnant women for eating disorders and abuse.

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Science & Technology
5:45 am
Mon June 20, 2011

UNC Biologist Part of National Plant Study

A biologist at UNC-Chapel Hill is one of 15 scientists chosen to join a national plant research program. Dr. Jeff Dangl studies how plants recognize and respond to diseases. His research is part of a $75 million grant awarded last week by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Dangl says the program has wide implications for human health and the environment.

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Environment
3:10 pm
Thu June 16, 2011

Dare County to Update Public on Wildfire

Dare County Commissioners are holding a series of public meetings next week to address long-term implications of the wildfire there. The blaze started more than six weeks ago when lightning struck in an area of peat soil near Stumpy Point. Firefighters say it could smolder for months and light new fires. Some commissioners worry that could keep visitors from coming to the Outer Banks this summer. Warren Judge is the chair of the Dare County Board of Commissioners. He says smoke conditions vary day by day based on wind direction.

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Politics & Government
5:05 pm
Wed June 15, 2011

Stricter Rules for Teen Drivers Considered

North Carolina lawmakers are considering a bill that would require drivers under 18 to log 120 hours behind the wheel before getting a license. A parent or other qualified adult would have to sign off on the log. However teens could wait and get their licenses without taking driver's education classes when they turn 18. Lawmakers say the bill comes from recommendations by a task force charged with reducing teen highway deaths. State Department of Transportation spokeswoman Greer Beaty says the agency supports parents' involvement in teaching their children how to drive safely.

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