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

Dan Ariely is a world renowned behavioral economist at Duke University.
nrkbeta / Flickr Creative Commons

Dan Ariely credits his career to an accident that left him in a hospital bed for three years.

At age 17, Ariely suffered from third degree burns on most of his body after a chemical explosion.

It was his inability to move for long periods of time that allowed him to observe the nuances of human behavior.

Ari Berman's book 'Give Us The Ballot' looks at voting in America since the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

The modern voting rights movement starts and ends with the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The landmark piece of legislation was meant to give African-American voters open access to the polls.

Today, the law is still at the center of the debate about whether states can restrict that access.

Several states, including North Carolina, have passed new elections laws since the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, leading to both federal and state court challenges.

Image of the North Carolina Legislative Building in Raleigh, North Carolina
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Jmturner

The state Senate has passed a proposed constitutional amendment to limit income taxes and year-by-year spending increases.

Grady and Marie Jefferys
Andrew Tie

The marriage between Grady and Marie Jefferys began under uncertain circumstances.

Marie had just left a violent ex-husband, Grady had withdrawn from college, and neither of their parents approved of their relationship.

  It was a marriage that defied the social norms of North Carolina in the 1950s, when Grady started his career as a prominent Raleigh journalist and communications consultant.

Binodkpn / Wikipedia Creative Commons

Health care organizations in the Triangle have difficulty providing hospice care for terminally ill children.  End-of-life care models for children are limited in the Raleigh-Durham area.

But a new program starting in September at Transitions LifeCare will provide hospice care for 10 terminally ill children at a time.

Image of the Russell School, the last Rosenwald School in Durham County.
Phyllis Mack Horton

In the early 20th century, Sears Roebuck CEO Julius Rosenwald teamed up with educator and civil rights icon Booker T. Washington to bring formal education to African-Americans in the rural South.

Image of lethal injection table
Ken Piorkowski / Flickr Creative Commons

Legal challenges to the death penalty in North Carolina have effectively stayed any executions since 2006.

This week, lawmakers look to change that with a bill that would allow any medical professional, not just doctors, to administer a lethal injection.

Author Lori Horvitz at age 14 as an amateur magician
Lori Horvitz

For most of us, our coming-of-age stories start and end during our years in high school or college. 

They are defined by strong relationships, rebellion and that awkward junior prom.

But for author Lori Horvitz the coming-of-age story was decades in the making. When she finished writing it, the product was a collection of comedic essays that covered her childhood, adolescence and adulthood.

Each tells the story of her search for identity as a quiet, Jewish Long Island girl who was exploring her sexuality.

Image of stethoscope
Dr. Farouk / Flickr Creative Commons

People who live in rural North Carolina are still more likely to suffer from serious health problems than their urban counterparts. Rural counties show higher rates of heart disease and obesity, and rural residents have a lower life expectancy.

The recent closures of rural hospitals around the state makes those residents even more vulnerable. Research shows that systemic problems like slow economic development and spotty insurance coverage also contribute to rural health disparities.

Fayetteville teacher assistant Grace King works with first graders on sight words.
Reema Khrais

Teacher assistant positions in North Carolina have been cut steadily in recent years. And the North Carolina Senate's proposed budget eliminates funding for about 8,500 more TAs in order to hire more teachers.

Teacher assistants and researchers are split on the effectiveness of TAs. 

Host Frank Stasio talks to WUNC reporter Reema Khrais about the state of teacher assistant jobs.

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