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

An image of the Supreme Court
Kjetil Ree / Wikimedia Commons

The United States Supreme Court issued a decision today upholding tax subsidies under the Affordable Care Act. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the court's opinion.

Three justices, the court's most conservative members, dissented. The decision allows 460,000 North Carolinians to continue to receive subsidies for their health insurance.

Image of wedding rings
Robert Cheaib / Flickr Creative Commons

The U.S. Supreme Court will soon rule on whether states can ban same-sex marriage. The right to marry could be extended to more same-sex couples, but will they actually decide to get married?

Research shows about half of the American population thinks they are just as well off if marriage is not a top priority. And the gaps in marriage rates are widening with respect to race and education.

Voting sign

A lawsuit that challenges North Carolina's voting law is on hold after state lawmakers passed more changes to photo ID requirements. 

The delay in the case comes just days after the General Assembly approved a bill that eases some of the restrictions on which identifications are acceptable at the polls.


Both sides in the lawsuit asked for more time to figure out how the new rules might affect their cases, but they are racing against the countdown to North Carolina's 2016 primary elections coming up in March.

Image of Joel Bourne
Andrew Tie / WUNC

Eastern North Carolina native Joel Bourne was living down the road from his family farm at the end of the Green Revolution in the mid-20th century.

At that time, newly modified wheat seeds produced an agricultural boom that allowed farmers across the world to grow more crops than ever before. It was the answer to a growing crisis of food scarcity.

Emanuel AME Church, Charleston, SC
Howard Arnoff / Flickr

A gunman shot and killed nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, on Wednesday evening. 

Police arrested a 21-year-old white man from Lexington, South Carolina, Dylann Roof. 

Host Frank Stasio talks about the latest with NPR correspondent Debbie Elliott

Image of 19th Century Trade Card About Lorillard
Boston Public Library / flickr.com/photos/boston_public_library/9443176515/

With the completion of a $29 billion merger, the Lorillard Tobacco Company ends in Greensboro.

The tobacco giant that had roots in 18th-century New York and created the top selling menthol cigarette brand, Newport, has officially been absorbed by Reynolds American and Imperial Tobacco in a three-way deal.

Meanwhile, Greensboro is grappling with a bill in the legislature that would redraw city council districts and cut the number of members from nine to seven.

Image of Eric Wilson, who is a professor of English at Wake Forest University and the author of 'Keep It Fake.'
Wake Forest University

Eric Wilson argues that the often-said phrases "shoot straight from the hip," "tell it like it is," and "keep it real" are all fallacies.

We regularly create less-than-authentic identities, whether it is through Facebook profiles, plastic surgeries, or tuning into a news channel that simply verifies our opinions, according to Wilson.

But he also says we should embrace the ways we choose to show ourselves, even if they are "fake." After all, if everything is fake, then everything is real, too.

Image of a 3-D visual effect in this painting by Mackey Bane.
Lee Hansley

North Carolina artist McDonald "Mackey" Bane says her first art class in college was a disaster.

She promptly changed her major to science, but was drawn back to art when notable modern artist Gregory Ivy gave a class at the Woman's College of the University of North Carolina, which later became UNC-Greensboro.

Image of Michelle Miller, the author of 'The Underwriting,' a corporate satire of Wall Street and Silicon Valley.
Sasha Israel

Michelle Miller’s life has taken her from her hometown of Asheville to the depths of two important economic engines in America – Wall Street and Silicon Valley.

She studied business at Stanford, got a job at financial giant JP Morgan, and then gave it all up to become an author. She wrote a 12-part online serial last year, drawing on her experiences from the financial and tech worlds.

Image of Darren Hanlon, who will open the Back Porch Music on the Lawn concert June 11.
Darren Hanlon

Darren Hanlon grew up in a small town in Queensland, Australia with American legends like Kenny Rogers playing on the turntable.

His early musical education, a month in the Australian desert, and an Amtrak trip through the American South informed the kind of artist he is today; a roots music singer-songwriter with a passion for lyrical and narrative tracks.