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

NC General Assembly; State Legislature.
Dave Crosby / Flickr Share-Alike

The North Carolina legislature gave final approval to a $21.7 billion budget early Friday morning. The vote ended a stalemate that pushed budget negotiations three months past their original deadline. The final deal maintains funding for teacher assistants, cuts the income tax rate to 5.5 percent and expands the sales tax. 

President Richard Nixon greeting Robert and his late wife Sallie Brown in the White House
Robert Brown

In the 1960s, High Point resident Robert Brown worked closely with Martin Luther King Jr. as a fundraiser. Brown has also advised several prominent American politicians, including Senators John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy, and Presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.

www.laurenwinner.net
www.laurenwinner.net

Lauren Winner converted to Christianity in an experience she described as "Girl Meets God," the title of her best-selling memoir.

Since then, Winner has rediscovered her faith more than once; she found spiritual solace through community service after her mother died of cancer, and now says she has reacquainted herself with God by exploring Bible passages that equate God and Jesus with everyday images like food, clothing, and laughter. 

Jordan Lake, Durham, NC
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

State lawmakers have 10 days before the latest temporary budget expires.

The House and Senate are trying to reconcile their $21 billion spending plans, and among the sticking points are environmental issues, including the state's solar energy tax credit, renewable energy standards, and water quality requirements for Jordan Lake.

Emil Kang is the executive director for the arts at UNC-Chapel Hill. He wants to elevate the arts to be as big as basketball in Chapel Hill.
UNC-Chapel Hill

Emil Kang bucked expectations when he decided to pursue a career in the arts. He was the first in his family born in the United States after his parents emigrated from Korea, and he was expected to capitalize on the new opportunity by studying medicine.

Image of Ken Rudin, the Political Junkie
kenrudinpolitics.com

North Carolina lawmakers say they need more time to reconcile differences about the state budget.

They passed another continuing resolution yesterday that funds the government through September 18.

It's the third time they have had to create a stop-gap spending measure since the fiscal year started nearly two months ago.

Meanwhile, Republican Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina has again hinted at requesting a vote to remove House Speaker John Boehner from his position. 

MikeKalasnik / Flickr Creative Commons

The North Carolina department store Belk will be sold for $3 billion to a private equity firm in New York. 

Sycamore Partners is acquiring Belk, a company with a long history in the Charlotte area. William Henry Belk founded the department store in Monroe in 1888. Belk has more than 1,000 corporate employees in Charlotte.  It's not yet clear what will happen to those employees or the nearly 300 Belk stores in the Southeast.

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.

Image of Kathleen DuVal. Kathleen DuVal is a professor of history at UNC-Chapel Hill and author of 'Independence Lost.'
Mary Lide Parker

Stories of the American Revolution often engender images of Paul Revere on horseback, George Washington crossing the Delaware or Red Coats firing during the Boston Massacre.

But down along the Gulf Coast, there were others involved in the revolution, many of whom changed American history.

Image of Marshall Brain, creator of howstuffworks.com and a professor at N.C. State
N.C. State University

North Carolina State University professor Marshall Brain grew up in southern California with a father who was a computer scientist at NASA during the agency's heyday.

Brain watched his father work on lunar excursion modules for the Apollo missions and later, major train systems in San Francisco and Atlanta.

In his spare time, he helped Marshall build a bubble machine out of spare parts. It was an enchanting childhood, and it is no wonder that Marshall was a curious boy who developed a love for all things mechanical. 

Image of video poker
Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr Creative Commons

Nearly three years after North Carolina outlawed Internet sweepstakes games, a new report shows how hard owners fought to keep them going.

  

They spent $10 million on lawyers and lobbyists over four years.

The investigation has led to the resignation of one member of the state Board of Elections.

Some of the money also went to political campaigns in North Carolina, but the report says there were no violations of campaign finance law. 

Image of fiber optics
Kainet / Flickr Creative Commons

In a bizarre turn of events, the North Carolina based company RST Fiber will no longer be providing ultra-high-speed Internet to the town of Wake Forest.

Ironically, the reason seems to be a lack of communication. The company has stopped responding to customers, partners or reporters, and it has been plagued with multiple lengthy service outages since January.

  

Raleigh Little Theatre

In the last decade, there has been a surge of new work from African-American artists in the Triangle.

But they are still grappling with a limited number of platforms, especially in the performing arts. The amount of talent is booming, but the number of roles for African-Americans is not keeping up.

Now, a group of black artists in the Triangle is trying to bridge that gap through a forum that brings artists together with local entrepreneurs and art lovers who are craving new modes of expression.

Voting sign
kristinausk / Flickr Creative Commons

A federal trial is underway in a case challenging North Carolina's elections law. Opponents say provisions limiting early voting amount to voter suppression that especially affects African-Americans. 

Supporters say the measure prevents fraud. The decision from Judge Thomas D. Schroeder could have big implications for voting laws across the country.

Host Frank Stasio talks with WFAE reporter Michael Tomsic about the latest.

NC General Assembly
Jorge Valencia

Members of the General Assembly are back in Raleigh after a week-long vacation. They still must pass a budget for the next two years and consider several other bills, including Medicaid reform and Gov. Pat McCrory's bond proposal.

And Greensboro challenges the legislature’s measure changing voting districts for the city council. 

Host Frank Stasio talks with WUNC capitol reporter Jorge Valencia about the legislature's agenda for the rest of the summer.

Gavel
www.stockmonkeys.com / Flickr Creative Commons

Joe and Lisa Stone are small-town attorneys in Virginia. The fine residents of Henry County know Stone and Stone as the firm that looks out for the little guy. 

But when an investigation into the apparent death of a paranoid, crackpot inventor reveals an invention that could be worth millions and a big pharmaceutical company that will stop at nothing to own it, things get a little murky for Stone and Stone. 

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