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.

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Environment
4:41 pm
Mon September 1, 2014

Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools Begin Composting Lunch

Credit Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools

Schools in Chapel Hill and Carrboro have launched a district-wide composting program in their cafeterias. 

The program started on the first day of classes in 15 elementary and middle schools.  Many individual schools in North Carolina have started composting, but few districts have created their own programs. 

Dan Schnitzer, sustainability coordinator for Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, says the schools will be able to use some of the compost their students create.

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Law
9:51 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Fayetteville Police Chief: Collaboration Is Key To Stop Human Trafficking

Credit Alejandro Mejía Greene/JubiloHaku / Flickr

Police in Fayetteville say they will work with other local authorities to crack down on human trafficking in North Carolina. 

The Cumberland County District Attorney joined Fayetteville's mayor and police chief this week to renew their efforts to fight traffickers. 

The state's largest cities have reported several cases in recent months that involved kidnappings and forcing victims into prostitution. 

Fayetteville police chief Harold Medlock says the crime is not new in North Carolina, but authorities need to collaborate more to catch offenders.

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Law
2:15 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Man Sentenced To Eight Life Sentences Released After 20 Years

Credit Kate Ter Harr / Flickr/Creative Commons

A North Carolina judge has ordered a man to be released from prison after serving 20 years of eight life sentences.  An attorney says 57-year-old Michael Alan Parker was released from Craggy Correctional Center near Asheville today. 

Parker was convicted in 1994 of 12 counts of sex crimes against his children, performed in a ritualistic manner. 

His defense attorney Sean Devereux asked for a new trial after doctors reviewed medical evidence.  Henderson County District Attorney Greg Newman says advancements in forensic investigations swayed the judge's decision.

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Politics & Government
7:40 am
Tue August 26, 2014

NC Board Of Elections Rejects Early Voting Site For Appalachian State University

Credit Flickr creative commons

Appalachian State University will not have a early voting site on campus for this year's general election. 

The state Board of Elections denied a request from Watauga County Board of Elections member Kathleen Campbell, who submitted a separate early voting plan from the two other members. 

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Law
6:26 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Discrimination Lawsuit Against NCDMV Will Go Forward

Credit NC DOT

A federal judge says he will not dismiss a lawsuit against the North Carolina DMV that accuses the department of discriminating against drivers with disabilities. 

The complaint was filed by the group Disability Rights North Carolina

It says DMV workers are using the state's Medical Evaluation Program to target disabled drivers for further review when they apply for licenses. 

The program allows anyone to request a medical evaluation if he or she believes a driver can not safely operate a motor vehicle. 

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Science & Technology
8:42 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

NC Biotechnology Center Will Invest $1 Million In Bio-Defense, Agriculture

NC Biotechnology Center
Credit NC Biotechnology Center

The North Carolina Biotechnology Center is investing $1 million in its budget in bio-defense and agricultural projects. 

The funds come from the legislature's budget adjustments for this fiscal year, which Governor Pat McCrory signed earlier this month. 

The nonprofit had asked for an extra $7.3 million this year, but incoming president and CEO Doug Edgeton says the money will still go a long way to help companies that are developing measures to fight bioterrorism and produce food for the defense industry.

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Politics & Government
6:48 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

NC Reviews Coastal Seismic Testing Proposal

Credit Billy Hathorn, Creative Commons

State officials want to hear from the public as they review an upcoming seismic testing project off the coast of North Carolina. 

The National Science Foundation plans to survey the sea floor this fall near several Atlantic states.  Scientists say they want to know more about how our continental crust shifted and stretched. 

They will use up to 36 seismic air guns, which release highly pressurized blasts of air.  Environmentalists have said that will injure marine life and could disrupt migration patterns. 

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Health
7:52 am
Tue August 19, 2014

Task Force: Rural NC Needs Better Investment Strategies To Improve Health

Credit Flickr.com

A state task force says rural communities need more strategic investments and partnerships to improve their residents' health. 

The North Carolina Institute of Medicine's Task Force on Rural Health released a report Monday about health disparities in rural counties. 

It says many of their childhood nutrition programs need more attention.  And local schools need more help to recruit health care professionals who will stay and work in rural North Carolina.

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The State of Things
11:45 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Durham's Soul Music Revived

Vernelle Mack, pictured third from the right, posing with the U.S. Welfare Band.
Credit bullcitysoul.org / Durham County Library

  

Soul was a mainstay in the Durham music scene during the 1960s and 70s.

Durhamites were dancing to songs like "Bull City Party" in 1977. It’s one of many songs that show Durham’s soul music had strong ties to the city, and built lasting connections within the African-American community. 

Today, a group of artists and collectors is on a mission to archive and preserve Durham’s soul. The Soul Souvenirs exhibit is on display now at the Durham History Hub

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The State of Things
11:14 am
Wed August 13, 2014

How North Carolina's Furniture Industry Is Still Changing

Stanley Furniture manufactured its Young America line at the Robbinsville, NC plant, which shut down this summer.
Credit High Point Market

  

North Carolina has a rich history of producing furniture. High Point has been at the center of the market for more than a century. 

But the industry looks much different than it did just a few decades ago. Globalization caused many companies to send manufacturing overseas. Most recently, Stanley Furniture Company closed its plant in Robbinsville.

Some large companies are trying to reverse that trend, while small custom furniture shops pop up across the state.

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