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

Historian and Civil War reenactor Philip Brown.
http://www.ncdcr.gov/

April 9, 1865 is widely known as the day the American Civil War ended.

Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee handed his sword over to Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant in Appomattox, Va.

But 89,000 of Gen. Joseph E. Johnston's men were still scattered across the South, willing and able to continue fighting the North. 

NC Legislative Building,
Dave DeWitt

Lawmakers in the state House have until the end of the day to file any bills they have not yet submitted. 

Hundreds of proposals are already up for debate this session. One plan would require university professors to teach four courses per semester to keep their salaries. 

On Tax Day, The State of Things talks changes in North Carolina's tax laws.
Ken Teegarden / Flickr Creative Commons

Many North Carolinians are spending April 15 finishing up their income tax statements.

But others have already noticed a few surprises on their returns due to changes in the state tax code and subsidies from the Affordable Care Act. The revisions mean higher or lower tax bills for thousands of taxpayers.

N.C. State University professor Rupert Nacoste's latest book is "Taking on Diversity."
makinggumbo.com

Rupert Nacoste served in the U.S. Navy during military race riots in the 1970s.

His commanding officers chose him to facilitate conversations about race relations among his fellow sailors. The experience prompted him to pursue a career as a social psychologist. 

Image of Ken Rudin, the Political Junkie.
kenrudinpolitics.com

North Carolina's Religious Freedom Restoration Act is marinating in the state House while lawmakers are on vacation. Similar measures in Indiana, Arkansas and Maine have attracted national attention.

Supporters say the bills protect their rights to worship freely while opponents say they allow private companies to discriminate against the LGBT community. 

UNC Press

The work of Native American author and Methodist preacher William Apess went largely unnoticed from his death in 1839 until the 1970s, when historians compiled his writings.

The writings turned out to be an eloquent collection of musings about the dynamics between Native Americans and white Americans, written by a man who had ancestry from both groups. 

  A new biography, “The Life of William ApessPequot” (2014/UNC Press), traces Apess' search for his identity as a mixed race American in the 19th century.

Rex Miller

Tennis legend Althea Gibson emerged from South Carolina to break color barriers in professional tennis.

In 1956, she became the first person of color to win a Grand Slam tournament, and went on to win Wimbledon and the U.S. Open the following year. 

She became a champion despite the rules of the segregation era, a time when country clubs would not allow her to dress in their clubhouses. 

The new documentary “Althea” provides a glimpse of how she did it.

Congressman David Price
price.house.gov

U.S. Rep. David Price (D-NC) has been in the middle of conversations in Washington about limiting Iran's nuclear capabilities.

As a member of the House Subcommittee on Homeland Security, Rep. Price has been pushing for the agreement the Obama Administration announced last week to deter Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. 

It sets parameters that supporters say will yield a final agreement by this summer. Critics say it does not go far enough, calling for more sanctions on Iran or more Congressional control over the deal.

Johannesburg, South Africa
Franklin Pi / Flickr Creative Commons

In 1977, authorities in South Africa threw Thokozile Matilda Masipa in prison for protesting the country's apartheid system.

After the system collapsed, Judge Masipa became just the second black woman to sit on South Africa's High Court.

And she was in the international spotlight last year when she presided over the trial of Oscar Pistorius, the Olympic runner who was convicted of culpable homicide in the death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

Judge Masipa's dramatic transition is just one story of a justice system that once had unjust laws.

Hindugrass
Will Michaels / WUNC

Hindugrass is a collective music project that has been around for 17 years. 

The Durham-based band can be anything from a quartet to an octet in live performances and the band describes its sound as "Indo-Appalachian fusion." It's a mixture of classical Indian sounds and Appalachian folk.

Host Frank Stasio discusses what that means with five members of Hindugrass: John Heitzenrater on the sarod, Laura Thomas on the violin,  Katie Wyatt on the viola, Chris Johnson on the tabla, and Ed Butler on percussion.

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