Will Michaels

News Producer

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 anchored the student news reports, and then came full-time to WUNC. He was the Morning Edition producer for a couple of years for the station, rising before the sun to help morning host Eric Hodge gather and present the news. He is now working on WUNC's North Carolina Teacher Project.

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Environment
7:51 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Advocates' Report Critical Of NC Wood Pellet Mill

Wetlands in eastern North Carolina. Environmental groups say the wood pellet companies like Enviva could harm plant and animal life there. Enviva says it takes steps to protect the environment.
Credit Gary Dincher / Flickr Creative Commons

Environmental groups say a wood pellet mill in eastern North Carolina is threatening sensitive forests. 

A report and series of maps from the Natural Resources Defense Council and Dogwood Alliance says the company Enviva is clear-cutting wetland forests for wood near its facility in Ahoskie. 

Enviva breaks down wood material to pellets and sells them to European countries, which burn them to generate electricity.  The groups say Enviva is using whole trees in addition to tree tops or limbs.

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Transportation
1:56 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

Gas Tax Becoming An Unreliable Source Of Revenue

Gas prices in Carrboro from April 2013. The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded is now $3.47
Credit Laura Candler

The state Department of Transportation's main source of revenue will drop sharply over the next decade. 

That's according to the DOT's chief financial officer, who recently told the Board of Transportation that more fuel efficient cars are cutting into state revenue from the gas tax.  That source of funding accounts for 70 percent of the department's budget.  The DOT's CFO, Mark Foster, says growth in revenue from the gas tax depends on more drivers using more gas.

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Business & Economy
7:36 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Duke Energy Asks Court To Dismiss Merger Appeal

Credit Creative Commons/Jc3s5h

Duke Energy has filed a motion to dismiss an appeal of the ruling that confirmed the merger with Progress Energy. 

The appeal from the environmental group NC WARN says the state Utilities Commission was wrong to exclude outside parties from an investigation of the merger.  Regulators were looking into why Progress Energy CEO Bill Johnson was ousted as leader soon after the deal was complete last year. 

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Law
1:59 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Raleigh Transit Authority Sued For Rejecting Bus Ad Showing Caged Pigs

A Humane Society bus ad in Washington D.C., similar to one proposed for Raleigh buses.
Credit Humane Society of the U.S.

The Humane Society of the United States is suing the Raleigh Transit Authority after the city rejected a bus advertisement showing pigs in cages. 

The ad proposal meant for the outside of buses has photos of pigs in gestation crates with the words, "How would you like to spend the rest of your life in a space as small as a bus seat?"

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Politics & Government
4:03 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Wake GOP Opposes Local School And Transportation Bonds

The Wake County GOP says it's opposed to a $75 million Raleigh transportation bond and a $810 million Wake Schools bond going to the ballot in October.
Credit Dave DeWitt

The Wake County Republican Party is opposing bond referendums for Raleigh transportation and public school construction projects. 

Voters will decide in October whether to approve $75 million in improvements to sidewalks and roads as well as traffic calming projects in Raleigh.  The Wake GOP executive committee says it voted to oppose that bond due to the city's accumulating debt. 

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Politics & Government
8:04 am
Wed August 21, 2013

State Holds Hearing To Consider Duke Energy Efficiency Policy

A public hearing was held to consider Duke Energy's proposed rate increase.
Credit Creative Commons/Jc3s5h

State regulators are considering a plan to allow Duke Energy to charge customers a little more as it increases energy efficiency.

The Utilities Commission held a public hearing yesterday to discuss a proposal from the utility.  Duke Energy spokesman Jeff Brooks says it calls for the company to invest in energy efficiency programs while allowing the utility to recover lost revenue.

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Business & Economy
12:29 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

N.C. Unemployment Rate Up Slightly After Months Of Decline

A job fair at Wake Tech earlier this year. The state unemployment rate rose 0.1 percent last month.
Credit Wake Tech Community College

The state unemployment rate is up for the first time since January. 

North Carolina's Commerce Department said this morning July's jobless rate was 8.9 percent, up from 8.8 percent the previous month.  The rate had been dropping or staying level for five straight months until now. 

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Health
7:22 am
Mon August 19, 2013

BlueCross BlueShield Adds Retail Locations Ahead Of Health Exchange

BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina is adding retail locations ahead of the launch of the state health care exchange.
Credit Blue Cross Blue Shield NC

Insurance provider BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina is expanding retail locations as the federal government prepares to launch the state's health care exchange. 

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Business & Economy
7:15 am
Mon August 19, 2013

New York Tech And Finance Firm Eyes Triangle Talent For Expansion

Credit http://www.flickr.com/photos/tsolson / flickr

North Carolina's technology and finance industry is attracting a Wall Street firm to the Triangle. 

The company Ipreo says it plans to hire 250 employees at an office in Raleigh by 2017.  Ipreo got nearly $4 million in incentives from the state in exchange for meeting hiring and investment goals in North Carolina. 

Ipreo president and COO Kevin Marcus says the growing firm wants to recruit analysts from nearby universities.

"We want to be able to attract talent and have a steady stream available to us," Marcus says.

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Science & Technology
1:57 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

N.C. State And NSA To Open Data Research Lab In Raleigh

The NSA is creating a partnership with N.C. State.
Credit nsa.gov

N.C. State is partnering with the National Security Agency to launch a data-collecting research lab. 

The school announced this morning it won a $60 million contract to create the facility on the university's Centennial Campus.  Terri Lomax is vice chancellor for research, innovation and economic development at N.C. State.  She says the lab is meant to answer questions about how to better collect, sort and store massive amounts of computer data.

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