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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Sports
8:26 am
Fri October 4, 2013

'Canes Ready For Opening Night

Carolina Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller
Credit Benjamin Reed / Flickr Creative Commons

Caniacs are heading back to the PNC Arena to start a new hockey season.  The Carolina Hurricanes' opening game is Friday night in Raleigh against the Detroit Red Wings. 

The 'Canes are coming off a disappointing season last year in which they led their division early, but suffered injuries and ended up losing 19 of their final 23 games.  Coach Kirk Muller says his team is ready to start over, and he expects the Red Wings to live up to their reputation as a powerhouse club.

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Politics & Government
7:13 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Govt. Contractors Feel The Sting Of The Shutdown

The EPA campus in Research Triangle Park
Credit Environmental Protection Agency / epa.gov

Employees who work for government contractors are among those who are not working during the shutdown. 

Federal agencies contract out duties from on-site cafeterias to janitorial services.  Tony Marshall is president and CEO of a company in Raleigh called Innovative Systems Group, which had an $852,437 contract with the Environmental Protection Agency to run a green shuttle service at its campus in Durham. 

He says he had to send home four hourly drivers and a project manager this week.

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Politics & Government
4:35 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

The Shutdown's Reach Into North Carolina

Credit http://www.house.gov/content/cao/io/images/house_floor.jpg

Thousands of federal employees in North Carolina are at home today after the government entered a partial shutdown. 

In Durham, most of the 2,000 employees at the Environmental Protection Agency's office have been furloughed.  Kevin McLaughlin is a communications specialist there.  He says he went into work long enough to record his outgoing message and shut down his computer before he left.

"I've met up with a few fellow federal employees.  We are enjoying the beautiful day.  I think I'll do some yard work.  I'm actually going to go volunteer," McLaughlin said Tuesday.

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Transportation
7:17 am
Tue October 1, 2013

NCDOT Strikes Deal With Amtrak For Another Year

An Amtrak train arrives in Greensboro
Credit Mark Hogan / Flickr Creative Commons

North Carolina has extended its contract with Amtrak for another year. 

The deal was closed on Friday and avoids a service shutdown as the old contract expires Tuesday.  The state pays for the Piedmont train, which runs between Charlotte and Raleigh, and the Carolinian, which runs from Charlotte to New York.  Federal law requires 19 states to enter a cost-sharing deal for interstate routes. 

Rail division director Paul Worley says the state was trying to work out a fair price.

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Arts & Culture
9:18 am
Fri September 27, 2013

World Of Bluegrass: Awards And Weekend Lineup

Credit IBMA

The World of Bluegrass festival is in its last few days in Raleigh. Music journalist Craig Havighurst is back one last time to talk about the event.  He's a triangle native who now hosts a music roots show from Nashville.  He's also a board member of the International Bluegrass Music Association, the group that puts on the festival every year.

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Environment
3:26 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

NC Fights Invasive Beetle With Stingerless Wasp

An invasive pest, the emerald ash borer, found in Granville County
Credit NC Dept. of Agriculture

North Carolina is releasing wasps to fight an invasive beetle in ash trees. 

Forestry officials say the particular species of wasp is a natural enemy of the emerald ash borer.  The beetle was first found in North Carolina earlier this year.  It invades ash trees and kills them in two to three years.

Kelly Oten of the North Carolina Forest Service released 900 wasps, which naturally do not have stingers, Thursday morning.  She says the USDA is breeding them.

"They lay eggs in the larvae of the beetles and basically eat it from the inside out," Oten says.

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Arts & Culture
7:33 am
Thu September 26, 2013

World Of Bluegrass: Bands Play On, Prepare For Awards Ceremony

Credit IBMA

WUNC's Eric Hodge talks with music journalist Craig Havighurst about Thursday's lineup at the World of Bluegrass.

Raleigh is in the middle of the World of Bluegrass festival. Craig Havighurst returns to talk with WUNC's Eric Hodge about the event.  Havighurst is a music journalist who has contributed to NPR and the Wall Street Jounral.  He produces a music roots show in Nashville and is a Triangle native.  He's also a board member of the International Bluegrass Music Association, which puts on the festival.

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Transportation
6:58 am
Thu September 26, 2013

NCDOT Creating New Patterns At Busy Interchanges

The Diverging Diamond Interchange.
Credit audiowiki / Flickr Creative Commons

The state Department of Transportation is working on unusual interchanges designed to relieve congestion at high-traffic areas across the state. 

Crews are building seven intersections known as Diverging Diamond Interchanges.  They temporarily move traffic to the left side of the road before dumping them onto the freeway or shifting back to the right to cross the intersection. 

DOT engineer James Dunlap says it makes getting on and off the freeway easier.

"It's a free-flow left, so once you get past the first signal, you're not stopping again," Dunlap explains.

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Health
7:52 am
Wed September 25, 2013

A Week Before Affordable Care Act, Navigators Spreading The Word

The health exchange under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, goes into effect next week.
Credit Flickr.com

North Carolina is asking local health departments to work with people hired to give information about the Affordable Care Act. 

The Department of Health and Human Services sent a letter to every county last week, encouraging them to work with so-called health care navigators.  The federal government gave out about $3 million in grants to non-profits, hospitals and volunteers to hire navigators last month.

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Arts & Culture
7:44 am
Wed September 25, 2013

A New Home For The 'World Of Bluegrass'

Credit Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver

WUNC's Eric Hodge talks with music journalist Craig Havighurst about the World of Bluegrass festival in Raleigh.

The World of Bluegrass event is underway in Raleigh.  It's the first year the five-day convention has come to the Triangle after having a home in Nashville for eight years, and it's a place for musicians, agents and music lovers to hear the best of Bluegrass every year.

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