Will Michaels

General Assignment Reporter/ Host, "Morning Edition"

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.

In 2020, Will moved from producing to reporting full time as WUNC's General Assingment Reporter. He now hosts Morning Edition each Friday.

Ways to Connect

Mayor Steve Schewel stands for a portrait inside Durham City Hall.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

The new fiscal year started this week, a time when local governments implement the new budgets they spent months working on over the spring.

In the city of Durham, that budget has been the subject of a protest for several weeks now. In particular, demonstrators object to a 5% increase in funding for the city’s police department, which is getting more than $70 million over the next year.

In this Sunday, June 21 image, a message of 'DEFUND' points to the Durham Police Headquarters. The street art was painted as part of the Black Lives Matter protests in the city.
Chuck Liddy / For WUNC

In the month since George Floyd’s killing sparked protests nationwide, some demonstrators in Durham have literally taken their message to the police.

A crowd gathers in downtown Raleigh on Tuesday night to protest the death of George Floyd and violence against black Americans.
Kate Medley / For WUNC

Daily protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis have spread across North Carolina. While the message of these demonstrations is slightly different in each city, there has been a broad call for overhauling the way police officers do their jobs.

Melissa Sue Gerrits / Carolina Public Press, via AP

Police officers in Fayetteville took a knee in solidarity with protesters Monday, two days after the city had experienced violence and looting.

Rudell leans against a white wall while holding a mug.
Yuri Vaysgant Photography

As a holiday weekend typically celebrated with travel and social gatherings approaches, Governor Roy Cooper announced the state’s plans for proceeding with Phase Two of reopening. 

The state's nursing homes and elder care facilities are improving, according to a new study.
SalFalko / Flickr

Operators of long-term care facilities say their staff members are quitting at a higher rate during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Cooper sitting leaned over a table with reporters standing behind him.
NC Governor Roy Cooper

Hundreds of people protested Gov. Roy Cooper’s stay-at-home restrictions for churches in Raleigh Thursday morning.

N.C. Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. Mandy Cohen.
N.C. Department of Public Safety

State health officials say early results from antibody tests show a small percentage of North Carolinians have been exposed to the coronavirus.

Drew Shindell, Duke University Professor of Earth Science
Duke University

Environmental experts at Duke University say the COVID-19 pandemic could have wide-ranging implications for the way the world produces and consumes energy.

Paying The Rent

May 4, 2020

The National Multifamily Housing Council reported last month that nearly one-third of apartment renters in the country had not paid their rent in April. The numbers were slightly better in North Carolina, but they are on track to be worse this month. Gov. Roy Cooper signed two emergency funding bills today that could help, but the pandemic has forced tenants and landlords to come up with answers mostly on the fly.

Today, we examine how rentals have changed during the pandemic and get a glimpse of how tenants are coping and how landlords are adapting in Durham, a city where the housing market has been booming, but where most tenants were already spending more than 30% of their incomes on rent.

We speak with Peter Gilbert, supervising attorney at Legal Aid of North Carolina in the Durham eviction diversion program, and Michelle Ketchum, owner of Acorn and Oak Property Management Company in Durham.


North Carolina House Democrats held a virtual press conference to promote Medicaid expansion.
NC House Democrats / Twitter

Some Democrats in the General Assembly are again pushing for Medicaid expansion as state lawmakers debate emergency funding proposals during the pandemic. 

A group of Democrats in the state House on Wednesday rolled out a bill that would repeal a law preventing North Carolina from expanding Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act.

Anastasiia Chepinska / Unsplash

North Carolina banks and other lenders are trying to keep up with a surge of applications for small business disaster loans during the coronavirus pandemic.  

Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency on Tuesday, 3/10/2020 in response to more confirmed cases of the coronavirus in North Carolina.
Jay Price / WUNC

Governor Roy Cooper has signed an executive order mandating new social distancing measures at retail stores. 

The order requires businesses limit the number of people inside at one time to no more than 20% of the capacity allowed by the fire code.

It also encourages business owners to provide hand sanitizer to their customers, create special shopping hours for older adults, and install shields at check-out counters.

Smart Start
Smart Start

Administrators of North Carolina's early childhood education program estimate the COVID-19 crisis could cause up to one-third of child care facilities to close if they don't get immediate financial relief from the N.C. Legislature.

Child care centers are getting subsidies from the state Department of Health and Human Services during the pandemic – but leaders of Smart Start they say it's not enough to make up for lost revenue.

State Employees Association of North Carolina
State Employees Association of North Carolina

The organization that represents state employees is calling on Governor Roy Cooper and the legislature to approve hazard pay for some state workers, and send others home.

Governor Roy Cooper during a COVID-19 update.
Governor's Office / Twitter

Governor Roy Cooper says he plans to implement more restrictions for retail stores to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

During Tuesday afternoon's briefing, Cooper did not say exactly what would be in the order, but he applauded businesses that have limited the number of customers in their stores at one time to promote social distancing.

UNC Health set up a medical triage tent in front of its main hospital in Chapel Hill specifically for coronavirus patients.
Jay Price / WUNC

A composite coronavirus forecast from UNC Chapel Hill and Duke University suggests strict social distancing measures may need to stay in place through May. 

Researchers used various models to predict the strain on North Carolina's health care system under two scenarios: keeping current social distancing measures in place through June first, or lifting them entirely when the statewide stay-at-home order expires on April 29th.

The N95 mask made by 3M
3M

North Carolina health officials say they are still prioritizing masks for health care workers as President Trump prepares to release new guidelines that suggest people should wear face coverings whenever they go out in public.

California Air National Guard personnel from the 146th Airlift Wing assist with retrofitting the Los Angeles Convention Center into a federal medical station. The 146th Airlift Wing has been mobilized to provide humanitarian aid across the state of Califo
FEMA

North Carolina's COVID-19 task force is asking FEMA to provide quarantine shelters as part of the effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

At a press conference Thursday afternoon, state Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry said FEMA's approval would provide thousands of rooms for people who could be infected with COVID-19.

N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen delivers a COVID-19 update.
NCDHHS

The state Department of Health and Human Services is analyzing North Carolina's demographics to create projections for the coronavirus outbreak.

The agency's secretary, Dr. Mandy Cohen, said Wednesday that the information will give health care systems a better idea of what to expect as more patients arrive at hospitals. But she warned no  prediction is a crystal ball.

Curbside sign reads: Please remain in your vehicle, we will be right with you.
Ben McKeown / WUNC

North Carolina is still in the early phase of its COVID-19 outbreak. The statewide case count jumped over the weekend, from 888 last Friday to about 1,500 confirmed COVID-19 cases Tuesday morning. 

N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen delivers a COVID-19 update.
NCDHHS

North Carolina health officials are imploring residents to follow the statewide stay-at-home order that goes into effect at 5 p.m. Monday. 

"I can't stress it enough. Your actions matter. Staying home matters. Staying home will save lives," said Dr. Mandy Cohen, Secretary of N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

Ben McKeown / For WUNC

Workers around the state say their employers aren't doing enough to protect them from the coronavirus pandemic.

That includes sanitation workers in Raleigh who are demanding that the city do more to protect them following the death of a colleague from COVID-19.

Construction workers using Robotic-Assist Devices
Carolinas Associated General Contractors / Twitter

Groups that represent hospitals and doctors are pushing for Governor Roy Cooper to order a shelter-in-place.

But the North Carolina Chamber has said such an order should be a "last-ditch resort." And industries like real estate and construction want the governor to consider them essential during the coronavirus pandemic and allow them to keep running.

Duke Health's Raleigh Hospital
Duke Medicine

State health officials say North Carolina's hospitals are trying to manage bed capacity as states like New York and California see a surge of patients with COVID-19. 

State health Director Dr. Betsy Tilson said she's heard from about 75% of the 130 hospitals in North Carolina. Tilson says about half of their inpatient beds are available, and less than 20 percent of their Intensive Care Unit beds are open.

An illustration created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows the structure of coronavirus. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Alissa Eckert, MS, Dan Higgins, MAM / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Updated 10:32 a.m. March 6, 2020

A second person in North Carolina has tested positive for the coronavirus. 

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.
Alissa Eckert, MS / CDC

Updated at 9:02 a.m. 3/5/2020

 UNC-Chapel Hill is expanding university affiliated travel restrictions to Washington State, California and Japan as the coronavirus continues to spread.

Clinical support technician Douglas Condie extracts viruses samples as analytic work continues to examine the genetic structure of a virus in the coronavirus testing laboratory at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Glasgow, Scotland, Wednesday Feb. 19, 2020.
Jane Barlow / AP

A state health task force is encouraging North Carolinians to be prepared for the potential spread of the new coronavirus in the United States. 

A rendering of the indoor sports complex proposed for Cary Towne Center.
Town of Cary

The Raleigh City Council has given the go-ahead to a joint funding proposal for a 100,000-square-foot indoor sports complex in Cary. The move comes a day after Wake County Commissioners unanimously approved $59 million to go toward the facility planned for Cary Towne Center.

police lights
Peter Griffin / publicdomainpictures.net /public domain

Rescuers have found the body of a construction worker who was trapped after a trench collapsed Wednesday in the Triangle.

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