Will Michaels

Daily News Producer

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.

Outside of radio, Will holds a seat on the board of the North Carolina Governor's School Alumni Association. He attended Governor's School in 2005 for drama, and still considers himself a theatre geek at heart.

Ways to Connect

Several communities in rural North Carolina struggle with water infrastructure maintenance.
Courtesy of Flickr user mycieau

A bipartisan group of state lawmakers is rolling out a bill that would require school districts and child care facilities to conduct routine testing of their water fountains for possible contaminants. 

The proposal comes after Mecklenburg and Guilford Counties recently did voluntary tests of their water, and found elevated levels of lead in taps at dozens of schools.

North Carolina Department of Transportation

The state Department of Transportation has the first of many approvals it needs for a new toll bridge to the northern Outer Banks.

Travis Long / The News & Observer via AP, Pool

Updated at 7:10 p.m.

The son of the Republican candidate in the 9th Congressional District testified Wednesday that he warned his father in 2017 about a political operative who his father ultimately hired for the 2018 elections. John Harris spoke during the hearing over ballot irregularities in the election between his father Republican Mark Harris and Democrat Dan McCready.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has named Cheri Beasley as next Chief Justice of NC Supreme Court.
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Cheri Beasley will be the court's next chief justice. Beasley will be the first African-American woman to lead the highest court in the state.

 U.S. Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., points at a photograph of Marine Sgt. Michael Edward Bits of Ventura, Calif., the first military funeral he and his wife attended,
Andrew Harnik, File / AP

North Carolina Congressman Walter Jones died Sunday, the day of his 76th birthday. Jones gained a reputation as a political maverick during more than 24 years in Washington.

Duke Energy provides electricity for most of North Carolina since the 2012 merger.
Duke Energy

Duke Energy is a finalist for a partnership with the Puerto Rican government to modernize the territory's energy grid.  

But lawmakers in Puerto Rico can't agree on how to privatize the electric utility.

TSA Officer Tangela Campbell protested outside RDU's Terminal 2 Wednesday, calling for an end to the partial government shutdown
Will Michaels / WUNC

A small group of federal employees in North Carolina held another demonstration on Wednesday, demanding an end to the partial government shutdown.

canned food at food bank
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

It has been nearly four weeks since the partial government shutdown began. It has blocked pay and benefits for federal workers and those who depend on federal programs.

One of the many disruptive - but more discreet - effects of the shutdown for North Carolinians has to do with where some people will get their next meal.

A photo take on Jan. 15, 2019 shows the site of the former Silent Sam statue and pedestal. University officials removed the pedestal last night.
David Brower / WUNC

Updated 2:45 p.m.

The University of North Carolina's Board of Governors on Tuesday voted to make UNC Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol Folt's resignation effective Jan. 31. She had planned on stepping down after spring graduation.

Graduate student Lindsay Ayling speaks to a couple dozens activists about outgoing Chancellor Carol Folt's decision to remove the Silent Sam pedestal from campus.
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Updated at 8:30 p.m.

North Carolina's flagship public university plans to remove the pedestal where a now-toppled Confederate statue once stood on a main campus quad, its chancellor said Monday.

a man sitting at a video poker machine
Kent Buckingham / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/e9uEjp

Danville, Virginia, is petitioning its legislature to consider allowing a referendum on gambling. The vote could eventually lead to a resort and casino just an hour from the Triangle and Triad.

an offshore drilling operation in the Gulf of Mexico
Robert Seale, Maersk Drilling / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/mU1Qdz

The conversation about offshore drilling has intensified after the Trump Administration appeared to give initial approval for seismic testing in the Atlantic.

Protesters crowd around the entrance of the UNC Center for Leadership Development where the Board of Governors will meet this morning to discuss the fate of a controversial Confederate monument known as Silent Sam.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Updated 3:20 p.m.

The board overseeing North Carolina's public universities has rejected the UNC Trustees' plan for a center to house a Confederate statue known as Silent Sam on the Chapel Hill campus.

The pedestal of the Silent Sam statue without the Confederate monument on Tuesday, August 21, 2018.
Elizabeth Baier / WUNC

At least one member of the UNC Board of Governors says he will not support a proposal to build a new facility for a Confederate monument at UNC-Chapel Hill because he believes it should go back up in its original spot.

The Old Well and flowers on the campus of UNC- Chapel Hill.
Brian Batista / For WUNC

Updated 7:25 p.m. | Nov. 6, 2018

The Orange Water and Sewage Authority has lifted a boil water advisory for most of its Chapel Hill and Carrboro customers, according to a press release.

Customers in three Carrboro locations have been directly notified that they still must boil water before consuming it.

Sea level change over time
Global Climate Change / NASA

Gov. Roy Cooper has signed an executive order that directs the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2025. It's a move that some other state and local governments have taken since President Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Accord.

Travel trailers are staged in Kinston, NC prior to delivery and installation.  These trailers are one solution in North Carolina's multi-pronged approach to temporarily house displaced survivors of Hurricane Florence.
Liz Roll / FEMA

The first families to get temporary housing after Hurricane Florence are now in RVs or mobile homes, but FEMA says as many as 600 families are still waiting for housing assistance from the federal government.

The paddle Robbinsville High School principal David Matheson, and previous principals, have used to discipline students.
Jess Clark / WUNC

The last school district that practiced corporal punishment in North Carolina has voted to ban it.

Board members voted unanimously to end paddling on October 2, the day of their most recent meeting, according to Graham County Schools Superintendent Angie Knight. The move effectively bans the practice across the state.

A North Carolina State University researcher is using underwater microphones to help better understand the extensive array of animals living in the state’s oyster reefs.
James Morrison / WUNC

While cleanup crews are getting a good idea of how much the damage Hurricane Florence will cost, it's not yet clear what the storm might have done to North Carolina's fishing industry. 

Photo: 'Vote Here' sign in English and Spanish
Flickr user Erik Hersman

Hurricane Florence disrupted daily operations for local governments in North Carolina, including county boards of elections. It's the second time in two years that voting officials have had to improvise just weeks before a General Election.

A few dozen neo-Confederate protesters faced off with a few hundred dancing demonstrators at the site of the toppled Silent Sam statue at UNC- Chapel Hill on Aug. 30, 2018.
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Updated 8:30 a.m. | August 31, 2018

The torn-down Silent Sam monument was the site of dueling protests Thursday night. About 50 members of a neo-Confederate group were greeted by several hundred counterprotesters on the campus of UNC Chapel Hill. 

The pedestal of the Silent Sam statue without the Confederate monument on Tuesday, August 21, 2018.
Elizabeth Baier / WUNC

Updated 2:55 p.m. | Aug. 28, 2018

The Board of Trustees at UNC- Chapel Hill has until November 15 to decide the fate of Silent Sam, a Confederate monument that was recently toppled by protesters.

Creative Commons

The state Department of Environmental Quality is monitoring a handful of excessive algae blooms at lakes across the state this summer.

A screengrab of a video showing the Wrightsville Beach Fire Department use a drone for a simulated beach rescue.
Courtesy of Wrightsville Beach Fire Department

The Wrightsville Beach Fire Department is experimenting with drones to help lifeguards with water rescues.

The department is testing equipment that allows drones to carry a lightweight inflatable buoy to swimmers who might be in distress, according to Wrightsville Beach firefighter Sam Proffitt. He said the drone can quickly fly a few hundred yards and drop the device.

File photo of a North Carolina State trooper.
Ildar Sagdejev / Wikipedia Creative Commons

The state Highway Patrol is trying to recruit more troopers as it deals with an ongoing shortage.

The number of vacant positions fluctuates, but there has been a consistent shortfall for years, according to First Sergeant Michael Baker.

A chart showing NOAA's updated forecast for the 2018 hurricane season.
NOAA

Forecasters with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say this hurricane season will be less severe than predicted. 

Asheville Fire Department

A ruling in a North Carolina firefighter's death could open the door for more benefits for their surviving families.

Jason deBruyn / UNC System

Graduations rates are slowly rising in North Carolina's public universities, but disparities remain among each school and their racial demographics. 

About 72 percent of freshmen who started at a UNC System school in 2011 got their degrees within six years, but graduation rates are still significantly lower at institutions with more low-income students and people of color.

North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission staff collect and sort dead fish at White Lake, N.C., in May 2018.
North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

“Look at that boat right yonder. They’re going around picking up dead fish,” says a man who identifies himself on YouTube as Kyle McGee.

an offshore drilling operation in the Gulf of Mexico
Robert Seale, Maersk Drilling / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/mU1Qdz

The mayor of Nags Head says members of Congress should vote down a draft bill on offshore drilling.

Pages