Michael Tomsic

Reporter

Michael Tomsic covers health care, voting rights, NASCAR, peach-shaped water towers and everything in between. He drives WFAE's health care coverage through a partnership with NPR and Kaiser Health News. He became a full-time reporter for WFAE in August 2012. Before that, he reported for the station as a freelancer and intern while he finished his senior year at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He interned with Weekends on All Things Considered in Washington, D.C., where he contributed to the show’s cover stories, produced interviews with Nas and Branford Marsalis, and reported a story about a surge of college graduates joining the military. At UNC, he was the managing editor of the student radio newscast, Carolina Connection. He got his start in public radio as an intern with WHQR in Wilmington, N.C., where he grew up.

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A federal judge in Winston-Salem Wednesday said the state's process for handling challenges to a voter's registration "sounds like something that was put together in 1901." Judge Loretta Biggs had pointed questions about the cancellation of nearly 7,000 voter registrations in eight counties over the past two years. The North Carolina NAACP is suing North Carolina, and much of the focus is on recent cancellations in Cumberland and Moore counties. WFAE's Michael Tomsic was in the courtroom and joined Mark Rumsey to discuss.

What stood out?

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Erik (HASH) Hersman / Flickr https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

A federal judge in Winston-Salem will hear arguments Wednesday over the recent cancellations of up to 4,500 voter registrations. The North Carolina chapter of the NAACP alleges some of those cancellations targeted African-Americans, and all of them violate federal law. The North Carolina Board of Elections calls that a legal misinterpretation that puts registration policies in most states in jeopardy. Either way, advances in technology have changed the way these cancellations happen.

The North Carolina chapter of the NAACP filed a federal lawsuit Monday over the recent cancellations of up to 4,500 voter registrations. The NAACP says those cancellations in three eastern counties violate federal law. The state Board of Elections disagrees.

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments over which bathroom transgender students must use in schools. The nation's highest court took a case out of Virginia.

This case could settle a question about half the states nationwide are suing the federal government over: which bathroom must transgender students use?

Michael Tomsic

UNC Charlotte is expanding its partnership with a health clinic that serves the Latino community. The university and clinic already work together to provide mental health treatment, and now they'll add exercise programs and health screenings.

RDECOM / creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0

Based on the heated rhetoric in the North Carolina governor's race, the State Crime Lab is either a broken, corrupt lab that prevents justice, or it's an efficient operation that puts thousands of killers and rapists behind bars. The lab is part of the office of Attorney General Roy Cooper, a Democrat now running for governor.

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Tom Bullock / WFAE

Early voting begins Thursday in Mecklenburg County and across North Carolina. Because of a federal appeals court decision, it's an earlier start this year than Republican lawmakers wanted.

Early voting cuts were part of a 2013 election overhaul the appeals judges described as "the most restrictive voting law North Carolina has seen since the era of Jim Crow."

www.physiciansfoundation.org

Doctors in North Carolina are feeling the effects of certain national health care trends but bucking others. The Physicians Foundation's 2016 survey shows high burnout but lower hospital consolidation in North Carolina.

UPDATE: The group of young voters appealed the federal district court decision to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. On Oct. 19, that court also denied the young voters' request to adjust early voting plans in five counties. 

In the fight over early voting in North Carolina, one of the things that stands out in a recent decision is who sat on the sidelines.

The U.S. Justice Department, the North Carolina NAACP and the state chapter of the League of Women Voters did not join a request to adjust early voting plans in five counties. Only one group of plaintiffs from the N.C. voting lawsuits made that request: young voters known as the Duke Intervenors. 

Jared C. Tilton/Stewart-Haas Racing via Getty Images / NASCARmedia.com

An aggressive and controversial NASCAR driver will hit the gas one last time at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Saturday night. Tony Stewart has won three championships, become co-owner of a race team and paid numerous fines over his 18 seasons. His style has certainly created some enemies, but it's also why his fans love him and other drivers respect him.

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