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.

Ways to Connect

323771Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images / NASCARmedia.com

NASCAR's efforts to increase diversity are starting to pay dividends behind the wheel. Last year, Daniel Suarez became the first foreign-born driver to win a national title in what's essentially a NASCAR minor league. This year, the 25-year-old from Mexico will race full-time in the sport's top circuit. He's a graduate of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program, and he's one reason the sport is becoming more popular among Latinos.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department

Homicides are up sharply in Mecklenburg County. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say there have been 11 so far this year, compared with three at this point last year. CMPD detailed what they're doing about violent crime in a press conference Wednesday.

CMPD

Between 2010 and 2015, heroin deaths skyrocketed 550 percent in North Carolina, according to the chief federal law enforcement officer in Charlotte. The U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina and the acting head of the DEA, local police and doctors detailed the problem at a conference in south Charlotte on Tuesday.

justice.gov

The chief federal law enforcement officer in Charlotte is warning about a startling rise in heroin use. 

"It's a problem that began with prescription pills," says Jill Westmoreland Rose, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. "But it's one that has grown to epic proportions. Our deaths in this district have doubled in the past year. It's a problem that's affecting all segments of our community."

ncleg.net

North Carolina's attorney general is joining the legal fight over President Trump's executive action on immigration. Josh Stein, a Democrat, says his office will join a brief with about 16 other states arguing the executive action should remain on hold while the case plays out.

Michael Tomsic

CMPD reports a more than 10 percent increase in homicides and other violent crimes last year compared to the year before and to Mecklenburg County's five-year average.

Congressional representatives from the Carolinas are mixed on President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration. Trump has temporarily banned citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. – as well as refugees from any country – while his administration reviews how they're vetted. WFAE's Michael Tomsic and Mark Rumsey discussed how the four senators and 20 representatives from North Carolina and South Carolina are responding.

Michael Tomsic

Charlotte residents called the plan to attract a Major League Soccer team a tremendous business opportunity, a chance to build community pride and, on the other end of the spectrum, a bad pitch by a used-car salesman. More than 40 people lobbied county commissioners at their meeting Tuesday.

The NASCAR industry is focused on Charlotte this week. The Charlotte Motor Speedway is hosting the 35th annual NASCAR Media Tour, which is essentially the sport's preseason media blitz.

Scott*/Flickr

The U.S. Justice Department argues the fight over Governor Roy Cooper's proposed Medicaid expansion does not belong in federal court. Its attorneys and Cooper's are asking a federal judge to lift her temporary restraining order on the expansion plans.

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