Michael Tomsic

Reporter

Michael Tomsic 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’s covered everything from a U.S. presidential visit and a shortage of life-saving cancer drugs to a college football scandal and a cutting-edge art exhibit. Michael has 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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Local News
7:44 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Airport Board OKs $35 Million Fund To Buy Neighborhood

The area in lime green is the neighborhood the Charlotte airport plans to buy out.
Credit CLT

The Charlotte airport plans to buy out a neighborhood less than a mile south of its newest runway. There are almost 70 homes there, and the airport advisory committee agreed Thursday to budget $35 million to buy those properties.


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Local News
3:17 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Gov. McCrory Announces Big Changes For N.C Medicaid

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory plans to make major changes to the state's Medicaid system. About 1.8 1.5 million North Carolinians who are low-income, young, elderly or disabled rely on Medicaid for health coverage.

McCrory said the current system is broken and inefficient.  He pointed to an audit that showed the state has been horrible at managing the cost of the program. He said the state hasn't been much better at managing the care people get, either.

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Local News
9:25 am
Fri March 29, 2013

'A Disturbing Trend' In Latest N.C. Unemployment Report

North Carolina's unemployment rate declined slightly in February to 9.4 percent. But the report released Thursday shows that unemployment is no longer steadily declining year to year.

Back in February 2010, the unemployment rate peaked in the state at 11.3 percent.

Then North Carolina started slowly but steadily recovering from the recession. In February 2011, the rate was 10.3 percent. A year later, 9.5 percent. And you could see those kind of year-over-year improvements no matter what month you looked at - at least, until this year.

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Local News
4:12 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Study: Drug Shortages Force Doctors To Change, Delay Cancer Treatment

Nine of 10 cancer doctors nationwide have had to delay or change chemotherapy treatments because of drug shortages. That's according to a study released last week, and it's another example of how shortages affect patients.


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Local News
8:39 am
Mon March 25, 2013

NAACP Marches Against Voter ID In N.C.

Charlotte NAACP President Kojo Nantambu speaks to marchers in front of the federal courthouse.
Michael Tomsic

The NAACP held marches across North Carolina Sunday to voice opposition to a potential voter ID law. The organization also commemorated the 48th anniversary of civil rights marches in Alabama.

More than 50 people with dark coats and colorful umbrellas gathered outside Mount Moriah Primitive Baptist Church in Uptown. 

Charlotte NAACP President Kojo Nantambu got everyone’s attention with a loud whistle.

“All right, we’re getting ready to go,” he said, and then thanked everyone for coming as they started walking.

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Local News
4:59 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Gov. McCrory Leaves Tax Overhaul Out Of Budget

Governor Pat McCrory released his detailed plan Tuesday for how North Carolina should spend its money the next two years. It's a $20.6 billion budget that does not include a key point from McCrory's campaign – overhauling the state's tax system.


Education takes up 55 percent of McCrory's budget.


He includes funding for an additional 5,000 at-risk children to take part in the state's pre-K program, and he sets aside $43 million to promote technology in classrooms, like reading tablets.

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Critical Supply
10:18 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

'Gray Market' Companies Take Advantage Of Drug Shortages

International Pharmaceuticals was a "gray market" wholesaler in Durham that took advantage of drug shortages.
Credit Michael Tomsic

This week we're examining what one pharmacist calls the new normal for hospitals. In the Carolinas and across the country, hospitals are barely maintaining supplies of a wide variety of drugs - some basic, many life-saving. 

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Critical Supply
12:06 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Production Problems, FDA Enforcement Help Explain Drug Shortages

"Mount Backorder."
Credit Michael Tomsic

This week we're reporting on a serious problem in health care. Hospitals are almost running out of a wide variety of critical drugs, including chemotherapy treatments, anesthetics, and even basic vitamins. There are hundreds of shortages, and hospital pharmacists and doctors say that's making it more difficult to care for patients.

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Critical Supply
1:27 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Drug Shortages Pose Dangers To Hospitals, Patients

Northern Hospital Pharmacy Director Darrell Estes checks his dwindling supply of a drug used in a variety of treatments.
Credit Michael Tomsic

Around this time last year, many hospitals across the country almost ran out of two life-saving cancer drugs. They scraped by with the help of emergency shipments from overseas.

The availability of those two drugs has improved. But they're still in short supply, as are hundreds of others. They include first-choice chemotherapy treatments and anesthetics that are essential for surgery. It's the new normal, as one hospital pharmacist told us.

This week, WFAE's Michael Tomsic examines the problem in our series Critical Supply. Here's the first of his three reports.

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Local News
6:59 pm
Sun March 10, 2013

N.C., S.C. Hospitals Deal With 'Nightmare Bacteria'

Graphic about CRE from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Hospitals in the Carolinas are dealing with a growing threat from a type of superbug. It's only infected a small percentage of patients. But that percentage is on the rise, and the infections can be deadly.

The superbug is called CRE, and a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control describes it as "nightmare bacteria." 

Dr. Katie Passaretti of Carolinas HealthCare System said it's evolved into something extremely difficult to treat.

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