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

BlueCross BlueShield is apologizing to customers frustrated by bank account overdrafts and long waits on the phone last week. The problems affected a small percentage of customers in the individual market.

The individual market consists of people who buy insurance directly from an insurance company or on the Obamacare exchanges. BlueCross BlueShield caused about 3,200 of those customers to overdraw their bank accounts.

www.northcarolinasociety.org

Beyond the heated rhetoric between Republicans and Democrats over President Obama’s executive action on guns, there is an area of agreement: better mental health treatment and some sharing of records. Several Republican Congressmen from North Carolina are co-sponsoring bills that deal with those issues and have some Democratic support.

Andreas Seibold

The Carolina Panthers enter the playoffs with the NFL’s best record at 15-1 and the best record in their 20-year history. Players and coaches say at the heart of the team, leading on the field and off, is Thomas Davis. Davis has come back from three major knee surgeries since the Panthers drafted him a decade ago. Despite that, he's now among the NFL's best linebackers. But that's just one piece of his reputation in Charlotte, where his work with kids is what stands out to many.

Brian Strickland / news.unchealthcare.org

Next week, UNC-Chapel Hill is launching a physician assistant program largely designed for military veterans. As the U.S. military’s drawdown plays out in a big way in North Carolina, the idea is to help troops with medical training turn their experience into jobs – and better health care.

cognizant.com

We’re going to revisit an incentives deal from a year ago that raised some eyebrows in North Carolina. The state gave generous tax breaks to help convince a company to open a new office in Charlotte. That’s pretty standard. The head-scratching part is the nature of that company’s business: shipping U.S. jobs overseas.

ncleg.net

The North Carolina Supreme Court has again upheld how Republican lawmakers redrew the state’s Congressional and legislative maps. The state’s highest court took a second look at the 2011 redistricting plan because of a U.S. Supreme Court order.

The argument is about whether Republican state lawmakers went too far in packing African-Americans into a few districts. Since they tend to vote Democratic, that meant the GOP had a better shot of winning the remaining districts. 

North Carolina is among about 17 states that have recently legalized a marijuana extract for the treatment of children with epilepsy. Amazing turnaround stories from parents and their kids have driven the change, but some in the medical community have cautioned there's yet to be a national study. Now, there is, and doctors found the treatment has great potential.

Democracy North Carolina

A coalition of voting groups filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday accusing North Carolina of violating a voter registration law. The groups and the state had been in discussions about avoiding the lawsuit, but the two now disagree on how much progress is being made.

charmeck.org

The use of homeless shelters is rising much faster in Mecklenburg County than it is nationally. UNC Charlotte released a report today showing that stark contrast, but county officials say the increase may not be a bad thing.

www.americashealthrankings.org/reports/annual

North Carolina showed the most improvement of any state in a major public health report released Thursday. But its ranking is still below average, like most of the South.

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