Ben Bradford

Reporter

Ben Bradford is a city kid, who came to Charlotte from San Francisco by way of New York, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles. Prior to his career in journalism, Ben spent time as an actor, stuntman, viral marketer, and press secretary for a Member of Congress. He graduated from UCLA in 2005 with a degree in theater and from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in 2012. As a reporter, his work has been featured on NPR, WNYC, the BBC, and Public Radio International.

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WFAE Talks
4:42 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

WFAE Talks: Dark Days Looming For Solar? Teacher Recruitment, Sales Tax Debate

WFAE Talks, recorded July 25, 2014

The solar industry has been booming in North Carolina, but that boom could be coming to an end, as Ben Bradford reported this week. Ben Bradford provides analysis of what's going on.

Greg, Lisa and Ben also discuss the Houston school system's recruitment of North Carolina teachers, and the legislative debate over capping county sales taxes. Plus, the MeghaMeter returns.

Local News
11:52 am
Thu July 24, 2014

NC Solar Industry In Jeopardy If Utilities Get Their Way

Sheep graze at Ararat Solar Farm in Mount Airy.
Credit Ben Bradford / WFAE

In the span of five years, the solar industry in North Carolina has grown from nearly non-existent to fourth-largest in the nation, behind California, Arizona, and New Jersey. The pace is accelerating, with solar capacity set to more than double in the state, at least this year. The state’s powerful electric utilities are pushing changes that could blot out the industry in North Carolina.


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WFAE Talks
5:00 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

WFAE Talks: Poet Controversy, Sales Tax Legislation, Signage Morass

WFAE Talks, recorded 07/18/14

Heading into the week, we knew that topics like the budget, Common Core and teacher pay raises would be Statehouse news. We didn't expect a controversy to emerge over Governor McCrory's choice for poet laureate, who resigned Thursday. Greg, Lisa and Ben will discuss.

They will also discuss Senate legislation to cap the local sales tax in all counties. The bill would effectively kill a referendum on November's ballot that asks Mecklenburg County voters to approve a quarter-cent sales tax hike that would go toward CMS pay raises, arts groups, CPCC and the library system.

Plus, Ben explains what's he's learned about Charlotte's sign ordinance. Signs are no simple matter.

Local News
9:08 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Biggest Meal Ever

One thousand tables are arranged in the Charlotte Convention Center for the dinner.
Lewis McQuarrie WFAE

Thursday night at the Charlotte Convention Center, the city hosted the largest sit-down dinner in its history, and probably the state’s.

“There’s not a bigger facility than this in North Carolina, so it would be hard to think of them serving a bigger meal anywhere else,” says Charlotte Regional Visitor Authority CEO Tom Murray.

More than 10,000 members of the black sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha, who have been in town celebrating their biennial Boulé all week, sat for a meal.

Listen to a snapshot of the event.

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Local News
7:41 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Dan River Dredging Finished, Less Than 10 Percent Of Ash Removed

A plume of coal ash swirls in the Dan River, during the February spill.
Credit Appalachian Voices

Duke Energy announced it has finished actively cleaning coal ash from the Dan River, a little less than six months after a massive spill turned the water gray. The bulk of the ash will remain in the river.

Between 30,000 and 40,000 tons of ash, containing heavy metals including arsenic and lead, spilled into the river in February. It flowed down the Dan River, collecting in pockets on its banks and bottom.

Duke has dredged three main areas—next to the spill site, from the water treatment plants of cities downriver, and, the largest, near a dam outside the city of Danville.

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Local News
12:19 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Legal Bills Hurt Bank Of America Again In Q2

Credit Julie Rose / WFAE

Bank of America announced its second quarter earnings Wednesday morning. The nation’s second-largest bank returned to earning a profit, but missed analysts’ expectations, as it still feels the effect of bad mortgages.


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Local News
8:21 am
Wed July 16, 2014

NC Fracking Comment Period Begins

The controversial oil and gas extraction process known as fracking took another step toward legalization in North Carolina Tuesday.

The state formally opened a public comment period, a time when anyone can officially weigh in on the rules that will ultimately govern fracking.

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Local News
9:21 am
Tue July 15, 2014

NC Senate Unanimously Opposes House Coal Ash Changes

The North Carolina House and Senate have found another area of disagreement to go along with the budget. One of the legislature’s top priorities—a bill to address coal ash—failed to advance to the governor’s desk Monday night.


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Local News
9:33 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Charlotte Officials Try To Put Up A Sign

The signs in question.
Credit Ben Bradford / WFAE

How many people does it take to put up a sign? In Charlotte, the answer is a city councilman, the city manager, and a multi-departmental government task force.

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Local News
2:17 pm
Sun July 13, 2014

World Cup Fandom Hurts GDP Growth, UNCC Economist Finds

Credit adidas.com

Two soccer powerhouses, Germany and Argentina, will compete this weekend in the World Cup final. The tournament is the most watched sporting event on Earth, but that passion may have negative economic ramifications, a UNC-Charlotte economist has found.

  

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