Tom Bullock

Reporter

Tom Bullock decided to trade the khaki clad masses and traffic of Washington DC for Charlotte in 2014. Before joining WFAE, Tom spent 15 years working for NPR.  Over that time he served as everything from an intern to senior producer of NPR’s Election Unit.  Tom also spent five years as the senior producer of NPR’s Foreign Desk where he produced and reported from Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Haiti, Egypt, Libya, Lebanon among others.  Tom is looking forward to finally convincing his young daughter, Charlotte, that her new hometown was not, in fact, named after her.

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Local News
4:21 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

CLT Airport Celebrates End Of Construction With...More Construction

Slogan of Charlotte Douglas's new 10 construction plan
Credit Courtesy of Charlotte Douglas International Airport

Monday, Charlotte Douglas International airport dedicated a new rental car facility and the new hourly parking deck. It marks the end of an eight-year, $1.5 billion construction and expansion project.

How did they celebrate? By announcing a new 10 year, $2.5 billion dollar expansion.

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Local News
9:21 am
Mon May 4, 2015

Expect 'Trash Talk', Service Cuts In Carlee's Proposed 2016 Budget

A handout from the Charlotte City Budget Workshop.
Credit Tom Bullock / WFAE

Despite a growing economy, the city of Charlotte is facing a $21.7 million budget gap. City leaders say it’s bigger than anything they dealt with during the great recession. Tonight, City Manager Ron Carlee will lay out his plan to fill that gap when he proposes his budget before the city council.

Some layoffs and cuts to city services seem likely. But just how much will be cut, and how many will lose their jobs may depend on trash.

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Local News
9:36 am
Fri May 1, 2015

Carlee Says Fire Department Chief Must Fix 'Culture Of Fear'

Charlotte City Manager Ron Carlee
Credit charmeck.org

Earlier this week the city of Charlotte released what’s known as the Van Laningham report. It takes its name from the outside lawyer who investigated the firing of Crystal Eschert, an arson investigator who was officially terminated for what the city saw as an insensitive Facebook post in the aftermath of the Fergusson, Missouri riots.

Eschert says the real reason she was fired was retaliation for alerting a member of the Charlotte City Council to what Eschert saw as shoddy renovations at a Charlotte Fire Department building.

It also raises questions about how the city handled the firing of Eschert. WFAE’s Tom Bullock sat down with Charlotte City Manager, Ron Carlee, to ask about the report and what comes next.  

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Local News
9:42 am
Wed April 29, 2015

Report Finds Fear Of Retaliation And Distrust At Fire Department

Charlotte City Manager Ron Carlee addressing the media on Tuesday
Credit City of Charlotte

Last fall, Crystal Eschert became the first city employee officially fired for violating the city’s social media policy. Eschert was working as an arson investigator at the time. She believes she was fired for being a whistleblower.

Tuesday, city officials released an independent review of the incident they say proves there was no retaliation against Eschert.

But the findings of the 60-page report are nowhere near that clear cut. It’s an indictment of a culture of fear and intimidation at the Charlotte Fire Department. And raises questions about whether she was fired for cause.

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Local News
4:22 pm
Tue April 28, 2015

Report Says Firing Of Arson Investigator Crystal Eschert OK, But...

Crystal Eschert

The City of Charlotte has released an independent review of its dismissal of a fire investigator last year.  The city says it proves the fire department was justified in firing Crystal Eschert for a Facebook post they deemed racially insensitive. But the report is not that clear cut and it raises many questions about a culture of retaliation and fear in the fire department’s ranks.

The Facebook post in question reads in part:

“White guy shot by police yesterday near Ferguson….where’s Obama? Where’s Holder? Where’s Al Sharpton…”

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Politics
7:27 am
Sat April 25, 2015

Remembering 'Senator Sam'

The cover of 'Senator Sam at Home'
Credit Courtesy of the NC Museum of History

Thirty years ago this week, Sam Ervin Jr. passed away. He was 88 years old.

He served in the U.S. Senate for 20 years and is best remembered for chairing the Senate Watergate Committee whose findings helped lead to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. But there was another side to Ervin, a gregarious side.

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WFAE Talks
3:33 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

WFAE Talks Petraeus And For-Profit Charter Schools

Credit WFAE

It was a surreal news week for WFAE's Tom Bullock. At NPR, Tom was Baghdad bureau chief and covered General David Patraeus during his rise to prominence. On Thursday, Tom covered Patraeus in a federal courtroom in Charlotte as he admitted to violating the Espionage Act. He talks about it in this episode of WFAE Talks. Plus, education reporter Lisa Worf discusses the Charter School Advisory Board's decision to recommend approval of several for-profit charter schools. Last year, some lawmakers made it clear they were unhappy the board only approved one for-profit charter school.

Local News
2:49 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

Record Profits At American Airlines As They Seek NC Tax Cap Extension

Credit American Airlines Group

American Airlines announced their first quarter profits Friday. And they were a record $932 million. It’s great news for the airline and their stockholders and certainly noted by North Carolina lawmakers. 

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Local News
3:20 pm
Thu April 23, 2015

Petraeus Gets $100,000 Fine, 2 Years Probation

Retired General David Petraeus arrives for his consolidated plea and sentencing hearings at the U.S. Courthouse in Charlotte.
Davie Hinshaw Charlotte Observer

David Petraeus, a former director of the CIA and a retired four-star general was sentenced today to two years probation and a $100,000 fine. The sentence was handed down Thursday afternoon at the federal courthouse uptown.

Acting U.S. Attorney Jill Westmoreland Rose addressed the media after the proceedings:

"Today, David Patraeus admitted that he improperly removed and retained classified information, and also admitted to lying to the FBI and the CIA about his possession and handling of classified information."

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Politics
12:33 pm
Thu April 23, 2015

NC House Committee Passes New Rules On Abortion

The General Assembly building in Raleigh.
Credit NC General Assembly

A state House committee has passed a bill that would lengthen the mandatory waiting period before a woman could have an abortion.

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