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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Local News
3:05 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

House Moves Quickly On Budget v.2

The North Carolina House of Representatives has begun debate of a new version of the budget. It contains several changes from the version introduced earlier this week, including a $40 million reduction to film incentive grants over the next two years, and changes to renewable energy policies, House leaders said at a press conference.

The exact changes weren’t immediately clear, because the language hasn’t been widely released. Usually, budgets must be published 48 hours before a vote. Rules committee chairman David Lewis said this one will operate on a shorter timeline.

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Local News
4:52 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Duke To Close Asheville Coal Plant 15 Years Early

Duke's Asheville Coal Plant
Credit Duke Energy

Duke Energy will close one of its few remaining coal plants 15 years earlier than expected; the company says it will shutter its Asheville coal plant by 2019. Once done, Duke will have retired more than half of its coal units in the Carolinas since 2011.


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Local News
8:08 pm
Mon May 18, 2015

Charlotte City Council Punts Back To Carlee On Budget

Ron Carlee
Credit charmeck.org

Charlotte’s City Council appears no closer to a consensus on how to fill a hole in the city’s budget deeper than in any year of the recession. City Manager Ron Carlee has proposed a complex mix of expense cuts and fee increases. But a key part of his plan hinges on raising property taxes while lowering a garbage fee that homeowners pay—it’s a complex scheme that hasn’t gained traction with the city council. The council once again debated that and other parts of Carlee’s plan Monday for more than an hour without obvious progress. Mayor Dan Clodfelter called a halt.

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Local News
1:14 pm
Thu May 14, 2015

Duke Pleads Guilty To Coal Ash Misconduct

Most of the water, and at least 30,000 tons of ash spilled out of this storage pond at Duke Energy's Dan River plant, leaving deep furrows in the remaining ash.
Credit Ben Bradford / WFAE

Duke Energy has pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges for its handling of coal ash, which led to last year’s Dan River spill and violated the Clean Water Act around the state.


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Local News
7:49 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

No Consensus From City Council On Raising Property Tax

After another meeting to discuss the budget proposed by Charlotte city manager Ron Carlee, no clear consensus exists among the city council about a core component of the proposal: to raise property taxes while lowering overall costs for most residents.


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Local News
2:05 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

One Giant Step For Solar Power In South Carolina

Credit Elliot Brown / Flickr

Duke Energy and a group of environmental and solar industry groups have announced several programs to expand solar power in South Carolina, a state where little currently exists.


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Local News
12:29 am
Mon May 11, 2015

Mecklenburg Homeowners Faced With New Back Taxes After Reval Redo

The redo of Mecklenburg County's 2011 revaluation found Lisa Heenan's house was worth nearly $50,000 more.
Credit Google Maps

Mecklenburg County’s 2011 property tax revaluation found property values were so high—and it drew so many complaints—that state lawmakers required an outside appraiser to go back and redo it. Since then, most of the emphasis has been homeowners getting tax refunds or, more recently, the hole it’s carved in the City of Charlotte’s budget. But for a small, but sizeable, portion of county homeowners, the revaluation redo has created another big problem.


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Local News
8:11 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

Solar Protesters Heard Outside, And Inside, Duke's Annual Meeting

Credit Mike Linksvayer / Flickr

About forty protesters rallied outside Duke Energy’s headquarters, chanting “Up with solar, down with coal,” as shareholders left the annual meeting. The clash between environmental advocates and Duke Energy about solar energy and fossil fuels also extended inside the meeting, even the demonstrations.


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Local News
7:05 pm
Wed May 6, 2015

Charlotte Council Members React To Property Tax Increase Plan

The City of Charlotte lost more than $28 million from the state repeal of a business license tax and lower property value after Mecklenburg County's redo of its 2011 revaluation. With increased sales tax revenue, the upcoming budget still has a $21.7 million gap.
Credit Ben Bradford / WFAE

Charlotte city council members expressed mixed feelings about city manager Ron Carlee’s proposal to raise property taxes as part of the solution to the upcoming budget deficit.


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Local News
6:19 am
Wed May 6, 2015

NC Health Dept. Cautions Against Drinking From Wells Near Coal Ash

After a battery of tests on private drinking water wells near coal ash ponds around North Carolina, health officials have cautioned many residents against drinking from those wells. But officials are hesitant to draw a link between contaminants in the wells and the nearby coal ash ponds.


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