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
2:26 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

New Duke Estimate Shows Less Ash Spilled Into Dan River

Workers in yellow jackets work to seal the broken pipe at the Dan River coal plant last week.
Credit Ben Bradford / WFAE

A revised estimate shows less coal ash than previously thought leaked into the Dan River during a spill last week. Duke Energy now says less than 40,000 tons spilled into the river.

When that stormwater pipe burst ten days ago under a Duke Energy ash pond, the company estimated up to 82,000 tons of ash had spilled into the river, or about 8 percent of the entire pond. Water and ash continued to leak throughout the week as crews worked to plug the pipe. Regulators and Duke promised an updated number once the leak was sealed, which occurred early Saturday morning.

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Local News
12:46 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

US Airways Cancels Half Of Flights Due To Storm

Credit Roger Sarow / WFAE

US Airways is already canceling flights from Charlotte today, in anticipation of the weather. The airline has canceled more than half of its 640 planned departures from Charlotte-Douglas International airport today.

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Local News
10:18 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

State Rethinks Duke Settlement After Coal Ash Spill

After last week’s coal ash spill, which poured at least tens of thousands of tons of the toxic byproduct of burnt coal into the Dan River, state regulators want to delay their own settlement with Duke Energy over its storage of ash at coal plants across North Carolina.

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Local News
6:17 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Crews Plug Dan River Coal Ash Leak

Duke Energy workers installed a crane to clear a path to the broken pipe under an ash pond at the Dan River coal plant in Eden, N.C.
Credit Ben Bradford / WFAE

**UPDATE 2/8/2014 10:30 a.m.**

As of Saturday morning, Duke Energy workers have installed a permanent plug at the end of the wastewater pipe. A company representative says the "concrete-like substance" is curing. To keep pressure off of the plug as it cures, wastewater is still being pumped from the pipe and back into the coal ash pond. Crews are still trying to reach the broken part of the pipe under the ash pond. When they do, they plan to fill the full length of the pipe with the same concrete-like material.

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Workers have temporarily stopped the flow of ash and water into the Dan River on the border of North Carolina and Virginia, and plan to permanently patch the leak overnight.


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Local News
7:36 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Day 5 Of Coal Ash Leak Into NC River

A contingent from Greenpeace led by N.C. State student Caroline Hartley returns from the site of the spill.
Credit Ben Bradford / WFAE

A broken stormwater pipe from a retired Duke coal plant continues to leak ashy water into the Dan River on the border of North Carolina and Virginia. The pipe broke under an ash pond at the decommissioned Dan River coal plant, about 20 miles from Danville, Virginia. Duke workers are still trying to stem the flow and patch the leak.


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Local News
6:21 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Coal Ash Spills From Storage Pond At Duke Energy's Dan River Plant

The cracked wastewater pipe outflow at the Dan River.
Appalachian Voices

Engineers with Duke Energy are working to fix a broken drain pipe under a coal ash storage pond in northern North Carolina. As much as 10 percent of the coal ash in the pond may have spilled into the Dan River, just south of the Virginia state line. WFAE's Ben Bradford updates Morning Edition Host Kevin Kniestedt on the situation.


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Business
9:32 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Rooftop Solar Boosters Worry Boom Will End If Duke Gets Its Way

Vivian Lord's solar panels take up a small section of the roof, abate 75 percent of her household's utility bill.
Credit Ben Bradford / WFAE

Americans installed solar panels at their homes last year at a record pace, and backers of rooftop solar picture a not-too-distant future, where entire neighborhoods power themselves with the sun’s rays. For now, users and the industry rely on generous tax incentives and special agreements with electric utilities to reach affordability. Duke Energy wants to reduce how much it pays customers for the energy they produce. Rooftop solar advocates call it an attack on a burgeoning industry, while the utility says it is about cost.


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Local News
9:11 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

That Book You Got In The Mail

A publisher sent more than 350,000 copies of this book to Charlotte.
Credit Ben Bradford / WFAE

Charlotte residents received a nearly 400-page book in the mail this week.


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WFAE Talks
3:31 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

WFAE Talks: Media Snowjob, Virtual Education, Streetcar (AKA Gold Line)

Enjoying a snow day in Charlotte.
Credit @CharlotteNCGov / Twitter

Greg, Lisa and Ben discuss media hype over this week's winter storm, the debate over virtual charter schools and Charlotte's latest efforts to build a streetcar extension.

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Business
1:09 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Feds Seeking $2.1B From Bank Of America

Credit Jennifer Lang / WFAE

The U.S. Attorney General’s office is seeking to more than double the fines Bank of America faces for fraudulent mortgages that helped lead to the financial crisis.

The federal government is asking for $2.1 billion in damages, the total amount it says Bank of America’s Countrywide unit received for its defective loans from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2007 and 2008. The new number is a substantial increase from the $863 million plaintiffs had sought, representing the amount they say Fannie and Freddie lost from the loans in 2007 and 2008.

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