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
12:48 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

WFAE Talks, Episode 1: 3rd-Grade Reading, Fracking Rules And A Highlighter Explosion

This is the first edition of our new weekly podcast. We're calling it WFAE Talks. News Director Greg Collard and reporters Lisa Miller and Ben Bradford discuss topics and people in the news. Consider it a behind-the-scenes discussion and analysis of some of the issues you hear addressed on WFAE. You'll also get some insight into our general newsroom banter.

This week Greg, Lisa and Ben discuss concerns about the mandates of North Carolina's 3rd grade reading requirement, the chemicals that gas drilling companies don't have to reveal to state regulators, and a possible highlighter explosion in Charlotte (you'll have to listen to see what we're talking about).

WFAE Talks: Greg Collard, Lisa Miller and Ben Bradford.

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Science & Environment
5:00 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Factory Delays Push Back Construction At SC Nuclear Plant

The construction site at the V.C. Summer nuclear plant in Jenkinsville, S.C. in August, 2013.
Credit South Carolina Office of Regulatory Service

Construction on some of the first nuclear plants in decades has suffered delays but is recovering ground, regulators of the project say.  The two new reactors at the Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Station in Jenkinsville, South Carolina will take more than six months longer than projected, at a potential cost of $200 million. The regulators blame a new building process for the delays, but do not rule out ratepayers covering the cost.

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Business
2:13 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Bank Of America Profits By Reducing Expenses

Credit Jennifer Lang / WFAE

Bank of America shares jumped almost 2 percent overnight, up to over $17 a share, as the company announced better-than-expected profits in its fourth quarter.


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Local News
2:53 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

North Carolina Ranks Second In New Solar Capacity In 2013

A new report shows North Carolina becoming a bigger player in the solar energy market. The firm NPD Solarbuzz says North Carolina created 400MW (megawatts) of new solar capacity. That’s enough to account for 10 percent of all new solar in the U.S. and Canada. Analyst Michael Barker says it’s a ramp up from previous years.

"One of the big findings was just how quickly the North Carolina market has grown in 2013," Barker says. "Climbing from the 5th largest U.S. market to the 2nd largest U.S. market."

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Politics
5:12 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

DHHS Spokesman Leaves For Washington After Controversial Year

Ricky Diaz
Credit Facebook

The McCrory administration’s 24-year-old health department spokesman is headed to Washington, less than a year after his appointment stoked controversy.


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Local News
10:07 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Insurers Propose 17 Percent Premium Hike For Charlotte Homeowners

Homeowners in Charlotte would see their insurance premiums rise by about 17 percent under the proposal insurance companies filed Friday—less than the 25 percent statewide average increase, according to a breakdown released today by the North Carolina Department of Insurance.

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Local News
10:07 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Duke Asks Customers To Conserve During Chill

Credit Bryan Mills / Flickr

Duke Energy is urging customers to conserve energy during the cold because it’s worried that customers could cause blackouts or brownouts by using too much energy.

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Local News
11:09 am
Tue January 7, 2014

County Employees Receive Priority For Cardinal Job Openings

Credit MeckLINK

By state-mandate, Mecklenburg County’s mental health agency MeckLINK will lose its Medicaid contract at the end of March, less than a year after the county hired more than 200 employees and launched the agency as part of a statewide reorganization. Now county staff are working to save the jobs of the employees MeckLINK has hired.


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All Tech Considered
2:58 am
Wed January 1, 2014

Banks Try To Save Big With 'ATMs Of The Future'

An ATM at a Chase lobby in New York is part of what company executives are touting as a "branch of the future" — a place where machines distribute exact change and count cash so tellers don't have to.
Mary Altaffer AP

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 11:42 am

There's a drive-thru ATM in Charlotte, N.C., that looks pretty standard, but it has an extra function: a button that says "speak with teller."

The face of a woman wearing a headset sitting in front of a plain blue background flashes onto the ATM screen. "Good afternoon," she says. "Welcome to Bank of America. My name is Carolina. How are you today?"

She's one of a cadre of Bank of America employees in Florida and Delaware call centers, where they remotely control ATMs across the country. I ask for $26.

"Just a $1, a $5 and $20," I say.

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Science & Environment
1:05 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Duke Renewables President Talks Solar Prospects

Credit Duke Energy Renewables

Duke Energy is not known for embracing renewable energy in North Carolina. About one percent of the Duke Energy Progress’ and Duke Energy Carolinas’ electric capacities in the state come from renewables—mostly solar, as well as a small amount of wind and biomass. Duke’s favored plan projects that number to rise to just 3 percent, 15 years from now. At the same time, Duke has a subsidiary business solely focused on developing and selling renewable energy across the country. WFAE’s Ben Bradford spoke to the president of Duke Energy Renewables for a businessman’s perspective on the green revolution.


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