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
10:38 pm
Sun February 15, 2015

NC Lawmakers Look To Restrict Land Seizures With Constitutional Amendment

A proposed amendment to North Carolina’s constitution seeks to restrict when state and local governments can seize private land. The amendment passed the state House of Representatives last week, is on to the Senate, and would ultimately require voter approval in 2016, but the actual effect is uncertain.


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Local News
12:11 am
Fri February 13, 2015

Mecklenburg County Commemorates Charlie Sifford

Mecklenburg County held a reception at Revolution Park for Charlie Sifford.
Credit Ben Bradford / WFAE

Like Jackie Robinson did for baseball, so did Charlie Sifford for golf. Sifford broke golf’s color barrier, becoming the first African-American on the PGA Tour in 1960. 

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Local News
8:05 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

NC Senate Passing Gas Tax Raise As A Cut

A chart of changes the bill will cause to gas tax revenue (higher revenue also means a higher gas tax) this fiscal year, and over the next four, based on data from the North Carolina General Assembly's Fiscal Research Division. All numbers in millions.
Credit Ben Bradford / WFAE

Republican sponsors called it a tax cut, but a bill awaiting one final vote in the North Carolina Senate would ultimately raise the tax. And, those same sponsors are counting on the revenue it will bring in.

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Local News
12:31 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

Charlotte Storm Water Problems Outpace Fixes, Budget

Construction crews at the bottom of this hole dig a tunnel underneath Morehead Street, where they will lay new storm water pipe.
Credit Ben Bradford / WFAE

Just south of Morehead Street in Dilworth, construction crews work in an enormous hole, 30-feet wide and 30-feet deep. Wood slats and metal bands support the walls, like the inside of the world’s largest wine barrel. A pump sucks a pool of storm water out of the bottom. Cranes and dump trucks surround the hole, while a small machine tunnels at the bottom, moving forward about four feet per day.

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Local News
6:43 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

New Purchase Puts Duke Energy In Rooftop Solar Business

An IKEA in Sweetwater, Florida uses a solar array installed by REC Solar.
Credit REC Solar

Duke Energy has expanded its investment in solar energy, and will enter a new facet of the industry: solar panels on the roofs of businesses.


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Local News
4:52 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

Mass Layoffs At Chiquita Headquarters To Begin In April

Chiquita will close its headquarters at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Uptown by the end of the year.
Credit Duncan McFadyen

Chiquita has notified state officials the company will close its Charlotte headquarters slightly earlier than expected, with layoffs to begin in two months.


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Local News
9:06 am
Wed February 4, 2015

Senate To Vote To Fix Coal Ash "Glitch"

The North Carolina Senate is moving to fix a problem with the state’s new Coal Ash Management Commission. Lawmakers created the commission last year to oversee clean-up and closure of Duke Energy’s coal ash ponds around the state, but an error in the bill has left the commission short on funds.

Three months after its first meeting, the Coal Ash Management Commission still doesn’t have the funds to hire half of its five-member staff, because of what commission chairman Michael Jacobs calls a “glitch” in the law.

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Local News
9:05 am
Wed February 4, 2015

Dollar Tree Says Deal Delayed, As FTC Reviews

The sale of Matthews-based Family Dollar to its rival Dollar Tree could take longer and require more store closures than the companies previously announced.

Dollar Tree had said it expected to close 300 stores to win federal approval of the deal and allay any concerns about creating a monopoly in some markets. But, in a filing Tuesday, the company says the Federal Trade Commission is reviewing more than 500 stores for possible closure, with more possible.

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Local News
4:39 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

Obama Budget Includes Charlotte Street Car Funding

A rendering of the Charlotte street car.
Credit City of Charlotte

The Obama Administration’s new proposed budget includes funding for Charlotte’s street car project. City officials have banked on receiving that money to build the street car, but it’s still no sure thing.


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Local News
5:02 pm
Mon February 2, 2015

State Tax Changes Threaten Hole In Charlotte Budget

A City of Charlotte slide at the annual retreat shows budget shortfalls under three scenarios: restoration of revenue lost by the cut of the business privilege license tax, restoration of 50 percent of the revenue lost by the cut, and no restoration combined with a redistribution of the sales tax.
Credit City of Charlotte

State tax changes could chew a sizeable hole in the City of Charlotte’s pocketbook, staff told City Council members at their annual retreat Friday. Two changes—one last year and one proposed this year—have them worried.


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