Ben Bradford


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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A U.S. Supreme Court ruling against federal efforts to limit mercury and other toxic emissions at coal plants won’t have much direct effect in North Carolina, but the state’s environment secretary argues it should impact the thinking on another, upcoming federal rule to limit carbon emissions.

Ben Bradford / WFAE

A federal rule to lower mercury, arsenic, lead, and other potentially toxic heavy metals from power plants lies in limbo after a Supreme Court decision Monday. But in the Carolinas, the practical effect will be minimal.

Ben Bradford / WFAE

Charlotte has a new police chief. Long-time CMPD veteran Kerr Putney took the oath of office before the city council Monday.

Lisa Worf / WFAE

Same sex couples can continue to get married in North Carolina, after Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision, Obergefell v. Hodges. North Carolina has a ban on same-sex marriage in its constitution, after a voter referendum in 2012, but a federal judge in Asheville struck it down in October 2014.

NC General Assembly

The North Carolina Senate and House remain far apart on the next spending plan with less than a week before the current budget runs out. The two sides have been working on a stopgap to keep the government running, but they weren’t able to compromise there Thursday, either.

Ben Bradford / WFAE

Charlotte firefighters have spent nearly a full day extinguishing a fire at a burning paper recycling plant in west Charlotte.

North Carolina General Assembly

The leader of the North Carolina Senate will not push legislation to remove the Confederate flag as an option on some state license plates, as Governor Pat McCrory has called for.

Ben Bradford / WFAE

At the Riverbend coal plant near Charlotte, a front end loader shovels a load of coal ash and drops it into the bed of a truck, which will haul the ash to a landfill in Georgia. Riverbend is one of four coal plants where Duke and state lawmakers committed to removing all the ash from ponds where it’s stored. Heavy metals, like arsenic, can seep from the ash into groundwater.

Ben Bradford / WFAE

Since a spill polluted the Dan River early last year, coal ash has become an environmental head ache for Duke Energy. But while Duke, state regulators, and environmental groups struggle with how to safely store or bury more than 100 million tons of the waste, other industries don’t look at coal ash as waste—it’s a commodity, and they want more.


Duke Energy and Chatham County have resolved a dispute over the transfer of coal ash.