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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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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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.


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.


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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City Manager Ron Carlee has recommended the Charlotte City Council raise property taxes, as one part of a multi-faceted solution to deal with a budget gap larger than in any single year of the recession. But most homeowners would actually pay less, Carlee says.

WFAE

Greg, Lisa, and Ben discuss Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and a report's findings on the Charlotte Fire Department. Plus, Ben talks about his visit to Duke Energy's coal-fired Marshall Steam Station.

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Cold weather helped and drought hurt Duke Energy’s earnings this quarter. The company announced its results today, which included the effects of its settlement with federal prosecutors and a changing customer base.


Ben Bradford / WFAE

Duke Energy has taken about a fifth of the power it can generate off-line in North Carolina, as part of what the energy industry calls “outage season.”


Ben Bradford / WFAE

Every week, as passengers step through the security line at the airport, the Transportation Security Administration finds dozens of guns, knives, and other exotic weapons.


Ben Bradford / WFAE

North Carolina lawmakers have made new funding for outdated transportation, especially repairing roads and bridges, a priority this year. But at the same time as the state is looking to ramp up, it could lose funding from Washington.

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