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
10:02 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Duke Pushes Back Against State Environment Officials

A broken stormwater pipe spills coal ash into the Dan River the week of February 2nd.
Credit Appalachian Voices

Duke Energy is denying accusations by regulators that it allows contaminated storm water to run unauthorized from its coal plants. It’s the first major pushback from Duke against state regulators after the Dan River spill—but not the last, the company says.


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Local News
9:55 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

FBI Investigations Continue After Cannon's Arrest

Patrick Cannon (then mayor-elect) speaks at the opening of Romare Bearden Park in November 2013.
Credit Tasnim Shamma / WFAE

While the FBI’s sting operation ended in the arrest of former mayor Patrick Cannon yesterday, the agency is still carrying out other, related investigations in Charlotte.

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Local News
12:49 am
Thu March 27, 2014

How The FBI's Case Against Cannon Went Down

FBI agents loaded a CPU and boxes from Patrick Cannon's home in Ballantyne before driving off.
Credit Michael Tomsic

On Wednesday morning, Patrick Cannon was Mayor of Charlotte and a rising political figure in the state. Less than 24 hours later he’s out on bond, no longer in government, and facing a host of federal charges. The story of his fall is one of undercover cops, multi-million dollar investments, bugged apartments, and feminine hygiene products. WFAE’s Ben Bradford and Tom Bullock bring us this report.


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Local News
10:09 am
Wed March 26, 2014

County To Continue Funding Mental Health Services After Cardinal Takeover

Mecklenburg County government will continue to supplement state and federal Medicaid dollars for mental health services with its own money. The county has provided those funds for years, but their fate has been in limbo, as officials prepare to hand over mental health oversight to an outside organization.


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Local News
9:33 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Charlotte City Council Considers Coal Ash At CLT

Councilman Al Austin (right) listens to a presentation by Charah president Charles Price and chief operating officer Scott Sewell.
Credit Ben Bradford / WFAE

Charlotte’s city council took its first look Monday night at a proposal to convert the toxic leftovers of burnt coal into a building material at Charlotte Douglas airport.


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Local News
9:44 am
Mon March 24, 2014

The Once And (Potential) Future Brooklyn, Charlotte

Credit Ben Bradford / WFAE

For much of the 20th century, the southeastern quadrant of Uptown Charlotte contained a bustling neighborhood known as Brooklyn. It formed because of segregation, but grew into the center of Charlotte’s black community.  Torn down and paved over, a vibrant Second Ward became a sleepy government district. But city leaders plan to revive the area through a new development that bears a familiar name, if they can get it off the ground.

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Local News
2:58 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

$51 Million For Bojangles Coliseum? A Talking Document Tells Us Why

Bojangles Coliseum
Credit James Willamor

A request for $51 million of city money to rehab the Bojangles Coliseum was a bit surprising. The city has already approved $25 million to renovate the site. This new proposal is still just that, a proposal. But it left us wondering just what this additional money would be used for.  So we turned to a real person and a talking document to find out.    


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WFAE Talks
2:53 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

WFAE Talks Charter School Secrecy, Duke's Continuing Coal Ash Woes, CPCC's Federal Loan Decision

Welcome to the 10th edition of WFAE Talks, our weekly podcast in which WFAE News Director Greg Collard and reporters Lisa Miller and Ben Bradford discuss stories in the news and how they're covered. They also delve into general office banter.

This week, they discuss Duke Energy's continuing coal ash problems, an interpretation of state law that says charter schools don't have to reveal how much teachers are paid, and Central Piedmont Community College's decision to pull out of a federal loan program.

WFAE Talks, episode #10. Recorded 03/21/14.

Local News
7:24 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

State: Duke Pumped Coal Ash Water Into Cape Fear Tributary

An environmental group, the Waterkeeper Alliance, took aerial photos of Duke Energy pumping water from an ash pond into a tributary of the Cape Fear River (bottom left).
Credit Waterkeeper Alliance

While a broken pipe was spilling at least 30,000 tons of coal ash into the Dan River, Duke crews were pumping coal ash wastewater into another river—the Cape Fear. Environmental officials accuse Duke of violating its permit and hiding information from regulators. Environmental groups blame the regulators.


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Local News
9:02 am
Tue March 18, 2014

NC Seeks To Prevent Fracking Companies Underpaying Landowners

A fracking well in Shreveport, Louisiana.
Credit Daniel Foster / Flickr

North Carolina officials are preparing to open the state up to fracking, a process for drilling for natural gas. The state is expected to vote on rules to govern companies who want to drill later this year—rules to protect the environment, but also for landowners. The latter will be especially important, after a recent investigative report shows companies in other states have bilked landowners for the gas under their land.


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