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
7:03 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Duke Proposes Removing Coal Ash Stored Along Mountain Island Lake

Duke has proposed closing the Riverbend Steam Station's ash ponds and moving the ash to lined landfills.
Credit Duke Energy

Duke Energy has announced plans to close many coal ash ponds across the state, including at the Riverbend Steam Station on Mountain Island Lake, after at least 30,000 tons of the toxic byproduct from burning coal spilled into the Dan River last month. City officials say Duke and another company have proposed that the airport use the ash.

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Local News
4:10 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

City Cancels Airport Solar Farm

Charlotte-Douglas officials found installing solar panels in parking lots--like these used by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service--could jeopardize tax-exempt bonds.
Credit U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service / Flickr

The City of Charlotte has canceled its plan for an ambitious solar power project at Charlotte-Douglas airport, at least for now. Airport officials say new construction and old bonds make the project unfeasible.


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Local News
3:23 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Federal Judge Overturns FAA Drone Ban, As NC Lawmakers Consider Usage

Credit Ben Bradford / WFAE

3/11/14 Update: The FAA has appealed the judge's decision to the full National Transportation Safety Board. The appeal also has the effect of staying the judge's decision.

Some unmanned flying vehicles, or drones, can be used commercially in the U.S., after a federal judge ruled that the Federal Aviation Administration cannot enforce its current policy. The agency has banned commercial drone use.

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WFAE Talks
2:20 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

WFAE Talks Standardized Testing, A Union Co. BOE Surpise, 3rd Party Election Cash, Drones

More changes are coming in regard to how standardized tests are scored.

Union County's school board is accused of sneaking through a controversial redistricting vote.

Third-party election cash is flowing into North Carolina's U.S. Senate race.

Plus, breaking news on drones.

Greg, Lisa and Ben discuss all these issue on the latest edition of WFAE Talks.

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Local News
9:17 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Judge Rules State Must Halt Duke Energy Ash Pond Leaks

An aerial view of the Dan River power plant, including an ash pond that spilled at least 30,000 tons of coal ash into the river.
Credit Duke Energy

A North Carolina judge has ruled that state environmental regulators must immediately stop groundwater contamination from coal ash ponds at all 14 of Duke Energy’s coal-fired power plants. The decision is a victory for environmental groups opposed to how Duke Energy stores the leftover byproduct from burnt coal at its power plants, but it does not resolve what will happen to the ash.

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Local News
3:34 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

President's Budget Halts Overbudget SC Nuclear Program

Early construction of the MOX facility at the Savannah River Site, in Aiken, S.C.
Credit Department of Energy

An agreement between the United States and Russia calls for disposal of 34 metric tons of weapons-grade plutonium from each country, enough to produce 17,000 nuclear weapons, according to the Department of Defense. But multi-billion dollar cost overruns at the South Carolina facility built for the disposal has the Obama administration seeking to put the project on hold.

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Local News
6:00 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Outside Attack Ads Underway In NC Senate Race

Credit Youtube screenshot

During this year’s election season, the biggest prize in North Carolina is the U.S. Senate seat held by first-term Democrat Kay Hagan. Big money is already pouring in from both left and right, and attack ads are already on the air.

WFAE’s Ben Bradford joined Morning Edition host Kevin Kniestedt to discuss the Senate race, through the lens of one ad, in particular.


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Local News
7:47 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

State Cites Duke For Storm Water Run Off At Coal Plants

The Cliffside Steam Station in Rutherford County.
Credit Duke Energy

North Carolina regulators are cracking down on Duke Energy for allowing storm water to flow unauthorized from its coal plants into state rivers and lakes. Regulators have known about the runoff for years, but are taking action amidst allegations they have been too soft on Duke.


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WFAE Talks
4:32 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

WFAE Talks Political Coverage (including our newsroom standards), Coal Ash Chronicles, Teacher Pay

This is episode #7 in our new podcast venture. Greg, Lisa and Ben discuss the North Carolina Supreme Court race and county requests (35) for exemptions to the state's early voting requirements. They also discuss WFAE's election coverage plans and some of the edicts Greg has given staff. Lisa explains what's happening in Raleigh regarding a new pay system for teachers, and Ben gives an update in the coal ash debate.

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Local News
5:22 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

NC Will Permanently Halt Coal Ash Discharges To Dan River

The primary coal ash pond at the Dan River plant, after a pipe broke, spilling 30,000 tons of coal and 27 million gallons of water into the river.
Credit USFWS/Southeast

State regulators announced today that they will not allow a coal ash pond on the bank of the Dan River to resume its normal operation, after at least 30,000 tons of the toxic leftovers from burning coal spilled into the river. 

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