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
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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Local News
9:59 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Little Ash Removed From Dan River

Credit Appalachian Voices

Two weeks since Duke Energy crews plugged a broken stormwater pipe, stopping a leak of coal ash into the Dan River, little progress has been made on removing that ash from the river.

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Local News
10:07 am
Mon February 24, 2014

North Carolina's Alpaca Scene

A visitor to the 8th Annual Carolina Alpaca Celebration stares at one of the convention's alpacas--which stares back.
Credit Lisa Miller / WFAE

Alpacas—the smaller, South American cousins of the llama—provide fleece for all kinds of knitted goods. The number of alpacas, and alpaca farms, has steadily grown since Americans began importing the animal for its fleece in the 1980s. North Carolina is part of this trend even though its climate is not ideal for alpacas.

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WFAE Talks
12:03 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

WFAE Talks: Tension Builds Over Coal Ash, Reaction To A Cook's Firing, Lyft Expands

This week's topics (in addition to Alpacas): The tension between North Carolina water regulators and environmentalists over coal ash, reaction to news that a cook lost his job for an inappropriate comment to a customer who was Governor McCrory, and Lyft expands beyond Charlotte's center city and begins serving the airport.

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Environment
3:45 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Toxic Leak Taints North Carolina Coal Plants, And Regulators

North Carolina's Dan River was polluted with toxic coal ash that leaked from a coal plant earlier this month. The spill is under investigation.
Gerry Broome AP

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 9:29 am

A broken pipe funneled 30,000 tons of toxic coal ash into the Dan River in North Carolina earlier this month, turning it gray. The pipe has been plugged, but the spill has reignited a fight over storage of coal ash, and scrutiny of the state regulators responsible for monitoring it.

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Local News
1:25 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Duke Earnings Up In 4th Quarter

Duke Energy building, Charlotte, N.C.

Duke Energy reported a 58 percent jump in profits in its fourth quarter earnings, partially due to lower costs and higher rates.


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Local News
11:17 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

New Revelations During State Coal Ash Hearing

A stormwater pipe poured coal ash into the Dan River on February 2nd, staining the river grey.
Credit Appalachian Voices

State lawmakers got their first official chance to review this month’s coal ash spill, which poured at least 30,000 tons of the toxic byproduct of burnt coal into the Dan River. Monday’s meeting of the General Assembly’s Environmental Review Commission revealed more about the spill response than the company or regulators had previously disclosed, including a fortuitous construction accident that helped stem the leak.


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Local News
6:27 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Fallout Continues From Dan River Coal Ash Spill

The ash basin spilled at least 30,000 tons of coal ash into the Dan River, after a stormwater pipe broke on February 2nd.
Credit Duke Energy

While the frightful weather took a lot of attention this week in Charlotte, up north the fallout continued from a coal ash spill into the Dan River. A broken pipe in a Duke Energy ash pond poured over 30,000 tons of coal ash into the river, until crews plugged it a week ago.This week another pipe failed, releasing wastewater; the justice department began investigating the spill; and environmental groups now say they have found another, unrelated leak from the storage pond that holds the coal ash. WFAE’s Ben Bradford joined All Things Considered host Marshall Terry to discuss the latest.


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WFAE Talks
3:36 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

WFAE Talks: Snow, Snowpocalypse Reporting, And The Feds' Interest In DENR

WFAE News staff was busy covering the week's snow and ice storm, so naturally it's a topic of discussion for Greg, Lisa and Brad - er, Ben (listen to the podcast and you'll understand). The trio also discusses the federal investigation of North Carolina's Department of Natural Resources over its reaction to Duke Energy's coal ash spill on the Dan River.

WFAE Talks, episode 5. Recorded Friday, Feb. 14.

Local News
2:08 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Duke Energy Looks To Almost Double NC Solar

Credit Duke Energy/Flickr

Duke Energy plans to almost double the amount of solar energy its North Carolina utilities use by the end of next year. The utility has about 350 megawatts of solar in the state right now, the size of a small natural gas or coal plant.

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