David Boraks

David Boraks is a WFAE weekend host and a producer for "Charlotte Talks." He's a veteran Charlotte-area journalist who has worked part-time at WFAE since 2007 and for other outlets including DavidsonNews.net and The Charlotte Observer.

Duke Energy and state environmental regulators have settled a dispute over the size of a state fine over a coal ash spill near Duke's Dan River plant in Eden in February 2014.  

Duke agreed to pay $6 million for violations of the federal Clean Water Act during and after the spill in February 2014.

The police killing of Keith Scott on Tuesday and nightly protests since then have hit Charlotte’s black community hard. People are dealing with anger, fear and concern about the community’s long-term challenges.

WFAE reporter David Boraks went to a press conference on North Tryon Street with black business owners Friday afternoon. The event was organized by Shaun Corbett, whom some people may know as the leader of a group called Cops & Barbers.

Boraks talked with All Things Considered host Mark Rumsey.  Listen to their conversation here. 


Updated 1 p.m.

Hundreds of people marched through uptown Charlotte for a fourth night Friday, chanting "release the tapes" to protest Tuesday's police killing of Keith Scott.


Police said Saturday afternoon they arrested 11 people, including nine for violating the city's midnight to 6 a.m. curfew. Police allowed the demonstrations to go on past midnight, but began enforcing the curfew around 2 a.m.  A man and a woman were charged with a break-in as well.  

There were no injuries and police said they did not use tear gas, as they have during other protests this week.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5l0F2WRivU

On Friday afternoon, WFAE aired an hour long special discussing the video released by Keith Scott's wife, Rakeyia Scott.

Joining Mark Rumsey were WFAE reporters Tom Bullock and Gwendolyn Glenn and Charlotte School of Law professor Jason Huber. Included in the special were interviews with former Charlotte police chief Darrel Stephens, Charlotte city councilwoman Vi Lyles, and Stephen N. Xenakis, M.D. Brigadier General (Ret), retired general and Army psychiatrist.

Updated Friday, 4:30 a.m.

The family of Keith Scott wants the public to see videos of Scott being shot and killed by police Tuesday.  Members of the Scott family viewed dash-cam and body camera videos of the shooting Thursday. 

The family's lawyers issued a statement afterward, saying the videos raise more questions than answers. They say it’s impossible to tell from the videos, "what, if anything," Scott was holding when officer Brentley Vinson shot him in an apartment complex near UNC Charlotte.

Wednesday night’s protests in uptown Charlotte over a fatal police shooting began with a peaceful rally at Trade and Tryon streets. But then the crowd went in different directions: Some wound up listening to speeches of unity at an uptown church as others confronted police.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Roy Cooper told a business lunch in Charlotte Tuesday that the laws and policies of Gov. Pat McCrory and Republicans are damaging the state's reputation. Cooper says he'll work with citizens and business leaders to repair it.

Cooper, currently the state’s attorney general, made his pitch for the governor's job at the Hood Hargett Breakfast Club at the Palm Restaurant, where McCrory spoke last week.

Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts and some city council members have rejected a compromise that state Republican leaders offered on the controversial House Bill 2. They said they have no plans to vote Monday night on repealing their expansion of the city’s non-discrimination ordinance, which prompted the law.


   New tests have found high levels of arsenic and other chemicals in the Yadkin River, near Duke Energy's retired Buck coal plant in Salisbury. Duke doesn't dispute the test results, but disagrees with environmentalists over what the results mean for water quality.

It's an unhappy week for sports promoters in North Carolina. Both the NCAA, on Monday, and the Atlantic Coast Conference, on Wednesday, said they're canceling championships here because of House Bill 2, which limits protections for LGBT people.

House Bill 2, Voter ID and coal ash cleanups are headline-grabbing issues in the governor’s race. Roads? Not so much. But the McCrory administration is touting success in changing the way North Carolina builds roads.

Jeff Cravotta / WFAE

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was in Charlotte Thursday for a midday rally at Johnson C. Smith University. She talked about college costs, voting rights, House Bill 2 and her differences with Republican Donald Trump.

The speech was aimed in part at rallying African Americans, and the college vote. There were cheers when she talked about her plans to help both students and historically black colleges and universities, or HBCUs, like JCSU.

Duke Energy's commercial energy division has bought six solar projects in Georgia. Duke Energy Renewables acquired the sites from solar developer SolAmerica Energy of Atlanta for an undisclosed sum.

Century-old Mount Mitchell State Park is getting ready to expand. State parks officials are working on a big land purchase, with the help of a national conservation group and private donors, that will double the park’s size.

Duke Energy has reached an agreement with developers of large solar farms that could limit where they build in North Carolina.  But officials say new procedures won't slow the growth of solar here.

State environmental officials are notifying owners of private wells near Duke Energy coal plants that they'll be getting new permanent water supplies or home water filters by late 2018.

Union County is one of the fastest growing counties in the state. It added 21,000 residents between 2010 and 2015. To keep growing, it needs more water. A public hearing is planned this Thursday, Sept. 1, on the county's plan to tap a new water source - Lake Tillery, on the Yadkin River.

Duke Energy wants answers on how testimony by a state toxicologist was leaked to the Associated Press three weeks ago. Duke believes an environmental group is responsible, and wants a court hearing on the matter.

Duke Energy has asked a federal appeals court in Washington, DC, to review its request for a longer license to manage about 300 miles of the Catawba River in North and South Carolina.

Republican party officials in Mecklenburg County have chosen a former Huntersville commissioner to replace Representative Charles Jeter on the ballot in November. The party’s executive committee picked Beth Danae Caulfield to run for the 92nd District seat this fall.

A federal judge in Texas has temporarily blocked an Obama administration order requiring U.S. public schools to let transgender students use bathrooms and locker rooms of their gender identities. 

Profits at Duke Energy were lower in the second quarter compared with a year ago, mainly because of a write-down as it prepares to sell its international business. But executives say Duke's main U.S. operations are strong.

This week Governor Pat McCrory's office accused a state toxicologist of lying under oath. That came after that toxicologist testified in a lawsuit to force Duke Energy to remove coal ash from one of its North Carolina plants. The testimony has ignited another round of debate over whether well water near Duke coal plants is safe to drink. WFAE environmental reporter David Boraks talked with All Things Considered host Lisa Worf about the news.   

 Updated 4:55 p.m.

Regulators have dismissed an appeal by two environmental groups that wanted to halt a Duke Energy power plant project in Asheville. The N.C. Utilities Commission says NC WARN and The Climate Times failed to post a $98 million bond required for the appeal.

But the battle may not be over. The environmental groups say they'll take the issue to the state Court of Appeals.  

If you're on a North Carolina mountaintop on a sunny day this summer, expect a great view…  maybe the clearest in decades. State environmental officials say it’s the payoff from years of air quality improvements.

 A geologist with decades of expertise in climate change and coastal erosion has resigned from the state science advisory panel he helped found. Stan Riggs says politics have made the panel "ineffective."

  South Carolina elections officials say former state representative Charles Jeter did NOT vote in the state in 2004. That contradicts a TV report this week suggesting Jeter voted twice that year. 

The heat is back, and that's pushing power plants to the limit. Duke Energy is testing a new way to trim demand – with a competition that challenges customers to turn off the A/C on days when electricity demand is highest. Monday was one of those days. 

Updated 6:22 p.m.

State representative Charles Jeter is stepping down and calling off his run for re-election this November. In a surprise announcement Monday morning, the Huntersville Republican says he needs to make his wife and children "the first priority in my life" right now.  

State regulators wrapped up a two-day public hearing in Raleigh Tuesday afternoon on the proposed merger of Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas. The two-day hearing included testimony from company leaders and a protest by merger opponents.

Executives including CEOs Lynn Good of Duke and Thomas Skains of Piedmont argued the $6.7 billion deal would create a stronger company and speed Duke's shift toward cleaner-burning natural gas.

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