David Boraks

Reporter

David Boraks is a reporter and host at WFAE, covering energy & the environment, politics & government, affordable housing, transportation and other topics for WFAE.  He's a veteran Charlotte-area journalist who also has worked at the Charlotte Observer (1993-2000) and published the online community news network DavidsonNews.net and CorneliusNews.net (2006-2015).

He also has reported for American Banker (2000-2005), and worked as an editor at The China News in Taipei (1991), The Cambridge (Mass.) Chronicle (1989-1991) and The Hartford Courant (1986-1989).  He was been a Knight Center for Specialized Journalism fellow (telecommunications, 1997), won the North Carolina Information Technology Association Media Award (1998), won the Davidson College Sullivan Community Service Award (2009), and was an Annenberg/Knight Block-by-Block News Entrepreneur fellow (2011). 

David has a bachelor's  degree in history from Cornell University and a master's degree from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn.

A man gets off the 77X Express bus from Davidson Monday morning uptown.
David Boraks / WFAE

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper's statewide stay-at-home order is now in effect. But for people deemed "essential workers" during the coronavirus outbreak, the daily commute goes on. They work at technology companies and banks, takeout restaurants and construction sites, and most say they're comfortable with the situation. 

Many homeless people have moved their tents this week to East 13th St., near the Urban Ministry Center.
David Boraks / WFAE

CMPD officers are helping to clear homeless residents from camps near uptown, leaving many looking for new places to live. That's raising concern among advocates for the homeless, who say the action flies in the face of guidance from federal health officials about preventing the spread of the coronavirus.

Crisis Assistance Ministry got $600,000 to help people in motels who have lost jobs or income.
Crisis Assistance Ministry

Charlotte's COVID-19 Response Fund has handed out its first $3 million in grants, to help Mecklenburg County residents affected by the coronavirus pandemic. 

DownDetector's map showed lots of reports of problems Thursday on the video conferencing site Zoom. Maps for major internet providers including AT&T and Spectrum look similar.
DownDetector.com

With many North Carolinians now under stay-at-home orders to keep the coronavirus from spreading, we're all relying on the internet for remote work and schooling. Dropped connections during meetings or classes are becoming more common, a sign that the internet is straining under the demand.

A Blue Line train pulls away from J.W. Clay Station on North Tryon Street near UNC Charlotte in this 2018 file photo.
David Boraks / WFAE

Updated 1:19 p.m.
Charlotte Area Transit System is making buses and trains free, but plans to reduce service by about one-half beginning Wednesday until further notice, as commuting slows because of the coronavirus. CATS says ridership is down 41 percent since early March on buses and the Lynx Blue Line light rail.

Heath Burchett of Watchmen of the Streets (left) talks with Albert, a homeless man who needed supplies - and a prayer.
David Boraks / WFAE

As Charlotte's homeless population grows, more people are sleeping outdoors. Each has a name and a story. A seven-year-old ministry called Watchmen of the Streets visits them regularly to bring supplies - and friendship.

Ten Tryon will break ground this spring on North Tryon Street between 9th and 10th streets.
Armada Hoffler Properties

The long-planned Ten Tryon mixed-use project on North Tryon Street in uptown Charlotte was supposed to break ground this spring. But the developers now say the 15-story tower - with a Publix grocery store -  is on hold because of uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus outbreak.

Ron Raeford waited for to see if any customers would come in Saturday morning at his Davidson barbershop.
David Boraks / WFAE

Barbershops and hair salons have been hit hard by the coronavirus downturn and social distancing. Ron Raeford owns Raeford's Barbershop on Main Street in Davidson, where traffic really slowed down last week. On Saturday mornings, there's usually a bunch of men waiting when the doors open. This weekend, the chairs were empty. 

Owner Brian Helfrich and retail director Dora Callahan of Summit Coffee in Davidson are opening a new location in an old drive-through bank.
David Boraks / WFAE

Many restaurants and bars in North Carolina have closed since the governor banned inside dining Tuesday amid the coronavirus pandemic. But a popular coffee shop in Davidson is doing the opposite - opening a new location.

A homeless resident uses a flashlight in a tent at a homeless camp near uptown Charlotte.
David Boraks / WFAE

The number of people sleeping outdoors in Charlotte appears to be rising as shelter programs adjust services because of the coronavirus. These residents are following news about the pandemic, and with a bit of help, taking precautions.

Jacquelyn Gates Singleton picked up a cardboard box full of breakfasts and lunches for her children, at North Mecklenburg High School.
David Boraks / WFAE

With classes canceled because of the coronavirus scare, schools around the Charlotte region began handing out free take-home meals Tuesday, hoping to plug the gap for families that rely on school food programs. 

PEXELS / PIXABAY

School closings because of the coronavirus pandemic have educators scrambling to shift to online learning. But here in Mecklenburg County, as many as one in five students may lack the basic tools they need to work at home. Experts say that highlights an underlying crisis: the digital divide.

The Men's Shelter of Charlotte/Urban Ministry Center currently has 180 beds at its Statesville Avenue location, which will be replaced.
Michael Falero / WFAE

People who work with homeless residents in Mecklenburg County say the coronavirus outbreak has prompted new precautions, including health screening for shelter guests. They’re working to reduce crowding at meal time and appealing for donations of food and other supplies.

CMPD vehicle
NICK DE LA CANAL / WFAE

Two CMPD officers who shot and killed a man in uptown Charlotte in November will not be charged. 

police tape
TONY WEBSTER / FLICKR

Updated 4:43 p.m.
Three members of a Huntersville family were killed in a shooting Friday morning in a neighborhood east of downtown.

Wrong-sized girders on the Hawthorne Lane bridge project delayed work. Now it's delayed again, until July or August 2020.
David Boraks / WFAE

The Hawthorne Avenue bridge over Independence Boulevard won't open this month as scheduled. Charlotte Area Transit System says work is behind schedule again and the bridge won't open until late July or early August.  

Google Street View

Mecklenburg County officials said last month that a long-time goal of affordable housing on county-owned land in uptown Charlotte isn't financially feasible. But other property owners in the North Tryon Street area think it is, including First United Methodist Church.

Gaston County Commission Chair Tracy Philbeck (left) and Mecklenburg commissioner chair George Dunlap led a joint meeting of the two county commissions Wednesday at CPCC's  Harris Campus.
David Boraks / WFAE

County commissioners from Gaston and Mecklenburg agreed in principle Wednesday to push for restarting the Mountain Island Lake Marine Commission, which was disbanded after a disagreement six years ago. And they agreed to cooperate on other shared issues, like state legislation and transportation. 

An architect's preliminary drawing of the planned Cain Center for the Arts in downtown Cornelius.
Cain Center for the Arts/C Design/Holzman Moss Bottino Architecture

Lake Norman is a major destination for visitors north of Charlotte. Nearby downtown Cornelius isn't. But organizers say a planned $25 million regional arts center will change that — if they can raise the last $9 million this year.

Entrance to the Ingersoll Rand campus in Davidson.
Google Street View

Layoffs have begun in Davidson after a merger and spin-off that split big industrial employer Ingersoll Rand into two companies.

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