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 worked for American Banker (2000-2005), The China News in Taipei (1991), The Cambridge (Mass.) Chronicle (1989-1991) and The Hartford Courant (1986-89).  He has been a Knight Center for Specialized Journalism fellow (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.

Environmental groups tracked logs that were cut from North Carolina forests to Enviva's plants.
Dogwood Alliance

A big producer of wood pellets has agreed to install pollution controls at two pellet plants, in Richmond and Sampson counties.

Updated 10:51 a.m.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police are investigating a fatal shooting Wednesday morning in north Charlotte. Police say it happened just before 5:45 a.m., when someone fired shots into a home on Ohaus Court, off Sunset Road. 

Fifteen miles of the I-77 Express Lanes opened Saturday between Huntersville and Mooresville.
David Boraks / WFAE

Toll lanes have been under construction for nearly four years on I-77 from Charlotte to the Lake Norman area. Over the weekend, the northern 15 miles of the project opened to traffic. Monday was the first weekday rush hour with the lanes. Some drivers took advantage of the faster commute, while toll lane opponents continued to fume about the whole idea. WFAE's "All Things Considered" host Gwendolyn Glenn talked about all this with WFAE reporter David Boraks, who has been covering the project since the planning stages.  

Rickey Hall (left) is chair and Charis Blackmon is executive director of the West Charlotte Community Land Trust. They're on the trust's first property, on Tuckaseegee Road.
David Boraks / WFAE

Charlotte's West Side Community Land Trust has begun acquiring land and raising money for its efforts to fight gentrification in west Charlotte. The 2½ year old nonprofit has a $2.5 million plan to develop 50 affordable single-family homes over the next five years. But most of that money has yet to be raised.

Barriers separate free lanes from toll lanes (left) on I-77 north of Charlotte. The northern section of the toll lanes is scheduled to open to traffic on Saturday, June 1.
David Boraks / WFAE

After nearly four years of construction, and months of delays, the northern section of the I-77 toll lanes near Charlotte is scheduled to open Saturday morning, June 1. Beginning at 10 a.m., the I-77 Express Lanes will be open in both directions, from Exit 36 in Mooresville to Hambright Road in Huntersville.

The next North Carolina legislative election is still 18 months away, but a rematch is already shaping up in a north Mecklenburg House district that was decided in a narrow vote last fall.  

Mattresses pile up at the North Mecklenburg Recycling Center in Huntersville.
David Boraks / WFAE

Memorial Day weekend means remembering America's war dead, cookouts, and a big push to sell you a new mattress. That means thousands of old mattresses are being retired throughout the country – to the landfill. It’s a growing problem in Mecklenburg County.

A Cornelius Lake Patrol boat pulls away from the dock at Ramsey Creek Park on Lake Norman Friday.
David Boraks / WFAE

Last year was the deadliest since 1990 for boaters on North Carolina's lakes and waterways. State and local law enforcement officials are increasing patrols and pushing safety this holiday weekend, as the summer boating season begins.

The ParkScore map for Mecklenburg County identified suggested sites (blue dots) for the next new parks.  Red and orange areas have "very high" and "high" need for parks.
ParkScore / Trust for Public Lands

Updated 1:56 p.m.
Charlotte and Mecklenburg County moved up one place from last year in an annual study that ranks cities on spending and access to public parks. But the region still ranks 96th out of the 100 largest U.S. cities in the 2019 ParkScore Index.

The annual ranking compiled by the Trust for Public Land looks at the percentage of residents who live near a park, total acreage, park amenities and total investment.

Duke Energy tested a solar-and-battery microgrid at this site in south Charlotte.
David Boraks / WFAE

Duke Energy will begin construction soon on one of its first large-scale electricity microgrids in the North Carolina mountains. The project will use solar panels and battery storage to supply backup power to about 500 residents in the remote mountain town of Hot Springs, on the Tennessee border.

Continuum CEO David Auger explained network improvements in 2015. He died May 17.
David Boraks / WFAE

The chief executive of the community-owned cable and internet system in the Lake Norman area has passed away. David Auger died Friday, May 17.

Gwen Sherrill and her great-grandson, Cali Williams, 3, pose on the porch of her home on Potts Street in Davidson. She recently got $18,000 worth of repairs with help from the town and Our Towns Habitat for Humanity.
David Boraks / WFAE

Affordable housing efforts across the Charlotte region often focus on building new homes. But the city of Charlotte and surrounding towns increasingly are working to preserve existing housing so it's not lost to gentrification. Habitat for Humanity chapters are partners, through Critical Home Repair programs, that are shifting the organization's focus away from home building and toward repairs.

An architect's drawing shows what the proposed CaroMont Regional Medical Center-Belmont would look like from I-85. If approved, it would open as soon as 2023.
CaroMont Health

CaroMont Health announced plans Friday for its second hospital in Gaston County, near Belmont Abbey College.  

Contractors for Piedmont Lithium drill for core samples in a farm field in northern Gaston County.
David Boraks / WFAE

Piedmont North Carolina's gold-mining history is well known. Not so well known is that mines west of Charlotte once produced most of the world's supply of another important element - lithium. Those mines in Gaston County shut down nearly three decades ago. But a company called Piedmont Lithium wants to open a new surface mine next year to supply lithium for batteries to power electric vehicles.

Volunteers unload trash during Saturday's Pottstown community cleanup day at Torrence-Lytle School in Huntersville.
David Boraks / WFAE


In Huntersville Saturday, more than 50 volunteers joined residents of the largely African-American Pottstown neighborhood for a cleanup that also was designed to build community.

Cornelius resident Willie Jones spoke at Thursday's county budget hearing, seeking funding to develop Smithville.
Mecklenburg County Government Channel

Most speakers at Thursday night's public hearing on the Mecklenburg County budget came to praise the plan. But a half-dozen speakers from Cornelius pushed for something that wasn't included - money to redevelop the historically black Smithville neighborhood.

Charlotte Music Ecosystem Study and Action Plan

Updated 4:04 p.m.

Most musicians in Charlotte aren't getting rich following their passion. A new study of the city's music scene found the median income from music for local musicians is below $10,000 a year. But the study published Monday also found that Charlotte's music scene is relatively healthy: 81 percent of local music venues and presenters plan to book more local music in the future. 

About 150 people joined a March for Our Lives rally at UNCC Friday.
David Boraks / WFAE

Back in March, students at UNC Charlotte began organizing a chapter of the nationwide youth movement March for Our Lives. On Friday, they held their first rally against gun violence, prompted by something none of them expected - a deadly shooting on their own campus.

Platform Lofts will be on North Tryon Street, across from the Old Concord Road light rail station. Rents will be $600 to just over $1,000 a month.
NRP Group

City and business leaders gathered Friday to mark the start of construction on a 198-unit affordable apartment complex along the Blue Line Light Rail extension in northeast Charlotte that's being built with a mix of private and city funds, and tax credits.

Chancellor Philip Dubois
www.inside.uncc.edu

UNC Charlotte Chancellor Phil Dubois says the university plans an "extensive independent and external" review of Tuesday's shooting on campus that killed two students and injured four others.

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