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.

David Boraks / WFAE

Water use around the nation and in the Southeast is unsustainable, and it may already be too late to avoid long-term effects, says a NASA water scientist who spoke in Charlotte Tuesday night.

Carolina Waterfowl Rescue

Workers have mostly contained a 1,000-gallon diesel spill from an uptown office building into Little Sugar Creek last week. The spill affected birds and turtles along the waterway, and county officials say they’re studying whether to issue a fine.

Duke Energy Solar farm near Elizabeth City NC
Duke Energy

Duke Energy and Google announced a deal Tuesday that will supply Google's Lenoir data center with power from a new solar farm under development in Rutherford County. Duke says the 61-megawatt facility being developed by Rutherford Solar LLC will be one of North Carolina's largest.

Under the deal, Duke Energy will buy power from the new solar project, and re-sell it to Google. The partnership is the first through Duke's Green Source Rider program, which supplies renewable energy to non-residential customers. The project's cost won't be passed on to the utility's other customers.

nick tennyson
David Boraks / WFAE

Workers have repainted lane lines and posted orange construction signs on I-77 in the Lake Norman area as work begins to widen the road with toll lanes. But there’s still lots of opposition, and local officials fighting the plan got no hope when they met NCDOT leaders in Cornelius Monday morning in what was billed as an I-77 Summit.

David Boraks / WFAE

Duke Energy is the nation’s largest power company, supplying electricity to more than 7 million customers in the Southeast and Midwest. But for the past six years, the Charlotte company also has been quietly building a separate startup business that sells wind and solar power to other utilities and businesses.

I-485 Toll Lane Map
NCDOT

The toll-lane widening project that began construction on I-77 north of Charlotte this week won’t be the only one in the Charlotte area. Next up are toll lanes on 17 miles of I-485 in south Charlotte, from I-77 to US 74.

 

The NCDOT hopes to sign a contract for the $200 million project in July. One toll lane is planned in both directions, as a way to guarantee travel times on the congested stretch. Construction would begin in 2017 and take a couple of years.  

 

http://www.ncdot.gov

Drivers will have to deal with construction for a while in addition to the regular rush-hour backups on I-77 north of Charlotte. Work began Monday night on a 3-year, $648 million project to widen a 26-mile section of the road with toll lanes.

And if you’ve been following the debate on this project, you know it’s very controversial. Even as construction begins, opponents are fighting to halt it. WFAE’s David Boraks joins All Things Considered host Mark Rumsey now.


David Boraks / CorneliusNews.net file photo

Some state lawmakers are stepping up efforts to halt the construction of toll lanes on I-77 north of Charlotte, as construction begins Monday. They called on Governor Pat McCrory Friday to cancel the project, but he wasted little time in rejecting the idea.  

David Boraks / CorneliusNews.net file photo

The company hired to build and operate toll lanes on I-77 north of Charlotte says it will begin construction work on the $648 million project this Monday, Nov. 16.

E2D leaders accept US award
E2D

There's a technology gap in Mecklenburg County for some local students - not at school, but at home. A North Mecklenburg group is trying to close that digital divide. And now it has been recognized as the most innovative in the nation.

A Davidson group called E2D - for Eliminate the Digital Divide - has made big strides over the past three years in closing the gap between technology haves and have-nots in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools. Founded three years ago, E2D provides free computers to families that lack them, along with training and low-cost internet access.

In Huntersville, challenger John Aneralla easily unseated four-term Mayor Jill Swain after an unusually

combative election campaign, winning 59 percent of the vote.  Voters there also added three new members to the six-member Town Board, unseating incumbents Sarah McAulay and Jeff Neely.

Tasnim Shamma / WFAE file photo

SUNDAY HEADLINES: State public safety officials say a friend and campaign donor of Gov. Pat McCrory got his company’s prison maintenance contracts extended, even after the public safety department’s leader said the contracts shouldn’t be renewed.

Fieldvale place shooting scene
Todd Sumlin / The Charlotte Observer

It has been a deadly Labor Day weekend so far in Charlotte, with five people killed in four separate shootings amid a wave of gun violence as of Sunday morning. A 7-year-old boy was shot to death and three other people were injured at a home in southwest Charlotte Saturday night.

North Carolina Democrats have a new leader.  At a meeting in Pittsboro Saturday, hundreds of party activists elected Patsy Keever of Asheville as chair. She got a majority of the votes cast among the five seeking to succeed outgoing Chair Randy Voller, who did not seek re-election.  Keever has been first vice chair, the party’s number two in command, since 2013. She’s a former state legislator, county commissioner and two-time congressional candidate.   

Hundreds of marchers, from high school bands to dancers to community leaders, marched through uptown Charlotte in Saturday in the annual Martin Luther King Day Parade.  The parade was part of a weekend full of events for the King Day Holiday.

Sunday headlines: It was a game of big plays Saturday night in Seattle, but they didn’t go the right way for the Carolina Panthers. The Seahawks pulled away in the fourth quarter to win their NFC playoff, 31 to 17.  Russell Wilson threw three touchdown passes to lead the victory, but Seattle’s Kam Chancellor had the night’s biggest play, with 5:55 left in the game. He anticipated Cam Newton’s pass, stepped in front of receiver Ed Dickson, and returned the interception 90 yards for a touchdown.

The Carolina Panthers are headed to the NFC Divisional playoff next weekend thanks to a record-setting defensive performance Saturday at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.  The Panthers held Arizona to just 78 yards of offense – an NFL playoff record – in the 27 to 16 victory in the NFC Wild Card playoff game.

More charter schools are in the planning stages in North Carolina. The Charlotte Observer reports the state received 11 more applications for charters next year, including three in the Charlotte area.   The expected growth comes as the latest crop of new schools falls short of enrollment projections. The newspaper reports that two Charlotte area charters have closed over the past two years in their first years,  because of low enrollment and other troubles.

New federal rules are out governing disposal of coal ash, but environmentalists aren’t too happy.  They’ve been calling for stricter controls for years on the ash, which is the byproduct of burning coal for electricity. The government acted after a series of spills: Six years ago, there was a massive spill of coal ash sludge in Tennessee. Three years later, tons of coal ash swept into Lake Michigan. Last February, another spill and gray sludge spewed into North Carolina’s Dan River. Environmentalists wanted coal ash to be treated as hazardous waste.

Protests have continued around the nation and in North Carolina this weekend, aimed at calling attention to police killings of unarmed black men.  In Fayetteville Saturday, marchers waved signs along the curb of Ski-bo Road, chanting "Hands Up, Don't Shoot." Passing motorists honked their horns in support.  Police didn't have an estimate of the number of marchers.  And in downtown Charlotte yesterday afternoon, about 60 people protested at Trade and Tryon streets.

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