Michael Falero

Energy & Environment Reporter

Michael Falero is a radio reporter, focusing on energy and the environment. Before joining WFAE in 2019, he worked as a producer for a number of local news podcasts based in Charlotte and Boston. He's a graduate of the Transom Story Workshop intensive on Cape Cod and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His work has also aired on WCAI, West Virginia Public Broadcasting, and PRX Remix.

N.C. Department of Public Safety

Gov. Roy Cooper says North Carolina will stay in its current phase of COVID-19 restrictions for three more weeks and that most residents will be required to wear face masks in public when social distancing isn't possible. 

Erik (HASH) Hersman / Flickr/https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Tuesday’s Republican primary in North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District is taking place with fewer poll workers due to the coronavirus pandemic. The district covers 17 of North Carolina’s western counties. 

Beatties Ford Road shooting aftermath. 06/22/20
Michael Falero / WFAE

There are still many unknowns around the mass shooting on Beatties Ford Road that occurred early Monday morning. What we do know is that two Juneteenth celebrations occurred on Friday and Saturday on Beatties Ford Road. Both were peaceful. A third started off peaceful Sunday, but turned violent as gunshots were fired at roughly 12:30 a.m. People were hit by cars as they tried to flee the scene. Three people have died. Police are still searching for a motive and suspects.

Marchers Wednesday night remembered the people murdered five years ago at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston.
Michael Falero / WFAE

Hundreds of people gathered in Charlotte Wednesday evening during the third week of protests in the city.


An event called the Black Men United March and Rally was organized by local leaders including Charlotte city council member Malcolm Graham, whose sister, Cynthia Graham Hurd, was one of nine black people killed by a white supremacist five years ago during a Bible study at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

A breakdown of Mecklenburg County's COVID-19 cases by ethnicity and age, as of June 14, 2020.
Mecklenburg County Public Health Department

Mecklenburg County’s public health department reports Latinos make up more than a third of the county’s coronavirus cases. And the majority of those cases are among people under 40. The county is concerned about the trend and is increasing its outreach to Charlotte’s Latino community.

Demonstrators pass out bags of food to homeless residents. 6/10/20
Michael Falero / WFAE

UPDATED 9:10 p.m.

On the 13th day of demonstrations in Charlotte against police violence and systemic racism, a "March and Feed" led by the Million Youth March of Charlotte and Salisbury began Wednesday night at Charlotte's Marshall Park. Later, the group joined others at the "Silence for the Silenced" vigil in Romare Bearden Park.

Sarah Delia / WFAE

Demonstrators gathered in Charlotte for the 12th night in a row Tuesday to demand an end to systemic racism and police brutality. But it was a different type of demonstration than in nights past. There was a sense of peace and reverence in the air and activism and voice through new artwork adorning a major uptown street.

Artists complete the base paint layers for the "Black Lives Matter" mural on Tryon Street in Uptown Charlotte.
Michael Falero / WFAE

More than a dozen artists began painting a large mural that says “Black Lives Matter” on a block of Tryon Street between Third and Fourth streets in uptown Charlotte on Tuesday morning. The mural should be done by evening.


Gaston County’s 16-year-veteran Health and Human Services Director Chris Dobbins resigned abruptly Monday. Gaston County's government says it won’t comment because it’s a personnel issue.

People gathered at the Belmont Police Department Sunday afternoon ahead of a march through downtown Belmont.  6/7/20
Ann Doss Helms / WFAE

Updated 11:50 p.m.

Sunday marked the 10th day people have marched the streets of their towns and neighborhoods around Charlotte to protest racial injustice and police violence against people of color. 

Henry McMaster
South Carolina ETV

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster is facing questions for clarification of comments he made on a recent phone call between President Trump and the nation’s governors. McMaster can be heard on the leaked phone call saying protesters were paid, and that protesters should be “dominated.”

File photo of City Council member Braxton Winston, January 14, 2019.
David Boraks / WFAE

Charlotte City council member Braxton Winston said Tuesday that he had communicated with Charlotte-Mecklenburg police before he was arrested at a protest Friday night in west Charlotte.

Michael Falero / WFAE


A crowd of up to 250 people protested outside a CMPD office in north Charlotte on Friday evening, eventually breaking windows until police fired tear gas to disperse those who had gathered. The protest was one of many across the country following the death of George Floyd this past week by a police officer in Minneapolis.


Union County’s school board voted Thursday night to hold traditional high school graduations outdoors at school stadiums. The plans are in defiance of Gov. Roy Cooper’s Phase 2 restrictions on large gatherings.

Gov. Roy Cooper speaks about the coronavirus at a press briefing on May 26, 2020.
NC Department of Public Safety


North Carolina reached a record high in COVID-19 hospitalizations for the second day in a row Thursday. It also recorded its third-highest number of deaths in a single day. Gov. Roy Cooper and public health officials say they’re closely watching the state’s health trends as the state reopens in phases.

University of Southern California

North Carolina's Department of Health and Human Services has identified its first case of a rare inflammatory condition linked to the coronavirus, known as Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C).

Gov. Roy Cooper
NC Department of Public Safety

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced Wednesday that the state will transition to a modified version of Phase 2 of his three-phase reopening plan from the coronavirus pandemic shutdown.

David Flower / city of Charlotte

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department's next chief has been named.

Flickr/cheriejoyful / Flickr

An annual ranking of 100 city park systems around the country has again placed Charlotte near the bottom, though the Queen City saw some small improvements.

Brett Dupree searches for the overcup oak near McDowell Nature Preserve
Michael Falero / WFAE

Charlotte's rapid development in the past 20 years has threatened the city’s tree canopy, with at least 400 total acres lost since 2012. Among those lost are some of Charlotte’s biggest trees, and now there's an effort to track down a number of the city’s historic "treasure trees."