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.

Jeff Dugdale
Queens University

Eight years ago, Queens University in Charlotte sent five swimmers to the Olympics. Four years ago, the Division II school that has won five straight national titles had 12 Olympians who trained in the Queens pool go to the 2016 Rio Olympics. They came back with eight medals.

This year?

“Obviously, we’ll never know,” Queens swimming coach Jeff Dugdale said.

N95 respirator mask, which are in short supply during the coronavirus pandemic.
Food and Drug Administration

A group of textile manufacturers are coming together to produce up to 10 million face masks for hospitals and health care workers fighting the coronavirus. A Gastonia-based company is leading the effort.


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In Mecklenburg County, the justice system is beginning to release some inmates from the county jail to protect them and to prevent the introduction of coronavirus. 

Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden

Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden is asking the court system to stop issuing eviction notices for 30 days due to the coronavirus pandemic. He says evictions could further destabilize people’s lives at a time when schools and businesses are closed.


Mecklenburg County has three new likely cases of coronavirus, county Health Director Gibbie Harris said Monday.

Cheri Beasley
Judicial Branch of North Carolina

North Carolina’s court system will postpone most court cases for the next 30 days in response to the coronavirus. The change will go into effect Monday, March 16. Chief Justice Cheri Beasley said in a press conference Friday that the decision would impact thousands of cases going through the state’s superior and district courts.

UNC System schools, including UNC Charlotte, announce they will only hold virtual classes after March 23rd
UNC Charlotte / Stake Your Claim

In the wake of a growing number of cases of the coronavirus, Charlotte-area universities are reevaluating their class schedules, and hospital systems are adding new rules to prevent the introduction of the virus at their facilities.

LinkedIn/Greg Lindberg


A major political donor has been found guilty of trying to bribe a North Carolina insurance regulator in hopes of reducing scrutiny of his business.

CATS currently has 56 hybrid diesel-electric buses like this one, but no battery electric buses yet.
David Boraks / WFAE

The city of Charlotte has established ambitious sustainability goals to become a low-carbon city by 2030. But the CEO of the Charlotte Area Transit System says he doesn’t think CATS will meet that deadline.

activist and Belmont resident Amy Brown.
Michael Falero / WFAE

About 45 residents showed up for a public hearing Thursday night in Belmont. They asked questions about Duke's plans to transfer coal ash from the Allen Steam Station to new, lined landfills.

Conrad Erb.

An art installation that visualizes pollution in the air we breathe returns to Charlotte this weekend for a month-long residency.

Michael Falero / WFAE


The Charlotte Convention Center’s Ballroom was a maze of booths filled with companies, professional schools, and government organizations on Thursday. They were there to meet students and recent graduates from historically black colleges and universities for the CIAA career fair.

N.C. Department of Insurance

State Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey continued testimony Thursday morning in the federal bribery trial of insurance businessman Greg Lindberg. Lindberg and two of his associates are accused of trying to funnel $2 million to Causey in political contributions in exchange for removing a senior deputy in his office who was part of the regulation of Lindberg's insurance companies. WFAE political reporter Steve Harrison spoke to Michael Falero from the federal courthouse in Charlotte. 

CMPD vehicle

A man died after police say he was struck by a car while on a bicycle Monday night in east Charlotte. CMPD says officers found 24-year-old Franklin Leal lying unresponsive in Harrisburg Road not far from the Harrisburg Soccer Sports Complex around 11 p.m. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Mayor Vi Lyles and Governor Roy Cooper attend a roundtable of Charlotte business leaders at UNC Charlotte
Michael Falero / WFAE

Gov. Roy Cooper held a business roundtable at UNC Charlotte on Thursday afternoon, listening to thoughts on the local business environment from companies that have relocated to Charlotte or expanded their presence in the area.

The old Philip Morris cigarette plant, covering 500 acres of the 2,000 acre site. The plant was torn down in 2019.
Jones Lang Lasalle Inc.

Concord City Council will vote Thursday night to offer more than $800,000 in tax incentives to what appears to be a Chinese furniture maker. The company would build a facility on the site of the old Phillip Morris plant.


The Charlotte region could see flash flooding this week, with between 1 and 1.5 inches of rainfall expected between Monday evening and Thursday.

CMPD's new de-escalation training scenario building that will be located next to the new facility.
City of Charlotte

CMPD and other law enforcement agencies broke ground Tuesday morning on a new de-escalation training facility in southwest Charlotte.

People attending the North Carolina Utilities Commission public hearing for Duke's rate increase wave green cards to agree with a speaker instead of applauding.
Michael Falero / WFAE

Opponents of Duke Energy’s request for a proposed 6% rate increase in Western North Carolina dominated a public hearing in Charlotte on Thursday night.

Mecklenburg District Attorney Spencer Merriweather speaking on Jan. 29, 2020
Michael Falero / WFAE

Mecklenburg County District Attorney Spencer Merriweather outlined his office’s priorities for the year, after Charlotte recorded 107 homicides in 2019.