David Boraks

David Boraks is a WFAE weekend host and a producer for "Charlotte Talks." He's a veteran Charlotte-area journalist who has worked part-time at WFAE since 2007 and for other outlets including DavidsonNews.net and The Charlotte Observer.

North Carolina was once a top wine producer - until Prohibition killed the industry. But it's growing again. The North Carolina Wine & Grape Council says the state now has 186 wineries and adds about a dozen new ones a year. Dover Vineyards in Concord is one of those startups.

 An unaffiliated candidate has gathered enough signatures to get her name on the November ballot as a challenger for the state 98th District House seat. Jane Campbell of Davidson will face Republican incumbent John Bradford of Cornelius, who is seeking his second term.

The North Carolina Senate approved a bill Monday that would ban wind farms across much of the state. The "Military Operations Protection Act," which passed 33-14, would not allow wind turbines in areas with military training flights.

Time may be running out for North Carolina lawmakers to reach a compromise on how to update the state's coal ash cleanup law. That's according to the chief sponsor of a bill that Gov. Pat McCrory vetoed last week.

The North Carolina General Assembly is considering a catch-all regulatory reform bill that would, among other things, end the ban on dumping electronics in landfills, allow sales of pet turtles, and let local distilleries sell online.

State regulators will hold a hearing June 17 to help determine whether environmentalists should have to pay a multimillion dollar appeal bond before they challenge approval of a Duke Energy power plant in Asheville. 

 Gov. Pat McCrory has followed through on his threat to veto a bill revising the state's coal ash cleanup law. In a statement Monday night, McCrory said the bill's attempt to revive the Coal Ash Management Commission was unconstitutional. He also said the bill weakens environmental protections.

A superior court judge this week ordered Duke Energy to dig up and remove coal at four North Carolina plants - something it's already doing under the state's 2014 coal ash cleanup law.

Judge Paul Ridgeway ordered excavations of coal ash basins at the Riverbend plant in Mount Holly as well as plants on the Dan River, Asheville, and Wilmington.  State regulators had sued Duke in 2013 to seek cleanups at the four plants, and environmental groups later joined the suits.

DUNCAN McFADYEN: North Carolina's Division of Motor Vehicles ruled last week that Tesla can't sell its electric cars at a store in Charlotte. That has a lot of people scratching their heads - why not? WFAE's David Boraks is with me now to talk about it.

The North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles has denied Tesla Motors' application to sell its electric cars at a new store near Charlotte. 

Lawmakers are debating a bill that would give Duke Energy more time and flexibility in cleaning up coal ash at its North Carolina plants. A Duke official said Thursday that Duke needs the change because it can't hit state deadlines for removing the ash at most of its plants.

  Duke Energy will have to remove coal ash stored near all 14 of its North Carolina power plants under final risk classifications out Wednesday from state regulators. But that may not be the last word.

Federal officials issued a directive to school districts nationwide Friday saying they must treat transgender students according to the gender they identify with.  That brought another round of criticism from North Carolina officials, including Gov. Pat McCrory, who said federal agencies don't have the authority to decide school policies for bathrooms, locker rooms and other facilities.

In late March, fans of Tesla's luxury electric cars swarmed its website and stores to reserve the new Model 3. It’s a lower-priced design aimed at the mass market.  But delivering those cars next year could be a problem: Traditional auto dealers are fighting its plan for new showrooms, including one in Charlotte.

  Supporters and opponents of House Bill 2 both rallied near the legislature Monday, as lawmakers returned for the new session. And as they returned, four Democratic representatives introduced a bill to repeal the controversial law.

 State Senate Leader Phil Berger says he doesn’t envision any changes to House Bill 2 during the short session that begins Monday, including one revision requested by Gov. Pat McCrory. He also said he’ll push for a 2 percent state budget increase, including another round of teacher raises. 

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