WFAE

Duke Energy plans to install its first two large-scale battery storage units in 2019 in western North Carolina.  A nine-megawatt battery system will be installed in Asheville and a four-megawatt system is planned in Hot Springs, in Madison County.

The results of Tuesday's primaries are in, and it was a night of upsets in Charlotte. Young challengers beat long time incumbents and the city will have a new mayor.

Republican Kenny Smith easily won his primary. And Vi Lyles defeated Jennifer Roberts and Joel Ford in the Democratic primary. In a surprise, that race wasn't even close.

Electric utilities are preparing for the possibility of widespread power outages if Hurricane Irma blows into the Carolinas next week.  Forecasters say the mostly likely problem will be wind.

UPDATED at 6:10 p.m. Thursday

Governors Roy Cooper of North Carolina and Henry McMaster of South Carolina have both declared a state of emergency so state and local officials can better prepare for Hurricane Irma.

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster is ordering the evacuations of 143 health care facilities on the coast. He said he’ll decide Saturday morning whether to order an evacuation for residents. But he warns the major highways are already getting crowded with people leaving Florida and Georgia.

A few hundred people gathered in uptown Charlotte on Tuesday to express their anger and fear over the President’s decision to end DACA. They included DACA recipients and those who want to protect the legal status of these immigrants. Here are some of their voices. 

Elver Barrios: "2013 came and I got my work permit and I went to the DMV and I got my driver's license. I was so happy to have a driver's license in the state of North Carolina and to be able to drive without the fear of being deported. 2016 came and many of our dreams were shattered in November." 

President Trump's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, or DACA, brought a range of reactions in North Carolina. Congressional Democrats called it a betrayal and cold-hearted. Republicans applauded, though they disagree on how far to go with a law to replace DACA. Immigrant advocates hope for a compromise to help DACA's so-called "dreamers." 

Updated 4:54 p.m.

North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis is applauding the Trump administration's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, or DACA. Tillis said Tuesday morning it should be up to Congress to set a long-term policy on the status of immigrants who arrived as children.

Immigrant groups in North Carolina are mobilizing amid reports that President Donald Trump may end the DACA program, while giving Congress six months to come up with a possible replacement.

Duke Energy announced last week it's pulling the plug on two proposed nuclear power projects.  But executives say Duke isn't shutting the door on the idea of building more nuclear plants someday.

Photographer Alvin Jacobs of Charlotte does what you’d expect a photographer to do: Lots of personal portraits and fashion photography are in his portfolio.

And then, he has a passion project. He travels to cities with social unrest. He’s captured protests in places like Ferguson, Baltimore, Charlotte. Last weekend, it was Charlottesville.

In the wake of the weekend's racially-tainted violence in Charlottesville, Virginia - tensions have flared in other communities, especially across the South.  In Durham, protesters toppled a monument of a Confederate soldier that has stood outside the old Durham County courthouse since 1924.

And, since Sunday - a brief encounter in a Gaston County neighborhood has brought more emotions to the surface.  A video from the Facebook page of a Mount Holly woman named Page Braswell has gone viral.  She confronted a man who was flying the Nazi flag at his home. He told her his name is Joe Love. WFAE's Mark Rumsey spoke to Braswell about her encounter.

When you are carving up the state into new political districts, you don't do it willy-nilly. Especially when you have 28 state legislative seats ruled illegal racial gerrymanders and a federal court watching what you do.

Thursday, we learned just what criteria state lawmakers are going to use in this court ordered round of redistricting.

Allstate Expands Operations In Charlotte

Aug 10, 2017

Allstate Insurance Company is bringing 2,250 jobs to Charlotte. The governor announced the expansion Wednesday at the Chamber of Commerce. The insurer said it will hire claims specialists, actuaries, underwriters, IT professionals and support personnel over the next three years as part of an expansion of the operations center in Charlotte.


Profits were up 35 percent at Duke Energy during the second quarter compared with a year ago, helped by higher prices and strong sales of electricity. The company saw higher profits in all three of its main businesses: gas, commercial renewable energy, and the largest - electricity.

It's been almost a week since a bridge construction crew sliced through cables that send power to Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands, forcing an evacuation of tourists.  Officials are now saying it could be this weekend or early next week before the power is back on.

To get some perspective on the economic impact of all this during what is the Outer Banks' peak season, we reached Wit Tuttell. He's the executive director of Visit North Carolina. That's the tourism arm of the state commerce department.  

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