Ben Bradford http://kufm.org en Toxic Leak Taints North Carolina Coal Plants, And Regulators http://kufm.org/post/toxic-leak-taints-north-carolina-coal-plants-and-regulators A broken pipe funneled 30,000 tons of toxic coal ash into the Dan River in North Carolina earlier this month, turning it gray. The pipe has been plugged, but <a href="http://www.npr.org/2014/02/05/272100015/more-than-80-000-tons-of-coal-ash-flow-into-n-c-river">the spill</a> has reignited a fight over storage of coal ash, and scrutiny of the state regulators responsible for monitoring it.<p>The U.S. Justice Department began a criminal investigation into North Carolina's coal ash ponds and the state's environmental officials last week. Thu, 20 Feb 2014 08:45:00 +0000 Ben Bradford 15222 at http://kufm.org Toxic Leak Taints North Carolina Coal Plants, And Regulators Banks Try To Save Big With 'ATMs Of The Future' http://kufm.org/post/banks-try-save-big-atms-future There's a drive-thru ATM in Charlotte, N.C., that looks pretty standard, but it has an extra function: a button that says "speak with teller."<p>The face of a woman wearing a headset sitting in front of a plain blue background flashes onto the ATM screen. "Good afternoon," she says. "Welcome to Bank of America. My name is Carolina. How are you today?"<p>She's one of a cadre of Bank of America employees in Florida and Delaware call centers, where they remotely control ATMs across the country. Wed, 01 Jan 2014 07:58:00 +0000 Ben Bradford 13107 at http://kufm.org Banks Try To Save Big With 'ATMs Of The Future' Furloughs Cut Into Classtime At U.S. Military Bases http://kufm.org/post/furloughs-cut-classtime-us-military-bases Civilian furloughs have begun at U.S. military installations worldwide. The mandatory days off without pay, prompted by the current round of budget cuts known as sequestration, are looming over Defense Department-run schools that serve the children of military families. For teachers at the nation's most populous Army base, Fort Bragg, cuts mean no new textbooks and a loss of school days. Thu, 18 Jul 2013 20:24:00 +0000 Ben Bradford 5558 at http://kufm.org