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    Gary O'Brien - AP
    A double rainbow is seen over the uptown Charlotte, N.C. skyline after a fast-moving shower passed over the city about 6:15 pm Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009. GARY O'BRIEN-gobrien@charlotteobserver.com
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    LAYNE BAILEY - Staff Photographer
    4/13/2007 Big days ahead for the banks as they report earnings amid mortgage woes and gather for their annual meetings. Bank of America, left and Wachovia, right, in uptown Charlotte. LAYNE BAILEY - lbailey@charlotteobserver
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    CHRIS KEANE -
    7/12/03 Lightning strikes west of uptown Charlotte Saturday night. Charlotte Observer File Photo
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    CHRISTOPHER A. RECORD -
    5/10/02 With the Charlotte skyline looming behind, Peter Majoinen of Austrailia soars over the dirt course Friday at the Right Guard Xtreme Sport World Championships, part Vans Triple Crown of BMX. The event brings the world's best BMX riders to Charlotte to compete in three disciplines: Vert, Dirt and Street. The competition is taking place along Cedar Street behind Ericsson Stadium. Majoinen was knocked out of the competition when he injured his ankle on another jump. Charlotte Observer File Photo
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    JOHN D. SIMMONS -
    12/31/02: A distinctive design makes the Westin Hotel, stand out in the Charlotte skyline. Delays in the construction keep it from completion. JOHN D. SIMMONS-jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com
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    TODD SUMLIN -
    3/8/2003 A flowering tree blooms on Central Avenue overlooking the uptown Charlotte skyline. TODD SUMLIN-tsumlin@charlotteobserver.com
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    TODD SUMLIN - THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER
    11/20/2004 A flock of more than 65 Canada geese soar over uptown Charlotte Saturday afternoon, November 20, 2004. TODD SUMLIN-tsumlin@charlotteobserver.com
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    HUGH MORTON - AP
    In this photo provided by Grandfather Mountain, the skyline of Charlotte, N.C., is shown in this Friday, Nov. 21, 2003, photo taken from the top of Grandfather Mountain in Linville, N.C. Morton, whose camera lens captured some of North Carolina's enduring images and whose passion for environmental causes preserved Grandfather Mountain, died Thursday, June 1, 2006. Morton _ a promoter, environmentalist and owner of western North Carolina's Grandfather Mountain _ was known across the state, from the Blue Ridge Mountains he loved to the banks of the Cape Fear River in his hometown of Wilmington, where he helped make the battleship USS North Carolina a top attraction. Charlotte Observer File Photo
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    GARY O'BRIEN - Staff Photographer
    5/5/2008 - Jasmine Burns (left) of Hamlet, NC and Ashley Humes of Temple Hills, MD pour batter into cake pans during a cakes and decoration class project in the ground-level chocolate laboratory at Johnson & Wales University in uptown Charlotte, just a few blocks from the city's iconic skyline. The first four-year class of culinary and business students will graduate from Johnson & Wales this spring. The school and its students have had an impact on food, uptown culture, and economics in Charlotte. GARY O'BRIEN - gobrien@charlotteobserver.com
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    GARY O'BRIEN - STAFF PHOTOGRAHER
    The Charlotte skyline. GARY O'BRIEN - gobrien@charlotteobserver.com
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    T.ORTEGA GAINES -
    2/11/96 T. ORTEGA GAINES/Staff Amtrak's passenger train station in Charlotte, now about 1-1 / 2 miles north of uptown, could move to West Trade Street or another nearby location in the central business district. Uptown supporters hope to move the station by the end of the decade, but some groups want it to stay put. T.ORTEGA GAINES / STAFF
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    KENT D. JOHNSON -
    9/20/96 The Duke Power Electric Center light show brightens the Charlotte skyline. California artist Michael Hayden created the multimedia sculpture. Charlotte Observer File Photo
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    T.ORTEGA GAINES - T.Ortega Gaines-ogaines@charlott
    11.11.2010: Visitors walk along the Mecklenburg County Vietnam Veteran Memorial this Veterans Day looking for soldiers they once knew who gave their lives for their country. T.ORTEGA GAINES - ogaines@charlotteobserver.com
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    ERIN SMITH - ERIN SMITH - erinsmith@charlotte
    7-26-2010 Aidan Long 4, plays on the Fish Fountain at The Green. His mother, Alicia Long (CQ), said she brings her sons out to the fountain every Sunday after church for "a great after-church adventure.". ERIN SMITH - erinsmith@charlotteobserver.com
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    ROBERT LAHSER - ROBERT LAHSER - rlahser@charlott
    Worshippers exit the service Sunday at Central Church of God in Charlotte, a Pentacostal church. ROBERT LAHSER - rlahser@charlotteobserver.com
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    DAVID T. FOSTER III - DAVID T. FOSTER III-dtfoster@cha
    Rabbi Binyomin Weiss, assistant Rabbi at Congregation Ohr HaTorah, lights candles on top of an 8-foot-fall menorah filled with with coins during a Chanukah celebration at SouthPark Mall on Sunday evening. Eight Jewish organizations filled the menorah with coins collected over the past months, with the proceeds split between Jewish Family Services and Crisis Assitance Ministry. DAVID T. FOSTER III-dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com
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    BOB ROBERT PADGETT - special to the observer
    The castle-like turrets of the Grace AME Zion Church is a historic site along south Brevard, standing near the modern skyline of Charlotte. Charlotte Observer File Photo
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    JEFF WILLHELM - jwillhelm@charlotteobserver.com
    12/31/2010 - The past is burned and new lights lit for 2011 during First Night at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Charlotte. JEFF WILLHELM - jwillhelm@charlotteobserver.com
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    TODD SUMLIN - Staff Photographer
    12/22/2008 Hundreds line up to view the lights, live nativity scene, and ride horse-drawn carriages at the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte Monday night.TODD SUMLIN - tsumlin@charlotteobserver.com christmas
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    JEFF SINER - JEFF SINER - jsiner@charlotteobs
    Rory McIlroy celebrates his 42-foot birdie putt, a course-record 62 and the championship on the 18th green at Quail Hollow. JEFF SINER - jsiner@charlotteobserver.com
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    JEFF SINER - JEFF SINER - jsiner@charlotteobs
    4/30/10 Phil Mickelson powers out of the sand along the 14th hole during the second round of the 2010 Quail Hollow Championship at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, NC. JEFF SINER - jsiner@charlotteobserver.com
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    LAYNE BAILEY - charlotte observer
    Tiger Woods throws his golf ball to fans in 2007 to celebrate his victory in what was then called the Wachovia Championship. Wells Fargo will take over sponsorship of the tournament, a change brought about by its purchase of Wachovia. Charlotte Observer File Photo
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    ERIN SMITH - ERIN SMITH - erinsmith@charlotte
    7-27-2010 Democratic National Committee members walk past the Firebird on their way in to the Knight Theater. The members toured Charlotte Tuesday as part of their examination of potential sites for the 2012 convention. ERIN SMITH - erinsmith@charlotteobserver.com
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    JEFF WILLHELM - JEFF WILLHELM - jwillhelm@charlo
    10/10/2009 Patrons file into Knight Theater for the opening show Saturday night. JEFF WILLHELM - jwillhelm@charlotteobserver. com
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    -
    The Levine Center for the Arts includes the Mint Museum, the Knight Theatre, the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art and the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture. DAVIE HINSHAW - dhinshaw@charlotteobserver.com
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    JEFF SINER -
    4/25/05 A sixth floor view of the Charlotte skyline from the condos at Fifth and Poplar. The developer, Spectrum Properties says there's a huge demand for uptown condos. JEFF SINER-jsiner@charlotteobserver.com
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    T.ORTEGA GAINES - T.Ortega Gaines-ogaines@charlott
    The Alvin Ailey Dance troup performed at the Knight Theater tonight a packed house. "Uptown" by Matthew Rushing: Rushing, a dancer in his 18th season in the company, created this 30-minute tribute to the Harlem Renaissance. Weaving in photographs and artworks, Rushing pays homage to Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston and their milieu. Music is by Fats Waller, Count Basie and others. "It's educational, it's uplifting and it's absolutely entertaining," artistic director Judith Jamison says. T.ORTEGA GAINES-ogaines@charlotteobservr.com
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    DAVID T. FOSTER III - DAVID T. FOSTER III-dtfoster@cha
    6/30/10 Charlotte Knights mascot Homer the Dragon lines up game officials and Charlotte Knights catcher Tyler Flowers during the National Anthem prior to the start of the game against the Norfolk Tides at Knights Stadium. The Knights won, 2-1, in the early afternoon game. DAVID T. FOSTER III - dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com
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    DAVID T. FOSTER III - DAVID T. FOSTER III-dtfoster@cha
    7/6/10 Spectators watch the action on the field of the Durham Bulls playing the Charlotte Knights at Knights Stadium. DAVID T. FOSTER III - dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com
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    GARY O'BRIEN - GARY O'BRIEN - gobrien@charlotte
    A view from the upper reaches of the Bank of America stadium with the Charlotte skyline in the background. The stadium was built entirely with the money paid for Permanent Seat Licenses (PSLs) in the first years of the Panthers' NFL franchise. GARY O'BRIEN - gobrien@charlotteobserver.com
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    JEFF SINER - JEFF SINER - jsiner@charlotteobs
    10/24/10 Carolina Panthers (28) running back Jonathan Stewart tries to high step over San Francisco 49ers (22) cornerback Nate Clements during first quarter action Sunday at Bank of America Stadium. The Panthers defeated the 49ers 23-20. JEFF SINER - jsiner@charlotteobserver.com
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    Jeff Siner - jsiner@charlotteobserver.com
    Former Carolina Panthers coach John Fox enjoys a win against Arizona in December with linebacker Jordan Senn. Fox was picked over four other candidates to replace Josh McDaniels as Denver Broncos coach on Thursday. Jeff Siner - jsiner@charlotteobserver.com
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    DAVID T. FOSTER III - DAVID T. FOSTER III-dtfoster@cha
    Charlotte has the 2-14 Panthers, although DeAngelo Williams is a bright spot. St. Louis has the 7-9 Rams. DAVID T. FOSTER III - dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com
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    JEFF SINER -
    6/02/97 1C ABOVE: Ginger George and Michael Lukse of Charlotte enjoy a quiet moment before the start of the Charlotte Symphony's performance Sunday. Charlotte Observer File Photo
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    PETER WEINBERGER -
    Photo of the Concert in the Park, at the Southpark Mall during the evening hours. Part of the concert in the park series by the Charlotte Chamber Orchestra. Charlotte Observer File Photo
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    JEFF WILLHELM - JEFF WILLHELM - jwillhelm@charlo
    11/20/2009 - Children's chorus's from the Charlotte Academy of Music and Sharon Elementary School, under the direction of Christopher Brown (top left) sing Christmas songs before the lighting of the Great Tree at SouthPark. JEFF WILLHELM - jwillhelm@charlotteobserver.com.
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    JEFF WILLHELM - JEFF WILLHELM - jwillhelm@charlo
    11/20/2009 - The chorus turns to watch the Great Tree at SouthPark light up during the annual tree lighting ceremony. JEFF WILLHELM - jwillhelm@charlotteobserver.com
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    JEFF SINER - JEFF SINER - jsiner@charlotteobs
    10/15/10 Charlotte Checkers (17) Jerome Samson battles for control of the puck with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (20) Steve Wagner during second period action Friday at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, NC. The Penguins defeated the Checkers 4-2. JEFF SINER - jsiner@charlotteobserver.com
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    Jeff Siner - jsiner@charlotteobserver.com
    1/16/11 Charlotte Checkers (17) Jerome Samson is punched by Norfolk Admirals (27) Alex Berry during game action Sunday at Time Warner Cable Arena. The Admirals defeated the Checkers 4-2. Jeff Siner - jsiner@charlotteobserver.com
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    JEFF SINER -
    8/8/99 Warm weather didn't deter Edgar Garcia 7, from practicing soccer Sunday afternoon at Freedom Park with his father and mother, Alfonzo Garcia and Cecilia Escamilla. Also helping Edgar with his soccer skills was Jorge Pina. Charlotte Observer File Photo - Jeff Siner
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    FRANCISCO KJOLSETH -
    4/14/01: Paul George Kline(cq), 3, of Charlotte makes a mad dash in the easter egg hunt held at Freedom Park by Uptown Christ Covenant church on Saturday. Kids of all ages up to twelve-years-old gathered 3,500 eggs in a number of minutes after the go ahead was given at 11am. Charlotte Observer File Photo
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    JEFF SINER -
    3/19/01 Skip Lyman of Charlotte, NC in line skates around the lake at Freedom Park Monday afternoon. photo by Charlotte Observer File Photo - Jeff Siner
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    DUANE COCHRAN - Staff Photographer
    Fall colors in Freedom Park. Charlotte Observer File Photo
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    JEFF SINER -
    3/19/01 Cherry blossoms lift their petals towards the sun Monday afternoon at Freedom Park. photo by JEFF SINER-jsiner@charlotteobserver.com
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    DAVID T. FOSTER III - CHARLOTTE OBSERVER
    4/20/04 Bobby Donaldson of Charlotte plays guitar on a picnic bench at Freedom Park on Tuesday afternoon, prior to going home to cut his lawn. Donaldson often plays in the park during nice weather. DAVID T. FOSTER III-dfoster@charlotteobserver.com
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    JEFF SINER - JEFF SINER - jsiner@charlotteobs
    Susan Wills photographs the Yoshino cherry tree blossoms near the entrance to Freedom Park in Charlotte on Monday afternoon. "They are spectacular," Wills said. "This spring was worth the winter we had to endure." JEFF SINER - jsiner@charlotteobserver.com
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    DIEDRA LAIRD - Staff Photographer
    Eva Gavrilis relaxes in the Freedom Park lake area near Princeton Ave. with pet Sir Harley as clouds gave way to sun and warmer temperatures Tuesday afternoon. Diedra Laird-dlaird@charlotteobserver.com
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    DIEDRA LAIRD - Staff Photographer
    8/6/06 Friends l-r Christine Abernathy and Jessie Clanton of Charlotte cool off in grass sprinklers at Freedom Park Sunday afternoon. "We were headed towards the lake for shade but then we saw the sprinklers," said Jessie. Diedra Laird-dlaird@charlotteobserver.com
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    JEFF SINER - THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER
    9/23/05 Lauren Campbell keeps her eyes on the multiple hula hoops swiveling to the music at the Radio Disney stage Friday during Festival in the Park at Freedom Park. JEFF SINER-jsiner@charlotteobserver.com
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    David T. Foster III - Charlotte Observer
    12/22/05 A pedestrian walks over a bridge within the soon to be named Liz Hair Nature Walk, along a section of the Little Sugar Creek Greenway between Freedom Park and Carolinas Medical Center. The section is being named in honor of Liz Hair, the former Mecklenburg County commissioner. DAVID T. FOSTER III-dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com
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    TODD SUMLIN -
    9/19/2008 - Brianna Robinson, who turns 4 this weekend, plays on an inflatable slide at Festival in the Park at Freedom Park Friday morning. TODD SUMLIN - tsumlin@charlotteobserver.com
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    DAVID T. FOSTER III - DAVID T. FOSTER III-dtfoster@cha
    Weldon Morris (left) tangles a blade of grass above the nose of her chocolate lab puppy named Maggie Sunday afternoon at Freedom Park. Morris, or Raleigh, NC, got Maggie last week and was playing with her "trying to get all her energy out". DAVID T. FOSTER III - dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com
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    DAVID T. FOSTER III -
    9/23/99 Andrew and Leanne Vincent walk with their daughters Libby (left, in carriage) and Annabelle while walking through the site of the Festival in the Park in Freedom Park on Thursday afternoon. The family came out to get a preview of the festival and to enjoy the weather. DAVID T. FOSTER III-dfoster@charlotteobserver.com
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    ROBERT LAHSER - ROBERT LAHSER - rlahser@charlott
    9/22/09 Rick Bolen (cq-ed) of Charlotte sets up a canopy for the Charlotte Folk Society stage at Freedom park to prepare for Festival in the Park which starts this Thursday and runs until Sunday .ROBERT LAHSER- rlahser@charlotteobserver.com
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    YALONDA M. JAMES - Staff Photographer
    (11.14.2009) Geordie Pierson, 24, Shum Louissaint, 46, and Laterrio Robinson, 26, all of Charlotte, play a random pickup game of basketball on the court at Freedom Park on Saturday, November 14, 2009. The temperature reached the 70's in Charlotte on Saturday, with a high of 76 degrees expected for Sunday. - YALONDA M. JAMES - yjames@charlotteobserver.com
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    DAVID T. FOSTER III - DAVID T. FOSTER III-dtfoster@cha
    2/28/10 Jaidi Doyle (front) demostrates a move as Ashati Selassie watches while at Freedom Park on Sunday afternoon. Members of Roda De Mundo were practicing Capoeira de Angola, an Afro-Brazilian based martial art and ritual combat dance.Members said they usually train inside but decided to practice outside in the nice weather. DAVID T. FOSTER III-dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com
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    DAVID T. FOSTER III - DAVID T. FOSTER III-dtfoster@cha
    4/01/10 Queens University of Charlotte volleyball player Tori Hernandez (center, left) ties to tap the ball past teammate Ali Williams during a team practice at the sand volleyball court at Freedom Park on Thursday morning. The team's usual facility on campus was being used by the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks, which gave the volleyball team an opportunity to get out in the warm, sunny weather and have some fun. "We're kinda glad the gym was occupied today, we got extra time outside," stated head coach coach Angela McGuire. DAVID T. FOSTER III-dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com
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    DAVID T. FOSTER III - DAVID T. FOSTER III-dtfoster@cha
    6/2/10 Caleb Bush (left), 6, looks up at his father, Demetrius Bush (lright) as he teaches him on how to catch a fly ball while sharing some time playing baseball on a field at Freedom Park on Wednesday morning. " I love to hit" said Caleb. Bush said his son completed school last week and wanted to get out and help him practice. DAVID T. FOSTER III - dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com
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    DIEDRA LAIRD - Staff Photographer
    African dancer Elridge Greenwood is colorfully dressed at Saturday's 13th annual Juneteenth Festival of the Carolinas at Independence Park. The Charlotte festival, which started Thursday June 17 and runs through Sunday June 20, features a parade, crafts, food, storytelling, music, dance, fashion shows and a number of stage performances involving, music, dance, poetry and other performances. Juneteenth is promoted nationally "as a commemoration of African-American freedom and as an encouragement of self-development and respect for all cultures." DIEDRA LAIRD-dlaird@charlotteobserver.com
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    DIEDRA LAIRD - Staff Photographer
    Members of Anointed Flow N Dance perform at Saturday's 13th annual Juneteenth Festival of the Carolinas at Independence Park. The Charlotte festival, which started Thursday June 17 and runs through Sunday June 20, features a parade, crafts, food, storytelling, music, dance, fashion shows and a number of stage performances involving, music, dance, poetry and other performances. Juneteenth is promoted nationally "as a commemoration of African-American freedom and as an encouragement of self-development and respect for all cultures." DIEDRA LAIRD-dlaird@charlotteobserver.com
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    David T. Foster III - dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com
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    David T. Foster III - dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com
    1/30/11 Meghann Hess reaches up to grab a disc while playing with friends and enjoying the sunny, warm weather at Freedom Park on Sunday afternoon. David T. Foster III - dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com
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    TODD SUMLIN -
    8/9/2001 Trolley supporters gather Thursday afternoon to commemorate the resumption of the Charlotte Vintage Trolley Service between South End and Uptown. The Charlotte Trolley halted service in April due to construction of the rail corridor. Charlotte Observer File Photo - Bob Leverone
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    JOHN D. SIMMONS -
    10/01/01: Larry Menton, 50, works on one of his sections of the wall next to the Urban Ministry Center at 945 N. College in Cahrlotte. It was once an imposing cement wall, festering with moss, dirt and neglect. A big old ugly barrier, nothing more, 200 feet long and 10 feet high. But this summer it became a canvas. Now it wears colors: a blue sky, a purple skyline. And dozens of creative pictures drawn and painted by some of Charlotte's poorest residents...the homeless. JOHN D. SIMMONS-jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com
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    GARY O'BRIEN - GARY O'BRIEN - gobrien@charlotte
    Rising 768 feet at the southeast corner of the uptown Charlotte skyline, the Duke Energy Center reflects the sky, sun and clouds, standing in stark relief against a brilliant Carolina sky. GARY O'BRIEN - gobrien@charlotteobserver.com
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    JEFF SINER - JEFF SINER - jsiner@charlotteobs
    The front grandstand roof at Charlotte Motor Speedway offered a seasonally appropriate color display of Charlotte's skyline at the day's end Saturday, as drivers readied for the running of the Bank of America 500. JEFF SINER - jsiner@charlotteobserver.com
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    TODD SUMLIN -
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