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  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/09/13/14/51/AHBNh.St.138.jpeg|414
    - The Charlotte Observer
    The statute of Queen Charlotte is located at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
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    - The Charlotte Observer
    Crossing a bridge on South Tryon Street means seeing artwork before you get to the Duke Energy Building.
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    The statute of Queen Charlotte is highlighted in front of a plane taking off at sunrise at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
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    MARK HAMES - mhames@charlotteobserver.com
    A smogless sky over uptown Charlotte. A view into uptown from the bridge on South Tryon Street over the beltway.
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    - The Charlotte Observer
    Oaks lining Queens Road West are an example of the city's green beauty.
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    ROBERT LAHSER - rlahser@charlotteobserver.com
    Our area gets every kind of weather: hit-or-miss snow in the winters, gorgeous springs, humid summers, dry falls.
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    - The Charlotte Observer
    Even in uptown, bowling is cool at EpiCentre.
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    - The Charlotte Observer
    Local high school football games are a treat every year.
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    - The Charlotte Observer
    Shops and restaurants in an uptown setting can be found at EpiCentre.
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    DAVID T. FOSTER III - dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com
    Spectatorst at Independence Park take in the "Red, White and Boom" fireworks show.
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    T. ORTEGA GAINES - ogaines@charlotteobserver.com
    Lunchtime on the Plaza and Central in the Plaza Midwood Neighborhood. Quirky places to eat include Zada Jane's Corner Cafe and Dish.
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    - The Charlotte Observer
    A sculpture decorates this runner's routine through the city.
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    - The Charlotte Observer
    A day worth reading outside and reveling in the afternoon sunshine.
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    DAVID T. FOSTER III - dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com
    Have a canine companion? Don't miss the dog park at McAlpine Creek Park.
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    - The Charlotte Observer
    Leaves turn and mist rises on an early-morning jog.
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    CAROLINE MCMILLAN - cmicmillan@charlotteobserver.com
    20th Century Fox shoots TV show "Homeland" in SouthPark's Mountainbrook neighborhood.
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    - The Charlotte Observer
    The Wine Shop at Foxcroft on Fairview Road hosts wine tastings.
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    - The Charlotte Observer
    The Charlotte Fire Department mascot joins children as they walk to school at Highland Creek Elementary on International Walk to School Day.
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    JEFF SINER - jsiner@charlotteobserver.com
    The Charlotte 49ers football team practice at McColl-Richardson Field.
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    ROBERT LAHSER - rlahser@charlotteobserver.com
    St. Andrews Presbyterian College Pipe Band performs for Clan Maclaren at the annual Rural Hill Scottish festival & Loch Norman Games in Huntersville.
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    DAVID T. FOSTER III - dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com
    U.S. National skeleton team members did wind tunnel testing at A2 Wind Tunnel in Mooresville in 2013
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    JEFF SINER - jsiner@charlotteobserver.com
    Beautiful summer weather lures people to Lake Norman and the annual Lake Norman Festival at Queens Landing.
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    - The Charlotte Observer
    Jetton Park along Lake Norman is a favorite place to stop.
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    DANIELLE ARMSTRONG -
    Lake Wylie residents celebrate the Fourth of July. Waterfront living is a big draw for this community just over the bridge from Charlotte.
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    - The Charlotte Observer.
    Lake Wylie Rotary Club members donate blood during a club-sponsored American Cross blood drive.
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    - Lake Wylie Pilot
    The Bagel Boat, popular for early morning coffee and goodies, is one of the community's newest businesses.
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    ROBERT LAHSER - rlahser@charlotteobserver.com
    Performers rehearse a scene from the musical "Matilda" at the Matthews Playhouse.
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    PAULINE WOOD -
    There are more than 40 vendors at the Matthews Community Farmer's Market each week.
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    JOHN D. SIMMONS - jsimmons@charotteobserver.com
    Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens in Belmont has more than 380 acres of rolling meadows, woodlands and lakefront property.
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    TODD SUMLIN - tsumlin@charlotteobserver.com
    Visitors make their way through the caves exhibit at the Schiele Museum of Natural History.
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    HELEN SCHWAB - hschwab@charotteobserver.com
    Prime rib and potato cakes at Chillfire Bar & Grill.
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    MARK HAMES - mhames@charlotteobserver.com
    Rock Springs Campground in Denver is the destination for hundreds of people who flock there every summer for religious camp meetings. These so-called "tents" are priceless, handed down through generations. Some are rented and cccasionally they come up for sale.
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    JEFF WILLHELM - jwillhelm@charlotteobserver.com
    The 116-acre Rock Springs Nature Preserve in Denver is scheduled to open in 2014.
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    MARTY PRICE -
    Sparks fit as blacksmith Alan Gilbert uses a torch to forge a railing for the Charlotte Arts Council.
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    - The Charlotte Observer
    A reflection in the window of the Cabarrus Creamery shows Concord's small town charm.
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    - The Charlotte Observer
    The North Caroline Music Hall of Fame in downtown Kannapolis is right off Main Street.
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    DAVIE HINSHAW - dhinshaw@charlotteobserver.com
    The new Riverwalk community on the banks of the Catawba River will include homes, athletic fields, Town Center, retail and office space, all connected by pedestrian and cycle-friendly streets capes and trails.
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    JOHN D. SIMMONS - jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com
    Family-run R. Hanauer, one of the nation's leading bow-tie makers, opened a storefront on Fort Mill's main street, where they create ties.
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    ANDY BURRIS - aburris@heraldonline.com
    Hightower Hall at historic Brattonsville, built in 1856, is owned and operated by the York County Culture & Heritage Museums.
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    - The Charlotte Observer
    About 26 acres of Rocky Shoals spider lilies cover shoals in the Catawba River at Landsford Canal State Park.
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    MARK HAMES - mhames@charlotteobserver.com
    Romare Bearden Park just a day before opening in late August, 2013. In the background BB&T Ball Field, to be the new home of the Charlotte Knights baseball team, is under construction.
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    MARK HAMES - mhames@charlotteobserver.com
    A jazz concert was a good time to relax on opening day of Romare Bearden Park in uptown Charlotte in late August of 2013. The park is adjacent to BB&T Ball Field, scheduled to open in time for the Charlotte Knights 2014 season.
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    MARK HAMES - mhames@charlotteobserver.com
    A young girl enjoys the waterfalls on opening day, 08.30.13, of Romare Bearden Park in uptown Charlotte. At night, the lights change colors.
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    MARK HAMES - mhames@charlotteobserver.com
    Parents and children enjoy the waterfalls on opening day, 08.30.13, of Romare Bearden Park in uptown Charlotte. At night, the lights change colors.
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    T. ORTEGA GAINES - tgaines@charlotteobserver.com
    The North Carolina Dance Theatre presents "Sleeping Beauty," a timeless tale of a beautiful princess, a dashing prince and the triumph of good over evil with a single kiss, at the Knight Theater.
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    - The Charlotte Observer
    "Two for Tango" by French artist Pablo Reinoso on display as part of the exhibition "Against the Grain" at the Mint Museum of Art.
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    CORY WEAVER -
    Opera Carolina performs Mozart's "The Magic Flute."
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    - Artists Right Society
    Edouard Pignon's 1957 lithograph is on display at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art.
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    DIEDRA LAIRD - dlaird@charlotteobserver.com
    On the Wells Fargo Cultural Campus uptown, you'll find the Mint Museum, Knight Theatre and the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art.
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    DIEDRA LAIRD - dlaird@charlotteobserver.com
    Jacamo Bairos conducts the Charlotte Symphony at a rehearsal for the Lollipops Family series, which provides an engaging introductions to classical music through imaginative storytelling.
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    DAVID T. FOSTER III - dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com
    Pop star Ke$sha has performed at sold-out shows in Charlotte, including The Fillmore/Uptown Amphitheatre.
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    NATHAN RIST -
    Hot Rize with Special Guest Red Knuckles & The Trail Blazers at McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square.
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    MARK HAMES -
    Time Warner Cable Arena was host to Cirque du Soleil: Quidam in 2013.,
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    ETHAN MILLER - Getty Images
    The Cult with diner Ian Astbury performed at The Fillmore.
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    DAVID T. FOSTER III -
    NASCAR.com moved to Charlotte in 2012. John Martin, left, is managing director/digital operations, and Colin Smith, managing director/digital platform.
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    HEATHER JOHNSTON -
    Dressler's Restaurant is located in the Birkdale Village on Lindholm Drive in Huntersville.
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    - The Charlotte Observer
    Start your day at the Smelly Cat Cafe in NoDa.
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    DAVID T. FOSTER III - dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com
    At Soul Gastrolounge you can try the Strange Negroni, made with Hendrick's Gin, Lillet Blanc and Aperol.
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    - The Charlotte Observer
    Try Bob Peters Blueberry Soju Sake Martini cocktail at Pisces.
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    JOHN D. SIMMONS - jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com
    A pint of traditional red ale, Red #7, also know as Firehouse Red, sits on the bar at the Heist Brewery.
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    - The Charlotte Observer
    Bella is UNCC Botanical Gardens' titan arum in the rainforest area of the McMillan Greenhouse. This rare tropical plant was the first of its kind to bloom in the Carolinas.
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    DIEDRA LAIRD - dlaird@charlotteobserver.com
    Motoi Yamamoto's salt sculpture was a temporary display at the Mint Museum. At the end of its run, a dismantling ceremony was held, and participants scooped up the salt to later return to the ocean.
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    JEFF SINER - jsiner@charlotteobserver.com
    Like other schools across the country, CMS is phasing in national Common Core academic standards.
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    TODD SUMLIN - tsumlin@charlotteobserver.com
    Project LIFT provides remedial summer classes for some students, and advanced classes for others to push them into taking the most challenging courses.
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    JESSICA MASAANOTTI -
    Students from Trinity Episcopal School in Charlotte try hands-on science at a Discovery Place event during a science festival.
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    DIEDRA LAIRD - dlaird@charlotteobserver.com
    Students on the Queens University campus in Charlotte pass through the Diana Courtyard.
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    DAVID T. FOSTER III - dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com
    The One Wells Fargo Center, left, and Bank of America Corporate Center in downtown Charlotte.
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    JOHN D. SIMMONS - jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com
    The new Charlotte Knights Stadium project will also include a 125-room hotel on 4th Street.
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    - The Charlotte Observer
    The view from the 27th floor of 210 Trade, an uptown condo highrise.
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    JOHN D. SIMMONS - jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com
    Traffic flows north and south on I-85 beneath the construction completing the last section of I-485.
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    DAVIE HINSHAW - dhinshaw@charlotteobserver.com
    Early morning traffic on Interstate 485 between Johnston Road and NC 51.
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    TODD SUMLIN - tsumlin@charlotteobserver.com
    Hundreds line up outside the Hal Marshall Annex in uptown Charlotte to take advantage of early voting.
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    DAVID T. FOSTER III - dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com
    A prospective home buyer takes a video with his iPad of the exterior of a house for sale in Cornelius.
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    T. ORTEGA GAINES - tgaines@charlotteobserver.com
    Sellers and real estate agents are expecting an increase in home purchases with MetLife announcing it is relocating its headquarters to the Charlotte area.
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    T. ORTEGA GAINES - ogaines@charlotteobserver.com
    The eclectic City Arts Works sells art, home goods and clothing in Park Towne Village Shopping Center.
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    ROBERT LAHSER - rlahser@charlotteobserver.com
    Try a free sample of watermelon at S&J Produce's booth at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market on Yorkmont Road.
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    CELESTE SMITH -
    Wayne Parker of Whispering Willow, a natural bath and beauty products vendor at Atherton Market.
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    T. ORTEGA GAINES - ogaines@charlotteobserver.com
    You'll find a variety of Indian cuisine at Patel Brothers grocery store in Pineville.
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    - The Charlotte Observer
    Carolinas Healthcare System's MED-1 - a mobile hospital equipped as a 13-bed emergency room with operating room, ICU, pharmacy and lab - was deployed to the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, but it is also used for community events, such as "Heart of a Champion" screenings for high school athletes.
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    - Novant Health
    Novant Health announced its new signs and logo in April.
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    DANIEL COSTON -
    The Humane Society of Charlotte's annual Ties & Tails Gala is the only formal event in Charlotte where dogs are invited.
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    DANIEL COSTON -
    Searsucker and bow ties were de rigueur during Derby Days, hosted by Young Affiliates of the Mint.
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    TODD SUMLIN - tsumlin@charlotteobserver.com
    Youngsters at Lakewood Preschool Cooperative enjoy a program from the Arts and Science Council's Wolf Trap program, which sends artists to schools to enhance lessons.
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    JEFF WILLHELM - jwillhelm@charlotteobserver.com
    Teacher Peggy Rodriguez teaches the calendar at Caldwell Presbyterian Church's bilingual pre-K school.
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    - Primland
    Shoot clay pidgins at the Primland Resort in Meadows of Dan, Va., just over the state border.
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    PAT MCDONNELL -
    Try rafting down the Natahala River in Bryson City.
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    JEFF WILLHELM - jwillhelm@charlotteobserver.com
    Take a moment to relax in downtown Love Va;lley before riding up the mountain. Motor vehicles are not permitted in downtown Love Valley.
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    JEFF WILLHELM - jwillhelm@charlotteobserver.com
    Charlotte has always been churchy, but now it is very diverse. Clergy of all faiths sing during the Citywide Interfaith Thanksgiving service.
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    JEFF SINER - jsiner@charlotteobserver.com
    Charlotte Bobcat Michael Kidd-Gilchrist fights his way to the basket against the Heat's Chris Bosh.
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    JEFF SINER - jsiner@charlotteobserver.com
    Charlotte Panthers wide receiver Brandon LaFell makes a pass reception as safety Mike Mitchell applies defensive pressure during pre-season practice at Wofford College.
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    Mark Hames -
    Bank of America Stadium, home of the Carolina Panthers NFL franchise, sits in front of the Charlotte skyline.
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    SCOTT HALLERAN - Getty Images
    Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord hosts three major NASCAR events each year - the Sprint All-Star, Coca-Cola 600 and 500-mile Bank of America races.
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    JOHN D. SIMMONS - jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com
    Try a hike on Crowder's Mountain.
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    MELISSA C. TOTH - mtoth@heraldonline.com
    Cyclists go around the Giordana Velodrome in Rock Hill during open track.
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    TODD SUMLIN - tsumlin@charlotteobserver.com
    The Charlotte Obsever is available on a variety of digital devices.
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