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Belmont is a city located in Gaston County, North Carolina. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 8,705. Belmont is home to Belmont Abbey College.

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Charlotte studies possibility of new rail lines

Transit planners are taking steps toward putting another streetcar or light rail in Charlotte. The plan is to create a rail corridor the length of Highway 74 from uptown to the Union County line.
 
The Charlotte Area Transit System is studying where to put the rail line, but the main area would consist of areas around Monroe Road and Independence Boulevard.
 
Transportation planners are looking for an area that would fit as a place for transit-oriented development like condos, retail and restaurants mirroring development in South End around the Blue Line Extension.
 
On Aug. 11, they will start a series of public meetings to gather citizen input on the Silver Line.
 
"We need a system that the public can support and the public wants to ride," said transportation planner Jason Lawrence.
 
Transit officials are studying whether to put in a light rail, streetcar or commuter rail in the southeast corridor, he said.
 
A rail line could go on Monroe Road or along Independence Boulevard, where a toll lane is going in and an express bus will run.
 
New rail lines are very expensive with a mix of local, state and federal dollars supporting it. The Blue Line Extension under construction now cost $1.16 billion. Extending Charlotte's new streetcar is estimated to cost around $150 million.
 
Channel 9 asked councilman David Howard if the city can afford another one.
 
"It's kind of can we afford not to have it. We're not going to be competitive into the future if we don't have a mass transit system, so it's one of those things where you pay now or pay later," said Howard.
 
The study won't be finished until next summer. It's a long process to get a transit project like a new rail line approved and set, so it will take a while before construction even begins.

Times and locations for the upcoming workshops: 

Tuesday, August 11

6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Matthews Town Hall

232 Matthews Station St., Matthews 

Thursday, August 13

11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Public Library

310 N. Tryon St, Charlotte 

Thursday, August 13

6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Midwood International & Cultural Center

1817 Central Ave, Charlotte 

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Thu, 30 Jul 2015 18:11:12 -0400

World awaits positive ID of wing part: Is it from MH370?

The surprise discovery of a barnacle-encrusted wing part on a rocky beach on the French island of Reunion this week came more than a year after Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared. The Boeing 777 went missing March 8, 2014, with 239 people on board.

>>Photos: 777 debris found on Indian Ocean island

Air safety investigators, including one from Boeing, looked at photos of the wing debris and identified it as part of a "flaperon" from the trailing edge of a Boeing 777 wing, a U.S. official said. The official wasn't authorized to be publicly named.

A number seen on the debris was identified Thursday as a component number from a Boeing 777, CNN reported.

MH370 is the only known missing Boeing 777.

Assuming the wing debris turns out to be a  first clue to the disappearance Flight 370, there's no guarantee that investigators can still find the plane's recorders or other remains more than a year later.

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French authorities moved the plane piece from the beach to the local airport on Reunion, en route to the city of Toulouse, where it was expected to arrive Saturday morning, according to officials in Paris.

Toulouse is the hub of Europe's aerospace industry, with the headquarters of Airbus and a network of hangars and plane facilities. The plane part was headed for special defense facilities used for airplane testing and analysis, according to the Defense Ministry.

If it turns out to be part of the Malaysian plane, that could bolster the theory that the plane deviated from its path between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing and turned south into the Indian Ocean.

And it would put to rest speculation that it could have traveled north or landed somewhere after being hijacked.

The discovery has changed the life of Reunion environmental worker Johnny Begue. He told The Associated Press that he stumbled across the plane part on Wednesday morning, while collecting stones to grind spices.

"I knew immediately it was part of an aircraft, but I didn't realize how important it was, that it could help to solve the mystery of what happened to the Malaysian jet," Begue, 46, told The Associated Press.

He said he called several of his workmates and they carried the wing fragment out of the water so that it would not be battered by the surf against the volcanic rocks that make up most of the beach.

Begue also discovered a piece of a suitcase about 2.5 meters away, he said, though it's unclear whether there is any link to the plane wing.

Authorities wouldn't comment Thursday on whether Begue was the first to report discovering the component. Colleague Teddy Riviere corroborated his account, and praised him for the discovery. Members of Begue's soccer team kidded him on his new fame in local media.

The wing piece is about 2 meters (6 feet) long. Investigators have found a number on the part, but it is not a serial or registration number, Truss said. It could be a maintenance number, which may help investigators figure out what plane it belongs to, he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Thu, 30 Jul 2015 17:46:23 -0400

Catawba Indian Nation pushes for $600M casino in Kings Mountain

The Catawba Indian Nation has confirmed it is in talks with Hard Rock International in Orlando about managing $600 million casino in Kings Mountain.

Lawmakers and citizens have been very outspoken against the project but county leaders said people need the 5,000 jobs the casino would create.

The Catawba Indian Nation wants Hard Rock International to manage the casino on about 40 acres of land off Interstate 85 in Kings Mountain.

It would generate about $300 million in its first year and create several thousands of jobs, according to the tribe.

State lawmakers said it’s not a good fit there and some citizens said it could do more harm than good to families.

In 2013, the tribe asked the federal government for special permission to build there.

Its application is still under review.

Once the application process is complete, the tribe will work with state leaders to advance the project.

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Thu, 30 Jul 2015 16:34:36 -0400

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