From left, Carolina Diaz, Eliana Diaz and Omar Cortes rode the Blue Line in northeast Charlotte on the first day.
David Boraks / WFAE

Amid Fanfare, Blue Line Extension Carries Its First Passengers

Trains were packed on the Lynx Blue Line Extension Friday morning as the $1.2 billion light rail line opened to the public for the first time. There was lots of pomp and circumstance, including ribbon cuttings, confetti cannons and free "First To Ride" T-shirts.

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Drawing shows the concept for a redevelopment of two blocks along North Tryon Street in Charlotte.
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library/DaVinci Development Collaborative

New Main Library At The Center Of North Tryon Redevelopment

FAQ City: Community-Powered Stories

Nick de la Canal / WFAE

The Blue Line Extension: You've Got Questions, He's Got Answers

It was only around 70 years ago that Charlotte had a booming trolley system, with dozens of orange-colored streetcars running up and down the middle of Queens Road, The Plaza, and other surrounding streets and neighborhoods. That is, until the late 1930s came around, and the city dismantled the system, envisioning a future where cars and buses would become the city's primary modes of transportation.

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A sketch of a chocolate pot and whisk drawn from Ann's Experiences in Spain in the mid-1660s.
The Wellcome Library archives

Sometimes, a food aficionado just doesn’t want to bother cracking an actual book to learn something or be entertained. When the weight of that wooden spoon is too much to manage, digital cookbooks can be a satisfying source of recipes and fascinating glimpses into other eras and cultures.

Activists across the country say they are being targeted by federal immigration authorities for speaking out at protests and accusing the government of heavy-handed tactics.

The Trump administration has warned that anyone in the country illegally could be arrested and deported under tough new enforcement rules. And federal officials deny allegations of retaliation.

But the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups say they have documented two dozen cases of immigrant activists and volunteers who say they have been arrested or face fines for their work.

The teachers strike in West Virginia may have ended last week when Gov. Jim Justice signed a law giving educators a 5 percent pay increase, but the fight in other states is just warming up.

"You can make anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000 more by driving 15 minutes across the state line," said Dale Lee, president of the West Virginia Education Association. "We're having trouble keeping and attracting young teachers."

 The 2018 North Carolina health outcomes map.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Mecklenburg County was ranked the fifth healthiest county in the state. That’s according to a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report. The annual study looks at how long people live and how healthy their lifestyles are. But there are some less-than-pleasant details.


A pedestrian bridge collapsed Thursday at Florida International University in the Miami area, trapping an unknown number of people underneath and injuring multiple people, according to Miami-Dade Fire and Rescue.

The man suspected of fatally shooting a York County sheriff’s deputy and wounding three other officers in January is now out of the hospital and in jail.  Atrium Health confirms that 47-year old Christian McCall was discharged this morning – two months after the shootings.

A Blue Line train approaches 9th Street Station uptown.
David Boraks / WFAE

At long last, opening day is here for the $1.2 billion CATS Blue Line Extension. After ceremonies Friday morning, the light rail line from uptown to UNC Charlotte is scheduled to open to the public at 10 a.m.

Updated at 8 a.m. ET on Friday

The number of people who died after a newly placed pedestrian bridge collapsed at Florida International University has risen to six, as crews work to clear debris and wreckage from the scene in Miami-Dade County.

In addition to the six people who were found dead at the site, 10 others were transported to area hospitals, Miami-Dade Police said in an update on the accident Friday morning.

Updated at 12:12 p.m. ET

The Trump administration imposed new sanctions against Russia on Thursday, slapping punitive measures on 19 people and five entities over their alleged role in Moscow's interference in the 2016 election and other "destructive" cyberattacks.

Students wrote letters to elected officials or to families of victims of the Parkland, Fla., shootings
Tanae McLean / Mooresville Graded School District

Mooresville High School was one of many schools in the Charlotte region where students walked out as part of a nationwide demonstration to bring attention to school safety. That’s been a major topic at the school since the Florida shootings, and since rumors of possible gun violence at the school itself sparked fears a week later.



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