First Drip (7/14/15): Streetcar set to open with ceremony this morning

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A long-planned streetcar will begin taking passengers today, and a ceremony will mark the opening of the Gold Line track from Novant Health in Elizabeth to Time Warner Cable Arena. Former Charlote Mayor and current U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx is expected to attend the ceremony. The project cost $37 million, $12 million of which was taxpayer-funded. 

Winston-Salem-based healthcare system Novant Health announced yesterday it will be cutting as many as 400 positions as part of a restructuring of the organization. Novant said it will work with affected employees to try to match them with open positions in the organization. Novant operates four hospitals and employs about 11,000 people in the Charlotte area. 

CMPD is asking for the public's help in identifying a three women who robbed a group of employees at Northlake Mall Sunday. The three women reportedly attacked and robbed multiple employees of Downtown Locker Room, spraying them with pepper spray and striking them before robbing them at about 11:30 a.m. Sunday. Surveillance photos released by police show the women during the encounter. 

President Barack Obama is defending a nuclear deal with Iran, saying he will veto any congressional attempts to block the deal. Conservative members of Congress, Israel and other Middle East nations have spoken out in disapproval of the deal, which lifts sanctions on Iran in return for significantly limiting the country's nuclear abilities. The deal was negotiated between U.S., Iran and six other world powers. 

Just before 8 a.m. this morning, NASA space probe New Horizon made its closest pass by dwarf planet Pluto and is already sending pictures back to Earth. New Horizon passed about 7,800 miles from Pluto's surface, and a trove of information is still expected to be released, including more photos, later this evening. The probe traveled more than 3 billion miles to send photos and data back to Earth. 

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