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Headline Roundup: Appeals Court Puts Some Voting Law Changes On Hold, BofA Microchips Cards, More

Parts of North Carolina's new voting law will not be in effect for this November's election. The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals today ruled that North Carolina will have to offer same-day registration and count ballots cast in the wrong precincts. Those are two of the changes the U.S. Justice Department and civil rights groups had sued the state over, saying they would have a discriminatory effect if they were tossed out.

Another part of the law - shortening the early voting period - will not be put on hold. In a 2 to 1 decision, the federal judges ruled a federal district court judge got the law plainly wrong in an earlier decision that allowed the changes to go forward.

A full trial over whether all the changes are constitutional is scheduled for next summer. 

Charlotte Unemployment Ticks Up
Unemployment in the Charlotte region ticked up two tenths of a percent in August to 7 percent. But the jobless rate is down 1.1 percent from the same month a year ago. The lowest jobless rate in the region for August is in Union County, 6.3 percent. The highest is in Cleveland and Catawba Counties, 7.4 percent. 

Partial Refunds Go To Zeek Rewards Ponzi Scheme Victims
People who lost money in the alleged Zeek Rewards Ponzi scheme are getting partial refunds. 

A court-appointed receiver is mailing checks to more than 90,000 people starting today. The Securities and Exchange Commission shut down Zeek Rewards in 2012. Zeek Rewards was marketed as the advertising division of a penny auction website. But investigators say most of the company’s payouts came from new investors, not from legitimate sales. 

The SEC says Zeek Rewards took in about $850 million. The first round of refund checks are for about 40 percent of the allowed claims. 

B of A Offers Debit Cards With Microchips
Bank of America says it will issue debit cards with embedded microchips. The chip technology, sometimes called EMV, is designed to reduce fraud. It’s widely used in Europe. B of A says new customers and customers whose cards are expiring will get the debit cards with embedded chips. The bank already issues credit cards with EMV technology. 

York County May Get Film, TV Studios
A group that wants to bring film studios to the Charlotte area is now focusing on York County, South Carolina. Studio South, originally known as Studio Charlotte, had proposed a multi-use development including film and TV soundstages on the former Eastland Mall site in east Charlotte. The company says it’s formed a partnership with a private company to develop a similar project on 70 acres in or near Rock Hill.

Charlotte City Council ended negotiations with Studio South six months ago. At the time, city planners said the company hadn’t provided enough detailed information. Studio South CEO Bert Hesse says the York County development would be similar to the one proposed for Eastland, except that it would be built on privately owned land. Hesse says one of the planned soundstages could open next year.