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Headline Roundup: Future Of Voting Law, Hagan/Tillis Debate Tonight, More

A federal judge hears arguments today to find out how North Carolina will move forward with last week’s federal appeals court ruling that puts parts of the state’s new voting law on hold for the November election.

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling restores same-day registration and allows ballots cast in the wrong precinct to be counted.  The ruling however upholds a shorter early voting period. Attorneys for the state are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene and uphold the new law.

Opponents of the law argue if the law were to stand, African American voters would suffer irreparable harm.

Kay Hagan And Thom Tillis Debate Tonight
Democratic U.S. Senator Kay Hagan and her Republican challenger, North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis meet tonight for their second live debate. ABC News’ George Stephanopolous will moderate the debate, which starts at 7:00 on UNC TV.

In their first debate last month, Tillis tried to link Hagan to President Obama. Hagan, meanwhile, reminded viewers of Tillis’ connection to the conservative policies enacted by the state’s majority-Republican legislature.

Hagan has held a small but consistent lead in the polls. A third debate scheduled for this Thursday will include Libertarian candidate Sean Haw.

Half Billion Dollar Price Tag On Charleston Harbor Deepening
Deepening the Charleston Harbor shipping channel will cost a half billion dollars. That’s according to a new report today from the Army Corps of Engineers.

The corps' tentative plan calls for deepening the entrance channel from the existing 47 feet to 54 feet. The inner harbor would be deepened from its current 45 feet to 52 feet.

In recent years, the price tag had been estimated at about $350 million. 

Maritime interests want the channel deepened to at least 50 feet to handle a new generation of larger container ships. The corps will take public comment and hold hearings on the plan before a final decision next year.

Portion Of The Cherokee Tail Of Tears Given To US Forest Service
A nonprofit has given 222 acres of land containing part of the Cherokee Trail of Tears to the U.S. Forest Service. The Conservation Fund purchased the property last year. The group says it conveyed 170 acres to the Forest Service earlier this year. The two parcels extend from Hayesville, North Carolina, to Athens, Tennessee. The land becomes part of the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail, a 4,900 mile trail in nine states.

Average SAT Score In CMS Up
The average SAT score for Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools students ticked up 12 points this year. Data released today by the College Board says the average CMS score is 14-91 on a 2,400 point scale. That’s about eight points higher than the North Carolina average and six points lower than the national average SAT score. CMS students averaged a 509 in Math, a 501 in reading, and a 481 in writing.