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SC Group Says Gay Marriage Ban Hurts Kids

A children's rights group says South Carolina's same-sex marriage ban harms children with gay parents.  The Lawyers' Committee for Children's Rights says in court papers filed last week that children of gay couples thrive like any kids in two-parent homes but are discriminated against by South Carolina's law.    The nonprofit advocacy group filed its papers Wednesday in one of the lawsuits challenging South Carolina's ban on gay marriage.

GOP LEADERS SEEK TO RESTORE GAY MARRIAGE BAN

North Carolina Republican legislative leaders are giving formal notice that their lawyers will appeal a Greensboro federal judge's ruling that legalized same-sex marriages in the state.  

Attorneys hired by Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Thom Tillis say they're appealing. Lawmakers decided to appeal earlier this year after state Attorney General Roy Cooper declared all potential legal defenses were exhausted.    The notice of appeal was filed Thursday, the same day a federal appeals court in Cincinnati upheld gay marriage bans in four Midwest states. A federal judge on Friday ruled that Missouri's same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional.   A federal judge in Asheville also ruled the North Carolina gay marriage ban was unconstitutional and rejected a bid by Tillis and Berger to appeal.  

The notice of appeal filed last week doesn’t lay out the Republicans’ arguments. That will come in future filings with the court.

MAN DIES IN WRECK AT CONSTRUCTION SITE

A man died Saturday afternoon when he drove into a construction site and crash in northwest Charlotte.  32-year-old Lewis Gilbert was driving his 2014 Honda Accord on Old Little Rock Road around 3:45pm when he failed to stop at a stop sign and drove into a construction zone, slamming into the back end of an unoccupied backhoe.  Gilbert was taken to Carolinas Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

SHOOTOUT LEAVES 1 DEAD IN GREENSBORO

One man was shot to death and four were wounded after a shootout Saturday in Greensboro.  Police said the wounded include a man shot by police when they responded to the incident as people left several night clubs. Officers in the area heard the gunshots and went to the scene, where they found several people shooting at one another. One officer fired his weapon and struck one of the shooters, who later was reported to be in critical condition. The officer will be put on administrative leave, police said.

DEMS PICK UP STATEHOUSE SEATS, BUT GOP STILL RULES

Democrats knocked off a few incumbent Republicans in the North Carolina legislature in last week’s election, thanks in part to heavy ad spending by outside groups and the expensive U.S. Senate race that negatively portrayed legislative Republicans in Raleigh.   But the Democratic victories weren’t enough to alter the General Assembly's landscape for the next two years.   Republicans are still comfortably in charge and retain veto-proof majorities.   Four House Republicans lost their seats, but the party picked up one Democratic seat. The Senate GOP expanded its majority by one seat.    House Republicans next will pick a new speaker to succeed Thom Tillis of Cornelius, who is heading to Washington as U.S. senator. Senator Phil Berger is expected to receive a third term as Senate leader.

SC GOVERNOR HEADS TO INDIA

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is leading her state’s first trade trip to India in hopes of persuading companies to bring jobs to South Carolina. The newly re-elected Republican governor leaves Tuesday for a 10-day mission trip involving the state's commerce and tourism agencies.  It marks Haley's first visit to India since she was 2 years old. Her parents emigrated from India in the 1960s, before Haley was born in rural South Carolina. Commerce Director Bobby Hitt says there's a lot of excitement about Haley's arrival, and her stature in India should help open doors. Haley is the first woman of Indian heritage to become governor of a U.S. state.   She’s scheduled to attend more than 40 of the delegation's 90 meetings and events.

ALCOA'S YADKIN ELECTRICTY SALES RISE

Alcoa is enjoying a bigger payday from selling commercial customers the electricity that formerly powered its Yadkin River factory.  The world's largest aluminum company reported to federal regulators last week that its four hydropower dams on the Yadkin River generated 875,555 megawatt hours of electricity in the year ending in September.  Energy information company Platts says based on an average wholesale price of almost $38.90 per megawatt hour … that would bring revenues of about $34 million for the year.   Power production was down 9 percent compared to the previous year, but Alcoa logged higher sales because the average electricity price was 25 percent higher. Alcoa declined to say how much the company banked as profit from electricity sales.