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News In Brief

Challenge To Magistrate Law Dismissed; City Prepares For More Protests

A federal judge has dismissed a challenge to a North Carolina law that says magistrates with religious objections can refuse to marry same-sex couples.

The judge in Asheville dismissed a lawsuit filed by three couples who challenged the law passed in June 2015 that protects magistrates.

The judge said the couples lacked legal standing as taxpayers to sue and failed to show they were harmed directly by the law. The plaintiffs' lawyers say they’ll appeal to the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.   

North Carolina is one of only two states with religious-objection laws that are being enforced. About 5 percent of North Carolina's magistrates have asked to be excused from gay marriages.

CITY READIES FOR MORE PROTESTS

Charlotte officials are appealing for calm as they prepare for more protests tonight after police shot and killed a black man in northeast Charlotte. Police Chief Kerr Putney said he’s adding officers but wouldn’t say more about his strategy. At least two protests are scheduled – one at 4:30 at Trade and Tryon streets uptown, and another at 7 pm at Marshall Park.  

Some public meetings downtown have been canceled, including the Charlotte Mecklenburg school board facilities committee and the Charlotte Regional Transportation planning organization.

Demonstrations in the University area last night turned violent, and protesters at one point shut down Harris Boulevard and I-85. Sixteen police officers were hurt. Police said one person was arrested.

Meanwhile, Putney says he’s seen some body and dash cam videos from yesterday’s shooting, but police are still reviewing them. He said police won’t make the videos public, citing state law. The North Carolina chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union wants the videos released. The ACLU noted that a new North Carolina law restricting release of such footage doesn't take effect until Oct. 1.

PIPELINE LEAK REPAIRED

A leak on a gasoline pipeline in Alabama has been temporarily repaired, and gas flows should resume today, the pipeline’s owner says. Colonial pipeline says it will take a few days for the fuel supply chain to fully recover. Since the spill was detected Sept. 8, some stations across the southeast have run out of gas and prices have risen.