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News In Brief

State Releases Keith Scott Autopsy; 3 Arrested in Attack of Transgender Woman

The state Medical Examiner's Office late Monday released the autopsy of Keith Lamont Scott. It shows Scott died of gunshot wounds to the back and abdomen, but lacking in whether Scott was under the influence of marijuana at the time of the shooting. 

The results are consistent with a private autopsy commissioned by Scott's family, and comes just as a non-profit group called the Police Foundation will begin reviewing whether Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police used too much or too little force responding to Black Lives Matter protests following the shooting in September.

The Charlotte City Council approved a nearly $380,000 contract with the Police Foundation on Monday. The group has conducted studies on a number of police departments caught up in hostile protests following high profile police shootings. The foundation reviewed the Ferguson Police Department following protests surrounding the Michael Brown shooting, as well as the North Charleston Police Department, following protests over the shooting there of Walter Scott.

Transgender Woman Attacked With A Hatchet In West Charlotte Park

A transgender woman is recovering from serious injuries after she was attacked in Clanton Park last week. Multiple media outlets report federal authorities are working with Charlotte-Mecklenburg police as the department investigates the attack.

The 24-year-old transgender woman, Ralayzia Taylor, told WSOC and WBTV she was in the park around 10:30 a.m. when a group of people began chasing her into the woods, where she was beaten and stabbed in the back by a person with a hatchet. CMPD says they've arrested three suspects, the youngest is 15 years old.

A report released yesterday by the FBI finds nationwide, there were 192 hate crimes committed because of someone's gender identity in 2014.

Poor Air Quality As Charlotte Skies Fill With Wildfire Smoke

The National Weather Service says smoke from some wildfires in the North Carolina mountains will begin rolling into the Charlotte region Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday night.

The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources says Tuesday's air quality in the region is unhealthy for people with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children. They should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.

Air quality is expected to return to normal Wednesday afternoon.

Council OKs Pearl Street Park development, including public funds

The Charlotte City Council unanimously approved several moves Monday night that clear the way for a $204.5 million mixed-use development off Kenilworth Avenue. The votes included approving a series of land swaps with Mecklenburg County, as well as spending $4.4 million on infrastructure improvements.  

Developer Peter Pappas has proposed the mixed-use project that would include a new headquarters for Charlotte Regional Realtor Association. It also calls for other office and retail spaces, multi-family housing, and a hotel.   The plan also would expand Pearl Street Park.

The votes means the city will reimburse Pappas for up to $4.4 million in costs for extending streets, relocating water and sewer lines, and other infrastructure.  The developer says the project could begin in November 2017. 
- David Boraks