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News In Brief

Catawba Indian Nation Closes SC Bingo Hall; Court Reviews NC Gay-Marriage Recusal Law

The Catawba Indian Nation has closed its bingo hall in Rock Hill, S.C., citing a downturn in sales, particularly "historical sluggish summer sales," and competition from the South Carolina and North Carolina lotteries.

The bingo hall on Cherry Road opened in 2014 and served over 150,000 customers, according to a press release. Bingo sales generated over $15 million and netted $1.5 million to the state of South Carolina.

Previously, the Catawba tribe has struggled to keep up with its finances. As recently as Feb. 2017, the tribe was $4.5 million in debt to the Rock Hill School District for fees dating back to 1993 for Catawba students who lived on the reservation and attended Rock Hill schools.

The tribe says it is assessing its licenses to explore other options in smaller facilities in the state.

North Carolina Defends Gay-Marriage Recusal Law

A federal appeals court heard arguments Wednesday on whether magistrates in North Carolina can refuse to marry gay couples on religious grounds.

Three couples had challenged the 2015 law passed after gay marriage became legal. A lower court judge dismissed the suit last year on grounds that the couples who sued lacked standing as taxpayers and failed to show they were harmed directly by the law. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals is now reviewing that decision.

In court Wednesday, an attorney for North Carolina argued the law ensures the state complies with the law on gay marriage while respecting officials' religious beliefs. An attorney for the couples argued the spending of taxpayer dollars to bring willing magistrates into a county to perform same-sex marriages gives the couples the right to sue.

Pedestrian Death In Cotswold Believed To Be Suicide

Charlotte police say a pedestrian who was struck by a vehicle in Cotswold on Tuesday morning committed suicide. Duncan McMurchie, 27, was struck near the intersection of Randolph Rd. and Meadowbrook Dr. around 9:18 a.m.

WBTV quotes witnesses as saying the man jumped under a truck as it was backing up on Randolph. McMurchie was pronounced dead on the scene. A spokesperson for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department says the driver is not expected to face charges.

Man Charged With Shooting Officer Captured Out Of State

A man has been arrested in Atlanta in connection with the attempted murder of a North Carolina police officer last month. The Burlington Times-News reports 25-year-old Andrey McLaughlin will be extradited to North Carolina following Tuesday's arrest.

The Burlington Police Department sought McLaughlin on charges of attempted first-degree murder, assault with a firearm upon a police officer and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Burlington police say the suspect ran away during a traffic stop for an expired tag last month and fired a handgun multiple times at a pursuing officer, who was uninjured.