The North Carolina state fair is known for its ferris wheels, fried food and racing pigs. Now a group called Grass Roots North Carolina wants it to add concealed handguns, too. A judge on Monday will hold a hearing on the gun-rights group’s argument that a recent change in state law makes it illegal for the fair to ban concealed-carry permit holders from bringing guns. If the judge agrees, North Carolina would join a small number of states – including Florida and Texas - that allow concealed weapons at their state fairs. The fair starts Thursday.
RULINGS DIFFER IN VOTER ID CASES
The Supreme Court is allowing new Republican-inspired voting restrictions to remain in force in North Carolina and Ohio but is blocking Wisconsin's voter ID law. Those seem like contradictory actions just a month before November's elections. But there's a thread of consistency: In each case, it appears the court is seeking a short-term outcome that is the least disruptive for the voting process. Another test of the court's outlook on voter ID laws could come from Texas, where the state is promising to appeal a ruling that struck down its strict law as unconstitutional racial discrimination. The orders issued in recent days are all about timing - whether the laws can be used in this year's election. The Supreme Court has put off final rulings on the laws' constitutionality.
GAY MARRIAGE NOW LEGAL IN N.C.
Gay couples across North Carolina have begun exchanging vows now now that same-sex marriage is legal. On Friday afternoon, a federal judge in Asheville threw out the state’s ban on gay marriage. US District Court Judge Max Cogburn Jr. acted after the U.S. Supreme Court decide NOT to hear an appeal of a July ruling by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond that struck down Virginia's ban. That court also has jurisdiction over North Carolina. Minutes after Cogburn’s ruling, couples began collecting marriage licenses, with some exchanging vows right there on the front steps of county office buildings. Governor Pat McCrory's office said late Friday all state agencies would comply with the ruling. (Read and listen to a report about some of the state’s first same-sex marriage ceremonies on our website, WFAE.org )
MAN SHOT IN NORTHWEST CHARLOTTE
A 28-year-old man was found shot to death Saturday morning in a car parked in northwest Charlotte. Charlotte Mecklenburg Police say Darien Hoskins was found dead in his car in the 4300 block of Hovis Road just before 11am. Detectives say it’s not a random shooting – they believe the man and a suspect were involved in an altercation earlier in the day. Anyone with information is asked to call detectives at 704-432-TIPS.
FLIGHT LANDS SAFELY
A US Airways flight from New York's LaGuardia Airport to Charlotte landed safely last night after oxygen masks deployed in the final minutes amid indications of a pressurization issue. An airline spokesman told The Associated Press none of the 146 passengers and five crew was hurt. US Airways flight 745 – an Airbus 320 - reported the pressure issue "well into" its descent into Charlotte Douglas International Airport shortly before 7 o’clock. The cause of the problem wasn’t immediately known.
SUNDAY SPORTS HEADLINES
NASCAR’s Sprint Cup came to Charlotte Motor Speedway last night, where Kevin Harvick took the checkered flag and earned an automatic berth in the third round of the Chase for the Cup championship series. Afterward, several drivers bumped one another on the cool down lap and a fight broke out in the garage. It was a bad night for Dale Earnhardt Jr. He suffered a serious blow to his championship hopes when the shifter broke in his Number 88 Chevrolet. He’s last in the 12-driver Chase field headed into next Sunday's elimination race at Talladega.
In college football Saturday, North Carolina kept it close, and even led at one point, but the Tarheels lost to sixth-ranked Notre Dame, 50 to 43. Tarheels quarterback Marquise Williams threw two touchdown passes, ran for another and caught a 23-yard touchdown pass from receiver Quinshad Davis late in the third quarter to give the Tar Heels a 36-35 lead.
UNC Charlotte’s 49ers lost their fourth in a row, falling 63 to 56 in double overtime at The Citadel.
In NFL action Sunday, the Carolina Panthers are at Cincinnati. Game time is 1 o’clock.