The Associated Press

North Carolina General Assembly

Legislation making it easier for third-party and unaffiliated candidates to get on North Carolina ballots but also reworking judicial elections for 2018 could soon become law despite Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's objections.

A trio of federal judges is gathering in two weeks to decide whether North Carolina lawmakers removed unlawful racial bias from new legislative district maps.

The judges on Wednesday set a hearing for Oct. 12 in Greensboro to decide if the new districts lawmakers drew for themselves still contain illegal and unconstitutional districts.

Hundreds of visitors were ordered to leave much of North Carolina's Outer Banks Monday, as Hurricane Maria kicked up heavy surf along the Southeast coast. Evacuations were ordered for Ocracoke and Hatteras Islands. 

Duke Energy says it will publish federally mandated maps that it previously refused to publish, showing what could happen to neighboring properties if a coal-ash pit burst.

Two environmental advocacy groups had said last week they planned a lawsuit to force disclosure of the information withheld for more than a dozen Duke Energy sites in Indiana, Kentucky and North Carolina.

The groups said Duke Energy was the country's only electric utility not providing the dam safety information.

WASHINGTON (AP) — In an escalating tit-for-tat, the United States forced Russia on Thursday to shutter its consulate in San Francisco and scale back its diplomatic presence in Washington and New York, as relations between the two former Cold War foes continued to unravel.

ATLANTA (AP) — The operator of a major gasoline pipeline estimates it can resume carrying fuel in the Houston area by Sunday, potentially avoiding a lengthy shutdown that would intensify gasoline shortages.

The Colonial Pipeline is a major gas supplier for the Carolinas, and provides nearly 40 percent of the South's gasoline.It runs underground and is now under water in many parts of Texas, where inspections are needed before it can be fully operational again, Colonial spokesman Steve Baker said Thursday.

2:45 p.m.

A North Carolina sheriff says he has identified some of the people who toppled a nearly century-old Confederate statue, and he plans to charge them with felonies.

Durham County Sheriff Mike Andrews told reporters at a news conference Tuesday afternoon that investigators were preparing arrest warrants and taking them to a magistrate judge. He declined to specify what charges the people would face. The arrests hadn't been made at the time of the news conference.

North Carolina Republicans have taken the first step to cancel Gov. Roy Cooper's veto of the state budget.

The state Senate voted 34-14 Tuesday to override the governor's veto of the two-year spending plan approved by the legislature last week. The margin was well over the three-fifths majority required in the state constitution. Only a similar House vote stands in the way of the budget becoming law.

United States Supreme Court chamber
runJMrun / Flickr/https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the Supreme Court consideration of a legislative redistricting case (all times local):

11:40 a.m.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker remains confident that GOP-drawn legislative district maps will survive a Supreme Court review.
 

The nation's highest court on Monday said it will hear arguments in the case. Justices also put on hold an earlier ruling requiring that new maps be drawn by November.
 

North Carolina missed the shots. No surprise there.

Kennedy Meeks saved the game. No surprise there, either.

Meeks, the only Tar Heel who could shoot straight Saturday night, grabbed the game-saving offensive rebound in a 77-76 victory over Oregon after ice cold Carolina missed its fourth straight free throw down the stretch.

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