News In Brief

A midday news roundup. 

The National Weather Service has confirmed a tornado did strike southwest Charlotte this week. The service says the tornado hit Wednesday evening with maximum winds of 90 miles per hour, causing damage along a 1.5 mile stretch of John Price Road, and along a 0.5 mile stretch from Microsoft Way to West Arrowood.

The National Weather Service is investigating whether a tornado touched down in south Charlotte Wednesday evening around 6:30 p.m.  A tweet published around that time said a "possible" tornado may have been developing near I-485 southwest of Charlotte, and could cross I-77 through 7 p.m.

Firefighters say the Party Rock Wildfire near Chimney Rock and Lake Lure has been fully contained, thanks in part to 0.4 inches of rain that fell Monday night through Tuesday. Firefighting crews have begun packing up and dismantling their fire camps Tuesday morning as they head for home. 

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 Durham County elections board is defending itself against charges by Governor Pat McCrory’s campaign of wrongful or illegal conduct in last Tuesday’s ballot count. After troubles on Election Day, the heavily Democratic County reported 94,000 ballots late.

In an effort to diversify magnet schools, the CMS board will begin placing heavy priority on a student's socio-economic status in student assignment decisions. That's part of the first phase of the board's student re-assignment plan passed unanimously Wednesday night.

Among the factors the district will take into account are income, parents' education levels, and English language fluency. The changes will only affect students applying to enter magnet programs.

The Colonial Pipeline Company says it expects to have the damaged pipeline up and running again by Sunday afternoon, reducing fears of a possible gas shortage and price increases at the pump.

The pipeline exploded and erupted into flames on Monday while a crew was making repairs related to a September gas spill. One environmentalist likened the scene to a "geyser of fire." One worker died in the incident, and four others were injured.

In April, 2015, then-Charleston police officer Michael Slager allegedly shot an unarmed black man, Walter Scott, eight times in the back as he fled a traffic stop. Now, nearly a year and a half later, a court will decide whether Slager was justified in the shooting.

Attorneys for the prosecution and the defense delivered opening statements Thursday to a jury of 11 white people and one black man who were selected earlier in the week.

With mere days to go before the election, a federal judge in Winston-Salem is hearing arguments over the cancelations of up to 4,500 voter registrations in the eastern half of North Carolina.

Hurricane Matthew impaired or destroyed more than 1 million structures, forced businesses from Florida to North Carolina to close and put thousands of people temporarily out of work.

Goldman Sachs estimates the storm likely caused $10 billion in damage overall, but figures suggest Matthew's effect on the broader national economy will be minimal.

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