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Court opens door to voiding N. Carolina Voter ID amendment

North Carolina’s Supreme Court has opened the door to nullifying a voter ID mandate approved by citizens in 2018. The court's 4-3 majority ruled on Friday that lawmakers who put it on the ballot were elected from districts tainted by illegal racial bias. But since nullifying a voter approved amendment is a serious move, it wants a trial judge to gather more evidence first. It's a victory for the state NAACP, which said it shows that “rigging elections by trampling on the rights of Black voters has consequences.” Republican state House Speaker Tim Moore calls it “blatant judicial activism.”

Washington state school shooter sentenced to 40 years

A man who shot one classmate to death and wounded three others five years ago in a Washington state high school, apologized to his victims before he was sentenced to 40 years in prison. Caleb Sharpe, who was 15 at the time of the 2017 shootings at Freeman High School, pleaded guilty earlier this year in Spokane County Superior Court. The 20-year-old Sharpe showed no emotion as Superior Court Judge Michael Price handed down the sentence Friday. He will get credit for the nearly five years he has already been in custody. Prior to sentencing, Sharpe apologized to his victims in his first public comments since his arrest five years ago.

Transgender kids can play girls sports in Utah after ruling

Transgender girls in Utah will be given the opportunity to participate in female sports as the school year begins after a judge reversed a ban pending legal challenges from parents. Utah state Judge Keith Kelly made his ruling Friday. Instead of an outright ban, transgender girls will now go before a state commission of political appointees who will determine if they are eligible to participate. Utah’s ruling marked the latest court development in a nationwide debate over how to navigate a flashpoint issue. Similar cases are underway in states such as Idaho, West Virginia and Indiana.

Large fire consumes boats, buildings, vehicles at boatyard

A large fire at a Massachusetts marina has destroyed several boats, buildings and vehicles. Aerial video taken by WCVB-TV on Friday showed much of the boatyard in Mattapoisett engulfed in flames. The fire generated a plume of black smoke so thick it was picked up by weather radar. Tim Price, a mechanic at the boatyard, told WJAR-TV that a vessel caught fire in one of the sheds, and the fire spread quickly. He said he knew of one person who was injured, but did not elaborate. The cause of blaze is under investigation. Fire and police officials said no one was available to comment.

Suit alleging off-camera jail beatings revived

A federal appeals court has cleared the way for a lawsuit to proceed against guards and officials at a privately run north Louisiana jail where an inmate died with a fractured skull in 2015. The lawsuit includes allegations that guards at Monroe's Richwood Correctional Center sometimes beat and pepper-sprayed handcuffed prisoners in an area without security cameras. A federal judge had thrown out much of the lawsuit but a panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans reinstated it last month. On Friday the appeals court issued an order denying a rehearing, sending the case back to the district court.

Witness about R. Kelly: I didn't want to 'carry his lies'

A woman who says she was sexually abused hundreds of times by R. Kelly before she turned 18 has testified that she agonized several years ago about whether to cooperate with federal investigators who were looking into child abuse allegations involving the singer. The woman, who is now 37 and going by the pseudonym “Jane” at Kelly's Chicago trial, told the court Friday that she ultimately did cooperate with the investigation because she didn't want to “carry his lies.” During cross-examination, she conceded that she lied at one point when she told federal agents that she wasn’t sure if Kelly had abused minors other than her. She said she lied because she didn’t want to get others in trouble.

Mother is the 3rd person to die after Missouri home exploded

Authorities say a young mother is the third member of her family to die in a gas explosion at her Missouri home. Twenty-two-year-old Myranda Gale Golden was hurt Monday when her home in the far southern Missouri town of Wyatt erupted in flames and was taken to a burn unit in Memphis, Tennessee, for treatment. Wyatt is about 130 miles northeast of Memphis. The Mississippi County Sheriff’s Office in Missouri said in a news release that it was notified Friday that she had died. She was the mother of a 3-year-old who died Thursday and her significant other, Corey Coleman, died in the immediate aftermath of the blast. Seven others remain hospitalized in stable condition.

Officials: 3 killed after planes collided in California

Authorities say three people and a dog were killed after two small planes collided in Northern California while trying to land at a rural airport. The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement Friday that the names of those killed Thursday at the Watsonville Municipal Airport will be released once their families have been notified. NTSB air safety investigator Fabian Salazar says that there were two people aboard a twin-engine Cessna 340 and only the pilot aboard a single-engine Cessna 152 during the crash. The city-owned airport does not have a control tower to direct aircraft landing and taking off. The airport accounts for about 40% of all general aviation activities in the Monterey Bay area, according to the City of Watsonville’s website.

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