Lunch Break (12/31/15): Anti-toll organizers to finally get their day in court

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Members of an organization called Widen I-77 that has been fighting the planned toll roads on the interstate for three years announced in a Facebook post this morning that they will finally have their day in court, as they have collected enough donations to fund a lawsuit against the North Carolina Department of Transportation, I-77 Mobility Partners and the State of North Carolina. According to the post, a hearing will be held at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse on Friday, January 8 at 10 a.m. (Ryan Pitkin) Mecklenburg Commissioner Jim Puckett said yesterday he will be asking his fellow commissioners to compel the board's representative on the Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization to vote against the $650 million toll project in an upcoming CRTPO vote on January 20. That vote was suggested by governor Pat McCrory. (Jonathan McFadden, Charlotte Observer) 

A man and woman were reportedly shot at 9 a.m. this morning in southwest Charlotte in what appears to be a domestic incident. Both victims were reportedly transported from the Comfort Inn & Suites on Westpark Drive to Carolinas Medical Center with serious injuries. The suspect is still at large. (Angela Hong, WSOC) 

CMPD released a statement early this morning stating that a body found in a burning car in Gaston County on Wednesday evening is believed to be connected to a shooting in northwest Charlotte that happened at about 4:30 p.m. on the same day. Police responded to an assault with a deadly weapon call on Woodland Circle in the Oakdale area yesterday afternoon and found a man suffering from life-threatening injuries from a gunshot wound. That man was transported to Carolinas Medical Center and while homicide detectives investigated the scene they were notified that Ranlo Police Department in nearby Gaston County had just found a body believed to be tied in with the incident in Charlotte. No names or motives have yet been released. (Ryan Pitkin) 

Attorneys representing the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina have responded to allegations that the church hasn't been forthcoming with details about donations made to the church after family members of one of the victims of a mass shooting there in June filed a lawsuit stopping dispersal of the money. The lawsuit, filed in October by attorneys for victim Cynthia Hurd's husband, aims to freeze the assets in the church's Moving Forward fund until attorneys on both sides can review documents related to donations. Arthur Hurd has said that he witnesses members of the church opening letters addressed to victims' families and removing large amounts of money shortly after the shooting. In yesterday's response to the allegations, church attorneys denied any wrongdoing and stated that the church has acted "in good faith and in a reasonable manner." (Jennifer Hawes, Post & Courier) 

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