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Authorities say a jailed North Carolina man facing accused of an arson attack on an immigrant-owned store didn't appear in court as planned because he's being disciplined.

An appearance scheduled Tuesday for 32-year-old Curtis Flournoy has been reset for April 21, when the suspect will have a bond hearing.

Mecklenburg County Assistant District Attorney Alana Byrnes said he didn't know what led to Flournoy's being placed on disciplinary detention.

Flournoy remains jailed on a $35,000 bond on charges, including ethnic intimidation and burning a commercial building. It's not clear if he has an attorney.

Authorities say a fire was set Thursday but burned itself out at a market selling goods from the Indian subcontinent. No one was hurt, and authorities said a threatening note was left on the scene.



Republicans invoked the "nuclear option" in the Senate Thursday, unilaterally rewriting the chamber's rules to allow President Donald Trump's nominee to ascend to the Supreme Court.

Furious Democrats objected until the end, but their efforts to block Judge Neil Gorsuch failed as expected. Lawmakers of both parties bemoaned the long-term implications for the Senate, the court and the country.

"We will sadly point to today as a turning point in the history of the Senate and the Supreme Court," said Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York.

The maneuvering played out in an atmosphere of tension in the Senate chamber with most senators in their seats, a rare and theatrical occurrence.

First Democrats mounted a filibuster in an effort to block Gorsuch by denying him the 60 votes needed to advance to a final vote. Then Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky raised a point of order, suggesting that Supreme Court nominees should not be subjected to a 60-vote threshold but instead a simple majority in the 100-member Senate.

McConnell was overruled, but appealed the ruling. And on that he prevailed on a 52-48 party line vote. The 60-vote filibuster requirement on Supreme Court nominees was effectively gone, and with it the last vestige of bipartisanship on presidential nominees in an increasingly polarized Senate.

A final confirmation vote on Gorsuch is expected Friday and he could then be sworn in in time to take his seat on the court later this month and hear the final cases of the term.

The maneuvering played out with much hand-wringing from all sides about the future of the Senate, as well as unusually bitter accusations and counter-accusations as each side blamed the other. The rules change is known as the "nuclear option" because of its far-reaching implications.



Allen Loughry has been selected to serve a four-year term as chief justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court.

This marks the first four-year term for a chief justice since 1888, the court said in a news release. Chief justices typically serve one-year terms.

On Wednesday, the court voted to change its rules and allow the chief justice to serve four years and be re-elected to subsequent four-year terms by a majority vote of the five-member court.

Loughry, a Tucker County native, originally had been selected to serve one year as chief justice on Jan. 1.

"I am deeply honored and humbled that my colleagues have placed their confidence and trust in me. I look forward to moving the court system forward in my role as chief justice for the next four years," Loughry said.

He was elected to the court in 2012 for a 12-year term. Before that, he was a senior assistant attorney general in the West Virginia Attorney General's Office from 1997 to 2003. In 2003, he began working as a law clerk at the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, a job he held when he was elected to the court.

In 2006, Loughry published the book, "Don't Buy Another Vote, I Won't Pay for a Landslide," a nonpartisan look at West Virginia's history of political corruption.


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