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      Charleston cruise lawsuit gets hearing

      Carnival Fantasy docked in Charleston (WCIV)

      CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) -- A year after a lawsuit was filed challenging the expanded cruise industry in Charleston, the case is going to court.

      Circuit Judge Clifton Newton of Kingstree has set a hearing next week in Charleston to discuss the status of the case with attorneys. He was appointed a special referee by the state Supreme Court to consider the case.

      The June 14 hearing comes a year and a day after area residents and environmental groups sued Carnival Cruise lines. Opponents worry about congestion, soot and pollution from the ships and contend the industry violates city regulations.

      The city of Charleston and the State Ports Authority have entered the case on the side of Carnival. Supporters say the industry is being properly managed, provides jobs and pours millions into the local economy.

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