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November 1, 2018

A federal judge ruled on Thursday that Ford County, Kansas, Clerk Debbie Cox does not have to open a second polling site in Dodge City.

Cox moved the town's sole polling site from the Civic Center to the Expo Center, which is outside city limits, not accessible via sidewalk, and not regularly serviced by public transportation. In an attempt to get Cox to open a second polling location, a lawsuit was filed by first-time voter Alejandro Rangel-Lopez, 18, and the League of United Latin American Citizens.

U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Crabtree ruled that it is too close to the Nov. 6 election to do anything, because ordering the reopening of the Civic Center or the opening of a second location "likely would create more voter confusion than it might cure. The relief plaintiffs seek is not in the public's interest." Crabtree did say the court was troubled by a letter sent to Cox by the ACLU that she forwarded to a state official; the letter was asking her to publicize a voter's help line, and she added the comment "LOL."

Cox testified that she moved the voting site because she anticipated construction taking place at the Civic Center; there is no construction going on at this time. She also said there will be signs up at the Civic Center telling people where to go to vote, and that she called the city about providing rides to voters. When asked about the "LOL" comment, she said she took it "seriously," but she can't just put whatever people ask her to on her website. Catherine Garcia

11:31p.m.

With his family by his side, Alex Reins has been busy knitting hats and scarves for people who will need them this winter.

The 9-year-old from Lakewood, Colorado, was inspired to give back after hearing about a person who was discharged from the hospital wearing only a hospital gown and socks, and had to wait for the bus in the cold. "His big heart saw that and he thought, 'We just need to do something to help other people,'" his great-aunt, Cherie DeHerrera, told 9News.

Reins, his mother, Bri Reins, and three great-aunts regularly get together to knit for what they call Alex's Warm Hat Project. They've worked diligently, and have made over 300 hats and scarves. They drop them off at local food banks and homeless shelters, for distribution to those who are "out in the cold and don't have enough money to get a cat," Alex Reins said. It's not difficult to make the scarves and hats, Bri Reins said, and it makes a huge difference in people's lives: "You can turn a ball of yarn into something beautiful." Catherine Garcia

10:45p.m.

David Hockney's "Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)" sold on Thursday for $90.3 million, setting a new auction record for a living artist.

Christie's in New York estimated that the 1972 oil painting would fetch $80 million. The bidding lasted nine minutes, with the two most active bidders calling in by telephone. The previous record was held by Jeff Koons, whose "Ballon Dog (Orange)" sold in 2013 for $58.4 million.

Hockney, 81, is considered one of the most influential British artists. Before the sale, Ana Maria Celis, vice president of postwar and contemporary art at Christie's, said auction houses can "rarely say, 'This is the one opportunity to buy the best painting from the artist.' This is it." Catherine Garcia

10:17p.m.

On Thursday, search teams in Northern California discovered seven more bodies in the Camp Fire burn area, bringing the blaze's death toll to 63.

Authorities say there are now 631 people missing, up from 130 on Wednesday evening. The fire, the deadliest in state history, has burned 141,000 acres, destroyed 11,862 structures, and is about 40 percent contained. Most of the deaths occurred in the town of Paradise, which was almost entirely wiped out by the fire. Officials said it could take several weeks to finish searching for victims. Catherine Garcia

9:27p.m.

Another red seat turned blue in Southern California on Thursday, with Democrat Katie Porter defeating incumbent Republican Rep. Mimi Walters in the 45th Congressional District.

With the latest vote count, Porter, a law professor at the University of California, Irvine, has a 6,203-vote lead over Walters. Walters is a Trump supporter, while Porter said she was running "to hold Donald Trump and the powerful special interests in Washington accountable."

Orange County has been a Republican stronghold for decades, and in 2016, while Hillary Clinton carried the district by 5 percentage points, Walters was re-elected by 17 points. If Democrat Gil Cisneros defeats Republican Young Kim in the 39th Congressional District — the county's last undecided race — Orange County won't have any Republican representatives in Congress. Cisneros took the lead for the first time on Thursday, in a bad sign for Kim's chances. Catherine Garcia

8:56p.m.

After a year of discussions, Justice Department officials are optimistic they will be able to get WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange into a U.S. courtroom, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal on Thursday.

In 2012, Assange received political asylum from Ecuador, and he has been living in the country's London embassy ever since. Prosecutors do not yet know what charges they might file, but it could involve the Espionage Act, the Journal reports. Prosecutors are also reportedly considering publicly indicting Assange so the Ecuadorian government could see evidence against him and would have a reason to remove him from the embassy.

Last month, Assange sued Ecuador over his conditions in the embassy, and after a judge rejected his claims, he said he believes he'll soon be kicked out. In 2010, Chelsea Manning gave WikiLeaks documents related to the Iraq War, and ahead of the 2016 presidential election, WikiLeaks released thousands of emails hacked from Democrats; Special Counsel Robert Mueller says those hacked emails were provided by Russian intelligence officers. Catherine Garcia

7:36p.m.

FBI agents are investigating the death of a 52-year-old woman while aboard a Princess Cruises ship on its way to Aruba.

Early Tuesday, the woman, whose name has not been released, fell from an upper deck onto a lifeboat, authorities in Aruba said. A local news outlet said witnesses saw the woman fighting with another passenger before she plunged to her death.

The Caribbean cruise left Port Everglades, Florida, on Nov. 9, and was traveling from Curacao to Aruba when the woman died. Her husband was on the ship with her, HuffPost reports, and has not been named as a suspect. A spokeswoman for the Aruba Public Prosecutor's Office told USA Today it is "obvious that she fell, but why did she fall? Was she pushed? Did she jump? That is what we are investigating, to find out exactly what happened." Catherine Garcia

6:42p.m.

Following the conclusion of a machine recount on Thursday afternoon, the state of Florida ordered a manual recount in the Senate race.

The incumbent, Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, is about 12,600 votes behind his challenger, Republican Rick Scott, the state's current governor. At least three counties did not submit their machine recount results by the 3 p.m. deadline, and are going with the counts submitted last Saturday. About an hour before the deadline, Palm Beach County announced it was not going to finish in time, and Broward County was late by two minutes, because the person uploading the results didn't know how to use the website, The Miami Herald's Alex Harris said on MSNBC.

A hand recount was not ordered for the governor's race, where Republican Ron DeSantis has a .41 percent lead over Democrat Andrew Gillum, outside the .25 percent threshold for a manual recount. Catherine Garcia

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