US closing courthouses in NC, Okla., W.Va., Wyo.

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Federal officials are closing four more courthouses in an effort to save money on rent - in addition to six closings announced previously.

The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts said Wednesday closing courthouses in Bryson City, N.C.; McAlester, Okla.; Parkersburg, W.Va.; and Jackson, Wyo., by the end of the year would save $551,000 annually. The courthouses do not have a federal judge regularly assigned there.

Patrick Keaney, the court clerk for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, says the impact of the McAlester closure would be minimal because most area cases are already heard in a federal courthouse 65 miles away in Muskogee.

The government last year reviewed 60 courthouses and announced the closure of those in Gadsden, Ala., Pikeville, Ky.; Meridian, Miss.; Wilkesboro, N.C.; Beaufort, S.C.; and Amarillo, Texas.

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