Winchester, street preacher settle noise dispute

WINCHESTER, Va. (AP) - Winchester has agreed to revise its noise ordinance to settle a lawsuit that claims the city violated a street preacher's free speech rights.

Media outlets report that the city's insurance carrier also will pay Michael Marcavage of Repent America $2,500 in damages and $25,000 in attorneys fees.

The city says in a news release that it will eliminate references in the ordinance to "unnecessary" and "annoying." The city says the use of those terms could be deemed unconstitutional.

Marcavage filed the federal lawsuit in November 2010. He claimed his free speech rights were violated during the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival in May 2010 when police ordered him to turn off his amplifier.

He says he's thankful that the city is doing what's right.