Panthro - 3:36 pm on Oct 9, 2012 (gmt 0)
Back a few months ago (I forget with which update exactly) Google started identifying official websites for towns, courts, etc. Third party sites that contained information about these types of searches, but that were not the official website of the municipality, were still displayed but not in the top spot(s).
Today I'm noticing that that has been undone. There is one particular site with strong authority in this niche that has gained a lot from this (they lost positions a few months ago) and is being displayed for these local searches as if the query was a navigational search (with the sitelinks).
Interesting development and I'm wondering if this is just stronger brand bias.