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FRANKFURT, Germany — The OPEC+ alliance of oil-exporting countries decided Wednesday to sharply cut production to prop up sagging oil prices, a move analysts said could deal the struggling global economy another blow and raise pump prices for U.S. drivers just ahead of key national elections.

Chow Down: The Farmville Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center will host the Chow Down for the Chamber fundraiser for breakfast, lunch and dinner on Friday. Restaurants in town will donate a percentage of sales to the chamber to encourage people to go out to eat. 

Local Events

Russell Reeves and his partner, Ray Novicki of Southern Pines, tied for ninth place in the 11th Carolinas Super Senior Four-Ball tournament at Walnut Creek Country Club in Goldsboro last week.

Wake up Greenville! The N.C. Department of Transportation has started “Operation Crash Reduction” to crack down on speeders in the state. Does information like this even reach our city government or do they just ignore it? I think we all know the answer. Give us candidates in the next electi…

I believe in climate change. It always has. I have yet to find someone to explain how mankind caused the Ice Age and Great Flood. However, we should be good stewards of Mother Earth.

No, polio is not a threat to the vast majority of Americans. That’s because the vast majority has received a very effective polio vaccine. And that’s also why public officials should stop turning a concern centered on a few under-vaxxed communities into everyone’s problem.

North Carolina endured the wrath of yet another powerful hurricane last week. And while it comes as little solace to those who lost homes, businesses or, in a few tragic cases, loved ones, on the whole, the situation could have been much, much worse. One need only glance at the devastation t…

Bless our hearts. I see from the state election judicial guide that judges for the state Supreme and Appeals Court seats are running by party. Seems that Democrat judges vote the party line same as Democrat politicians. If the voters want their decisions upheld, it is time to get rid of prog…

Most people in North Carolina fill in the name of your state), if asked politely, would probably not be able to tell you the name of a field botanist in their area. Now, there are quite a number of different kinds of people who study plants, whether trained formally in an academic setting or…

Don’t underestimate the lentil. These tiny, pebble-like legumes may be a tad frumpy in appearance, but any perceived drabness or lumpiness shouldn’t deter you from eating them. Lentils are rich in plant-based protein and fiber and are an excellent source of B vitamins, magnesium and potassiu…

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State AP Stories

President Joe Biden is working to create a manufacturing revival. He's even helping to put factory jobs in Republican territory under the belief it can help restore faith in U.S. democracy. The latest development came Tuesday, when chipmaker Micron announced an investment of up to $100 billion over the next 20-plus years to build a plant in upstate New York that could create 9,000 factory jobs. It’s a commitment made in a GOP congressional district that Biden and the company credited to the recently enacted $280 billion CHIPS and Science Act. Biden's goal is to keep opening new factories in states where Democrats’ footholds are shaky at best.

In Georgia’s pivotal U.S. Senate race, Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and his Republican challenger, Herschel Walker, have each sought to cast the other as an abortion extremist. At the same time, they deflect questions about the details of their own positions on the issue. The sidestepping reflects the sensitivity of abortion politics in a post-Roe v. Wade America, where the procedure is open to regulation by state governments and, potentially, by Congress. But Walker’s strategy may not work much longer after The Daily Beast reported Monday that he paid for a girlfriend’s 2009 abortion — a blatant contradiction of his claims that there’s “no excuse” for a procedure he characterizes as “killing.” Walker called the report a lie.

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Advocates say schools increasingly are removing children with disabilities from the classroom because of behavior issues related to their disability but not recording the actions as suspension. The practice is known as informal removal, which advocates say amounts to a form of off-the-books, de facto denial of education that evades accountability. Because the removals aren’t recorded, there’s no way to quantify how often they happen. But the assistant secretary for the Education Department's Office for Civil Rights, Catherine E. Lhamon, says the practice has "taken hold in a way that is dangerous for students and needs to be addressed.”

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A Delaware judge says cigarette manufacturer ITG Brands assumed liability for tobacco settlement payments to the state of Florida when it acquired four brands from Reynolds American in 2015. Vice Chancellor Lori Will also said in Friday's ruling that ITG must compensate Reynolds American for losses due to that assumed liability. Reynolds sold the Kool, Winston, Salem and Maverick brands to ITG in 2014 to gain federal regulators' approval of Reynolds’ acquisition of Lorillard Inc. Before the sale closed, Reynolds American affiliate R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. was making payments under a preexisting settlement agreement with Florida for reimbursement of smoking-related health care costs.

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North Carolina’s State Board of Elections is directing county election officials not to engage in signature matching when reviewing absentee ballot envelopes this fall after a judge rejected the GOP appeal of a state board ruling prohibiting the practice. According to a directive sent to county election directors from the board’s legal counsel Paul Cox, the judge’s ruling maintains the status quo outlined in state law. Superior Court Judge Stephan Futrell ruled from the bench Monday afternoon, denying the party’s motion for a temporary restraining order and preventing the use of signature matching in the 2022 general election, state board spokesperson Pat Gannon said.

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Emergency responders are seeking to evacuate residents from the largest barrier island off Florida's Gulf Coast, and survivors there spoke of the terror of riding out Hurricane Ian in flooded homes and howling winds. A volunteer group, Medic Corps, was flying residents off Pine island by helicopter on Saturday. The bridge to Pine Island was heavily damaged by the hurricane, leaving it reachable only by boat or air. Some residents said they hadn’t seen anyone from outside the island for days and spoke of being trapped in flooded homes as boats and other debris crashed around their houses in the storm surge. Some feared they wouldn't make it.

Local election officials across the United States are bracing for a wave of confrontations on Election Day in November. Emboldened Republican poll watchers, including many who embrace former President Donald Trump’s falsehoods about the 2020 election, are expected to flood election offices and polling places. The Republican Party and conservative activists have been holding poll watcher training sessions, but in many states they've barred the media from observing those sessions. Some Republican-led states passed laws after the 2020 election that require local election offices to allow poll watchers and give them expanded access to observe and challenge ballots.

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The remnants of Hurricane Ian have downed trees and power lines across North Carolina, and at least four storm-related fatalities.. The Johnston County Sheriff's Office says a woman found her husband dead early Saturday morning after he went to check on a generator running in their garage overnight. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper's office says there were also two storm-related traffic fatalities in Johnston County on Friday, and a drowning in Martin County. Damage reports across the state were less severe than in South Carolina and Florida. But over 90,000 people statewide were without power Saturday afternoon. That was down from over 330,000 earlier in the day.

National & World AP Stories

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — In an Oct. 5 story about the abduction and killing of four members of a California family, The Associated Press misidentified the person who was caught on video carrying a baby from the family’s business to a truck. It was the baby’s mother, Jasleen Kaur, not the girl’s …

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Stocks fell on Wall Street as the broader market continued pulling back from a surge earlier in the week. The S&P 500 fell 0.5% in afternoon trading on Thursday. The benchmark index is still on track for a solid weekly gain. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq also fell. Investors reviewed more employment data and considered how it might influence the Federal Reserve's effort to fight inflation with higher interest rates. The U.S. government reported that applications for unemployment benefits rose last week. It will release its monthly report on the job market on Friday.

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Police say a baby girl, her parents and uncle have been found dead in a central California orchard two days after they were kidnapped at gunpoint from their business. Sheriff Vern Warnke announced Wednesday that the bodies were found in a Merced County orchard and told reporters: “Our worst fears have been confirmed.” Warnke did not release any information about how and when police believe they were killed. He said the victims were close to each other when found by a farm worker in a remote area. The announcement came after authorities released surveillance video of a man kidnapping the 8-month-old, her parents and uncle on Monday. Authorities say they were taken by a convicted robber who tried to kill himself a day after the kidnappings.

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French author Annie Ernaux has staunchly defended a woman's right to abortion after winning this year's Nobel Prize in Literature. Ernaux said she would “fight to my last breath so that women can choose to be a mother, or not to be.” The Swedish Academy said Ernaux, 82, was recognized for “the courage and clinical acuity” of her writing. She is one of France’s most-honored authors and a prominent feminist voice.  Ernaux's more than 20 books present uncompromising portraits of sexual encounters, abortion, illness and the deaths of her parents. The Nobel literature chairman said “she writes about things that no one else writes about."

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Bodies are floating amid splintered wreckage in the water off two Greek islands as the death toll from the sinking of two migrant boats in Greek waters has risen to 22, with many still missing. Residents of the island of Kythira pulled shipwrecked migrants to safety up steep cliffs in dramatic rescues after their sailboat broke up on the rocks surrounding the island. Hundreds of miles east, the coast guard on the island of Lesbos said 16 young women, a man and a boy died when their dinghy went down. The deadly incidents further stoked tension between neighbors Greece and Turkey, which are locked in a heated dispute over migration and maritime boundaries.

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Rochester officials have agreed to pay $12 million to the children of Daniel Prude, a Black man who died after police held him down until he stopped breathing on a snowy street in the upstate New York city. A federal judge approved the settlement in a court document filed Thursday. Rochester Mayor Malik D. Evans said in a statement that the agreement was “the best decision” for the city. Attorneys said the settlement money, minus lawyers’ fees and costs, will go to Prude’s five children.

A federal judge has halted key provisions of New York’s gun rules that restrict where people can carry weapons and require permit applicants to hand over social media information. Judge Glenn Suddaby ordered a temporary hold Thursday on multiple provisions of New York’s sweeping new gun law. He also gave the state three business days to seek “emergency relief” before a federal appeals court. The rules were part of a sweeping gun law that went into effect Sept. 1 designed to protect public safety while adhering to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that invalidated New York’s old system for granting concealed carry permits.

Oil cartel OPEC and its allies are cutting production. And that means oil prices are likely going up. The OPEC+ alliance says they're trying to support prices against future sagging demand from an uncertain and slowing global economy. Saudi Arabia's energy minister says the alliance is bringing stability to the oil market. Yet high oil prices are contributing to fears of a slowdown and have been criticized by Washington. Meanwhile, supply could take another hit as the U.S. and allies try to impose a price cap on Russian oil to reduce the money flowing into Moscow’s war chest after it invaded Ukraine.