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For more than 200 years, sailboats and fishing boats have unknowingly passed over the site of a presumed historic shipwreck off the southern coast of the island of Antigua. Now, East Carolina University maritime historians, underwater archaeologists, divers and students are researching the h…

WASHINGTON  — The House is set to give final approval Thursday to legislation protecting same-sex marriages in federal law, a monumental step in a decadeslong battle for nationwide recognition of such unions that reflects a stunning turnaround in societal attitudes.

Nutcracker: Dance Arts Theatre will present “The Nutcracker” ballet at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday in ECU’s Wright Auditorium. The ballet is accompanied by the Eastern Symphony Orchestra. Tickets are $40 for the general public and $34 for youth. Call 328-4788 or visit tickets.ecu.edu. Sales at the door begin 45 minutes prior to the performance.

The N.C. Department of Transportation awarded about $12 million in grants to 13 short-line railroads across North Carolina for infrastructure improvements.

Local Events

East Carolina’s women’s basketball team turned in another impressive defense-to-offense performance on Tuesday night and strolled past visiting Maryland Eastern Shore, 67-42, in Minges Coliseum.

BOH. Why is no one talking about the sheer pleasure of coming home from vacation and using your own bathroom?

Most of a North Carolina community found itself in the dark Saturday night after someone ripped away a gate and riddled a pair of unmanned Duke Energy substations with bullets.

One of the most hopeful developments to occur in decades with respect to the public services, systems, and structures provided and maintained by the state of North Carolina was the recent seminal state Supreme Court ruling in the landmark Leandro education funding case.

In my dotage, I have come to rely on the Bless Your Heart column for the real semblance of truth in America today. I once looked to the church for the truth built upon the rock, but these days the church reinterprets Scripture faster than changes to the Dollar Menu at Mickey D’s. At least my…

“A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude,” former US president Donald Trump wrote on his pet social media platform, Truth Social, “allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution.” In reference, of course, to his fantasy that the 20…

Nothing that Elon Musk is doing in the wake of his takeover of Twitter should be considered controversial. The fact that the world’s richest person and self-described “free speech absolutist” is currently taking endless flack for attempting to limit online censorship and gatekeeping in the i…

James Sprunt Community College would like to extend congratulations to Emily Craft, JSCC Foundation Presidential Scholar, for receiving Girl Scouting’s highest honor, the Girl Scout Gold Award.

I love sandwiches. They are easy to make, easy to eat, packed with a wheel of healthy colors and offer up a world of flavor combinations. It’s no wonder Americans consume millions of sandwiches per year. This brings me to this week’s Hot Dish. Let me introduce you to Kings Deli, located in t…

The holiday season is full of traditions. Traditions bring pleasure and reassurance. They give us something to look forward to, and in times of difficulty or uncertainty, traditions root and comfort us. Sharing and repeating traditions connect us to our past and reinforce our relationships w…

The seniors in Pitt County have done well in getting their vaccines; younger people not so much. If you are going to be around older adults this holiday, please get vaccinated and boosted. Eat healthily and be physically active. You don’t want to be sick and miss out on the holiday fun.

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State AP Stories

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Authorities in North Carolina are seeking search warrants related to the shooting of electric substations in Moore County that caused widespread power outages. FBI spokeswoman Shelley Lynch confirmed Thursday that the agency is seeking cell phone records that could indicate who was near the substations Saturday night. She said such search warrant applications “are a normal step in a law enforcement investigation.” Richard Maness, chief deputy of the Moore County Sheriff’s Office, told The News & Observer that detectives have requested court approval for several warrants. He declined to provide specifics. The shootings had cut power to 45,000 customers as well as schools and a hospital.

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One of the world's most ruthless pirates hid in plain sight in the American colonies, according to new evidence. A historian and metal detectorist in Rhode Island says that he’s unearthed 26 silver coins with Arabic inscriptions that notorious English pirate Henry Every once seized from an armed Indian ship. The 1695 heist made Every the target of the first worldwide manhunt. Detectorists say that before he fled to the Bahamas and then vanished, Every first hid out in New England.

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Duke Energy says it has completed repairs on substation equipment damaged in shootings over the weekend and restored power thousands of customers who lost electricity in a central North Carolina county.  All but a handful of households in Moore County had regained power as of 5 p.m. Wednesday, according to Duke Energy’s outage map. A peak of more than 45,000 customers lost power over the weekend. Authorities have said the outages began shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday night after one or more people drove up to two substations, breached the gates and opened fire on them. Police have not released a motive.

The Supreme Court seems skeptical of making a broad ruling that would leave state legislatures virtually unchecked when making rules for elections for Congress and the presidency. In nearly three hours of arguments Wednesday, liberal and conservative justices appeared to take issue with the main thrust of a challenge asking them to essentially eliminate the power of state courts to strike down legislature-drawn, gerrymandered congressional districts on grounds that they violate state constitutions. But it was harder to see exactly where the court would land. A trio of conservative justices who probably control the outcome, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, seemed open to simply limiting state court power in some circumstances.

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Duke Energy says it expects to be able to restore power by Wednesday night to a county where electric substations were attacked by gunfire. Duke Energy spokesman Jeff Brooks said the company expects to have power back Wednesday just before midnight in Moore County. The company had previously estimated it would be restored Thursday morning. About 35,000 Duke energy customers were still without power Tuesday, down from more than 45,000 at the height of the outage Saturday. Authorities have said the outages began shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday night after one or more people drove up to two substations, breached the gates and opened fire on them.

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Two North Carolina Democratic government lawyers have argued on competing sides at an appeals court in a case over whether the Wake County district attorney can prosecute Attorney General Josh Stein or others for a 2020 campaign commercial. Private attorneys for Stein and Wake District Attorney Lorrin Freeman met Tuesday before a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. At issue is a state law that makes certain political speech a crime. Stein's campaign ad criticized his then-Republican challenger for AG over untested rape kits. Stein and his allies say the 1931 law is unconstitutional and want the judges to block its enforcement.

A U.S. Supreme Court case involving North Carolina's congressional districts could have ramifications for the way voting districts are drawn in other states. At issue in Wednesday's arguments is whether state courts can strike down U.S. House maps passed by state lawmakers for violating state constitutions. North Carolina's Republican legislative leaders are asserting an “independent state legislature” theory — claiming the U.S. Constitution gives no role to state courts in federal election disputes. The outcome could affect similar lawsuits pending in state courts in Kentucky, New Mexico and Utah. It also could have implications in New York and Ohio, where state courts previously struck down U.S. House districts.

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Two power substations in a North Carolina county were damaged by gunfire in what is being investigated as a criminal act. A spokesman for Duke Energy said at a news conference with local officials on Sunday that the damage caused the night before could take days to repair. Power was out for roughly 37,000 customers Sunday. In response, officials announced a state of emergency that included a curfew from 9 p.m. Sunday to 5 a.m. Monday. County schools will be closed Monday. Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields says authorities have not determined a motivation.

National & World AP Stories

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — The Colorado Springs gay nightclub shooter had charges dropped in a 2021 bomb threat case after the family members he terrorized in the incident refused to cooperate, the district attorney said Thursday.

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At his initial court appearance in Lima, Peru on Thursday, Pedro Castillo gave only yes or no answers, looking on downcast as his attorney argued that he had been arbitrarily detained. The man who had served as Peruvian president refused to give any statement of his own. In just three tumultuous hours, Castillo went from decreeing the dissolution of his country’s Congress to being replaced by his vice president and put under arrest. On Wednesday, he was removed from office and arrested on a charge of rebellion after dissolving the Congress before a scheduled impeachment vote.

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MOSCOW (AP) — A show of prison artwork by Viktor Bout, the Russian arms trader serving 25 years in the United States and the focus of speculation about a prisoner swap that could free WNBA star Brittney Griner, opened Tuesday at the upper chamber of the Russian parliament.

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Authorities in North Carolina are seeking search warrants related to the shooting of electric substations in Moore County that caused widespread power outages. FBI spokeswoman Shelley Lynch confirmed Thursday that the agency is seeking cell phone records that could indicate who was near the substations Saturday night. She said such search warrant applications “are a normal step in a law enforcement investigation.” Richard Maness, chief deputy of the Moore County Sheriff’s Office, told The News & Observer that detectives have requested court approval for several warrants. He declined to provide specifics. The shootings had cut power to 45,000 customers as well as schools and a hospital.

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Scientists in Hawaii say lava from the world’s largest volcano is no longer an imminent threat to the main highway across the Big Island. The U.S. Geological Survey said Thursday that Mauna Loa is still erupting. But lava that was feeding the flow heading toward the road has been cut off. That's likely because of a reduced production rate. Last week, officials said the earliest the lava could hit the road was one week, prompting motorists to brace for upheaval from a possible closure that could add hours to commute times on alternate coastal routes.

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NEW YORK (AP) — More than 1,000 New York Times journalists and other staff walked off the job for 24 hours Thursday, frustrated by contract negotiations that have dragged on for months in the newspaper's biggest labor dispute in more than 40 years.