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Wind, jazz ensembles: East Carolina University School of Music will host the ECU Symphonic Wind Ensemble and ECU Jazz Ensemble at 6:30 p.m. Friday in Wright Auditorium. Free. Call 252-328-6851. Live stream available at  youtube.com/ecuschoolofmusiclive.

Piano concert: East Carolina University School of Music will host guest artist Sookkyung Cho, associate professor of piano at Grand Valley State University, at 7:30 p.m. Monday in A.J. Fletcher Recital Hall. Free. Call 28-6851. Live stream available at youtube.com/ecuschoolofmusiclive.

Greenville law enforcement said parents could expect an added law enforcement presence at the area’s schools in light of a threatening social media post that named schools in Pitt, Wayne and other North Carolina counties.

Local Events

Rural North Carolina has some of the most beautiful scenery in America, as documented by the growing numbers of tourists. Almost 40 percent of our 10.5 million residents live in the 80 counties considered rural, defined as having a population density of 250 people or fewer per square mile. D…

I feel sure that many citizens who know basic right/wrong are wondering why Trump, plus many of his enablers, aren’t in jail. The lip service from Attorney General Merrick Garland that “no one is above the law” is a crock full of it. Talk is cheap. If we want to, we can take our heads out of…

Q I have shared my home with pets my whole life. I am now a 76-year-old widow, and my menagerie is down to two small dogs. I just saw on the news that pets keep you mentally sharp. Is that true? I’d like to be able to reassure my sons that my furry companions are a boon and not a burden.

When it comes to flavor, say yes to bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts. Chicken breasts often get a bad rap for their dryness and lack of flavor. Leaving the bones and skin on the breast helps to solve this problem.

Uncle Rich appreciated time. He would especially appreciate a completed time cycle. He collected stopwatches, he wrote music and he was a systems manager with IBM. In leisure and in business, these are the utensils of modern Eastern Standard time.

State AP Stories

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The car owned by a missing 74-year-old Florida Lyft driver has been found in North Carolina and the man who was driving it is wanted in connection with a homicide last week in southwest Florida. Authorities said Friday that Gary Levin has been missing since Monday, when his family believes he picked up a customer in Palm Beach County, Florida. His red 2022 Kia Stinger was spotted in Miami that day and later in north Florida. The vehicle was then seen Thursday evening in North Carolina and driver Matthew Flores was arrested following a police chase. Flores is a suspect in a slaying that occurred nearly a week before Levin went missing.

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North Carolina’s newly seated Supreme Court has heard arguments on whether people convicted of felonies should be permitted to vote if they aren’t in prison but still are serving probation or parole or have yet to pay fines. The justices listened Thursday to their first high-profile case since the court flipped to Republican control in January. They didn’t immediately rule. The case stems from 2019 litigation that challenged a 1973 state law automatically restoring voting rights only after the “unconditional discharge of an inmate, of a probationer, or of a parolee.” Roughly 56,000 people could be affected by the outcome.

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Critics of a North Carolina bill that advanced in the state Senate say it could jeopardize the mental health and physical safety of LGBTQ students who could be outed to their parents without consent. The bill would require schools to alert parents prior to a change in the name or pronouns used for their child. Several mental and behavioral health experts, parents and teachers told the Senate health care committee on Thursday that the bill would force teachers to violate the trust of their students and could create life-threatening situations for students without affirming home environments. The proposal now heads to the Senate rules committee.

Some North Carolina senators want tougher punishments for intentionally damaging utility equipment in light of the December attacks on two Duke Energy substations in Moore County that left 45,000 customers without power. The legislators filed a bill on Wednesday that would make it a high-grade felony to intentionally destroy or damage any “energy facility.” Current state law only makes it a misdemeanor to vandalize equipment that interrupts the transmission of electricity. A perpetrator also would face a $250,000 fine and potential lawsuits. Someone also fired at an electric cooperative's substation in Randolph County two weeks ago, causing damages but no outages. No arrests have been in either attack.

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A bill advancing in North Carolina’s Senate would prohibit instruction about sexuality and gender identity in K-4 public school classes. The proposal approved Wednesday by the Senate education committee would require schools in most circumstances to alert parents prior to a change in the name or pronoun used for their child. The measure defies the recommendations of parents, educators and LGBTQ youths who testified against it. The bill now heads to the Senate health care committee. A version passed the state Senate last year but did not get a vote in the House.

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North Carolina civil rights advocates have denounced a House rule change that could allow Republicans to override vetoes on contentious bills with little notice, saying it subverts democracy and the will of voters. Republicans pushed through temporary operating rules this month that omitted a longstanding requirement that chamber leaders give at least two days’ notice before holding an override vote. The move could allow Republicans to override Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s vetoes while Democrats are absent, even momentarily. Calling the change “a shameful power grab meant to thwart the will of the people,” Jillian Riley of Planned Parenthood South Atlantic said it undermines the functionality of the General Assembly.

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As mass shootings are again drawing public attention, states across the U.S. seem to be deepening their political divide on gun policies. A series of recent mass shootings in California come after a third straight year in which U.S. states recorded more than 600 mass shootings involving at least four deaths or injuries. Democratic-led states that already have restrictive gun laws have responded to home-state tragedies by enacting or proposing even more limits on guns. Many states with Republican-led legislatures appear unlikely to adopt any new gun policies after last year's local mass shootings. They're pinning the problem on violent individuals, not their weapons.

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The families of five passengers killed in a plane crash off the North Carolina coast have settled wrongful death lawsuits for $15 million. Their attorneys told the court the companies that owned the plane and employed the pilot paid the money. The suits claimed the pilot failed to properly fly the single-engine plane in weather conditions with limited visibility. All eight people aboard died off the Outer Banks. The passengers included four teenagers and two adults, returning from a hunting trip. The founder of the company that owned the plane was killed, and his family wasn't involved in the lawsuits.

National & World AP Stories

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The arrest of a 24-year-old man accused of taking two monkeys from the Dallas Zoo after cutting their enclosure has shed some light on a mysterious string of events there. Police on Friday said that they’ve also linked him to the escape of a clouded leopard and the gash in the fence of another monkey habitat. Police say Davion Irvin, who was arrested Thursday, has been charged with six counts of animal cruelty and two counts of burglary. His arrest came after an employee at a downtown aquarium recognized him from news coverage of the missing monkeys.

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A jury has decided Elon Musk didn’t defraud investors with tweets in 2018. The verdict by the nine jurors was reached after less that two hours of deliberation following a three-week trial. The trial pitted Tesla investors represented in a class-action lawsuit against Musk, who is CEO of both the electric automaker and the Twitter service he bought for for $44 billion a few months ago. In 2018, Musk tweeted that he had the financing to take Tesla private even though it turned out he hadn’t gotten an iron-clad commitment for an aborted deal that would have cost $20 billion to $70 billion to pull off. The verdict is a major vindication for Musk.

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Ford will return to Formula One as the engine provider for Red Bull Racing in a partnership announced Friday that begins with immediate technical support this season and engines in 2026. Red Bull powertrains and Ford will partner on the development of a hybrid power unit that will supply engines to both Red Bull and AlphaTauri when new F1 regulations begin in 2026. The American automaker dominated F1 in the late 1960s and 1970s as an engine manufacturer with Cosworth and Ford is the third most successful engine maker in F1 history with 10 constructors’ championships and 13 drivers’ championships.

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BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Biden administration took a first step Friday toward ending federal protections for grizzly bears in the northern Rocky Mountains, which would open the door to future hunting in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho.

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Officials say a sixth Memphis officer was fired Friday after an internal police investigation showed he violated multiple department policies in the violent arrest of Tyre Nichols, including rules surrounding the deployment of a stun gun. Preston Hemphill had previously been suspended as he was investigated for his role in the Jan. 7 of Nichols, who died three days later. Five Memphis officers have already been fired and charged with second-degree murder in Nichols’ death. Hemphill was the third officer at a traffic stop that preceded the violent arrest but was not where Nichols was beaten. Body camera footage from the initial stop has Hemphill saying that he stunned Nichols and “I hope they stomp his ass.”

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The mayor of Austin, Texas, has apologized and says the city failed to communicate with its residents after a winter storm left thousands without power for days. Mayor Kirk Watson said at a news conference Friday that “the situation is unacceptable to the community, and it’s unacceptable to me.” Rising temperatures are offering some hope for frustrated Texans. Meanwhile, a new wave of frigid weather has begun rolling into the Northeast and led communities to close schools and open warming centers. Wind chills in some higher elevations of the New England could dive below minus 50.

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The Chinese balloon drifting high above the U.S. and first revealed over Montana has created a buzz down below among residents — and raised a chorus of alarm from elected officials. The high altitude balloon roiled diplomatic tensions as it continued to move over the central U.S. Friday and Secretary of State Antony Blinken abruptly canceled an upcoming trip to China. Montana is home to Malmstrom Air Force Base and dozens of nuclear missile silos, causing doubt over Beijing’s claim that it was a weather balloon gone off course. The governor and members of Congress pressed the Biden administration over why the military didn’t immediately bring it down from the sky.

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A California sheriff says two gang members suspected in the massacre of six people last month in central California have been arrested, one after a gunbattle. Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux said Friday that 25-year-old Noah David Beard was taken into custody without incident and 35-year-old Angel “Nanu” Uriarte was wounded in the shootout with federal agents. The six victims, including a teen mother and her baby, were gunned down on Jan. 16 in rural Goshen, a community of 3,000 in the San Joaquin Valley. Authorities say some of the victims were associated with a different gang.