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A record reserve included in state budget adjustments will be crucial in the face of rising costs and possible disasters, two local legislators said, while a third criticized the proposal and a state employees group called on Gov. Roy Cooper for a veto.

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East Carolina baseball coach Cliff Godwin routinely said that his team was playing with house money as the Pirates entered the postseason. After all, it took some time for the Pirates to match the preseason Top-15 hype.

Adam Ulffers played his high school lacrosse at J.H. Rose and is set to take his play to the next level at Randolph College after signing his National Letter of Intent this past spring.

Brook Valley will play host to the annual Pirate Cup Golf Tournament on Sept. 3 with former East Carolina golf team member and current PGA professional Harold Varner III serving as host for the event.

Rivers never go in reverse. So try to live like a river and forget your past and focus on the future. And be positive! Bless your heart.

The issues raised in the June 24 Reflector concerning the thought of making a policy change regarding class rankings — should the awards of valedictorian and salutatorian be eliminated — present a Hobson’s choice. When there is not enough time to either study hard enough to be the best or to…

There’s not much middle ground regarding the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision. I’ve listened to some praising our justices as well as others, usually louder, vilifying them. But after the rhetoric wanes a bit there’s one common ground on which most all can agree: elections matter.

Now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, abortion could soon become illegal in half of the country. Or so Democrats warn. But it’s impossible to know how the debate will play out in many states. And a study this month by the Guttmacher Institute, which supports abortion rights,…

It is with sorrow and some degree of shame that I write about my evolving feelings regarding the American flag. I was proud to have been one of the boys (why was it only boys) chosen in the fifth grade to hoist Old Glory in the morning and take it down each day after school. I learned in Cub…

Even villains have to start somewhere. And this week we get a look at the childhood of Gru, that “Despicable Me” bad guy who is voiced by Steve Carell in all those animated Minion movies.

The massacre occurred during a Sunday mass, but it wasn’t an ordinary Sunday — this was the great feast of Pentecost, which marks the end of the Easter season.

Support a healthy immune system to reduce your risk of COVID-19 and other viral infections. Eat healthy food and drink healthy beverages. Be physically active. Supplement only if you can’t get enough of the important nutrients from your food. Wash your hands often. Get vaccinated against COV…

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State AP Stories

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear a case that could dramatically change the way elections for Congress and the presidency are conducted by handing more power to state legislatures and blocking state courts from reviewing challenges to the procedures and results.

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A federal appeals court on Wednesday threw out the 2020 conspiracy and bribery convictions of a major political donor in North Carolina and his associate, declaring that the trial judge erred in his jury instructions.

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Republican legislative leaders on Tuesday unveiled state budget adjustments for the coming year, proposing to spend or set aside billions in expected extra tax collections to raise worker pay, recruit companies, build more infrastructure and combat inflation.

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PHOENIX (AP) — The skies over a scattering of Western U.S. cities will stay dark for the third consecutive Fourth of July as some major fireworks displays are canceled again this year — some over wildfire concerns amid dry weather and others because of enduring pandemic-related staffing and …

National & World AP Stories

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Ukrainian authorities say Russian missile attacks on residential buildings in a coastal town near the port city of Odesa have killed at least 19 people, including two children. Video of the pre-dawn Friday attack showed the charred remains of buildings in the small town of Serhiivka, located about 50 kilometers (31 miles) southwest of Odesa. The Ukrainian president’s office said three X-22 missiles fired by Russian bombers struck an apartment building and two campsites. The assault came after Russian forces withdrew from a strategic Black Sea island on Thursday. Russia took control of Snake Island in the opening days of the war. Their withdrawal initially was seen as lessening the threat to the Odesa region.

European shares have edged higher after Asian benchmarks slipped as a quarterly report by Japan’s central bank rekindled worries about the world’s third largest economy. Benchmarks were higher in Paris, Frankfurt and London. They declined in Tokyo, Seoul, Sydney and Shanghai. Markets were closed Friday in Hong Kong for a holiday. Recent data suggest global growth is slowing as countries grapple with renewed waves of coronavirus outbreaks, soaring prices and the war in Ukraine. However, a survey by the Chinese business magazine, Caixin, showed China’s factory activity expanded in June at its strongest rate in 13 months.

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American basketball star Brittney Griner has arrived at a Moscow-area court where she is scheduled to go on trial. Griner was arrested in February on cannabis possession charges at an airport while traveling to play for a Russian team. Police said she was carrying vape canisters with cannabis oil. Her trial is set to get underway on Friday. The Phoenix Mercury center and two-time U.S. Olympic gold medalist could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted of large-scale transportation of drugs. Fewer than 1% of defendants in Russian criminal cases are acquitted, and unlike in the U.S., acquittals can be overturned.

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Summer travel is underway across the globe, but a full recovery from two years of coronavirus could last as long as the pandemic itself. Interviews by The Associated Press in 11 countries this month show that the most passionate travelers are thronging to locales like the French Riviera, Amsterdam and the American Midwest. But even as safety restrictions fall, places like Israel, India and Rome are reporting only fractions of the record-setting tourism of 2019. For them, a full recovery isn't forecast until at least 2024. China, once the world's biggest source of tourists, remains closed per its “zero-COVID” policy. That's holding down the rebound in many countries.

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India banned some single-use or disposable plastic products Friday as a part of a federal plan to phase out the ubiquitous material in the nation of nearly 1.4 billion people. Officials said that making, importing, stocking, or selling these banned items will lead to fines and, in some cases, jail time. It's part of a long-term effort by India to cut down on plastic waste. Reducing the manufacture and consequent waste of plastic is crucial for India to meet its goal for reducing carbon emissions. The first step targets plastic items that aren’t very useful but have a high potential to become litter.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping has defended his vision of the “one country, two systems” framework against accusations by the U.S., U.K. and others that Beijing has undermined the freedoms and autonomy promised to Hong Kong for 50 years. His presence in Hong Kong after not traveling during the coronavirus pandemic came as the city marked 25 years as a semi-autonomous Chinese region following its handover from Britain in 1997. Xi said the framework allowing Hong Kong to have its own laws and government was a good system that should be maintained. But he also said that Beijing had “comprehensive jurisdiction” and there would be no tolerance for foreign meddling in Hong Kong’s affairs.

Hong Kong has marked the 25th anniversary of its handover from British to Chinese rule. Former security chief John Lee was installed as its new leader Friday in a ceremony attended by Chinese President and head of the ruling Communist Party Xi Jinping. China had promised the territory could retain its civil, economic and political liberties for 50 years under the “one country, two systems” framework. However, in recent years Beijing has severely limited rights to free speech and assembly and virtually eliminated political opposition under the rubric of maintaining national security. Friday's ceremony featured officials bowing to Xi and was conducted entirely in China's national language of Mandarin, rather than the Cantonese dialect that is spoken by most Hong Kongers.

It hasn't been an easy week for Russian President Vladimir Putin. He took his first foreign trip since the invasion of Ukraine to shore up relations with troublesome Central Asian allies. He watched as NATO declared Moscow its main enemy and invited Russia’s neighbors Sweden and Finland to join the alliance. And he was forced to deny that his troops had yet again attacked a civilian target in Ukraine. Countering a show of Western unity over Ukraine at a series of summits in Europe this week, Putin sought to cast the moves by the U.S. and its allies as a proof of their hostile intent, and he vowed to press the offensive against Ukraine.