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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…

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

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A North Carolina man has pleaded guilty to plotting with other members of the far-right Proud Boys extremist group to violently stop the transfer of presidential power after the 2020 election. Jeremy Joseph Bertino is the first Proud Boys member to plead guilty to a seditious conspiracy charge. Bertino also pleaded guilty on Thursday to a charge of unlawfully possessing firearms. Bertino has agreed to cooperate with the Justice Department’s investigation of the role that Proud Boys leaders played in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. Former Proud Boys national chairman Henry “Ënrique” Tarrio and four other group members also have been charged with seditious conspiracy.

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.

National & World AP Stories

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Authorities say the suspect in the kidnapping and killing of a central California family was a former employee who had a longstanding dispute with them. Relatives of the slain family told investigators that Jesus Salgado had sent angry text messages or emails about a year ago after working with their trucking business. Authorities say Salgado kidnapped an 8-month-old baby, her parents and uncle on Monday and killed them, leaving their bodies in an almond orchard. The remains were discovered in the remote area by a farm worker late Wednesday. Investigators say they're seeking a person of interest who may have acted as Salgado’s accomplice.

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Judy Tenuta, a brash standup who cheekily styled herself as the “Goddess of Love” and toured with George Carlin as she built her career in the 1980s golden age of comedy, has died. She was 72.  Her publicist says Tenuta died Thursday afternoon at home in Los Angeles, with her family around her.  She was among a generation of performers who drove the popularity of live comedy in clubs nationwide including the Comedy Store in Los Angeles, Laff Stop in Houston and Caroline’s in New York City. A typically male-dominated field found room for women, including Tenuta. She first gained national attention in 1987 with “Women of the Night,” a HBO special.

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Two Russians who said they fled the country to avoid compulsory military service have requested asylum in the U.S. after landing on a remote Alaska island in the Bering Sea. Karina Borger, a spokesperson for U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, says the office has been in communication with the U.S. Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection and that “the Russian nationals reported that they fled one of the coastal communities on the east coast of Russia to avoid compulsory military service.” The U.S. Department of Homeland Security says the two Russians arrived by a small boat Tuesday and that they have been “processed in accordance with applicable U.S. immigration laws."

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A former police officer facing a drug charge burst into a day care center in Thailand, killing dozens of preschoolers and teachers and then shooting more people as he fled. At least 36 people were killed Thursday in the deadliest rampage in the nation’s history. The assailant, who was fired earlier this year, took his own life after killing his wife and child at home. The attack took place in the rural province of Nongbua Lamphu in northeastern Thailand, in one of the country’s poorest regions. A witness said the assailant shot his way in.

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For the first time, the major U.S. theater chains will play a Netflix release after exhibitors and the streaming service reached a deal for a nationwide sneak-peak run of Rian Johnson’s “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.” Netflix announced Thursday that AMC, Regal Cinemas and Cinemark will all carry the “Knives Out” sequel for an exclusive one-week run beginning Nov. 23, one month before it begins streaming on Dec. 23. Up until now, those chains have largely refused to program Netflix releases. The deal stops short of a full theatrical release window for “Glass Onion." The film will play in about 600 domestic theaters.

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A Connecticut jury has begun deliberations in conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ defamation trial over his calling the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School a hoax. The three men and three women are deciding how much in damages Jones and his company Free Speech Systems should pay relatives of eight victims of the massacre, as well as an FBI agent who responded to the shooting. Jones was found liable for damages last year. The plaintiffs testified they have been harassed by hoax believers, including receiving death and rape threats. Jones has bashed the trial as a “kangaroo court” and is vowing to appeal.