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Lifelong Learning Program: East Carolina University will host a kickoff event for its Lifelong Learning program from 1-4 p.m. Friday at the Willis Building, 300 E. First St. There is no cost for the event, however, a fee is charged for fall membership and course registration. Register for the kickoff at https://go.ecu.edu/llpfall2022kickoff.

The Pitt County Council on Aging is providing the following classes and programs at the Pitt County Senior Center, 4551 County Home Road. Offerings are free unless otherwise noted. Registration is required unless otherwise noted by calling 752-1717, Ext. 201.

Pitt County residents have an additional resource to receive free at-home COVID-19 tests thanks to the expansion of a partnership between the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services and the Rockefeller Foundation.


Local Events

I’ve been explaining in plain terms how and why I consider this modern-day Supreme Court illegitimate. Dark powers that be have been involved in a long game to game the Constitutional democratic republic we’ve inherited, using loopholes, defying precedents and traditions, and all manner of l…

A big thank you to those dedicated volunteers who are braving the heat to keep walking dogs from the Pitt County animal shelter. What a blessing for the dogs and for their new owners who will have better-socialized pets as a result.

In a way, there’s something almost quaint about the investment strategy that North Carolina’s conservative Republican treasurer, Dale Folwell, pursues for the massive pension funds he oversees for the state’s public employees and retirees.

For decades, conservative politicians had a free ride on the abortion issue. They could tell their “pro-life” base that they were doing all they could to ban the procedure — while not scaring the pro-choice majority. As long as Roe v. Wade protected the right to an abortion, the talk about o…

Donald Trump now has the Senate nominees he wanted to win Republican primaries. We’ll soon learn if they can win in November, or if candidates with little experience and a focus on Trump’s 2020 grievances will cost the party majority control for another two years.

Recently an FDA official said “misinformation is actually the leading cause of death in the U.S. today. We have a lot of effective treatments for most of our health problems, but there’s so much misinformation causing people to make decisions that are adverse to their health.” Ask your regis…

The North Carolina Literary Review, produced at East Carolina University, begins its fourth decade in print featuring “Writers Who Teach, Teachers Who Write.”

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State AP Stories

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The campaign committee of North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein plans to ask a federal court to block enforcement of a state law looming in a probe of a TV ad aired against Stein's election rival in 2020. The state law makes it illegal to knowingly circulate false reports to damage a candidate’s election chances. Stein beat Republican Jim O'Neill that November. A Stein committee attorney filed the notice Wednesday, after a judge refused to stop a district attorney from potentially using the law to prosecute anyone over the disputed 2020 campaign ad. No one's been charged. Stein's committee argues the law is overly broad and chills political speech.

The North Carolina attorney general’s office is asking a federal court not to restore the state's 20-week abortion ban after the judge suggested his previous injunction “may now be contrary to law.” The attorney general’s office argued in a brief filed late Monday that reinstating restrictions in the aftermath of the June U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade would create “significant risk of public confusion” about the availability and legality of abortion services in North Carolina. Staff attorneys in Stein’s office filed the brief without the attorney general’s involvement.

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North Carolina Democrats have asked a state court to overturn an elections board vote granting the Green Party official recognition despite allegations of fraud. Democrats have been accused by the Green Party of meddling in its petitioning process to qualify candidates for the November ballot. The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Wake County Superior Court, precedes the first hearing next Monday in a Green Party lawsuit against the North Carolina State Board of Elections, when the newly certified party will fight for an extension to a statutory deadline preventing its candidates from appearing on the ballot.

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein is pushing back against Republican General Assembly leaders’ allegations that he neglected his duty to defend state law by refusing to seek enforcement of a blocked 20-week abortion ban after the fall of Roe v. Wade. Attorneys for Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore filed a brief last week asking U.S. District Judge William Osteen to lift an injunction on a 1973 state law banning nearly all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.  Stein, an abortion rights supporter, says he will continue to recuse himself from the case, drawing criticisms from Republicans who say he is refusing to do his job.

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The remains of two children killed in the 1985 bombing of a Philadelphia home used as the headquarters of a Black radical group have been returned to their brother. Lionell Dotson told reporters Wednesday that the remains of 14-year-old Katricia and 12-year-old Zanetta Dotson will be cremated and taken to North Carolina to be buried. Dotson told WCAU-TV it was a “momentous occasion.” He said he could finally give his relatives “a resting place permanently." They were among five children killed when police bombed the MOVE organization’s headquarters and caused a fire that spread to more than 60 row homes.

A top official says the Justice Department has charged five people for making threats of violence against election workers amid a rising wave of harassment and intimidation tied to the 2020 presidential election. Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite tells a Senate committee that one charge has led to a conviction so far through a task force launched last year as reports of threats to election officials, workers and volunteers raised concerns about safety and the security of future elections. threatening messages directed at election workers since launching a task force a year ago. Overall, the department has investigated more than 1,000 harassing and threatening messages directed at election workers.

National & World AP Stories

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The Ohio Highway State Patrol says an armed man who tried to breach the FBI’s Cincinnati office was shot and killed by police after he fled the scene, leading to an hourlong standoff. A law enforcement official said federal investigators are examining whether the man, identified as 42-year-old Ricky Shiffer, may have had ties to far-right extremist groups, including the Proud Boys. The official said Shiffer is believed to have been in Washington in the days leading up to the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection and may have been present at the Capitol on the day of the attack. The official could not discuss details of the investigation publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

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Police in Las Vegas say former NFL running back Marshawn Lynch was asleep and smelled of alcohol when he was found in his damaged sports car this week and arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. Lynch’s attorneys responded Thursday with a statement saying Lynch was in a parked car, not driving, and a DUI charge won't stick. The arresting officer says police found markings suggesting Lynch’s black Shelby GT500 hit sidewalks before stopping in an industrial part of downtown Las Vegas. The 7:30 a.m. Tuesday arrest came after the Seattle Seahawks announced Monday that Lynch had been hired as a team broadcast special correspondent. In 12 NFL seasons, Lynch also played for the Buffalo Bills and Oakland Raiders.

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U.S. gas prices have dipped under $4 a gallon for the first time in more than five months. AAA says the national average is $3.99 for a gallon of regular. That's down 15 cents in just the last week, and 68 cents in the last month. Gasoline peaked at around $5.02 a gallon on June 14. Motorists in California and Hawaii are still paying above $5, and other states in the West are paying close to that. The cheapest gas is in Texas and several other states in the South and Midwest. The decline reflects falling prices for crude oil, which have dipped close to $90 a barrel from over $120 a barrel in June.

New Mexico prosecutors are amassing evidence they hope will convince a judge that the Afghan refugee suspected of killing four Muslim men should remain jailed pending his trial. Muhammad Syed is due in court Monday and a state judge will decide if he's enough of a danger to the community to deny him bond. Syed is charged with two killings and authorities say he the primary suspect in the other two. He has denied the allegations. Muslim community leaders say they're working with law enforcement to push for Syed's continued detention. They cite previous accusations of domestic violence against him and a 2020 tire slashing incident outside the local mosque.

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The nation’s top public health agency is relaxing its COVID-19 guidelines and dropping the recommendation that Americans quarantine themselves if they come into close contact with an infected person. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also said Thursday that people no longer need to stay at least 6 feet away from others. The changes come more than 2 1/2 years after the start of the pandemic. They are driven by a recognition that an estimated 95% of Americans 16 and older have acquired some level of immunity, either from being vaccinated or infected.

With graves marked only with numbers, not names, burial services were held for 11 more unidentified bodies found in Bucha. That's the town outside the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv which saw hundreds of people slaughtered under Russian occupation.  Under a grim gray sky, the two women and eight men were buried Thursday following their discovery in a mass grave near the town's Church of Andrew the Apostle. The 11th victim had been shot dead and found in a village 10 miles away. Another man who was shot dead but who was identified was also buried Thursday at the same cemetery. The civilian killings at Bucha have become a symbol of brutality of the war.

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Authorities are working to determine the cause of a house explosion in a southern Indiana neighborhood that killed three people and left another person hospitalized. The explosion Wednesday afternoon in Evansville damaged 39 homes. Fire Chief Mike Connelly told reporters that crews completed a secondary search Thursday morning of buildings that had been left unstable by the explosion and no more victims were found. He says 11 of the damaged homes were uninhabitable and finding a cause is expected to be a “very tedious" and lengthy process. Connelly says injuries to the fourth victim weren’t considered life-threatening. Evansville is located along Indiana’s border with Kentucky and the blast left debris strewn over a 100-foot radius.

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KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — On a day of give and take, Western nations made more pledges to send arms to Ukraine while the European Union's full ban on Russian coal imports kicked in Thursday, adding to the sanctions against Moscow that intelligence claims are hurting its defense exports.