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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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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.

A man who caused evacuations and an hourslong standoff with police on Capitol Hill when he claimed he had a bomb in his pickup truck outside the Library of Congress has pleaded guilty to a charge of threatening to use an explosive. Floyd Ray Roseberry, of Grover, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to the felony charge in Washington federal court. He faces up to 10 years behind bars and is scheduled to be sentenced in June. An email seeking comment was sent to his attorney on Friday. Roseberry drove a black pickup truck onto the sidewalk outside the Library of Congress in August 2021 and began shouting to people in the street that he had a bomb.

National & World AP Stories

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Weaker-than-expected financial performances from some of the country’s biggest tech companies dragged U.S. markets lower early Friday and a hot monthly employment report briefly sent futures even lower. Futures for the Dow Jones industrials fell 0.5% while the S&P 500 slipped 1%. Futures for the tech-heavy Nasdaq tumbled 1.8% in off-hour trading after three technology bellweathers — Apple, Amazon and Alphabet — posted lackluster quarterly results after Thursday’s close. America’s employers added a robust 517,000 jobs in January, a surprisingly strong gain in the face of the Federal Reserve’s aggressive drive to slow growth and tame inflation with higher interest rates.

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Rising temperatures are offering some hope for frustrated Texans days after they lost power and heat in a deadly winter storm. Officials in Austin compared the damage from fallen trees and iced-over power lines to tornadoes as they came under criticism for slow repairs and shifting timelines to restore power. Meanwhile, a new wave of frigid weather began rolling into the Northeast on Friday and led communities to close schools and open warming centers. Wind chills in some higher elevations of the Northeast could punch below minus 50 as an Arctic front sweeps in from Canada.

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Pope Francis has landed in South Sudan, opening the second and final leg of his African pilgrimage with plans to encourage the young country’s stalled peace process. The pope, who was using his wheelchair, was greeted Friday at the international airport in Juba by South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, as a crowd of thousands nearby undulated and sang in 96-degree Fahrenheit (35.5-degree Celsius) heat. Francis and the Archbishop of Canterbury are hoping to draw international attention to the worsening humanitarian crisis in South Sudan. The overwhelmingly Christian country is the world’s youngest nation, having gained independence from majority Muslim Sudan in 2011, but has experienced civil war and conflict.

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The prime ministers of the three Baltic countries urged the International Olympic Committee to ban Russian athletes from next year’s Paris Games because of the war in Ukraine, saying Friday a boycott was a possibility.

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine stepped up efforts Friday to lobby international sports leaders against Russian participation in next year's Paris Olympics as indications mount that the games could see the biggest boycott since the Cold War.

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Trading in shares in troubled Adani Enterprises has gyrated as the flagship company of India’s second-largest conglomerate tumbled 30% and then rebounded after more than a week of heavy losses. Adani's listed companies have lost tens of billions of dollars in market value over the past 10 days after a U.S. short-selling firm issued a report claiming the group engages in market manipulation and other fraudulent practices. Adani denies the allegations. Shares in Adani Enterprises fell as much as 30% early Friday. It rebounded to close down 2%. The company’s share price has plunged by over 50% since Hindenburg Research issued its report, saying it was betting against Adani shares.

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The U.S. was tracking a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon spotted over American airspace, and China said that it would look into those reports. The discovery further strained already tense relations between Beijing and Washington. The Pentagon decided not to shoot down the balloon because of concerns of hurting people on the ground. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said Friday that China has “no intention of violating the territory and airspace of any sovereign country” and urged calm while the facts are established. The news comes as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was expected to make his first trip to Beijing this weekend. The visit has not been formally announced, and it was not immediately clear if the balloon’s discovery would affect his travel plans.

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LeBron James is soon going to be in the NBA record books as the most prolific scorer ever. But for all his accomplishments on the basketball court, it is James’ ambitious pursuits off-the-court that may ultimately distinguish his legacy from other superstar athletes’. James co-founded an entertainment company, bought stakes in professional baseball and soccer franchises and, with help from product endorsements, his net worth is estimated to be above $1 billion. The off-court achievement James is most proud of is working to uplift the lives of people in his hometown of Akron. Many athletes have excelled in one or more of these areas. But few have done all of them as well as James.