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Economic forecast: The Greenville-Pitt County Chamber of Commerce will host its 18th Annual Economic Forecast Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday at the Holiday Inn, 203 S.W. Greenville Blvd. Phillip Neuhart, director of market and economic research for First Citizens Bank will provide insight and analysis on the local, state and national economy in 2023. Visit by noon on Friday to register.

WINTERVILLE — The wife of a former town council member will fill his seat after winning two votes from the council on Monday in a disputed process.

Local Events

There are many factors that go into building and sustaining a strong and healthy democracy: free, clean and transparently funded elections; inclusive suffrage; freedom of speech and association; an independent news media; predictable and reliable law enforcement; and an absence of widespread…

There are moderates in the suburbs — Democrats, Republicans and Independents — who want Washington spending kept in check. They tend to be liberal on social issues but pained over the extremes of the woke. They have respect for various sexual identities but little interest in learning new pr…

Gun violence is so regular an occurrence in the United States that no incident, however tragic, comes as a surprise. But events in recent days deserve special attention all the same, as they underscore a core truth about responding to gun violence: changing just one or two rules would not be…

What is wrong with our current Congress can be discerned by looking at the quality of the elected officials. To say the personalities of those elected on the far right are extreme is putting it mildly. We can use clinical terminology like sociopath or narcissistic personality disorder, or ju…

No. No one planted the various top secret and/or classified documents in the University of Pennsylvania office of President Joe Biden or in Biden’s locked garage where he also keeps his Corvette. And no one planted the documents inside his Delaware home either. An overly zealot Black Democra…

The Daily Reflector’s annual summer camps section is scheduled to be published on March 25. To have a camp listed, email the following information to Kim Grizzard at camp name, along with a brief description, dates and times, location, cost, and age requirements for …

It takes a bitter green to tackle a cold day. Bitter winter chicories are a salad’s response to the season. Chicories are leafy “greens” that include the likes of radicchio and Treviso, endive and escarole, frisee and puntarelle — all of which are notably not-so-green, but rather streaked in…

The first time I went to Europe in 2014, I fell in love with not only the rich and incredible food but with the feel you get when you walk into a restaurant. The tables are close together, affording you a cozy, inviting and intimate feel. The idea is to feel like you are dining with friends.…

State AP Stories

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North Carolina Democrats have introduced legislation to codify abortion protections into state law as Republicans are discussing early prospects for further restrictions. Their legislation, filed Wednesday in both chambers, would prohibit the state from imposing barriers that might restrict a patient’s ability to choose whether to terminate a pregnancy before fetal viability, which typically falls between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. Current state law bans nearly all abortions after 20 weeks, with narrow exceptions for urgent medical emergencies that do not include rape or incest. House Speaker Tim Moore told reporters he didn’t expect the Democrats’ bill to get considered.

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Supporters of abortion rights have filed separate lawsuits challenging abortion pill restrictions in North Carolina and West Virginia. The lawsuits were filed Wednesday. They are the opening salvo in what’s expected to a be a protracted legal battle over access to the medications. The lawsuits argue that state limits on the drugs run afoul of the federal authority of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The agency has approved the abortion pill as a safe and effective method for ending pregnancy. More than half of U.S. abortions are now done with pills rather than surgery.

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A lawyer representing the leaders of North Carolina’s state employee health plan has defended its exclusion of gender affirming treatments before a federal appeals court. State Treasurer Dale Folwell and the State Health Plan’s executive administrator are seeking to overturn a trial court order demanding that the plan pay for “medically necessary services,” including hormone therapy and some surgeries, for transgender employees and their children. Attorney John Knepper told a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday that the plan routinely excludes some medically necessary procedures based on cost, but does not make any of those determinations based on sex or gender.

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The University of Wisconsin System has joined a number of universities across the country in banning the popular social media app TikTok on school devicies. UW System officials made the announcement Tuesday. A number of other universities have banned TikTok in recent weeks, including Auburn, Arkansas State and Oklahoma. Nearly half the states have banned the app on state-owned devices, including Wisconsin, North Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana and South Dakota. Congress also recently banned TikTok from most U.S. government-issued devices over bipartisan concerns about security. TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese company that moved its headquarters to Singapore in 2020. Critics say the Chinese government could access user data.

North Carolina’s elected state auditor has apologized for leaving the scene of a Raleigh accident last month after she drove her state-issued vehicle into a parked car. Monday's statement by Democratic Auditor Beth Wood is her first comment about charges against her that were made public last week. Wood called her decision “a serious mistake” and says she will continue serving as auditor. Wood was first elected to the job in 2008. Raleigh police cited Wood for a misdemeanor hit-and-run and another traffic-related charge. Her court date is later this week. Wood says the collision happened after she left a holiday gathering Dec. 8.

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it will study whether to toughen regulation of large livestock farms that pollute waterways. The agency hasn't revised its rules dealing with the nation's largest hog, poultry and cattle operations since 2008. Farm manure and fertilizer runoff fouls lakes and streams. It's a leading cause of harmful algae blooms. EPA says it reconsidered its intention to leave existing rules in place after an environmental group filed a lawsuit. The agency says it will gather information on how bad the pollution is and what new methods might bring improvements.

Conservative political commentator Lynette Hardaway died earlier this month of a heart condition, according to a death certificate obtained by The Associated Press. Known by the moniker “Diamond” of the pro-Trump commentary duo Diamond and Silk, Hardaway, 51, died Jan. 8 of heart disease due to high blood pressure. The cause of Hardaway's death had become a topic of widespread speculation. A torrent of social media users suggested COVID-19 was to blame, while noting the sisters’ promotion of falsehoods about the virus. COVID-19 was not listed as a cause or contributing factor on Hardaway's death certificate.

National & World AP Stories

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A prosecutor says the five fired Memphis police officers who are charged with murder in the killing of Black motorist Tyre Nichols played different roles in his death, but “they are all responsible." Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy said during a news conference Thursday that a grand jury handed up indictments against Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills, Jr., Emmitt Martin III and Justin Smith. The fired officers, who are all Black, each face charges of second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression. Mulroy says police video of the traffic stop, in which Nichols’ family says the 29-year-old father and FedEx worker was savagely beaten for three minutes, will be released to the public Friday.

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Boeing has pleaded not guilty to a criminal charge in a case revolving around two crashes of Boeing 737 Max planes. A federal judge in Texas took Boeing's plea Thursday. The judge is considering whether to appoint a special monitor to examine safety issues at the company. It's an unusual case because Boeing thought it had settled the issue when it reached a deal with federal prosecutors two years ago. But relatives of some of the passengers who died are challenging the settlement because they weren't informed about secret negotiations between Boeing and the Justice Department.

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An Islamic extremist who killed eight people with a speeding truck in a 2017 rampage on a popular New York City bike path has been convicted of federal charges and could face the death penalty. Jurors found Sayfullo Saipov guilty on Thursday. Prosecutors say the Halloween attack was inspired by his reverence for the Islamic State group. The jury announced its verdict in a Manhattan courtroom just a few blocks from where Saipov’s attack ended. The jury will return to court within days to hear more evidence to help decide whether Saipov should be executed or spend the rest of his life in prison.

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Emergency officials in Ukraine say Russia’s latest widespread barrage of drone and missile attacks has killed 11 people and wounded 11 more. The attacks came a day after Germany and the United States announced they would send advanced battle tanks to Ukraine. The spokesperson for Ukraine’s State Emergency Service announced the casualty toll in comments to Ukrainian television. The mayor of Kyiv said earlier that one person was killed in the capital, the city’s first attack-related death of the year. Authorities say three other people died in a strike on an energy facility in Zaporizhzhia province. The attacks adhered to Russia’s recent pattern of launching widespread infrastructure strikes about every two weeks.

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Palestinian officials say Israeli forces have killed at least nine Palestinians and wounded several others during a raid in a flashpoint area of the occupied West Bank. It was one of the deadliest days in years in the territory and increased the risk of a major flare-up in Israeli-Palestinian fighting. In retaliation, the Palestinian Authority declared it would cut security ties with Israel. The Palestinian leadership has made such threats before, with little success. Thursday's gunbattle erupted when the Israeli military conducted a rare daytime operation in the Jenin refugee camp that it said was meant to prevent an imminent attack against Israelis.

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Stocks are moving higher on Wall Street following reports suggesting the economy and corporate profits may be doing better than feared. The S&P 500 was 0.8% higher Thursday after an earlier gain of roughly that size briefly vanished. More swings may still be ahead, as Wall Street digests a growing torrent of earnings and economic reports. Thursday's headliner showed the economy held up better through the last three months of 2022 than expected. Reports from Tesla and others helped build optimism a day after worries flared following forecasts from Microsoft widely seen as discouraging.

The first officer to arrive after Alex Murdaugh called 911 and reported his wife and son were shot noted the the attorney was upset but that he had no tears in his eyes. Colleton County Sgt. Daniel Greene’s body camera footage was shown Thursday during the first day of testimony in Murdaugh’s double murder trial. Murdaugh’s lawyer questioned Greene at length on what he did at the crime scene, suggesting officers disturbed potential evidence by walking around in the dark without flashlights, failing to look for shoe prints or tire tracks, and standing near the bodies. Murdaugh rocked back and forth with his head down as gruesome footage was shown.

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ALGECIRAS, Spain (AP) — Spanish police on Thursday raided the home of a young Moroccan man held over the machete attacks at two Catholic churches the previous night that left a church officer dead and a priest injured in the southern city of Algeciras.