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Festival of Trees: The Family Support Network of Eastern N.C. will host the 27th annual Festival of Trees from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays through Dec. 23 at the Greenville Convention Center, 303 S.W. Greenville Blvd. There is no admission charge. The event features a variety of holiday-themed trees, sponsored by various local individuals, businesses, and church and civic organizations. Visit fsnenc.org.

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The Greenville Police Department announced Monday night it had arrested a man suspected of shooting two people after an altercation at the Greenville Mall on Friday.

Local Events

Since I teach part time at a small public university in Alabama, I’m hardly surprised by the voting preferences of the young adults who turned out in surprising numbers for the midterm elections earlier this month. According to exit polls, 63% of young adults voted for Democrats. They obviou…

BYH to the falsely entitled who constantly use the fire lane at every Food Lion in Pitt County. Store managers, grow a set and put a stop to it or remove the fire lane and paint regular parking stripes.

Have you ever encountered a klansman at the grocery store? I have. I instantly recognized him as a member of the Ku Klux Klan because I’d seen him speak (sans hood) at a Klan rally (I was one of the protesters, not one of the klansmen) and on local TV repping the organization.

A rising force in state politics, Carolina Forward — a center-left policy organization to which I am also a contributor — held a recent post-election discussion forum that yielded provocative insights about the state of North Carolina’s political field. If I could distill a single message fr…

When it comes to a dessert, a baked upside-down anything is a winner — even when it’s a mistake. A tarte Tatin is a classic French upside-down fruit tart, traditionally made with apples. It’s named for the Tatin sisters, who created the upside-down caramelized tart, purportedly by accident, …

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State AP Stories

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Incoming and returning Republicans to the North Carolina Senate have chosen a key lawmaker on tax, voting and energy issues to become majority leader for the next two years. The Senate Republican Caucus on Monday elected Sen. Paul Newton of Cabarrus County to the post. Newton succeeds Sen. Kathy Harrington, who didn't seek reelection this fall to her Gaston County seat. The caucus also agreed to nominate Phil Berger to a seventh term as president pro tempore when the session convenes in January. He has held the job since 2011. Senate Democrats meeting separately Monday reelected Sen. Dan Blue of Wake County as minority leader.

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A memorial service will be held this weekend for Betty Ray McCain. She was a longtime North Carolina Democratic Party activist and counselor to former four-time Gov. Jim Hunt who died last week at age 91. McCain was the first woman to chair the state Democratic Party in the 1970s. Hunt named McCain secretary of the Department of Cultural Resources in 1993. She also served multiple terms on the University of North Carolina Board of Governors and on many boards and commissions. Current Gov. Roy Cooper called McCain a “trailblazer for women and a powerful force for good in the arts, education and public service."

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Democrats celebrated winning North Carolina's lone toss-up race for the U.S. House this month as Wiley Nickel won the 13th District seat. The victory creates a 7-7 split in the state’s delegation — the best showing for Democrats in a decade. But there’s a good chance Nickel’s district and others will be altered for the 2024 elections, returning the advantage to Republicans. The current lines are only being used for these elections. New lines will be drawn by Republicans, who still control the General Assembly. And a new GOP majority on the state Supreme Court likely will be more skeptical of legal challenges that scuttled previous boundaries.

CHERRYVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A Cherryville woman’s first birthday party ever at age 105 turned out just perfect. Line dancers and square dancers performed routines to entertain her, 12-year-old Lily brought her 10-week-old yellow Labrador named Nina for her to pet and she even got the chance to …

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A helicopter pilot and a meteorologist who worked for a North Carolina television station died following the crash of the station’s helicopter next to an interstate highway in the Charlotte area. WBTV broadcasters who had been reporting on the crash identified their colleagues on air Tuesday about three hours following the deadly incident. The men were identified as meteorologist Jason Myers and pilot Chip Tayag. The crash occurred along Interstate 77. Johnny Jennings, chief of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, said no vehicles were involved in the incident. The chief said preliminary witness accounts indicate that the pilot made some “diversionary” maneuvers and “probably saved some lives."

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It's holiday time at the White House, and President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, are plunging into the season. Biden participated in the annual pardoning of a Thanksgiving turkey on Monday. The first lady accepted delivery of the official White House Christmas tree. And both Bidens visited North Carolina later in the day to share an early Thanksgiving meal with members of the military and their families at Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point. The burst of holiday activity follows the president's granddaughter's White House wedding and his 80th birthday over the weekend.

The man who was driving a truck that fatally hit a girl in a North Carolina holiday parade has been released on bond. The News & Record reports that Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman confirms that 20-year-old Landen Glass was released on a $4,000 bond. Glass is scheduled to return to court Jan. 26. Raleigh police say the driver of a white pickup truck towing a float in the Raleigh Christmas parade on Saturday morning lost control and hit the girl. She died from her injuries. Glass was charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle, careless and reckless driving and other offenses. A family member told WRAL-TV that Glass would not be making a statement.

National & World AP Stories

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Residents in several towns across Louisiana and Mississippi have taken cover amid the blare of tornado sirens amid a severe weather outbreak erupting in the Deep South. There were no immediate reports of damage from the potent storms late Tuesday, but multiple tornado warnings were issued. More than 25 million people are in the path of the vast storm system moving from Texas to Indiana and Georgia. The latest storm outlook says parts of Louisiana and Mississippi are at the highest risk for strong storms. Meanwhile, heavy snow was snarling traffic in parts of the Upper Midwest.

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China's ruling Communist Party has vowed to “resolutely crack down on infiltration and sabotage activities by hostile forces." The Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission statement was released late Tuesday, after the largest street demonstrations in decades were staged by citizens fed up with strict anti-virus restrictions. While it did not directly address protests, the statement serves as a reminder of the party's determination to enforce its rule. There has been a massive show of force by the internal security services to deter a recurrence of protests that broke out over the weekend in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and other cities. Security forces have conducted random ID checks and searched mobile phones for evidence of participation in demonstrations.

Tiger Woods is painting an uncertain future when it comes to his golf and the friction in the golf world. Woods is at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas only as a tournament host. He says plantar fasciitis in his right foot makes it hard to walk. He says he doesn't have much left in this leg. Woods played only three majors and nine rounds this year. He doesn't expect to play much more than that. As for the animosity between the PGA Tour and Saudi-funded LIV Golf, Woods says there can be no way forward as long as Greg Norman is involved.

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Thousands of Egyptians are demanding that the British Museum return the Rosetta Stone. The bilingual carvings on the relic proved to be the breakthrough in the decipherment of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics after being unearthed by colonialists in Egypt in 1799. The stone is the centerpiece of a new exhibition at London’s largest museum, celebrating the 200th anniversary of the stone's decipherment. The Rosetta Stone is one of over 100,000 Egyptian and Sudanese relics housed in the British Museum. Thousands of Egyptians are demanding the black granite slab's return. The museum says it obtained the stone lawfully.

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Despite assurances that lava from Hawaii's Mauna Loa isn't threatening communities, some residents are remaining vigilant. For Nicole Skilling, the first eruption in 38 years of the world’s largest active volcano is bringing back bad memories. She fled from another Hawaii volcano in 2018. Back then she lived near the community where lava destroyed more than 700 homes. She relocated to the South Kona area, only to find herself packing her car with food and supplies after Mauna Loa erupted late Sunday. Officials say the areas where lava is emerging are far from homes and communities. The eruption has also drawn onlookers to a national park for views of the event that are said to be “spectacular.”

Asian shares are mostly higher ahead of a closely watched speech by the Federal Reserve chief that may give clues about future interest rate hikes. Markets are also eyeing developments in China, where protests have erupted recently over the “zero-COVID” strategy that has confined millions of people to their homes, sometimes for months. Shares fell in Tokyo and Shanghai but were higher in Sydney, Seoul, Hong Kong and other regional markets. Authorities in China have eased some controls after demonstrations in at least eight mainland cities and Hong Kong. Security forces have detained an unknown number of people. Wall Street finished mixed.

The New York-based Center for Jewish History is launching a project offering DNA testing kits for free to Holocaust survivors and their children. It's an effort to help possibly find family connections torn apart in World War II. Genealogists say the advent of DNA technology has opened up a new world of possibilities in addition to the paper trails and archives that exist. The center had allocated an initial $15,000 for the DNA kits in this initial pilot effort, which would cover about 500 of them. It says efforts could be  ramped up further if there is enough interest.

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Three Chinese astronauts have docked with their country's space station where they will overlap for several days with the three-member crew already onboard and expand the facility to its maximum size. The latest crew includes the veteran of a 2005 space mission and two first-time astronauts. They docked with the Tiangong station at 5:42 a.m. Wednesday. The six-month mission will be the last in the construction phase of China’s space station. The station’s third and final module docked with the station earlier this month, one of the last steps in China’s effort to maintain a constant crewed presence in orbit. Tiangong can accommodate six astronauts at a time and the handover will take about a week. That marks the station’s first in-orbit crew rotation.