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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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A major rail project in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula is intended to drive economic development to some of the country’s poorest areas, in part by bringing up to three million tourists each year. Scientists and environmentalists worry that the project will hurt ecosystems like the Calakmul jungle, home to one of the most important jaguar populations in Mesoamerica and one of Mexico’s largest bat colonies. Opponents of the project also argue that construction is moving ahead without sufficient time for public hearings and environmental oversight. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador wants the train rolling by the end of this year, when his term ends. He has designated it a matter of “national security” so as to speed up the process.

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken has postponed a planned high-stakes weekend diplomatic trip to China as the Biden administration weighs a broader response to the discovery of a high-altitude Chinese balloon flying over sensitive sites in the western United States. The abrupt decision on Friday, just hours before Blinken was to depart for Beijing, comes despite China’s claim that the balloon was a weather research satellite that had blown off course. The U.S. has described it as a surveillance satellite.

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Dallas police say a 24-year-old man has been arrested in the case of the two monkeys that were taken from the Dallas Zoo after he was spotted near the animal exhibits at an aquarium in the city. Police say Davion Irvin was arrested Thursday. He’s been charged with several counts of animal cruelty. Police said officers arrested him after getting a tip that he had been seen near the animal exhibits at the Dallas Aquarium. The monkeys named Bella and Finn went missing Monday, and a cut was found in their enclosure. Police found them the next day in a vacant house south of the zoo after getting a tip.

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Wall Street’s rally is stalling after a stunning jobs report showed the U.S. economy created a third of a million more jobs last month than expected. The S&P 500 fell 0.4% Friday after paring a bigger early loss. Treasury yields rose sharply on expectations that the Federal Reserve would see the jobs data as fuel for inflation and remain firm on interest rates. The stock market was not quite as shaken as analysts pointed out that wage growth didn't surprise by as much. Big Tech stocks were weak following disappointing earnings reports.

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Shania Twain felt the need on her new album to empower herself the same way she has uplifted listeners with hits like “Man! I Feel Like a Woman” and “She’s Not Just a Pretty Face.” So she set aside all feelings of self consciousness  — appearing braless for the album’s artwork and letting listeners unabashedly hear her surgically repaired voice — on “Queen of Me,” which is out Friday. Throughout the album’s 12-tracks, the 57-year-old country pop superstar confronts her physical vulnerabilities with authority in ways meant to uplift fans, and herself. She recently spoke with The Associated Press about regaining her confidence, her throat surgery and upcoming tour in April.

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Ford will return to Formula One as the engine provider for Red Bull Racing in a partnership announced Friday that begins with immediate technical support this season and engines in 2026. Red Bull powertrains and Ford will partner on the development of a hybrid power unit that will supply engines to both Red Bull and AlphaTauri when new F1 regulations begin in 2026. The American automaker dominated F1 in the late 1960s and 1970s as an engine manufacturer with Cosworth and Ford is the third most successful engine maker in F1 history with 10 constructors’ championships and 13 drivers’ championships.

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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 was greeted Friday at the international airport in Juba by South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, as a crowd of thousands nearby ululated 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.