AYDEN — A journey to find more natural products led Dancia Carter to open Yellow Flower Boutique in Ayden. On June 18, the Ayden Chamber of Commerce celebrated the new business.

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One of the final moments for Alexis Hastings as a multi-sport standout at South Central High School was one of her most significant, when she won the triple jump event at the 4A track and field state championship meet. She took first place with a mark of 37 feet, 9 inches.

Moses Tufts was the leading scorer and go-to player for the South Central High School boys’ basketball team, which enjoyed a clean 13-0 regular season before COVID-19 protocols caused the team to forfeit in the first round of the state playoffs.

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CARY -- Check out a photo gallery from our Ronnie Woodward at the 18th annual Bill Dooley Pigskin Preview featuring in-state college football coaches and Ayden-Grifton's Alphonso Boyd as a $10,000 scholarship recipient.

After winning 3A state championship most outstanding female swimmer as a sophomore and most recently securing two more state titles her junior year, Madeline Smith has one more school year to rack up medals and records as a J.H. Rose High School swimmer.

Recently, I was considering the process of initiating a petition to drive a statewide ballot Initiative. I am aware that this process exists in other states so I just assumed we as citizens of North Carolina have that same process in place.

Did you know that three countries on Earth refused to allow the COVID-19 vaccine to be distributed within their countries? Did you also know that the Haiti president, the Tanzania president and the Burundi president are all now dead!

Bless your heart, City of Greenville. What has happened to grass mowing in the city? Just look around at all of the nearly knee-high grass on city property and roadsides. Tacky!

As the last presidential election approached, one could sense that something was wrong with the polls. The race felt tighter than the polls indicated, and specifically, Joe Biden’s solid lead in the polls felt less solid than the surveys suggested. As they had in 2016, pollsters appeared on …

An old spiritual, “Mary Don’t You Weep,” has the following lyrics: “God gave Noah the rainbow sign, no more water but the fire next time.” The line is taken to mean that unrepentant humankind would not be destroyed again by flooding but rather by fire. These days, though, twin catastrophes s…

The richest man on Earth briefly lost that title Tuesday morning, but only because for a few floaty minutes he was no longer on Earth. Jeff Bezos has spent two decades using his Amazon wealth to underwrite a rocket venture, Blue Origin. On Tuesday the company launched its first manned flight…

State AP Stories

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina Healthcare Association announced on Thursday that several of the state's largest hospital systems will require employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine in order to continue working at their facilities.

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As a $26 billion settlement over the toll of opioids looms, some public health experts are citing the 1998 agreement with tobacco companies as a cautionary tale of runaway government spending and missed opportunities for saving more lives.

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The yearslong effort by state and local governments in the U.S. to force the pharmaceutical industry to help pay to fix a nationwide opioid addiction and overdose crisis took a major step forward Tuesday when lawyers for local governments announced they were on the verge of a $26 billion set…

National & World AP Stories

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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Several states scaled back their reporting of COVID-19 statistics this month just as cases across the country started to skyrocket, depriving the public of real-time information on outbreaks, cases, hospitalizations and deaths in their communities.

PARIS (AP) — Far-right activists and members of France’s yellow vest movement protested Saturday against a bill requiring everyone to have a special virus pass to enter restaurants and other venues and mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for all health care workers.

LONDON (AP) — With all British schools now closed for the summer, airports and airlines were looking a tad more normal on Saturday, although the number of families heading off for warmer climes remains way down from before the coronavirus pandemic.

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