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Leaders at an economic town hall at East Carolina University highlighted Pitt County and eastern North Carolina’s commitment to economic cooperation and said educating residents about opportunities at home is a key step in retaining workers and strengthening the region.

FARMVILLE — The town board agreed to provide $2,000 to fund a spaying and neutering program to address a large feral cat population following a presentation by resident Jamie Marcum about the issue at the Aug. 2 board meeting.

Farmville auditions: Farmville Community Arts Council will host auditions for the second annual Farmville Ghost Walk from 6-9 p.m. today-Sunday at Paramount Theatre, 3723 N. Main St. Volunteers are needed to act as ghosts, storytellers and tour guides. For more information, call Kevin Lee at 327-9668.

SNOW HILL — The town board voted against allowing the local American Legion post to rent one of the town’s office spaces at a discounted rate at the Aug. 9 meeting.

Local Events

The third day of action at the Little League Softball World Series brought with it eliminations, as the representatives from Washington and Italy were excused and Canada was on the ropes in the late game.

That Kansas voted to protect abortion rights guaranteed in its state constitution didn’t surprise me, although I certainly never expected a landslide. The original Jayhawkers, after all, waged a guerilla war to prevent Missourians from bringing slavery into the Kansas territory — a violent d…

BYH to those crying about the Mar a Lago search warrant. BMH, my first thought was which of the four or five cases involving the twice-impeached former president is this pertaining to?

China, economically ascendant, has become increasingly assertive in pressing its economic, political and territorial claims. The United States, which long treated the country as something of a charity case, now regards it as a rival and, increasingly, as a threat. While some tension is inevi…

Recently an FDA official said “misinformation is actually the leading cause of death in the U.S. today. We have a lot of effective treatments for most of our health problems, but there’s so much misinformation causing people to make decisions that are adverse to their health.” Ask your regis…

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State AP Stories

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Authorities in North Carolina are trying to determine who fired the shots that killed a sheriff's deputy along a dark highway late Thursday night. Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker said early Friday that the deputy was fatally wounded after 11 p.m. Thursday. Sheriff’s spokesperson Eric Curry says it happened on a dark section of road adjacent to open land about a quarter mile from a gas station. He says they're trying to learn why the deputy stopped there as they search for “the perpetrator or perpetrators.” Several sheriff’s deputies have been shot recently in North Carolina, including Wayne County Sheriff's Sgt. Matthew Fishman, who was killed last week.

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The campaign committee of North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein plans to ask a federal court to block enforcement of a state law looming in a probe of a TV ad aired against Stein's election rival in 2020. The state law makes it illegal to knowingly circulate false reports to damage a candidate’s election chances. Stein beat Republican Jim O'Neill that November. A Stein committee attorney filed the notice Wednesday, after a judge refused to stop a district attorney from potentially using the law to prosecute anyone over the disputed 2020 campaign ad. No one's been charged. Stein's committee argues the law is overly broad and chills political speech.

The North Carolina attorney general’s office is asking a federal court not to restore the state's 20-week abortion ban after the judge suggested his previous injunction “may now be contrary to law.” The attorney general’s office argued in a brief filed late Monday that reinstating restrictions in the aftermath of the June U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade would create “significant risk of public confusion” about the availability and legality of abortion services in North Carolina. Staff attorneys in Stein’s office filed the brief without the attorney general’s involvement.

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North Carolina Democrats have asked a state court to overturn an elections board vote granting the Green Party official recognition despite allegations of fraud. Democrats have been accused by the Green Party of meddling in its petitioning process to qualify candidates for the November ballot. The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Wake County Superior Court, precedes the first hearing next Monday in a Green Party lawsuit against the North Carolina State Board of Elections, when the newly certified party will fight for an extension to a statutory deadline preventing its candidates from appearing on the ballot.

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein is pushing back against Republican General Assembly leaders’ allegations that he neglected his duty to defend state law by refusing to seek enforcement of a blocked 20-week abortion ban after the fall of Roe v. Wade. Attorneys for Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore filed a brief last week asking U.S. District Judge William Osteen to lift an injunction on a 1973 state law banning nearly all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.  Stein, an abortion rights supporter, says he will continue to recuse himself from the case, drawing criticisms from Republicans who say he is refusing to do his job.

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The remains of two children killed in the 1985 bombing of a Philadelphia home used as the headquarters of a Black radical group have been returned to their brother. Lionell Dotson told reporters Wednesday that the remains of 14-year-old Katricia and 12-year-old Zanetta Dotson will be cremated and taken to North Carolina to be buried. Dotson told WCAU-TV it was a “momentous occasion.” He said he could finally give his relatives “a resting place permanently." They were among five children killed when police bombed the MOVE organization’s headquarters and caused a fire that spread to more than 60 row homes.

National & World AP Stories

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An unprecedented drought is afflicting nearly half of Europe. It is damaging agriculture, forcing water restrictions, causing wildfires and threatening aquatic species. Water levels are falling on major rivers such as the Danube, the Rhine and the Po, endangering shipping. There hasn't been significant rainfall for almost two months in the continent's western, central and southern regions. Britain on Friday declared a drought across southern and central England amid one of the driest summers on record. Human-caused global warming is exacerbating conditions as hotter temperatures speed up evaporation and reduced snowfall limits fresh water supplies for irrigation. One French farmer has already started using his stores of winter fodder for his dairy cows as the grass turns brown.

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Stocks rose broadly on Wall Street, putting the S&P 500 on track for its first 4-week winning streak since November. The benchmark index is 1.3% higher in afternoon trading Friday, and other indexes are also rising. Technology and communications stocks are leading the way. Energy companies lagged the market as crude oil prices fell. Stocks jumped this week after reports showed inflation cooled more than expected last month. That raised hopes inflation may have peaked and the Federal Reserve may be less aggressive in raising rates than feared.

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Salman Rushdie, the author whose writing led to death threats from Iran in the 1980s, has been attacked and apparently stabbed in the neck by a man who rushed the stage as he was about to give a lecture in western New York. A bloodied Rushdie, who is 75, was flown to a hospital. His condition was not immediately known. An Associated Press reporter witnessed a man confront Rushdie on stage at the Chautauqua Institution and punch or stab him 10 to 15 times as he was being introduced. The author was pushed or fell to the floor, and the man was arrested. Authorities did not immediately identify the attacker or offer any information on his motive.

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Health officials say it is possible that hundreds of people in New York state have gotten polio and don’t know it. The pronouncement came Friday after they said the virus that causes the potentially deadly disease has been detected in New York City’s wastewater. Authorities say the presence of the virus in wastewater suggests that it is circulating locally. They are urging parents to get their children vaccinated. One person suffered paralysis weeks ago because of a polio infection north of the city. Most people infected with polio have no symptoms but can still give the virus to others for days or weeks.

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A ship has docked in a Ukrainian Black Sea port to begin loading wheat for hungry people in Ethiopia. That would be the first food delivery to Africa under a U.N.-brokered plan to unblock grain trapped by Russia’s war on Ukraine and bring relief to some of the millions worldwide on the brink of starvation. For months, fighting and a Russian blockade meant grain produced in Ukraine, known as the world’s breadbasket, piled up in silos. In recent days, several ships carrying grain have left Ukrainian ports under the new deal — but those shipments were animal feed and went to previous buyers. The ship named Brave Commander will carry its wheat to Djibouti, where it will be unloaded and sent on to Ethiopia.

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A law enforcement official says a gunman who died in a shootout after trying to get inside the FBI’s Cincinnati office appeared to have posted calls on social media for FBI agents to be killed and for people to take up arms in the wake of the search at Donald Trump’s home. The official was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. The gunman, 42-year-old Ricky Shiffer, was killed on Thursday. The official said investigators are examining whether he had ties to far-right extremist groups such as the Proud Boys.

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Social media users shared a range of false claims this week. Here are the facts: An image purporting to show Ghislaine Maxwell with the judge who approved the FBI search warrant for Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate was manipulated by combining two unrelated photos. Monkeypox hasn't been detected in Georgia drinking water. A video of a speech by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta was translated incorrectly to English. The World Health Organization Director-General is vaccinated against COVID-19, and scientists say a recent finding that Earth is spinning slightly faster is no cause for concern.