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A screening of the documentary “After Trayvon, A Brave Short Film” followed by a panel discussion at ECU and a celebration of African American authors from Winterville are among events celebrating Black History Month.

Vietnam vets: The Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 272 holds its monthly membership meeting Thursday at The Hut, 2805 Cemetery Road, Greenville, with a free meal at 6 p.m. and meeting at 6:30 p.m. Membership is open to all Vietnam-era veterans. Bring your DD214.

Pitt County commissioners directed staff to develop a request for proposal to seek options for recycling services after an executive for the current provider said the county would have to pay “significantly more.”

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A battle of the top two teams in the Eastern Plains 2A conference showed Farmville Central remains on another level as it took down Greene Central 85-75 to capture a conference championship for the 10th straight season and lock up the top seed in the NCHSAA 2A state playoffs.

At the Feb. 1 funeral of her son, Tyre Nichols, RowVaughn Wells was a portrait of dignity and restraint, as she has been over the last several weeks. As she spoke, tears rolled down her cheeks and her voice broke, but she managed to convey purpose, insisting that Congress pass a federal poli…

Imagine if the Republican Party rigged its presidential nominating calendar to help Donald Trump slide past states where he’s politically weak. Would that go down easily with the GOP or the press corps? That’s essentially what Democrats are doing to help President Biden — to little protest o…

The late comedian Tim Wilson had a comedy routine about his Uncle B.S. It was his opinion that every family has one braggadocious relative that would insert himself into important events. For example, his Uncle B.S. drove Rosa Parks’ bus, was a co-worker of Lee Harvey Oswald at the book depo…

The first Confederate statues were monuments to victory in a war of Southern aggression. Defeated at Appomattox, Southern whites regrouped by organizing terrorist militias and ransacking the region’s newly biracial local and state governments. As the North soured on Reconstruction and white …

There is no cure for long COVID at this time. Being vaccinated and boosted is your best bet to avoid it. Also, eating fruits and vegetables (canned, fresh, frozen or dried) every day, staying rested and getting some outdoor time will help you resist viruses.

I love light. I have twinkle lights all over the yard and keep lights burning inside and outside most of the time. When I look around at the lamps we have, I realize they tell a story of the life Tom and I have lived together for nearly 58 years.

State AP Stories

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Hundreds of thousands of students who have dropped off public school rolls since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic are unaccounted for. An analysis by The Associated Press, Stanford University’s Big Local News project and Stanford education professor Thomas Dee found 240,000 students in 21 states who have gone missing from schools. They did not move out of state, and did not sign up for private school or home-school. Early in the pandemic, school staff went door-to-door to reengage kids, but most such efforts have ended. Dee says the data suggests a need to understand more about the children who aren’t in school and how that will affect their development.

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A federal appeals court has sided again with North Carolina’s attorney general in a lawsuit involving a libel law that a district attorney sought to use to attempt to prosecute Josh Stein over a 2020 campaign commercial. A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed on Wednesday with Stein and others associated with his political committee and said the 1931 law is most likely unconstitutional. Stein's campaign committee sued last summer because it was worried Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman’s office could soon seek indictments. The same panel granted a temporary injunction against Freeman in August. Stein is running for governor next year.

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A bill increasing punishments for violent protests following the 2020 demonstrations over George Floyd’s murder passed the House despite harsh criticism from social justice advocates. Some bipartisan support for Wednesday's measure signals a potential override of any veto by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, who issued one that blocked similar legislation two years ago. The bills have been spearheaded by Republican House Speaker Tim Moore. Wednesday's measure now goes to the Senate. Democrats who opposed the measure and representatives of advocacy groups said the changes were unnecessary or attempts to discourage minority and low-income residents from speaking out. Some amendments were approved to address concerns of Democratic lawmakers.

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North Carolina’s Republican-controlled Senate has passed a bill requiring teachers to alert parents in most circumstances before calling a student by a different name or pronoun. Sponsors say the bill is needed to keep parents informed about what their children are being taught in public schools. Critics say it would make schools unsafe spaces for LGBTQ and questioning children to explore their identities. The proposal passed the Senate 29-18 on Tuesday. It would also prohibit instruction about gender identity and sexuality in K-4 classrooms. It now heads to the state House, where Republicans likely would need some Democratic support to push it through.

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The daughter of a South Florida Lyft driver who went missing more than a week ago has confirmed that the man has died. Lindsay DiBetta posted on Facebook on Tuesday that the family would be announcing information on services for her father, 74-year-old Gary Levin, in the next few days. Levin went missing Jan. 30 after dropping off a customer north of Florida’s Lake Okeechobee. His family reported him missing when he didn’t return home. Levin’s red 2022 Kia Stinger was spotted in Miami, Okeechobee and Gainesville, in north Florida last week. It was stopped Thursday night in North Carolina, and the driver is being held on $2 million bond.

Former longtime North Carolina state Sen. Jerry Tillman has died at age 82. A funeral home confirmed Monday that Tillman died Saturday at a Greensboro health facility from natural causes. The Randolph County Republican was a retired public schoolteacher, administrator and coach first elected to the Senate in 2002. He served as a Senate majority whip, education budget writer and finance committee co-chair after Republicans took over the Senate. Tillman often pressed for legislation that promoted school choice and tax relief. He retired in mid-2020. A funeral is set for later this month in Archdale.

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Republican lawmakers are accusing China of deliberately surveilling sensitive U.S. military sites with a suspected spy balloon. And they say the Biden administration has given Beijing an intelligence opening by not downing the balloon during its high-altitude drift through American airspace. Democrats are defending Biden and they note that there were similar incursions while Donald Trump was president. A missile from an F-22 fighter jet downed the balloon on Saturday off the South Carolina coast. A U.S. official tells The Associated Press that those involved in the recovery of the balloon are planning to take it to the FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia, for further analysis.

National & World AP Stories

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his young daughter took center stage at a huge military parade, fueling speculation she’s being primed as a future leader as her father showed off his latest, largest nuclear missiles. Wednesday night’s parade featured the newest hardware in Kim’s arsenal, including what experts said was possibly a new solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile he could test in the coming months. Around a dozen ICBMs were displayed — an unprecedented number that underscored how Kim continues to expand his military capabilities despite limited resources. The parade was the fifth known public appearance by Kim’s daughter, Kim Ju Ae, who is believed to be around 10 years old and has been described with lofty phrases in state media.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is wrapping up a whirlwind tour of his major European backers. Already he will head home with heaps of goodwill, promises of more military aid and France’s highest medal of honor. The European Union’s 27 leaders were awaiting the man in khaki in Brussels on Thursday and hoped to impress on him that the powerful bloc is steadfast in its support of embattled Ukraine as Russia is feared to be making moves for a new offensive around the Feb. 24 one-year anniversary of the war.

China says U.S. accusations that a downed Chinese balloon was part of an extensive surveillance program amount to “information warfare against China." The Pentagon on Wednesday said the Chinese balloon shot down off the South Carolina coast was part of a program that China has been operating for “several years." Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning on Thursday repeated China's insistence that the large unmanned balloon was a civilian meteorological airship that had accidentally blown off course and that the U.S. had overreacted by shooting it down on Saturday. U.S. officials have dismissed the possibility that it was anything other than a balloon intended for military spying purposes and are recovering wreckage from the ocean for analysis.

The Phoenix Suns acquired 13-time All-Star Kevin Durant from the Brooklyn Nets, according to multiple reports. The outlets, citing unnamed sources, said the Suns added Durant to a starting lineup that already includes an All-Star backcourt of Chris Paul and Devin Booker, along with center Deandre Ayton. Phoenix sent Cam Johnson, Mikal Bridges, Jae Crowder, four first-round picks and additional draft compensation to the Nets. The Suns also receive forward T.J. Warren in the deal.

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Rescuers are pulling more survivors from beneath the rubble of collapsed buildings, but hopes were starting to fade of finding many more people alive more than three days after a catastrophic earthquake and series of aftershocks hit Turkey and Syria, killing more than 16,000. Emergency crews working through the night in the city of Antakya were able to pull a young girl from the ruins of a building and also rescued her father alive two hours later. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was scheduled to travel Thursday to the quake-hit provinces of Gaziantep, Osmaniye and Kilis amid ongoing criticism that the government’s response has been too slow.

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A surge in mosquito-borne diseases in recent months has shown the fragility of Sudan's health system and bodes ill for coming challenges, especially after the African country's 2021 military coup. Dengue fever, a potentially dangerous mosquito-borne viral disease that can cause severe bleeding and even death, took hold in more than half of the country's provinces. According to official figures, it infected thousands and killed 36 people. But with limited testing available, the real toll could be much higher. Sudan’s neglected public health sector has long struggled to effectively diagnose or treat patients, due to a lack of funding. Now, political unrest and a spiraling financial crisis mean adequate care is getting more difficult to find.

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Officials are asking about railroad safety after a fiery derailment in Ohio generated a huge plume of smoke and forced evacuations in a small town because of concerns about the toxic chemicals the train was carrying. The derailment and other high-profile incidents highlight the potentially disastrous consequences of train accidents. But the industry is generally regarded as the safest option for most goods and problems involving hazardous materials are exceedingly rare. Yet rail unions believe the industry is getting riskier after widespread job cuts in recent years because workers are spread thin.