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The following deeds were recorded with the Pitt County Register of Deeds from Aug. 17-23. Each $2 in revenue stamps is equal to $1,000 in valuation. (No fee required.)

The following deeds of trust were recorded with the Pitt County Register of Deeds from Oct. 20-26:

The following new corporations in Pitt and neighboring counties filed Nov. 21-25 with the N.C. Secretary of State’s office:

Local Events

Hena Khan was raised in the Washington suburbs, the daughter of immigrants from Pakistan, and she describes the experience this way: “When I was growing up, it was really more about feeling invisible and not thinking my culture mattered. Nobody at school knew anything about being a Muslim, b…

Q I live in Boston, and the news here seems to be fixated on a brand-new COVID-19 variant. Omicron was all everyone talked about for a long time. Does this mean the new variant we are hearing about is worse? What are we supposed to do to protect ourselves?

State AP Stories

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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.

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Amid high egg prices, social media users are claiming that common chicken feed products are preventing their own hens from laying eggs. Some have gone a step further to suggest that feed producers intentionally made their products deficient to stop backyard egg production and force consumers to buy eggs at inflated prices. But experts say high egg prices are caused by bird flu and inflation. And while feed quality can affect egg production, there are more mundane explanations for backyard flock owners’ reported low egg yields, including environmental reasons like cold weather or insufficient light, rather than a broad conspiracy.

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China is threatening what it calls “further actions” after an American fighter jet shot down a suspected spy balloon off the East Coast of the United States on Saturday. The U.S. says the massive balloon was a surveillance craft that spent days crossing over sensitive military sites in North America. The White House says President Joe Biden approved the downing, and followed the advice of military officials by waiting to bring down the craft over water rather than risk debris falling on populated areas. But China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs insists again that the craft was civilian and its flight an accident. It is criticizing the U.S. for what it terms “an obvious overreaction and a serious violation of international practice.”

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Eyes were locked on the Carolina skies Saturday as a suspected Chinese spy balloon ended a weeklong traverse over the U.S., drifted over the Atlantic Ocean and was shot down by a fighter jet. In Myrtle Beach, South Carolina people lined a boardwalk and cheered as a missile from an F-22 fighter struck the balloon and it plummeted into the water. As the balloon came over Myrtle Beach, software consultant Haley Walsh says she saw it floating in the clear blue sky. She felt and heard a boom and ran outside where she saw the balloon tumbling down.

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The car owned by a missing 74-year-old Florida Lyft driver has been found in North Carolina and the man who was driving it is wanted in connection with a homicide last week in southwest Florida. Authorities said Friday that Gary Levin has been missing since Monday, when his family believes he picked up a customer in Palm Beach County, Florida. His red 2022 Kia Stinger was spotted in Miami that day and later in north Florida. The vehicle was then seen Thursday evening in North Carolina and driver Matthew Flores was arrested following a police chase. Flores is a suspect in a slaying that occurred nearly a week before Levin went missing.

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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.

National & World AP Stories

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A powerful, 7.8 magnitude earthquake has rocked wide swaths of Turkey and neighboring Syria, killing more than 2,300 people and injuring thousands more. It toppled hundreds of buildings and trapped residents under mounds of rubble or pancaked floors. Authorities feared the death toll would rise further as rescuers on both sides of the border searched Monday through tangles of metal and concrete for survivors. It comes in a region beset by more than a decade of Syria’s civil war and a refugee crisis. Residents jolted out of sleep by the pre-dawn quake rushed outside in the rain and snow to escape falling debris, while those who were trapped cried for help. Major aftershocks continued to rattle the region.

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The hottest ticket in town for advertisers is officially sold out. Fox said Monday that in-game ads for Super Bowl LVII have all been sold. The big game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles takes place on Sunday. The Super Bowl is advertising’s biggest stage, with advertisers jockeying to get their products in front of the more than 100 million people that watch each year. Mark Evans, executive vice president of ad sales for Fox Sports, said a few ads went for more than $7 million for a 30-second spot. Most sold between $6 million and $7 million.

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Officials are working to prevent any major explosion from the smoldering wreckage of an Ohio train derailment near the Pennsylvania state line. The village of East Palestine said Monday morning authorities are now enforcing what previously was a strongly recommended evacuation zone within a mile of the site. On Sunday night, the governor's office warned hundreds of nearby residents who had declined to evacuate to do so immediately, citing concerns about a potential explosion from a rail car that was being monitored. The office's statement didn't specify what was in that car. The Ohio National Guard was activated to help the village, where schools and businesses were closed.

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Officials in Ukraine say Russian forces are keeping Ukrainian troops tied down with attacks in the eastern Donbas region. Moscow is thought to be assembling additional combat power there for an expected offensive in the coming weeks. Officials said Monday that intense fighting that has raged for weeks continued around the city of Bakhmut and the nearby towns of Soledar and Vuhleda. They are located in the Donetsk region, which with neighboring Luhansk region makes up the Donbas industrial area that borders Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin is hungry for some battlefield success to mark the anniversary of his invasion on Feb. 24.

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LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Though the Insight Women’s Center sits at the epicenter of a reinvigorated battle in the nation’s culture wars, the only hint of its faith-based mission to dissuade people from getting abortions is the jazzy, piano rendition of “Jesus Loves Me” playing in a waiting room.

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The tech industry started the year with a wave of job cuts, around 50,000 in January alone, and there doesn’t appear to be any let up this month. The computer maker Dell said Monday that it's cutting about 6,600 jobs. Large and small tech companies went on a hiring spree in over the past sev…