WASHINGTON — Lloyd J. Austin, a West Point graduate who rose to the Army’s elite ranks and marched through racial barriers in a 41-year career, won Senate confirmation Friday to become the nation’s first black secretary of defense.

The following deeds were recorded with the Pitt County Register of Deeds from Nov. 26-Dec. 2. Each $2 in revenue stamps is equal to $1,000 in valuation. (No fee required.)

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

FARMVILLE — Connie Moore Corey has been named the Realtor of the Year by the Coastal Plains Association of Realtors, and she received the North Carolina Realtor Service Award.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture will provide additional assistance through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), expanding eligibility for some agricultural producers and commodities as well as updating payments to compensate …

Commendations to the health providers, law enforcement, military and helpers for such an orchestrated procedure for vaccines for COVID prevention at the Pitt County clinic on Friday. I was very impressed.

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East Carolina coach Cliff Godwin worked, virtually of course, with infielder Ryder Giles on Giles’ batting swing early in the offseason after the 2020 college baseball season ended abruptly last March.

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Down to eight scholarship players available to play and without head coach Joe Dooley, East Carolina's basketball team was not able to hang with talented Memphis on Sunday in Minges Coliseum in an 80-53 loss to the Tigers.

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East Carolina’s baseball season will begin with attendance at Clark-LeClair Stadium limited to two family members per each competing student-athlete and coach.

RALEIGH – It took 50 years and one ounce to break the current state record for a channel catfish, but John Stone, of Pinehurst, now holds the new record after catching a 23-pound, 5-ounce catfish from a private pond in Moore County last September.

Commendations to the health providers, law enforcement, military and helpers for such an orchestrated procedure for vaccines for COVID prevention at the Pitt County clinic on Friday. I was very impressed.

BYH to residents and nonresidents driving through Brook Valley. This is an active neighborhood with no sidewalks and lots of children, walkers and bike riders. When passing these folks please move way over. If there is a car coming in the other direction please wait instead of trying to sque…

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President Trump is now former President Trump. With Joe Biden now President Biden, Democrats control the White House, the House and the Senate. An ambitious agenda lies ahead for the new Democratic administration. And yet there are signs that some Democrats’ obsession with Donald Trump — the…

Spokesmen from Dominion Energy and Smithfield food have touted the program being developed to collect methane gas from swine farm lagoons as an “eco-friendly” alternative to the current practice of releasing methane directly into the atmosphere.

The late year 2020 was a face-off year. 2021 begins likewise. We turned off our faces, tucking them away behind paper and fabric. We have steadily grown grim about the mouth and hide our scowls behind masks. It is, as Herman Melville put it, time to quietly take to the ship. Come, sail away …

State AP Stories

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — These North Carolina lotteries were drawn Monday:

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina officials are shifting the state's COVID-19 vaccination distribution strategy toward mass clinics in an effort to turn the corner on a slow rollout. But it's leading to frustration for some hospital systems that have had their anticipated vaccine allocatio…

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Duke Energy, North Carolina officials and a conservation group announced Monday an agreement on how the utility pays to get rid of coal ash stored in the state. The proposed settlement would shift an estimated $1.1 billion in expenses away from customers over the next de…

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A Black woman who was fatally shot by a North Carolina police officer nearly six years ago is one of nearly 90 people honored through an NFL program that recognizes victims of systemic racism and police violence.

National & World AP Stories

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MOSCOW (AP) — Allies of jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who faces years in prison, called for new protests next weekend to demand his release, following a wave of demonstrations that turned out tens of thousands across the country in a defiant challenge to President Vladimir Putin.

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BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union lashed out Monday at pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, accusing it of failing to guarantee delivery of coronavirus vaccines without valid explanation, and threatened to impose tight export controls within days on COVID-19 vaccines made in the bloc.

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Coronavirus deaths and cases per day in the U.S. dropped markedly over the past couple of weeks but are still running at alarmingly high levels, and the effort to snuff out COVID-19 is becoming an ever more urgent race between the vaccine and the mutating virus.

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NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street ended a choppy day with mixed results Monday as the market struggled to find direction. Apple and other Big Tech stocks lurched higher, then lower, then back up again. Several of them report their latest quarterly results this week. The S&P 500 climbed 0.4%, e…

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MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador worked from isolation Monday, a day after announcing that he had tested positive for COVID-19, and was absent from his daily news conference for the first time in his two years in office.