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ATLANTA — Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock defeated Republican challenger Herschel Walker in a Georgia runoff election Tuesday, ensuring Democrats an outright majority in the Senate for the rest of President Joe Biden’s current term and capping an underwhelming midterm cycle for the GOP in th…

Community Pops Concert: The Greenville Community Pops Singers will perform its annual Christmas Concert 7:30-8:30 pm. on Friday at Christ Presbyterian Church, 4889 Old Tar Road, Winterville. For more information, contact Don Fitts at Fittsdd@suddenlink.net.

Paula Dance made it a point, quite literally with the point of her finger, to remind Pitt County residents who the backbone of their sheriff’s office is at her swearing in ceremony Monday morning.

Local Events

East Carolina’s women’s basketball team turned in another impressive defense-to-offense performance on Tuesday night and strolled past visiting Maryland Eastern Shore, 67-42, in Minges Coliseum.

In my dotage, I have come to rely on the Bless Your Heart column for the real semblance of truth in America today. I once looked to the church for the truth built upon the rock, but these days the church reinterprets Scripture faster than changes to the Dollar Menu at Mickey D’s. At least my…

“A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude,” former US president Donald Trump wrote on his pet social media platform, Truth Social, “allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution.” In reference, of course, to his fantasy that the 20…

Nothing that Elon Musk is doing in the wake of his takeover of Twitter should be considered controversial. The fact that the world’s richest person and self-described “free speech absolutist” is currently taking endless flack for attempting to limit online censorship and gatekeeping in the i…

To the BYH-er who wanted to know why Biden hasn’t called for hammer control, because hammers don’t kill people, crazy white guys do, silly. Let’s ban them instead.

I love sandwiches. They are easy to make, easy to eat, packed with a wheel of healthy colors and offer up a world of flavor combinations. It’s no wonder Americans consume millions of sandwiches per year. This brings me to this week’s Hot Dish. Let me introduce you to Kings Deli, located in t…

The holiday season is full of traditions. Traditions bring pleasure and reassurance. They give us something to look forward to, and in times of difficulty or uncertainty, traditions root and comfort us. Sharing and repeating traditions connect us to our past and reinforce our relationships w…

The seniors in Pitt County have done well in getting their vaccines; younger people not so much. If you are going to be around older adults this holiday, please get vaccinated and boosted. Eat healthily and be physically active. You don’t want to be sick and miss out on the holiday fun.

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State AP Stories

The Supreme Court seems skeptical of making a broad ruling that would leave state legislatures virtually unchecked when making rules for elections for Congress and the presidency. In nearly three hours of arguments Wednesday, liberal and conservative justices appeared to take issue with the main thrust of a challenge asking them to essentially eliminate the power of state courts to strike down legislature-drawn, gerrymandered congressional districts on grounds that they violate state constitutions. But it was harder to see exactly where the court would land. A trio of conservative justices who probably control the outcome, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, seemed open to simply limiting state court power in some circumstances.

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Duke Energy says it's completed repairs on substation equipment damaged when it was shot up and it expects power to be fully restored by the evening. In a statement on its website, the energy company said Wednesday that all of the equipment damaged in an attack on two substations Saturday has been fixed or replaced. The company says Moore County customers will gradually get power back throughout the day as it finishes testing and completes restoration safely. As of late Wednesday morning, fewer than 20,000 customers were without power in the county, according to poweroutage.us. That’s down from a peak of more than 45,000 customers without power over the weekend.

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Duke Energy says it expects to be able to restore power by Wednesday night to a county where electric substations were attacked by gunfire. Duke Energy spokesman Jeff Brooks said the company expects to have power back Wednesday just before midnight in Moore County. The company had previously estimated it would be restored Thursday morning. About 35,000 Duke energy customers were still without power Tuesday, down from more than 45,000 at the height of the outage Saturday. Authorities have said the outages began shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday night after one or more people drove up to two substations, breached the gates and opened fire on them.

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Two North Carolina Democratic government lawyers have argued on competing sides at an appeals court in a case over whether the Wake County district attorney can prosecute Attorney General Josh Stein or others for a 2020 campaign commercial. Private attorneys for Stein and Wake District Attorney Lorrin Freeman met Tuesday before a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. At issue is a state law that makes certain political speech a crime. Stein's campaign ad criticized his then-Republican challenger for AG over untested rape kits. Stein and his allies say the 1931 law is unconstitutional and want the judges to block its enforcement.

A U.S. Supreme Court case involving North Carolina's congressional districts could have ramifications for the way voting districts are drawn in other states. At issue in Wednesday's arguments is whether state courts can strike down U.S. House maps passed by state lawmakers for violating state constitutions. North Carolina's Republican legislative leaders are asserting an “independent state legislature” theory — claiming the U.S. Constitution gives no role to state courts in federal election disputes. The outcome could affect similar lawsuits pending in state courts in Kentucky, New Mexico and Utah. It also could have implications in New York and Ohio, where state courts previously struck down U.S. House districts.

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Two power substations in a North Carolina county were damaged by gunfire in what is being investigated as a criminal act. A spokesman for Duke Energy said at a news conference with local officials on Sunday that the damage caused the night before could take days to repair. Power was out for roughly 37,000 customers Sunday. In response, officials announced a state of emergency that included a curfew from 9 p.m. Sunday to 5 a.m. Monday. County schools will be closed Monday. Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields says authorities have not determined a motivation.

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The Supreme Court is about to confront a new elections case that could dramatically alter voting in 2024 and beyond. A Republican-led challenge is asking the justices for a novel ruling that could significantly increase the power of state lawmakers over elections for Congress and the presidency. The court is hearing arguments Wednesday in a case from highly competitive North Carolina, where Republican efforts to draw congressional districts heavily in their favor were blocked by a Democratic majority on the state Supreme Court. The question for the justices is whether the U.S. Constitution’s provision giving state legislatures the power to make the rules about the “times, places and manner” of congressional elections cuts state courts out of the process.

National & World AP Stories

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Peru’s Congress voted to remove President Pedro Castillo from office Wednesday and replace him with the vice president, shortly after Castillo tried to dissolve the legislature ahead of a scheduled vote to remove him. The national ombudsman’s office called Castillo's attempt to dissolve the Congress a coup. Congress then voted to oust him and install his vice president to lead the nation. The national ombudsman’s office said before the congressional vote that after years of democracy, Peru is in the midst of a constitutional collapse “that can’t be called anything but a coup.”

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Authorities say the leader of a small polygamous group near the Arizona-Utah border had taken at least 20 wives and punished followers who didn't treat him as a prophet. The details of Samuel Bateman's life were alleged in an FBI affidavit released last Friday. It was filed in a case that charges three of his female followers with kidnapping children from state custody in Arizona and impeding a foreseeable prosecution. Two of the women are scheduled to appear in federal court in Flagstaff on Wednesday. Bateman is facing state and federal charges of child abuse and tampering with evidence.

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As the Respect for Marriage Act moves toward final passage, much of the attention has been focused on the protection the law gives to same-sex couples. But the bill would also enshrine interracial marriages in federal law. That provision came as a surprise to some interracial couples who believed any legal uncertainty about their right to marry ended in 1967. That's the year the U.S. Supreme Court struck down state laws banning marriages between people of different races. The Respect for Marriage Act has been picking up steam since June, when the Supreme Court overturned the federal right to an abortion. The ruling sparked concern the high court could potentially overturn other precedent-setting rulings on same-sex and interracial marriages.

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China has rolled back rules on isolating people with COVID-19 and dropped virus test requirements for some public places. That is a dramatic change to a strategy that confined millions of people to their homes and sparked protests and demands for President Xi Jinping to resign. The move adds to earlier easing that fueled hopes Beijing was scrapping its “zero COVID” strategy. Experts warn that restrictions can’t be lifted completely until at least mid-2023 because millions of elderly people still must be vaccinated and the health care system strengthened. China is the last major country still trying to stamp out transmission of the virus while many nations switch to trying to live with it.

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Could trawler cams help save the world’s fish? A bevy of companies is installing high-resolution cameras on U.S. fishing boats to replace scarce in-person observers and meet new federal mandates aimed at protecting dwindling fish stocks. But taking the technology beyond U.S. waters, where the vast majority of seafood consumed in the U.S. is caught, is a steep challenge. Only a few countries in the world can match strict U.S. regulatory mandates. Scientists fear the result could be that American initiatives to replenish fish stocks and reduce unintentional bycatch of threatened species could backfire by transferring more fishing into unregulated overseas waters.

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Microsoft has agreed to make the hit video game Call of Duty available on Nintendo for 10 years should its $69 billion purchase of game maker Activision Blizzard go through. The announcement Wednesday is an apparent attempt to fend off objections from rival Sony. The blockbuster merger is facing close scrutiny from global regulators. Microsoft, maker of the Xbox game console, faces resistance from Sony, which makes the competing PlayStation console. Sony has raised concerns with antitrust watchdogs about losing access to what it describes as a “must-have” game title. Microsoft President Brad Smith tweeted his thanks to Nintendo, which makes the Switch game console. He said the same deal was also available for Sony.

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Duke Energy says it's completed repairs on substation equipment damaged when it was shot up and it expects power to be fully restored by the evening. In a statement on its website, the energy company said Wednesday that all of the equipment damaged in an attack on two substations Saturday has been fixed or replaced. The company says Moore County customers will gradually get power back throughout the day as it finishes testing and completes restoration safely. As of late Wednesday morning, fewer than 20,000 customers were without power in the county, according to poweroutage.us. That’s down from a peak of more than 45,000 customers without power over the weekend.