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Pitt County’s sheriff has reassigned a pair of deputies working within county government ahead of a vote on a budget that does not increase the salaries of deputies and detention center officers above a proposed 6 percent raise.

Two Greenville men have been charged with pawning stolen firearms at a Pitt County pawn shop and a third has been charged with altering a serial number and other gun-related charges.

In his Memorial Day address on Monday at the town cemetery in Bailey, U.S. Navy veteran Abel Fragoso, without the aid of a public address system, spoke loud enough for everyone in the audience of about 50 to hear about the history and traditions of this day of remembrance.

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Nationwide traffic violence, injuries and deaths are rapidly rising. North Carolina is now required to spend at least 15% of its federal safety funds on preventing the deaths of cyclists and pedestrians because it is among the states with the deadliest roads for such.

Here we go again.

A strong, prominent woman in the political arena comes under attack for being too strong, too ambitious, having too big a role in her spouse's campaign.

Sound familiar? Painfully so. Sexist? No question.

Only this time, the target is not Hillary Clinton, although the treatment is the same.

This time, the target is not a self-described feminist, but the wife of a hardcore right winger, Casey DeSantis. It doesn't matter. Sexism comes in many colors, red as well as blue.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is married to a former television anchor and breast cancer survivor who is the mother of three young children and, reportedly, a powerful voice in her husband's campaigns. Sort of like Bill and Hill. The presidential campaign has yet to formally begin, but already she has been the target of criticism because she is her husband's partner in many ways and plays a powerful role in his innermost circle of advisers.

Why shouldn't she? Why should she be attacked for it? Haven't we gotten to the point where the spouse — whether it be husband or wife — has a right to play any role their spouse wants them to play in the campaign?

In a much-quoted article last week, Politico described Casey DeSantis as her husband's greatest asset and his greatest liability, with the emphasis on the latter. The Lady Macbeth analogy was attributed to Roger Stone, a longtime Trump supporter and opponent of DeSantis, who remarked in a Telegram post: "Have you ever noticed how much Ron DeSantis' wife Casey is like Lady Macbeth?" — an agent, in other words, of her husband's undoing.

Maybe Roger Stone is an agent of his Don's undoing?

I probably don't agree with Casey DeSantis, and I certainly can't imagine any reason I'd ever support her husband, but the best thing I've heard about him is that he has a strong, outspoken wife, and I'll be damned if I've spent most of my life in politics promoting powerful women only to see the same old shabby treatment heaped on a woman I disagree with.

Take her at her word and disagree with her. About something she says or does. Not just for being her. Not for being too bright, too charming or, even worse, not charming enough.

Not for bragging too much about her husband's accomplishments, as Politico did about Casey (and isn't this what wives are supposed to do?) or not bragging enough. It's time to stop judging wives for being too involved, or not involved enough, too powerful an influence on their husbands or too removed from what matters.

Casey DeSantis has three young children to raise while her husband runs for president. Anyone and everyone can find something to fault her for in how she chooses to balance her family and the campaign and on her roles as wife, partner and mother, which is why none of us should be sitting in judgment. I talk about spouses, but let's be real. What Casey DeSantis faces is uniquely a woman's problem, and Stone's comment is sexism 101.

To find out more about Susan Estrich and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at


Last Updated: Friday, May 26, 2023 16:48:42 -0700

“Summertime… and the living is easy. Fish are jumping and the cotton is high.” Anticipation of summer parties, cookouts and pool parties. Beach trips and lake trips, and our favorite, the Neuse River. My memories are thick with the good times of summer. That is the privilege of growing up Wh…

In a perfect world — or even a really good one — there’s no doubt that the debt ceiling agreement President Biden struck with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy over the weekend would be a frustration and a disappointment. The agreement will inflict all manner of painful cuts to core public struct…

Q I am baffled that what used to be a thorough and comprehensive physical exam is now just a few questions, taking some vital signs and a few blood tests. No checking your eyes, throat, glands or reflexes. No breast exam. Why has this changed? What constitutes a complete physical these days?

Eat your lasagna and have your vegetables, too, with a veggie-enhanced rendition of a family favorite. This layered gratin resembles a lasagna, with one key difference: There are no pasta sheets.

We all know the story of “The Little Mermaid” — that fairy tale about a young mermaid willing to give up her life in the sea to gain a human soul. It was written by Hans Christian Anderson in 1837. Other tales by him include “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” “The Princess and the Pea,” “The Ugly …


Do you support action by the N.C. General Assembly to ban access to abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy?

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Toyota will invest another $2.1 billion in an electric and hybrid vehicle battery factory that’s under construction near Greensboro, North Carolina. The plant will supply batteries to Toyota’s huge complex in Georgetown, Kentucky, which will build Toyota’s first U.S.-made electric vehicle, a new SUV with three rows of seats. The plans announced Wednesday won’t immediately create any more jobs at either factory.  Toyota plans to have 2,100 employees at the battery factory. The investment will prepare infrastructure to expand for growth. Production is to start in 2025. It brings the total investment to $5.9 billion. The huge Kentucky complex now employs 9,500 people.  The company says jobs will shift to the new electric vehicle when production starts in 2025.

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The North Carolina General Assembly’s chief advocate for legalizing medical marijuana in the state has revealed how he smoked pot over 20 years ago to withstand intense chemotherapy during his fight with cancer. Sen. Bill Rabon of Brunswick County has previously described himself as a colon cancer survivor. But he had been reticent on details like whether he used marijuana until pitching his legislation on Tuesday to the House Health Committee. The measure passed the Senate three months ago. Rabon recalled how a physician told him to obtain marijuana when he sought a more aggressive form of treatment. Medical pot opponents say marijuana may cause harm to patients.

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As the Supreme Court decides the fate of affirmative action, most people in the U.S. say the court should allow consideration of race as part of the admissions process. Yet few believe students’ race should play a significant role in those decisions. A poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds 63% say the Supreme Court should not stop colleges from considering race or ethnicity in their admission systems. The poll shows little divide along political or racial lines. People are more likely to say grades and standardized test scores should be significant factors. Lawsuits are challenging admissions systems at Harvard and the University of North Carolina.

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Two North Carolina state House Republicans have lost their caucus leadership positions following recent comments directed at Democratic colleagues questioning their religion and educational attainment. A top House GOP leader announced on Thursday that Reps. Keith Kidwell and Jeff McNeely, who are both white, are no longer deputy majority whips after their resignations were sought by other GOP leaders. The Democrats who were the subject of the comments are both Black. McNeely took criticism during debate last week on legislation to expand the state’s private-school voucher system when he asked a question about a colleague's time at Harvard University. A television station reported that Kidwell disparaged a colleague's religion as she debated a bill restricting abortion.

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Thousands of United Methodist congregations have been voting on whether to stay or quit one of the nation’s largest denominations amid intractable debates over theology and the role of LGBTQ people. The dividing line isn’t just running between congregations. It’s running right through the pews of individual churches, separating people who had long worshipped together. Those who come up on the short end of a disaffiliation vote face the dilemma of whether to stay or go. Some United Methodist regional conferences have begun designating what they call “Lighthouse” congregations – ones that actively welcome people who wanted to stay United Methodist but whose former churches voted to leave.

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A wave of newly approved abortion restrictions in the Southeastern United States has sent providers scrambling to reconfigure their services for a region with already severely limited access.  South Carolina’s governor signed a bill Thursday banning most abortions around six weeks of pregnancy, setting up an anticipated legal challenge from providers. The law Thursday goes into effect immediately. Pending bans at varying stages of pregnancy in North Carolina and Florida are threatening to further delay abortions for patients as appointments pile up and doctors work to understand the new limitations. The states had been holdouts providing wider access to the procedure in the region.

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Guam residents facing down the strongest typhoon to hit their remote U.S. Pacific island territory in decades had identical twin meteorologists helping them get ready and stay safe this week. The National Weather Service’s Guam office employs Landon Aydlett as its warning coordination meteorologist. His brother Brandon Aydlett is the science and operations officer. The 41-year-olds tag-teamed Facebook live broadcasts watched by thousands as Typhoon Mawar approached. Landon Aydlett said Thursday morning that working with his brother is like working with his best friend. He says they never planned to work together but the jobs fell in their laps and they followed their heart and passion for the work.

President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy are turning to a select group of negotiators to help broker a deal to increase the nation’s borrowing authority and avoid the economic carnage that would ensue if a deal is not reached soon. Republican Rep. Garret Graves of Louisiana and Patrick McHenry of North Carolina will represent House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Those representing Biden are presidential counselor Steve Ricchetti, legislative director Louisa Terrell and Shalanda Young, director of the Office of Management and Budget. The five have been tapped as the hopeful closers on a debt-limit deal.

National & World AP Stories

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Dev Shah is the champion of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The 14-year-old from Largo, Florida, had his spelling career interrupted by the pandemic, then didn't make it out of his regional bee last year. He was brimming with confidence in his final opportunity, asking precise questions about obscure Greek roots. His winning word was “psammophile,” and his root knowledge made it a layup. Dev takes home the winner's trophy and more than $50,000 in cash and prizes.

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Jordan’s crown prince has married the scion of a prominent Saudi family in a palace celebration attended by royals and other VIPs from around the world. Massive crowds gathered in a mood of excitement across the kingdom, as the young Hashemite royal was presented to a global audience. The marriage of Crown Prince Hussein and Saudi architect Rajwa Alseif has drawn a star-studded list headlined by Britain’s Prince William and his wife Kate. But it also holds deep significance for the region. It emphasizes continuity in an Arab state prized for its stability and refreshes the monarchy’s image after a bitter palace feud. It also could even help Jordan forge a strategic bond with its oil-rich neighbor, Saudi Arabia.

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President Joe Biden fell onstage at the U.S. Air Force Academy graduation on Thursday. The White House says Biden is “fine” after he tripped over a sandbag. Biden had been greeting the graduates in Colorado Springs, Colorado, at the front of the stage with salutes and handshakes. Biden turned to jog back toward his seat when he fell. He was helped up by an Air Force officer as well as two members of his U.S. Secret Service detail. He then returned to his seat to view the end of the ceremony. White House communications director Ben LaBolt tweeted, “He's fine,” and Biden later joked that he had gotten “sandbagged.”

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The Associated Press has obtained more than 4,000 pages of documents related to Jeffrey Epstein’s jail suicide from the federal Bureau of Prisons under the Freedom of Information Act. They include a detailed psychological reconstruction of the events leading to Epstein’s suicide, as well as his health history, internal agency reports, emails and memos and other records. The documents obtained Thursday provide the most complete accounting of Epstein’s detention and death, and its chaotic aftermath. The records help to dispel the many conspiracy theories surrounding Epstein’s suicide, underscoring how fundamental failings at the Bureau of Prisons — including severe staffing shortages and employees cutting corners — contributed to Epstein’s death.

A woman taking a Memorial Day weekend stroll on a California beach found something unusual sticking out of the sand: a tooth from an ancient mastodon. Jennifer Schuh found the foot-long tooth on Friday on Rio Del Mar State Beach on California’s central coast. But Schuh wasn’t sure what she had found so she posted photos on Facebook, hoping someone could identify the strange object. Wayne Thompson of the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History determined it was a mastodon tooth and went to the beach but couldn't find it. On Tuesday, Jim Smith of Aptos heard about the missing tooth. He told the museum he had picked it up while jogging and has donated it to the museum.