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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…

The two most common themes of MAGA sorehead emails I received last year were the inevitability of an anti-Biden landslide in 2022, and the certainty of Hillary Clinton’s prosecution by “independent counsel” John Durham, supposedly for falsifying evidence against Donald Trump during the “Russ…

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 2,600 people and injuring thousands more. It toppled thousands 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's 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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For decades, Missouri executions played out in similar fashion: An inmate was strapped to a gurney in a drab room, alone except for the eyes of witnesses staring through thick glass as unidentified executioners administered the lethal chemical from behind a cinderblock wall. But in November, convicted killer Kevin Johnson spent his final moments speaking softly with a pastor, praying, being assured of forgiveness. When Amber McLaughlin was executed in the same room weeks later, her pastor stroked her hand, providing comfort even as McLaughlin expressed that something was causing her pain. A March Supreme Court ruling requires states to accommodate those who want spiritual advisers in the execution room, where they can pray together and even touch.

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The English Premier League vs Manchester City is a legal fixture for the ages. Soccer’s richest and most watched league challenged its defending champion on Monday in a case that could be unprecedented. The league alleged more than 100 breaches by City of financial rules and failures to cooperate with an investigation that took four years. Charges date from 2009 in the first full season City was owned by the Abu Dhabi ruling family. The league gave no timetable for a case that gives its disciplinary panel sweeping powers. City says it welcomes the chance to close the matter.

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Stocks are slipping again on Wall Street. The S&P 500 was 0.6% lower Monday. It’s on track for a second straight fall after a stunningly strong report on the U.S. jobs market dented the market’s hopes for easing interest rates. Some of the sharpest action was again in the bond market, where expectations are rising for the Federal Reserve to stay firm on keeping interest rates higher for longer to combat inflation. It’s something the Fed has been talking about for a long time, but also something the market has been stubborn about not believing fully.

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Authorities in Ohio say they plan to release toxic chemicals from five cars of a derailed train in Ohio to reduce the threat of an explosion. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine says a “controlled release” of vinyl chloride will take place on Monday at 3:30 p.m. Residents near the site have been ordered to evacuate. DeWine said residents need to leave the area because of the risk of death or serious injury. Officials believe most if not all of the people ordered to leave have already left. Scott Deutsch of Norfolk Southern Railway estimated the controlled release could last one to three hours. The site is very close to the state line, and the evacuation area extends into Pennsylvania.

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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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American skier Mikaela Shiffrin failed to finish the slalom portion of the women’s combined event on the opening day of the world championships. Shiffrin straddled the third-to-last gate while appearing to be close to beating first-run leader Federica Brignone. The American was trailing Brignone by 0.96 seconds after the super-G portion but had made up 0.88 of that difference before skiing out. Shiffrin reacted with apparent open-mouthed astonishment before bending over her ski poles. She then went over to Brignone and embraced the Italian skier. Shiffrin is competing in her first major event since failing to win a medal in six starts at last year’s Beijing Olympics.