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Vietnam vets: The Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 272 holds its monthly membership meeting Thursday at The Hut, 2805 Cemetery Road, Greenville, with a free meal at 6 p.m. and meeting at 6:30 p.m. Membership is open to all Vietnam-era veterans. Bring your DD214.

Pitt County commissioners directed staff to develop a request for proposal to seek options for recycling services after an executive for the current provider said the county would have to pay “significantly more.”

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A battle of the top two teams in the Eastern Plains 2A conference showed Farmville Central remains on another level as it took down Greene Central 85-75 to capture a conference championship for the 10th straight season and lock up the top seed in the NCHSAA 2A state playoffs.

The late comedian Tim Wilson had a comedy routine about his Uncle B.S. It was his opinion that every family has one braggadocious relative that would insert himself into important events. For example, his Uncle B.S. drove Rosa Parks’ bus, was a co-worker of Lee Harvey Oswald at the book depo…

The first Confederate statues were monuments to victory in a war of Southern aggression. Defeated at Appomattox, Southern whites regrouped by organizing terrorist militias and ransacking the region’s newly biracial local and state governments. As the North soured on Reconstruction and white …

In June of 2022, my father, Van Harrington Jr., died from complications of frontotemporal degeneration/dementia (FTD). When he passed, I was 40-years-old, but I lost him shortly after graduating from college. After three misdiagnoses because he was “too young” for dementia to be taken into a…

I am grateful for your page’s attention to domestic violence over the years, and there is good news many readers may have missed: Recently, Congress passed the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and PUMP Act, both of which will help prevent domestic violence and help pregnant or lactating domesti…

There is no cure for long COVID at this time. Being vaccinated and boosted is your best bet to avoid it. Also, eating fruits and vegetables (canned, fresh, frozen or dried) every day, staying rested and getting some outdoor time will help you resist viruses.

I love light. I have twinkle lights all over the yard and keep lights burning inside and outside most of the time. When I look around at the lamps we have, I realize they tell a story of the life Tom and I have lived together for nearly 58 years.

State AP Stories

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A bill increasing punishments for violent protests following the 2020 demonstrations over George Floyd’s murder passed the House despite harsh criticism from social justice advocates. Some bipartisan support for Wednesday's measure signals a potential override of any veto by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, who issued one that blocked similar legislation two years ago. The bills have been spearheaded by Republican House Speaker Tim Moore. Wednesday's measure now goes to the Senate. Democrats who opposed the measure and representatives of advocacy groups said the changes were unnecessary or attempts to discourage minority and low-income residents from speaking out. Some amendments were approved to address concerns of Democratic lawmakers.

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North Carolina’s Republican-controlled Senate has passed a bill requiring teachers to alert parents in most circumstances before calling a student by a different name or pronoun. Sponsors say the bill is needed to keep parents informed about what their children are being taught in public schools. Critics say it would make schools unsafe spaces for LGBTQ and questioning children to explore their identities. The proposal passed the Senate 29-18 on Tuesday. It would also prohibit instruction about gender identity and sexuality in K-4 classrooms. It now heads to the state House, where Republicans likely would need some Democratic support to push it through.

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The daughter of a South Florida Lyft driver who went missing more than a week ago has confirmed that the man has died. Lindsay DiBetta posted on Facebook on Tuesday that the family would be announcing information on services for her father, 74-year-old Gary Levin, in the next few days. Levin went missing Jan. 30 after dropping off a customer north of Florida’s Lake Okeechobee. His family reported him missing when he didn’t return home. Levin’s red 2022 Kia Stinger was spotted in Miami, Okeechobee and Gainesville, in north Florida last week. It was stopped Thursday night in North Carolina, and the driver is being held on $2 million bond.

Former longtime North Carolina state Sen. Jerry Tillman has died at age 82. A funeral home confirmed Monday that Tillman died Saturday at a Greensboro health facility from natural causes. The Randolph County Republican was a retired public schoolteacher, administrator and coach first elected to the Senate in 2002. He served as a Senate majority whip, education budget writer and finance committee co-chair after Republicans took over the Senate. Tillman often pressed for legislation that promoted school choice and tax relief. He retired in mid-2020. A funeral is set for later this month in Archdale.

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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.”

National & World AP Stories

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Police in Canada say a city bus drove into a day care north of Montreal, leaving two children dead and six injured. Laval police spokesperson Erika Landry says the 51-year-old bus driver was arrested and charged with careless driving and homicide after the Wednesday morning crash. Landry did not elaborate on the basis for the charges or release the driver's name. An eyewitness says that immediately after the crash, the driver stepped out of the bus, ripped his clothes off and started screaming.

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A bill increasing punishments for violent protests following the 2020 demonstrations over George Floyd’s murder passed the House despite harsh criticism from social justice advocates. Some bipartisan support for Wednesday's measure signals a potential override of any veto by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, who issued one that blocked similar legislation two years ago. The bills have been spearheaded by Republican House Speaker Tim Moore. Wednesday's measure now goes to the Senate. Democrats who opposed the measure and representatives of advocacy groups said the changes were unnecessary or attempts to discourage minority and low-income residents from speaking out. Some amendments were approved to address concerns of Democratic lawmakers.

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Stretched rescue teams in Turkey and Syria are searching for signs of life in the rubble of thousands of buildings toppled by a catastrophic earthquake. The confirmed death toll from the world’s deadliest quake in more than a decade approached 12,000 on Wednesday. While teams from more two dozen countries have local emergency personnel on the ground, the scale and scope of destruction from Monday's 7.8 magnitude quake and its powerful aftershocks was so immense that many people were still awaiting help. Experts say the survival window for those trapped under the rubble is closing rapidly. Aid groups meanwhile faced major obstacles in reaching a rebel-held enclave in northern Syria that was also hit by the quake.

.Alex Murdaugh’s paralegal is testifying at his double murder trial about the betrayal she felt when she discovered he lied and manipulated to steal millions of dollars from clients. But Annette Griswold also told jurors on Wednesday that Murdaugh was a dedicated family man. She says he was so distraught after his wife and son were killed he could no longer stay at the home where the killings took place. The judge ended Wednesday morning testimony early, asking everyone to evacuate the courtroom for two hours. State agents said a bomb threat was called into the courthouse. The trial was hoped to resume by 2:30 p.m.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked the British people for their support since “Day One” of Russia’s invasion — and pressed for fighter jets to ensure his country's victory. Zelenskyy’s visit seeking more advanced weapons comes as Kyiv braces for an expected Russian offensive. Hundreds of lawmakers and staff packed the 900-year-old Westminster Hall for Zelenskyy’s speech. It was only his second confirmed journey outside Ukraine since Russia invaded nearly a year ago. At a joint news conference, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said fighter jets were “part of the conversation” about support for Ukraine, adding: “Nothing is off the table.” The French president’s office said he will host Zelenskyy and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Paris later in the day.

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Big money is pouring into primary care clinics as the nation’s health care giants hunt for ways to cut costs by keeping people healthy. CVS Health said Wednesday that it will spend about $10.6 billion to buy Oak Street Health, which runs clinics that specialize in treating Medicare Advantage patients. That follows a nearly $9-billion investment by rival Walgreens in VillageMD’s acquisition of the urgent and primary care chain Summit Health-CityMD. Both deals involve an expansion of value-based care, an approach to medicine growing popular with bill payers like the federal government’s Medicare program.

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Microsoft’s stalled $68.7 billion deal to buy video game company Activision Blizzard has hit a fresh hurdle in the United Kingdom. Britain's antitrust watchdog said Wednesday that the deal will stifle competition and hurt gamers. The watchdog's investigation found that the deal could strengthen Microsoft’s position in the growing cloud gaming market. The provisional report also says the deal would weaken the important rivalry between Microsoft’s Xbox console and Sony’s rival PlayStation. The deal faces opposition from Sony and pushback from regulators worldwide because it would give Microsoft control of popular game franchises like Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and Candy Crush. Microsoft says it’s “committed to offering effective and easily enforceable solutions."