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Harvest Festival: Home Place Strawberries & More, 3055 Chinquapin Road, Farmville, will hold its annual Harvest Festival from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. The event will feature vendors, a food truck, hayrides, barrel rides, farm animals, a corn maze, homemade ice cream, pumpkins, mums and more.

Local Events

BYH to those who complain about fast, reckless, DUI and other problem drivers when there is a simple solution. Get rid of the ones who sentence convicted offenders to a slap on the wrist. They could sentence them to community service like picking up litter, time in jail, a healthy fine (mone…

BOH. Here's something we all can agree upon, even Nancy Pelosi and Mitch O'Connell: Donald Trump was exceptionally competent at firing people. Didn't he hire everyone he fired, except for FBI Director Comey? Apparently, he was a poor judge of potential, qualifications and loyalty.

With as many as 1 in 5 adults who had a COVID infection developing long COVID, it is smart to get your vaccine and booster when eligible and eat healthy, be physically active, wash your hands often and when in a crowd, put on your mask — like I do — even if people stare at you.

She looked at me with an interesting smile, so I smiled back at her. I didn’t say anything, though, because I was in the middle of a song. I had been asked, along with some other musicians, to play at a “music in the streets” type of event in Washington, so a lot of people passed by. But, sh…

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State AP Stories

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The head of a national group working to elect women who support abortion rights is backing efforts in North Carolina. EMILY’s List President Laphonza Butler spoke at a Raleigh news conference on Tuesday with Gov. Roy Cooper and state legislative candidates. She also planned to visit college campuses with Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Cheri Beasley. An arm of EMILY's List already spent $2.7 million on pro-Beasley ads. Butler says General Assembly races will determine whether abortion restrictions that Republicans are likely to seek can be vetoed by Cooper. Republicans could earn veto-proof majorities if they win two more Senate seats and three more House seats.

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Leaders of College Park Baptist Church in Greensboro, North Carolina, thought it was odd when the Southern Baptist Convention recently sent queries about the congregation's LGBTQ-affirming ministry. The church itself had voted to leave the conservative denomination 23 years ago. But it was still on the SBC rolls until last week. That's when the convention's Executive Committee voted to cut ties because of the congregation's “affirmation ... of homosexual behavior.” The Rev. Michael Usey of College Park said the congregation was ousted for the right reason. Said Usey, “It’s good when people reject you because they understand clearly who you are."

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Experts say the U.S. Supreme Court’s June ruling overturning Roe v. Wade appears to be sending more teens to their doctors in search of birth control, including long-acting reversible forms like intrauterine devices and implants. Waits for appointments are growing in some areas, Planned Parenthood is getting a flood of questions and doctors report demand even among teens who aren’t sexually active. Some patients are especially fearful because some of the new abortion laws don’t include exceptions for sexual assault. Dr. Peggy Stager said dedicated spots for insertion of the Nexplanon implant are consistently filled at her Ohio practice and requests for contraceptive refills have increased 30% to 40% since the Court's June ruling.

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Four people have pleaded guilty to misdemeanors for their roles in absentee ballot fraud in rural North Carolina during the 2016 and 2018 elections. These convictions Monday stemmed from an investigation that in part resulted in a do-over congressional election. The defendants were associated with Leslie McCrae Dowless, a political operative in Bladen County whom authorities called the ringleader of the ballot scheme. Dowless died this year before his case went to trial. The State Board of Elections has ordered a new election for the 2018 9th Congressional District because of all the fraud allegations. Cases against six other defendants are pending.

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Forty years after a predominantly Black community in Warren County, North Carolina, rallied against hosting a hazardous waste landfill, President Joe Biden’s top environment official has returned to what is widely considered the birthplace of the environmental justice movement to unveil a national office that will distribute $3 billion in block grants to underserved communities burdened by pollution. Joined by civil rights leaders and participants from the 1982 protests, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan announced Saturday that he is dedicating a new senior level of leadership to the environmental justice movement they ignited. The new Office of Environmental Justice and External Civil Rights will merge three existing EPA programs.

National & World AP Stories

Environmental groups say the polluted leftovers of Florida’s phosphate fertilizer mining industry are at risk for leaks or other contamination triggered by Hurricane Ian. More than 1 billion tons are in “stacks” that resemble enormous ponds. Florida has 24 such phosphogypsum stacks around the state, mostly in central mining areas. About 30 million tons of this waste is generated every year, according to the Florida Industrial and Phosphate Research Institute. A March 2021 leak at one stack called Piney Point resulted in the release of an estimated 215 million gallons of polluted water into Tampa Bay, causing massive fish kills. State officials, overseen by a court-appointed receiver, are working with a $100 million appropriation to shut down the location.

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Hurricane Ian is bearing down on Florida as a menacing major hurricane, and many residents have heeded orders to flee from its path. The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Ian could become a dangerous Category 4 hurricane before slamming into southwest Florida on Wednesday. At least 2.5 million people were ordered to evacuate in anticipation of powerful storm surge and flooding rains. One couple from England, Glyn and Christine Williams, got stuck and planned to ride out the storm at a shelter. They said the Tampa hotel where they had been staying closed amid evacuation orders and the airport shut before they could fly home.

Clergy in 33 states are exempt from laws requiring professionals such as teachers, physicians and psychotherapists to report information about alleged child abuse to police or child welfare officials. That loophole has resulted in an unknown number of predators being allowed to continue abusing children for years despite having confessed the behavior to religious officials. An Associated Press review finds that over the past two decades, more than 130 bills have been proposed in state legislatures to create or amend child sex abuse reporting laws. After intense opposition from religious groups, the clergy privilege remained unchanged. Often, legislative efforts to close the loophole run up against lawmakers who are also church members.

Cuba remains in the dark after Hurricane Ian knocked out the power grid and devastated some of the country’s most important tobacco farms when it hit the island’s western tip as a major storm. Authorities were working to gradually restore service overnight to the country’s 11 million people, according to a statement from Cuba’s Electric Union. Ian hit a Cuba that has been struggling with an economic crisis and has faced frequent power outages in recent months. It made landfall as a Category 3 storm on the island’s western end, devastating Pinar del Río province, where much of the tobacco used for Cuba’s iconic cigars is grown.

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Asian shares have tumbled after a wobbly day on Wall Street as markets churn over the prospect of a possible recession. U.S. futures and oil prices also fell. The volatile trading Tuesday in New York came a day after the Dow Jones Industrial Average followed other major U.S. indexes into a bear market. The S&P 500 slipped 0.2%, the Dow fell a bit more and the Nasdaq composite wound up with a gain of 0.2%. With just a few days left in September, stocks are heading for another losing month as investors fear that the higher interest rates being used to fight inflation could help knock the economy into a downturn.

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Hurricane Ian has knocked out power across all of Cuba and devastated some of the country’s most important tobacco farms when it slammed into the island’s western tip as a major hurricane. Cuba’s Electric Union says work is underway to gradually restore service to the country’s 11 million people overnight. Ian hit a Cuba that has been struggling with an economic crisis and has faced frequent power outages in recent months. It made landfall as a Category 3 storm Tuesday and devastated Pinar del Río province, where much of the tobacco for Cuba’s iconic cigars is grown. Tens of thousands of people had evacuated ahead of the arrival of Ian. Authorities are still assessing the damage, although no fatalities have been reported.

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Hurricane Ian tore into western Cuba as a major hurricane, knocking out power to the entire country and leaving 11 million people without electricity. Now it's on a collision course with Florida over warm Gulf waters and forecasters say it may strengthen into a catastrophic Category 4 storm. Ian made landfall early Tuesday in Cuba’s Pinar del Rio province, where officials set up 55 shelters, evacuated 50,000 people and took steps to protect crops in the nation’s main tobacco-growing region. Ian was expected to get even stronger over the warm Gulf of Mexico. In Florida, 2.5 million people were ordered to evacuate.

A woman who said she was left to give birth to her baby alone on the dirty floor of her jail cell in Maryland last year is suing, alleging that jail nurses ignored her screams and pleas for help for six hours. Jazmin Valentine filed the lawsuit Tuesday against authorities in Washington County, Maryland as well as the jail's contracted medical provider. It alleges some jail nurses said she was withdrawing from drugs and not in labor while some staffers said she was just trying to get out of her cell. The lawsuit says her baby developed a type of staph bacteria infection that is resistant to many antibiotics.