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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.

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

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.

Let the games begin, and I’m not talking reindeer games here. I’m talking about the political gamesmanship already beginning in the congress. Most of the rhetoric of revenge and retribution is coming from one man and one political party. For any of us who hoped the 2020 election would end th…

In a normal market, creditors demand higher interest from borrowers to whom they lend money for longer periods of time. That’s because these creditors are assuming more risk that they won’t be paid, and because a dollar of interest received tomorrow is usually more valuable than a dollar of …

Few tropes in North Carolina political discourse annoy me more than the claim that Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson is “fascinating.” In a state that elected Jesse Helms to five terms in the U.S. Senate, a political career fueled by bigotry hardly registers as unusual. The victims of Robinson’s — and …

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State AP Stories

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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.

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The nation’s largest public utility is recommending replacing an aging coal burning power plant with natural gas, ignoring calls for the Tennessee Valley Authority to speed its transition to renewable energy. TVA on Friday announced the completion of its environmental impact statement for replacing the Cumberland Fossil Plant near Cumberland City, Tennessee. TVA says in a news release that solar and battery storage would be more costly and time-consuming than gas. The recommendation still needs the approval of TVA President and CEO Jeff Lyash. He has previously spoken in favor of gas. The announcement drew immediate backlash from groups that include the Center for Biological Diversity, which calls the plan “reckless.”

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Eight years into a U.S. program to control damage from feral pigs, the invasive animals are still a multibillion-dollar plague on farmers, wildlife and the environment. They've been wiped out in 11 of the 41 states where they were reported in 2014 or 2015. And there are fewer in parts of the other 30. But in spite of more than $100 million in federal money, officials estimate there are still 6 million to 9 million hogs gone wild nationwide and in three U.S. territories, doing at least $2.5 billion a year in U.S. damages. Estimates in 2014 were 5 million hogs and $1.5 billion in damages. Experts say the bigger figures are due to better estimates, not increases.

National & World AP Stories

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Donald Trump’s company has been convicted of tax fraud for a scheme by top executives to avoid paying personal income taxes on perks such as apartments and luxury cars. As punishment, the Trump Organization could be fined up to $1.6 million. The guilty verdict Tuesday day came on the second day of deliberations in the only criminal trial to arise from the Manhattan district attorney’s three-year investigation of the former president and his businesses. Longtime Trump Organization finance chief Allen Weisselberg previously pleaded guilty to hatching the 15-year scheme. He testified at the trial in exchange for a promised five-month jail sentence. Trump himself was not on trial.

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A year and a half before the Colorado Springs gay nightclub shooting that left five dead, the alleged shooter was accused of threatening to kill grandparents if they stood in the way of plans to become “the next mass killer.” Sealed court documents verified by The Associated Press detail Anderson Lee Aldrich’s day of terror in 2021 that also included a bomb threat and a standoff with police. It stands as a glaring missed warning because charges over Aldrich's actions were dropped and there was no record guns were seized under Colorado’s “red flag” law for reasons authorities have yet to explain.

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A state court judge’s ruling has placed Oregon’s tough new voter-approved gun law on hold just hours after a federal court judge in Portland allowed a ban on the sale and transfer of high-capacity magazines to take effect this week. The ruling by Harney County Judge Robert Raschio threw the law’s implementation into limbo. Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum will file an immediate appeal with the Oregon Supreme Court. Earlier Tuesday, a federal judge in Portland delivered an initial victory to proponents of the sweeping gun-control measure by allowing the high-capacity magazine ban to take effect Thursday.

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — The suspect accused of entering a Colorado gay nightclub clad in body armor and opening fire with an AR-15-style rifle, killing five people and wounding 17 others, was charged by prosecutors Tuesday with 305 criminal counts including hate crimes and murder.

More than two decades after a tiny Greek Orthodox church in lower Manhattan was destroyed by the falling south tower of the World Trade Center, that church’s far grander replacement opened to the public this week in an elevated park overlooking the rebuilt trade center’s memorial plaza. The new St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine hosted its first liturgy service on Tuesday to mark the Feast of St. Nicholas. The church is preparing to welcome visitors of all faiths who want to remember the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

A Baltimore family is demanding answers after firefighters responded to a warehouse fire Saturday night and failed to realize the building was occupied before leaving the scene. James Craig Jr., 45, was found dead the next morning after his brother went looking for him. Baltimore Police later launched a homicide investigation. Baltimore Fire officials said they had no reason to believe the building was occupied after finding signs of structural instability. Questions about their response come amid a time of turmoil for the department. The chief resigned last week after the release of an investigative report examining the department's response to a call that left three firefighters dead early this year.

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NEW YORK (AP) — The Mendelson family would love to find the envelope where their father, Lee, scribbled some lyrics to jazz musician Vince Guaraldi's composition “Christmas Time is Here” for an animated TV special featuring the “Peanuts” gang in 1965.