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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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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.”

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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.

National & World AP Stories

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will visit Britain in his first trip to the U.K. since the war began nearly a year ago. The British government says Zelenskyy will meet with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and address Parliament on Wednesday. The U.K. is one of the biggest military backers of Ukraine and has sent the country more than 2 billion pounds ($2.5 billion) in weapons and equipment. The visit came as Ukrainian officials said that Russian forces blasted areas of eastern Ukraine with more artillery bombardments. Kyiv authorities believe the Russian moves are part of a new thrust by the Kremlin’s forces before the anniversary of the Feb. 24 invasion.

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Thinly stretched rescue teams worked through the night in Turkey and Syria, pulling more bodies from the rubble of thousands of buildings toppled by a catastrophic earthquake, whose death toll rose to more than 9,500, making it the deadliest temblor in more than a decade. Turkey’s disaster management agency said the country’s death toll had risen to 7,108, bringing the overall total to 9,638, including fatalities reported in neighboring Syria. Amid calls for the government to send more help, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was to travel to town of Pazarcik, near the epicenter of the quake, and to the worst-hit province of Hatay on Wednesday.

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Israel's drive to demolish Palestinian homes in east Jerusalem is picking up pace. Last week after a Palestinian gunman killed seven people in east Jerusalem, the deadliest attack in the contested capital since 2008, Israel’s new far-right national security minister called not only for the sealing of the assailant’s family home, but also the immediate demolition of dozens of Palestinian houses built without permits in the area. For many Palestinians, the uptick in demolitions is part of the new ultranationalist government’s broader battle for control of east Jerusalem, annexed by Israel and claimed by the Palestinians as the capital of their future state. Israel says it is simply enforcing building regulations.

BANGKOK (AP) — Shares were mixed in Asia on Wednesday after stocks rallied on Wall Street following comments by the chair of the Federal Reserve signaling that last week’s stunningly strong jobs report won’t by itself sway its stance on interest rates hikes.

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LeBron James broke Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s NBA career scoring record in an arena filled with stars and rocked by eager fans anticipating a crowning moment in his 20-year career. James chased the 36 points necessary to surpass Abdul-Jabbar with determination, scoring 20 in the first half. The fans roared with every point while he inched toward the mark held since April 1984 by Abdul-Jabbar, who watched the game from a baseline seat near the Lakers’ bench. James’ mother, wife and three children also watched from courtside amid the thousands who rose in waves of anticipation nearly every time James touched the ball.

A big fireball and billowing smoke rose into the sky when officials released and burned toxic chemicals from the wreckage of a derailed train in an Ohio village where residents had been ordered to evacuate because of health risks from the fumes. AP explains the risks behind the substance that was burned, the resulting air quality concerns and how it’s being monitored.

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The suspected gunman in the racist 2019 attack at a Walmart in El Paso that killed 23 people is expected to plead guilty to federal hate crime and firearms charges. Patrick Crusius was set to appear in an El Paso courtroom on Wednesday. The expected guilty plea would amount to the first conviction in a case that has dragged on more than three years. In the three years since the shooting, some Democrats and immigrant rights group say they are disappointed that the portrayal of an “invasion” on the U.S.-Mexico border has continued in American politics even after the El Paso shooting. Crusius published a document online shortly before the shooting that said it was “in response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.”