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Watermelon Festival: The Winterville Watermelon Festival will be held Aug. 25-28 at Winterville Recreation Park Amphitheatre, 332 Sylvania St. The event will include food, entertainment, carnival rides, contests and vendors. The Watermelon Jam, featuring Jameson Rodgers, with opening performances by Cooper Greer and Kylie Morgan, will be held from 6-11 p.m. Aug. 27. Concert tickets are $15-$25. Visit watermelonfestival.com.

WASHINGTON — Falling prices for gas, airline tickets and clothes gave Americans a little bit of relief last month, though overall inflation is still running at close to its highest level in four decades.


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The Pitt County Girls Softball League All-Stars saw their journey at the Little League Softball World Series come to a dramatic end Saturday night against Virginia in front of a packed house at Stallings Stadium at Elm Street Park.

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Close games often come down to who makes the first mistake, and Friday afternoon’s matchup between Pitt County and California at the Little League Softball World Series was no different.

Successfully navigating the field of teams in the Little League Softball World Series means being versatile and having great reaction time.

The third day of action at the Little League Softball World Series brought with it eliminations, as the representatives from Washington and Italy were excused and Canada was on the ropes in the late game.

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State AP Stories

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Authorities in North Carolina are trying to determine who fired the shots that killed a sheriff's deputy along a dark highway late Thursday night. Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker said early Friday that the deputy was fatally wounded after 11 p.m. Thursday. Sheriff’s spokesperson Eric Curry says it happened on a dark section of road adjacent to open land about a quarter mile from a gas station. He says they're trying to learn why the deputy stopped there as they search for “the perpetrator or perpetrators.” Several sheriff’s deputies have been shot recently in North Carolina, including Wayne County Sheriff's Sgt. Matthew Fishman, who was killed last week.

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The campaign committee of North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein plans to ask a federal court to block enforcement of a state law looming in a probe of a TV ad aired against Stein's election rival in 2020. The state law makes it illegal to knowingly circulate false reports to damage a candidate’s election chances. Stein beat Republican Jim O'Neill that November. A Stein committee attorney filed the notice Wednesday, after a judge refused to stop a district attorney from potentially using the law to prosecute anyone over the disputed 2020 campaign ad. No one's been charged. Stein's committee argues the law is overly broad and chills political speech.

The North Carolina attorney general’s office is asking a federal court not to restore the state's 20-week abortion ban after the judge suggested his previous injunction “may now be contrary to law.” The attorney general’s office argued in a brief filed late Monday that reinstating restrictions in the aftermath of the June U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade would create “significant risk of public confusion” about the availability and legality of abortion services in North Carolina. Staff attorneys in Stein’s office filed the brief without the attorney general’s involvement.

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North Carolina Democrats have asked a state court to overturn an elections board vote granting the Green Party official recognition despite allegations of fraud. Democrats have been accused by the Green Party of meddling in its petitioning process to qualify candidates for the November ballot. The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Wake County Superior Court, precedes the first hearing next Monday in a Green Party lawsuit against the North Carolina State Board of Elections, when the newly certified party will fight for an extension to a statutory deadline preventing its candidates from appearing on the ballot.

National & World AP Stories

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Authorities say a vehicle struck a crowd gathered at a Pennsylvania bar to raise money for victims of a house fire that killed 10 earlier this month. Pennsylvania State Police said in a statement that one person died and 17 others were injured Saturday. Police say 24-year-old Adrian Oswaldo Sura Reyes was arraigned early Sunday on two counts of criminal homicide. They allege that he later killed a woman in nearby Nescopeck and the county coroner identified her as his 56-year-old mother. The bar was holding a fundraiser for those touched by the Aug. 5 blaze in Nescopeck. Police say he is not currently a suspect in the fire, the cause of which remains under investigation.

On the eve of the anniversary of the Taliban takeover of Kabul, Afghanistan’s former president has defended what he says was a split-second decision to flee. Ashraf Ghani told CNN that he left while the Taliban were at the gates of the capital because he wanted to avoid the humiliation of surrender to the insurgents. Critics say Ghani’s sudden and secret departure on Aug. 15, 2021 left the city rudderless as U.S. and NATO forces were in the final stages of their chaotic withdrawal from the country. Ghani also denied persistent allegations that took tens of millions of dollars in cash with him as he and other officials fled.

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A fire ripped through a packed Coptic Orthodox church during morning services in Egypt’s capital, killing 41 worshippers, including at least 10 children, and injuring 16 others. The church quickly filled with thick black smoke Sunday, and witnesses said several trapped congregants jumped from upper floors to escape. The cause of the blaze in the Martyr Abu Sefein church in the working-class neighborhood of Imbaba was not immediately known. An initial investigation pointed to an electrical short-circuit, according to a police statement. Footage from the scene circulated online showed burned furniture, including wooden tables and chairs. Firefighters were seen putting out the blaze while others carried victims to ambulances.

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A United Nations-chartered ship loaded with 23,000 metric tons of Ukrainian grain destined for Ethiopia has set sail from a Black Sea port. It's the first shipment of its kind in a World Food Program plan to assist countries facing famine. Ukraine and Russia reached a deal with Turkey on July 22 to restart Black Sea grain deliveries, addressing the major export disruption that has occurred since Russia invaded Ukraine in February. Ethiopia is one of five countries that the U.N. considers at risk of starvation. On the front line, Russian forces on Sunday fired rockets on the Mykolaiv region in southern Ukraine, killing at least one person.

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Salman Rushdie's agent says the author is “on the road to recovery” two days after suffering serious injuries in a stabbing at a lecture in upstate New York. The announcement followed news that the lauded writer was removed from a ventilator Saturday and able to talk and joke. Andrew Wylie continued to caution that although Rushdie’s “condition is headed in the right direction,” his recovery would be a long process. The 75-year-old suffered a damaged liver and severed nerves in an arm and an eye, Wylie had previously said, and was likely to lose the injured eye. Twenty-four-year-old Hadi Matar pleaded not guilty in the attack.

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While inflation and recession fears weigh heavily on the minds of voters, another issue is popping up in political campaigns from the U.K. and Australia to the U.S. and beyond: the “China threat.” Nations for years have sought to balance promoting trade and investment with the world’s second-largest economy with concerns about China’s projection of military power, espionage and its human rights record. The pendulum is swinging toward the latter, especially after the Chinese military drills that followed U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan last week. That shift has made China a target for vote-seeking politicians as opinion polls show public sentiment in many democracies turning against China.

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A strong explosion at a fireworks storage area has torn through a popular market in Armenia’s capital. Authorities said the blast killed at least one person, injured 51 others and set off a large fire. Firemen labored for hours after the early afternoon blast at the Surmalu market to put out the blaze that sent a towering column of smoke over the center of Yerevan. Rescue workers and volunteers were searching for victims who might be trapped under slabs of concrete and twisted metal. An Associated Press reporter saw two people pulled from the rubble — a woman with an injured leg and a young man who appeared to be unconscious. An official said two sisters were also pulled out alive.

Authorities in Norway say they have euthanized a walrus that had drawn crowds of spectators in the Oslo Fjord after concluding that it posed a risk to humans. The female walrus, known affectionately as Freya, became a popular attraction in Norway in recent weeks, despite warnings from officials that people should refrain from getting close and posing for pictures with the massive marine mammal. Norway’s Directorate of Fisheries said Freya was put down early Sunday “based on an overall assessment of the continued threat to human safety.” The head of the directorate said other options including moving the animal elsewhere were considered but authorities concluded this was not a viable option.