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I am not normally a fan of writing about a topic that everyone else is discussing in sports however, it seems unavoidable as it regards the Super Bowl.


Republicans are stumbling over themselves to argue that the problem with the documents found locked up in President Biden’s garage or, for that matter, those found in former Vice President Pence’s home, is the same as the problem with the documents found at former President Trump’s home at M…

Kudos to Elizabeth City City Council for agreeing last week to approve significant pay raises for our city’s depleted police force. Councilors agreed on Jan. 23 to raise the annual pay of all officers up to the level of deputy chief by $6,500 — $1,500 more than even the city’s interim police…

Claude Milot’s column, “Clowns on climate, reparations supply plenty of laughs” in your Jan. 27 edition states, “ California where legislators proposed to give every Black man, woman and child in the state a tidy sum of $5 million in reparations....” This is not correct.

“We have no choice but to make hard decisions,” Oklahoma Rep. Kevin Hern recently said. He leads the Republican Study Committee, a group of more than 160 Republican lawmakers that recently called for making cuts in Social Security.


In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus reminds us to store up treasure in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves cannot break in and steal. Matthew 6:19-21 reminds us that where you keep your treasure, there also will be the desires of your heart.

State AP Stories

Some North Carolina senators want tougher punishments for intentionally damaging utility equipment in light of the December attacks on two Duke Energy substations in Moore County that left 45,000 customers without power. The legislators filed a bill on Wednesday that would make it a high-grade felony to intentionally destroy or damage any “energy facility.” Current state law only makes it a misdemeanor to vandalize equipment that interrupts the transmission of electricity. A perpetrator also would face a $250,000 fine and potential lawsuits. Someone also fired at an electric cooperative's substation in Randolph County two weeks ago, causing damages but no outages. No arrests have been in either attack.

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A bill advancing in North Carolina’s Senate would prohibit instruction about sexuality and gender identity in K-4 public school classes. The proposal approved Wednesday by the Senate education committee would require schools in most circumstances to alert parents prior to a change in the name or pronoun used for their child. The measure defies the recommendations of parents, educators and LGBTQ youths who testified against it. The bill now heads to the Senate health care committee. A version passed the state Senate last year but did not get a vote in the House.

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North Carolina civil rights advocates have denounced a House rule change that could allow Republicans to override vetoes on contentious bills with little notice, saying it subverts democracy and the will of voters. Republicans pushed through temporary operating rules this month that omitted a longstanding requirement that chamber leaders give at least two days’ notice before holding an override vote. The move could allow Republicans to override Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s vetoes while Democrats are absent, even momentarily. Calling the change “a shameful power grab meant to thwart the will of the people,” Jillian Riley of Planned Parenthood South Atlantic said it undermines the functionality of the General Assembly.

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As mass shootings are again drawing public attention, states across the U.S. seem to be deepening their political divide on gun policies. A series of recent mass shootings in California come after a third straight year in which U.S. states recorded more than 600 mass shootings involving at least four deaths or injuries. Democratic-led states that already have restrictive gun laws have responded to home-state tragedies by enacting or proposing even more limits on guns. Many states with Republican-led legislatures appear unlikely to adopt any new gun policies after last year's local mass shootings. They're pinning the problem on violent individuals, not their weapons.

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The families of five passengers killed in a plane crash off the North Carolina coast have settled wrongful death lawsuits for $15 million. Their attorneys told the court the companies that owned the plane and employed the pilot paid the money. The suits claimed the pilot failed to properly fly the single-engine plane in weather conditions with limited visibility. All eight people aboard died off the Outer Banks. The passengers included four teenagers and two adults, returning from a hunting trip. The founder of the company that owned the plane was killed, and his family wasn't involved in the lawsuits.

A man who caused evacuations and an hourslong standoff with police on Capitol Hill when he claimed he had a bomb in his pickup truck outside the Library of Congress has pleaded guilty to a charge of threatening to use an explosive. Floyd Ray Roseberry, of Grover, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to the felony charge in Washington federal court. He faces up to 10 years behind bars and is scheduled to be sentenced in June. An email seeking comment was sent to his attorney on Friday. Roseberry drove a black pickup truck onto the sidewalk outside the Library of Congress in August 2021 and began shouting to people in the street that he had a bomb.

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North Carolina Democrats have introduced legislation to codify abortion protections into state law as Republicans are discussing early prospects for further restrictions. Their legislation, filed Wednesday in both chambers, would prohibit the state from imposing barriers that might restrict a patient’s ability to choose whether to terminate a pregnancy before fetal viability, which typically falls between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. Current state law bans nearly all abortions after 20 weeks, with narrow exceptions for urgent medical emergencies that do not include rape or incest. House Speaker Tim Moore told reporters he didn’t expect the Democrats’ bill to get considered.

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Supporters of abortion rights have filed separate lawsuits challenging abortion pill restrictions in North Carolina and West Virginia. The lawsuits were filed Wednesday. They are the opening salvo in what’s expected to a be a protracted legal battle over access to the medications. The lawsuits argue that state limits on the drugs run afoul of the federal authority of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The agency has approved the abortion pill as a safe and effective method for ending pregnancy. More than half of U.S. abortions are now done with pills rather than surgery.

National & World AP Stories

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A continuing winter storm is blamed for at least 10 traffic deaths and has forced the cancellation of hundreds more airline flights in Texas, although not as many as in previous days. The mess of ice, sleet and snow is blamed for traffic fatalities in Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. Thousands of customers in Texas are enduring freezing temperatures with no power. Winter watches and warnings extend from the Texas-Mexico border through Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana and into western Tennessee and northern Mississippi. A warming trend is forecast Thursday. But an Arctic cold front is expected to enter the northern U.S. with snow and wind chills lower than minus 50.

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A former “Dances With Wolves” actor accused of sexually abusing Indigenous girls has faced a judge for the first time since his arrest. After a brief hearing Thursday, the judge ordered Nathan Chasing Horse held without bail until his next court hearing Monday. The 46-year-old faces sex trafficking, sexual assault and child abuse charges. Clark County prosecutors have not said when he will be formally charged. At his next hearing, a judge is expected to address his custody status and could set bail after hearing from prosecutors, FBI agents, victims and Chasing Horse's relatives. He is known for his role as a young Sioux tribe member in the Oscar-winning Kevin Costner film.

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Wall Street is rising further, led by excitement around tech stocks and a surge for Facebook’s parent company. The S&P 500 was 1.5% higher Thursday, a day after hitting its highest level since the summer. The Dow was lagging because it has less of an emphasis on tech. Several Big Tech companies are set to report their results after trading closes for the day, including Apple, Amazon and Google’s parent company. Stocks had already been on the upswing through the start of the year on hopes that the Federal Reserve may soon pause on its hikes to interest rates.

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LONDON (AP) — The Bank of England announced another “forceful” increase in interest rates Thursday, saying it was too soon to declare victory against inflation that has slowed slightly but is still fueling a cost-of-living crisis, public-sector strikes and fears of recession.

He gets most of the PR, at least nationally, but Punxsutawney Phil isn't the only groundhog to purport to predict the weather. Not hardly. From Staten Island Chuck in New York City to Jimmy the Groundhog in Wisconsin, there are a lot of them. And their predictions, which of course is a generous term, can be all over the map just as they are. And please do remember Charlotte, a groundhog who died in 2014 a week after the New York City mayor dropped her during festivities.

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Pope Francis has led Congo’s young people in a rousing denunciation of political corruption. He turned an otherwise scripted meeting with church catechists into a rally that shook the capital’s sports stadium. Francis was repeatedly interrupted as some of the 65,000 people took up his call to say “No” to corruption. Their response turned into a demand for Congo's president to not run for a second term after elections later this year. The Argentine pope often uses his foreign trips to denounce corruption, particularly in meeting with young people in hopes that future generations will resist the temptation to make side deals for personal gain. He continued that tradition on Thursday in Kinshasa, denouncing the “cancer of corruption.”