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A memorial lap around the track at Northeastern High School and a memorial service for those killed in gun violence and domestic violence will highlight the  End All Violence event scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

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One of the many great things about sports is its ability to create opportunities for wonderful memories. I was fortunate to have that exact experience this past weekend.


Political advertisements, most of the time, should not be taken at face value. They habitually omit important context and contain truths that have been watered down into lies. And, in some cases, they simply invent things out of thin air.

Sometimes simple explanations aren’t enough. That’s certainly the case with a North Carolina lawsuit the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to consider. The case, Moore v. Harper, is asking the high court to affirm that the North Carolina legislature has absolute and irrefutable power for passing laws regarding elections, especially in setting district boundaries.


After a two-year hiatus, the Elizabeth City Historic Ghost Walk is back, bringing local history alive with its signature combination of home tour, history lesson and live theater. The 24th annual Ghost Walk takes place Oct. 14-15, from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. each evening.

I was talking with a dear friend just today who was feeling extremely stressed and beat up by other church members. I reminded my friend that ministry could often be thankless work. There are certainly people in the church world who are quicker to tear others down than they are to build them…

State AP Stories

North Carolina’s two top Democratic state officials are urging the Republican-led legislature to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana in light of President Joe Biden’s pardon of thousands of Americans convicted of “simple possession” under federal law. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein shared their support for the president’s decision at a Friday task force meeting on racial equity in criminal justice. Although the task force has previously recommended that lawmakers reduce the charge for possession of a small amount of marijuana, the General Assembly did not follow through with this recommendation. House Speaker Tim Moore said in June that the chamber would wait until 2023 to reconsider legalizing medical marijuana.

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A North Carolina man has pleaded guilty to plotting with other members of the far-right Proud Boys extremist group to violently stop the transfer of presidential power after the 2020 election. Jeremy Joseph Bertino is the first Proud Boys member to plead guilty to a seditious conspiracy charge. Bertino also pleaded guilty on Thursday to a charge of unlawfully possessing firearms. Bertino has agreed to cooperate with the Justice Department’s investigation of the role that Proud Boys leaders played in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. Former Proud Boys national chairman Henry “Ënrique” Tarrio and four other group members also have been charged with seditious conspiracy.

President Joe Biden is working to create a manufacturing revival. He's even helping to put factory jobs in Republican territory under the belief it can help restore faith in U.S. democracy. The latest development came Tuesday, when chipmaker Micron announced an investment of up to $100 billion over the next 20-plus years to build a plant in upstate New York that could create 9,000 factory jobs. It’s a commitment made in a GOP congressional district that Biden and the company credited to the recently enacted $280 billion CHIPS and Science Act. Biden's goal is to keep opening new factories in states where Democrats’ footholds are shaky at best.

In Georgia’s pivotal U.S. Senate race, Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and his Republican challenger, Herschel Walker, have each sought to cast the other as an abortion extremist. At the same time, they deflect questions about the details of their own positions on the issue. The sidestepping reflects the sensitivity of abortion politics in a post-Roe v. Wade America, where the procedure is open to regulation by state governments and, potentially, by Congress. But Walker’s strategy may not work much longer after The Daily Beast reported Monday that he paid for a girlfriend’s 2009 abortion — a blatant contradiction of his claims that there’s “no excuse” for a procedure he characterizes as “killing.” Walker called the report a lie.

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Advocates say schools increasingly are removing children with disabilities from the classroom because of behavior issues related to their disability but not recording the actions as suspension. The practice is known as informal removal, which advocates say amounts to a form of off-the-books, de facto denial of education that evades accountability. Because the removals aren’t recorded, there’s no way to quantify how often they happen. But the assistant secretary for the Education Department's Office for Civil Rights, Catherine E. Lhamon, says the practice has "taken hold in a way that is dangerous for students and needs to be addressed.”

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A Delaware judge says cigarette manufacturer ITG Brands assumed liability for tobacco settlement payments to the state of Florida when it acquired four brands from Reynolds American in 2015. Vice Chancellor Lori Will also said in Friday's ruling that ITG must compensate Reynolds American for losses due to that assumed liability. Reynolds sold the Kool, Winston, Salem and Maverick brands to ITG in 2014 to gain federal regulators' approval of Reynolds’ acquisition of Lorillard Inc. Before the sale closed, Reynolds American affiliate R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. was making payments under a preexisting settlement agreement with Florida for reimbursement of smoking-related health care costs.

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North Carolina’s State Board of Elections is directing county election officials not to engage in signature matching when reviewing absentee ballot envelopes this fall after a judge rejected the GOP appeal of a state board ruling prohibiting the practice. According to a directive sent to county election directors from the board’s legal counsel Paul Cox, the judge’s ruling maintains the status quo outlined in state law. Superior Court Judge Stephan Futrell ruled from the bench Monday afternoon, denying the party’s motion for a temporary restraining order and preventing the use of signature matching in the 2022 general election, state board spokesperson Pat Gannon said.

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Emergency responders are seeking to evacuate residents from the largest barrier island off Florida's Gulf Coast, and survivors there spoke of the terror of riding out Hurricane Ian in flooded homes and howling winds. A volunteer group, Medic Corps, was flying residents off Pine island by helicopter on Saturday. The bridge to Pine Island was heavily damaged by the hurricane, leaving it reachable only by boat or air. Some residents said they hadn’t seen anyone from outside the island for days and spoke of being trapped in flooded homes as boats and other debris crashed around their houses in the storm surge. Some feared they wouldn't make it.

National & World AP Stories

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A series of explosions have rocked the eastern Ukraine city of Kharkiv, sending towering plumes of illuminated smoke in the sky and triggering a series of secondary explosions. The blasts came just after midnight as Russia concentrated attacks Friday in its increasingly troubled invasion of Ukraine on areas it illegally annexed. Meanwhile, the death toll from earlier missile strikes on apartment buildings in the southern city of Zaporizhzhia rose to 14. Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov said on Telegram that the explosions were the result of missile strikes that hit targets including one of the city’s medical institutions and a nonresidential building.

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William Wellema drove all the way from New Jersey to Florida's Gulf Coast to see if his vacation home on Fort Myers Beach survived Hurricane Ian. But after four days, he's still waiting for permission to cross the bridge to Estero Island. His wait is a reminder that the death toll from the storm, already at 101, could still grow. Fort Myers Beach officials have said allowing more people onto the island would hinder their efforts to search for those injured and killed in the storm. Florida has recorded 92 storm-related deaths so far. Five people were also killed in North Carolina, three in Cuba and one in Virginia.

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A judge says an Ohio law that bans virtually all abortions will remain blocked while a state constitutional challenge proceeds. Hamilton County Judge Christian Jenkins took the action from the bench Friday after a daylong hearing. The 2019 “heartbeat” abortion ban was briefly able to take effect after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, but it was later put on temporary hold. Jenkins’ decision means abortions through 20 weeks’ gestation may continue in Ohio for now. Abortion providers who have sued will try to prove through their litigation that the law violates protections contained in Ohio’s Constitution.

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Wall Street lost more ground on worries that a still-strong U.S jobs market may actually make a recession more likely. The S&P 500 fell 2.8% Friday after the government said employers hired more workers last month than expected. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq also fell sharply, and Treasury yields rose. Markets are worried the Federal Reserve could see the jobs report as proof the economy hasn’t slowed enough yet to get inflation under control. That could clear the way for continued, aggressive hikes to interest rates, something that risks causing a recession if done too severely.

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Uvalde school leaders have pulled its embattled campus police force off the job four months after the Robb Elementary School shooting. The decision Friday follows a wave of new outrage over the hiring of a former Texas state trooper who was part of the hesitant law enforcement response during the May attack that killed 19 children and two teachers. School leaders also put two members of the district police department on administrative leave, one of whom chose to retire.  A total of 400 officers responded to the shooting, including five school district police officers. The city’s police, county sheriff’s deputies, state police and U.S. Border Patrol agents were among others who responded.

WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) — Jurors concluded their first full day of deliberations without reaching a verdict Friday in a trial to determine how much conspiracy theorist Alex Jones should pay for spreading the lie that the 2012 Sandy Hook School shooting was a hoax.

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A Connecticut jury is deliberating on how much conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his company must pay victims’ families for calling the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School a hoax. The jury didn’t reach a verdict Friday and is scheduled to resume work next week. Jones last year was found liable for damages to the 15 plaintiffs who sued him for defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and other claims. Twenty children and six educators were killed in the shooting. Jones could be ordered to pay as little as $1 in damages or possibly tens or hundreds of millions, based on what the jury decides.

Jurors in Michigan heard secretly recorded audio as prosecutors tried to show how a paramilitary group was connected to a plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. The audio played during testimony Friday features contemptuous talk about police and politicians in the basement of a Grand Rapids vacuum shop where Adam Fox was living. Fox was recently convicted of conspiring to abduct Whitmer as a step toward kicking off a U.S. civil war. Joe Morrison, Paul Bellar and Pete Musico were members of a group called the Wolverine Watchmen. They're charged with providing material support to Fox and others, though they’re not accused of directly participating in the Whitmer kidnapping plot.