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The world is saying it’s goodbyes to Betty White, John Madden and Dan Reeves, but I’d like to use this space to tell you about another accomplished individual we just lost. His name is Sam Jones, he’s from right here in North Carolina and his story is an incredible one.

ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands — Elizabeth City State University’s men’s basketball team didn’t have to do anything Sunday — except show up — to claim the trophy for winning the inaugural YES U.S. Virgin Islands Basketball Classic tournament.

Happy Holidays everyone. I genuinely appreciate you supporting your local newspaper and taking the time to read our publication.

Opinion

From time to time, it is wise to consult a statistical portrait of the nation’s politics. Politics cannot be reduced to a science, at least not yet; it is too raw and human for perfect quantification. But we need data to debunk false popular impressions and partisan sleight of hand. This is at least as true in a relatively less studied field like North Carolina state politics, and thanks to the Art Pope-John Locke Foundation, we now have a poll providing a wealth of information on our state’s majority party.

Every two years, exit pollsters attempt to survey voters who’ve just cast ballots. They post interviewers at hundreds of voting sites across the country. They call and email voters who cast ballots by mail. The resulting exit polls are often roundly criticized and improperly reported (such as when journalists circulate and comment on raw exit-poll totals on Election Night that have not been weighted based on actual election returns).

The world's largest telescope is way up there right now exploring that part of the universe in our immediate neighborhood, even if it scans an area a thousand or a million light years in extent.

Features

The Dominion Energy Foundation has awarded the College of The Albemarle Foundation a $10,000 grant to expand the college’s offerings in science, technology, math and engineering, and to offer its STEM outreach programs in additional counties.

State AP Stories

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina congressman said an effort by voters to block his candidacy by citing a constitutional amendment preventing insurrectionists from serving will fail and is part of a scheme to target “America First patriots” who backed former President Donald Trump.

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A judge on Thursday granted a request from the police chief of a North Carolina city to release body camera video recorded in the aftermath of the shooting death of a Black man by an off-duty sheriff's deputy.

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The legal fight over North Carolina's redistricting plans shifted quickly to the state Supreme Court the day after trial judges refused to throw out the new maps. By Wednesday, nearly half of the justices had been asked by lawyers to stay out of upcoming deliberations be…

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Gov. Roy Cooper gave former North Carolina Chief Justice Cheri Beasley his full-throated endorsement for the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, attempting to secure a smoother path for her to become the Democrats' nominee to wrest a seat held by a Republican since 2005.

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina judicial panel refused Tuesday to throw out redistricting maps drawn by the Republican-controlled General Assembly, rejecting arguments that the lines were illegal because they were politically stacked for the GOP.

National & World AP Stories

LIMA, Peru (AP) — An oil spill on the Peruvian coast caused by the waves from an eruption of an undersea volcano in the South Pacific nation of Tonga prompted dozens of fishermen to protest Tuesday outside the South American country’s main oil refinery.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban and other prominent sports figures with ties to West Virginia have urged U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin to support sweeping legislation to protect the right to vote.

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When he was tapped to help design Beijing's Bird's Nest Stadium for the 2008 Summer Olympics, the artist Ai Weiwei hoped the Games and the arena's instantly recognizable weave of curving steel beams would symbolize China’s new openness.

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Satellite photos obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday appear to show the aftermath of a fatal attack on an oil facility in the capital of the United Arab Emirates claimed by Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels.