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Looking to boost revenues for the Performing Arts Center and get more members of the public to visit the campus, College of The Albemarle officials have begun discussing whether to allow beer and wine sales at some PAC events.


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In your Aug. 23rd edition, columnist Alexander Jones was at it again, making outlandish statements to fan the flames for pure political gain. Jones made comments like “our legacy of heinous racial oppression continues to reverberate” and “only Democrats can make things right and bring justic…

Many English expressions are derived from the Bible, such as “wolves in sheep’s clothing” from the Sermon on the Mount. The Bible became the source for many English language figures of speech because in the 18th and 19th centuries, it was the only book in many working-class homes. And even t…

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The Supreme Court’s June overrule of Roe v. Wade denies women the right to control their bodies. Those privacy rights are constitutionally guaranteed — to women and men — by the 14th Amendment, the same amendment that underpinned the Court’s original decision affirming women’s right to abortion.

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Across the state of North Carolina, fresh produce is grown and harvested throughout the year. Don’t forget that during the fall, there are still some delectable foods that can be purchased locally such as cabbage, sweet potatoes, greens, pumpkins, turnips and others.

State AP Stories

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Forty years after a predominantly Black community in Warren County, North Carolina, rallied against hosting a hazardous waste landfill, President Joe Biden’s top environment official has returned to what is widely considered the birthplace of the environmental justice movement to unveil a national office that will distribute $3 billion in block grants to underserved communities burdened by pollution. Joined by civil rights leaders and participants from the 1982 protests, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan announced Saturday that he is dedicating a new senior level of leadership to the environmental justice movement they ignited. The new Office of Environmental Justice and External Civil Rights will merge three existing EPA programs.

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North Carolina Republican Senate candidate Ted Budd is leaning into his support for abortion restrictions and his allegiance to former President Donald Trump as Democrats fight for an elusive victory in the Southern swing state. Democratic optimism remains tempered given the state’s recent red tilt. But Democratic officials believe Budd's candidacy gives them a real chance at flipping a Senate seat — and the balance of power in Washington — this fall. Budd appeared alongside Trump at a rally in Wilmington Friday night, where the former president praised the candidate as “a conservative, America First all-star in Congress” and urged his supporters to turn out to vote.

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The White House is reaching out to local governments. It hosted officials from North Carolina on Thursday to highlight funding opportunities and hear firsthand how coronavirus relief, infrastructure dollars and other policies are faring in communities. A key message for the visit by North Carolina officials is the recovery in manufacturing. The event reflects new efforts to expand the use of the White House campus as pandemic restrictions have eased. But it’s also part of a larger effort to host municipal and county officials on a weekly basis from all 50 states. That outreach coincides with campaigning for November’s midterm elections as the White House tries to energize Democratic voters.

On the same day the Federal Reserve gave a sobering report on the U.S. economy’s trajectory, administration officials highlighted how they have kept some of the nation’s smallest businesses afloat through the pandemic. Roughly $8.28 billion has been disbursed to 162 community financial institutions across the country, through Treasury’s Emergency Capitol Investment Program, officials said Wednesday. Vice President Kamala Harris said that “There is almost $9 billion on the ground right now” for community banks and lenders. She was referring to pandemic relief funds dedicated to loans for minority-owned businesses and low-income individuals who generally have a hard time getting access to capital.

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North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper's budget director since he took office in early 2017 is retiring from the post. Cooper announced on Monday the upcoming departure of Charlie Perusse and that Kristin Walker will be his successor. Perusse served as budget director for two other Democratic governors in Mike Easley and Beverly Perdue from late 2008 to early 2011. His top job is carrying out the annual state budget of $27.9 billion and other spending directives approved by the legislature. The director also deals with revenue shortfalls and surpluses. Walker will become North Carolina’s first female budget director.

National & World AP Stories

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Forecasters say Hurricane Ian is nearing Cuba on a track to strike Florida in as a Category 4 as early as Wednesday. Ian is already getting stronger and is forecast to move quickly over Cuba's western Pinar del Rio province on Monday. Then it will turn northward and slow down over warm Gulf of Mexico waters, conditions ripe for brewing the strongest hurricanes. A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Grand Cayman and the Cuban provinces of Isla de Juventud, Pinar del Rio, and Artemisa. Forecasters have issued a hurricane watch for the Tampa Bay area, predicting a storm surge of up to 8 feet and 15 inches of rain in places.

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Authorities say a gunman has killed 13 people and wounded 23 others in a school in central Russia. According to officials, multiple children were among those killed in the Monday morning shooting in School No. 88 in Izhevsk, a city  960 kilometers (600 miles) east of Moscow in the Udmurtia region. The governor of the region said the gunman killed himself after the attack. Russia's Investigative Committee identified the gunman as 34-year-old Artyom Kazantsev, a graduate of the school, and the governor said he was a patient at a psychiatric facility. Kazantsev used two non-lethal handguns adapted to fire real bullets. The guns were not registered with authorities. An investigation has been launched on multiple murder charges.

The Brothers of Italy party has won the most votes in Italy’s national election. The party has its roots in the post-World War II neo-fascist Italian Social Movement. Giorgia Meloni has taken Brothers of Italy from a fringe far-right group to Italy’s biggest party. Meloni is poised to lead Italy’s first far-right-led government since World War II and become its first female premier.

The Biden administration is using Title VI of the Civil Rights Act to investigate environmental discrimination by state agencies and others that receive federal funds. Experts say it is a seismic shift to use the civil rights law to go after environmental discrimination. In one example, the EPA has agreed to investigate allegations that Louisiana officials discriminated against Black residents by failing to control air pollution in parishes packed with refineries and petrochemical plants, a region some call cancer alley. The effort is part of the Biden administration's promise to prioritize environmental justice enforcement in communities overburdened by pollution. On Saturday, the agency announced a new office at EPA focused on environmental justice.

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After seven weary months of war, many Ukrainians fear more suffering and political repression awaits them. Kremlin-orchestrated referendums conducted under gun barrels portend Russia’s imminent annexation of four occupied regions. Many residents fled the regions before the referendums got underway, scared about being forced to vote or potentially being conscripted into the Russian army. The referendums, denounced by Kyiv and its Western allies as rigged, are taking place in the Russian-controlled Luhansk and Kherson regions, and in occupied areas of the Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia regions. Russian authorities are expected to announce the regions as theirs once the preordained vote ends Tuesday.

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Europe is staring down a winter energy crisis. Russia has reduced natural gas supplies as Europe supports Ukraine, and the continent's ability to get through the winter may depend on how cold it is and competition from Asia. The lights of the Eiffel Tower are turning off earlier than normal and shop windows across Europe are going dark to save energy. High prices mean households and businesses are trying to use less heat and electricity, but they're running into the hard truth that cutting back only shaves a little off their bills. Governments are rolling out relief and have been able to bolster natural gas storage. But analysts say Russia still has leverage with energy prices high and supplies tight.

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An overnight drone strike near the Ukrainian port of Odesa has sparked a massive fire and explosion, hours after the United States vowed to take decisive action and promised “catastrophic consequences” if Russia uses nuclear weapons in Ukraine. The airstrike was the latest in a series of drone attacks on the key southern city in recent days. This one hit a military installation and detonated ammunition when it struck. Firefighters were struggling to contain the blaze, the Ukrainian military’s southern command said Monday.

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The British pound has fallen to an all-time low against the U.S. dollar after the government pledged a sweeping package of tax cuts that have fueled concerns about its economic policy. The pound fell as low as $1.0373 Monday, before rallying to above $1.07 in early London trading. The British currency has lost more than 5% against the dollar since Friday, when Treasury chief Kwasi Kwarteng announced the biggest tax cuts in 50 years. It comes as the government plans to spend billions of pounds to help consumers and businesses struggling with high energy bills that are driving a cost-of-living crisis. The combination sparked investor concern about spiraling government debt.