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HERTFORD — State Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt said during a visit to Perquimans County Schools Wednesday that awarding a school an A, B, C, D or even F grade might not be the best way to provide useful information to parents and others about how schools are doing.

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With Queen Elizabeth II’s death and the smooth accession of her son, now King Charles III, we are witnessing a moment of history. But let’s not forget dynastic struggles that led to over 150 years of turmoil for Britain. From the moment in 1534 that King Henry VIII established the Church of England, defying the pope, English men and women who clung to their Catholic beliefs and practices were considered heretics and traitors to the crown. Henry even executed his own friend and chancellor Thomas More for not dutifully parroting the king’s anti-papal stance.

Poll numbers for political races in North Carolina have shifted slightly toward the Democrats. For example, Ted Budd, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, was leading Democrat Cheri Beasley by several percentage points during the summer, but recent polls now have the race a statistical tossup.

On Aug. 25, more than 20 residents of Greenville made their opinions known at a public hearing hosted by the state Division of Air Quality. These citizens, among them members of North Of The River Association, spoke out against DAQ granting a Title 5 permit to World Cat, a boat manufacturing facility located in north Greenville.

Partisanship aside, how did we get to this low period in our nation’s history? Its clear we have an extremely biased media where any news, big or small that could discredit or damage any Republican, especially former President Donald Trump or Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, will be the top story.…

The Bible commands Christians to welcome and care for the most vulnerable among us; that includes the immigrant and sojourner. In Hebrews 13, for example, we are called upon to “show hospitality to strangers” as though they were angels. It is with this knowledge, and faith in God’s love, that we pray for the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the hundreds of thousands of young people who depend on it.


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

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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.

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The remnants of Hurricane Ian have downed trees and power lines across North Carolina, and at least four storm-related fatalities.. The Johnston County Sheriff's Office says a woman found her husband dead early Saturday morning after he went to check on a generator running in their garage overnight. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper's office says there were also two storm-related traffic fatalities in Johnston County on Friday, and a drowning in Martin County. Damage reports across the state were less severe than in South Carolina and Florida. But over 90,000 people statewide were without power Saturday afternoon. That was down from over 330,000 earlier in the day.

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A revived Hurricane Ian has pounded coastal South Carolina after causing catastrophic damage in Florida. The storm washed away parts of piers and flooded streets in parts of South Carolina. The U.S. death toll from Hurricane Ian rose to at least 27 as Florida authorities confirmed several drowning deaths and other fatalities. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said Friday that the deaths included a 22-year-old woman ejected in an ATV rollover because of a road washout. Many other deaths were drownings, including that of a 68-year-old woman swept into the ocean by a wave. Authorities expect the death toll to rise further.

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The GOP is pursuing its latest legal challenge to North Carolina electoral procedures established by the Democrat-led State Board of Elections. Republicans made the move one week before North Carolina election officials begin processing by-mail ballots in the closely watched Southern swing state. The North Carolina Republican Party filed two motions in Wake County Superior Court this week, asking the court to block the board from enforcing its prohibition of county election officials scrutinizing signatures on absentee voting documents. The GOP motions mark Republicans’ latest attempts to mold election laws to their liking in a state that could shift the political balance locally and nationwide.

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision striking down a constitutional right to abortion and sending the issue to the states has groups on both sides of the debate focusing more than ever on races this fall for state supreme courts. Whether abortion access is maintained, restricted or eliminated in any state could depend on whether a state's high court has a majority of Democratic or Republican justices. Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina and Ohio are among the states where the races are drawing heavy interest and spending as the midterm elections approach.

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The U.S. death toll from Hurricane Ian’s passage has risen to four overall after an official said late Thursday that two residents of a hard-hit barrier island on Florida’s western coast were confirmed dead. Dana Souza, city manager of Sanibel, said the deaths were confirmed by fire officials but offered no other specifics.Two other people have also died. A 38-year old man from Lake County died Wednesday in a motor vehicle accident after his vehicle hydroplaned and a 72-year old man in Deltona was confirmed dead on Thursday. Officials with the Volusia sheriff’s office said the man went outside to drain his pool and fell into a canal.

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The head of a national group working to elect women who support abortion rights is backing efforts in North Carolina. EMILY’s List President Laphonza Butler spoke at a Raleigh news conference on Tuesday with Gov. Roy Cooper and state legislative candidates. She also planned to visit college campuses with Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Cheri Beasley. An arm of EMILY's List already spent $2.7 million on pro-Beasley ads. Butler says General Assembly races will determine whether abortion restrictions that Republicans are likely to seek can be vetoed by Cooper. Republicans could earn veto-proof majorities if they win two more Senate seats and three more House seats.

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Leaders of College Park Baptist Church in Greensboro, North Carolina, thought it was odd when the Southern Baptist Convention recently sent queries about the congregation's LGBTQ-affirming ministry. The church itself had voted to leave the conservative denomination 23 years ago. But it was still on the SBC rolls until last week. That's when the convention's Executive Committee voted to cut ties because of the congregation's “affirmation ... of homosexual behavior.” The Rev. Michael Usey of College Park said the congregation was ousted for the right reason. Said Usey, “It’s good when people reject you because they understand clearly who you are."

National & World AP Stories

British Prime Minister Liz Truss has acknowledged she could have done a better job “laying the ground” for her package of unfunded tax cuts. But she insisted Sunday that she would push on with an economic plan that has caused turmoil on financial markets and weakened the country’s public finances. Truss acknowledged that the U.K. faces “a very turbulent and stormy time” but said her policies would lead to a “high-growth, low-tax economy” in the longer term. The comments are unlikely to calm Truss’s Conservative Party. The party opens its four-day annual conference on Sunday amid plunging poll ratings and growing public discontent.

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Panic after police fired tear gas at an Indonesian soccer match to drive away rioting fans has left at least 174 dead, most of whom were trampled upon or suffocated, in one of the deadliest sports events in the world. Attention immediately focused on police using tear gas, which is banned at soccer stadiums by FIFA. President Joko Widodo expressed shock at the tragedy and ordered an investigation of security procedures. Riots broke out after the game ended Saturday evening with host Arema FC of East Java’s Malang city losing to Persebaya of Surabaya 3-2. Disappointed with their team’s loss, thousands of supporters of Arema flooded the soccer field. Police responded by firing tear gas, causing panic and the deadly crush.

Russia has attacked the Ukrainian president’s hometown with suicide drones Sunday Ukraine pushed ahead with its counteroffensive that has embarrassed the Kremlin. Ukraine took back control of a strategic eastern city, Lyman, which it had been using as a transport and logistics hub. That's a new blow to the Kremlin as it seeks to escalate the war by illegally annexing four regions of Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said more Ukrainian flags are flying in what was recently Russian-occupied territory. His hometown was among targets of suicide drones in the latest fighting Sunday.

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MALANG, Indonesia (AP) — Police fired tear gas after riots broke out at an Indonesian soccer match in East Java province when Persebaya Surabaya beat Arema Malang 3-2. Panic and a rush for the exit left over 170 people dead, most of whom were trampled, police said Sunday. Here's a look at so…

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Violence and a deadly stampede that erupted following a domestic league soccer match Saturday night marked another tragedy in Indonesian football. Here's a look at how the chaos occurred and what is being done to prevent future incidents.

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Humanitarian workers say hunger is now soaring in eastern Congo after months of fighting between M23 rebels and the army. An internal draft assessment by aid groups seen by The Associated Press says nearly 260,000 people are facing extreme food insecurity in Nyiragongo and Rutshuru territories. But only 10% of those targeted by aid groups this year received the full recommended food assistance. That's because of a lack of funds and security concerns that has restricted access to some areas. Health staff at one hospital said that the number of severely malnourished children had nearly tripled between April to July.

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South Korean activists say they clashed with police while launching balloons carrying anti-Pyongyang propaganda materials across the North Korean border. Seoul had previously pleaded with activists to stop such activities after the North threatened to respond with “deadly” retaliation. Park Sang-hak, a North Korean defector-turned-activist, said he his group launched about eight balloons Saturday night from an area in the South Korean border town of Paju. Police officers arrived at the scene and prevented them from sending their 12 remaining balloons. Park said police confiscated some of their materials and detained him and three other members of his group over mild scuffles with officers before releasing them after questioning.