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RiverSplash, the arts event that’s been underway in downtown Elizabeth City since Tuesday, will play a large role in today’s First Friday ArtWalk. No fewer than seven ArtWalk venues will feature artists participating in the five-day “artists retreat” that wraps up 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.

Opinion

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.

Features

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

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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.

Local election officials across the United States are bracing for a wave of confrontations on Election Day in November. Emboldened Republican poll watchers, including many who embrace former President Donald Trump’s falsehoods about the 2020 election, are expected to flood election offices and polling places. The Republican Party and conservative activists have been holding poll watcher training sessions, but in many states they've barred the media from observing those sessions. Some Republican-led states passed laws after the 2020 election that require local election offices to allow poll watchers and give them expanded access to observe and challenge ballots.

National & World AP Stories

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Relatives grieving staggering loss laid flowers at a day care center in rural northeastern Thailand. A day earlier, a fired police officer slaughtered dozens of people, including children as young as 2 who were napping. The entire country reeled in the wake of Thursday’s grisly attack in a small town in one of the nation’s poorest regions. At least 24 of the 36 people killed in the assault were children. It was Thailand’s deadliest mass shooting. Royal and government representatives in white uniforms laid wreaths at ceremonial tables in front of the center’s main door. They were followed by weeping family members, who gathered their hands in prayer before placing white flowers on the wooden floor.

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Police say an attacker killed two people and wounded six others in stabbings along the Las Vegas Strip. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports Yoni Barrios, 32, was booked on two counts of murder and six counts of attempted murder late Thursday. Police say three people are hospitalized in critical condition and another three are stable after the stabbings that started across the street from the Wynn casino and hotel. Police say Barrios used a large kitchen knife in Thursday morning's attack. Witnesses told Las Vegas TV stations that some of the victims appeared to be showgirls or street performers who take pictures with tourists on the Strip.

Asian shares have followed Wall Street lower ahead of U.S. jobs data that investors hope will persuade the Federal Reserve to ease off plans for more interest rate hikes. Tokyo, Hong Kong, Seoul and Sydney retreated. Chinese markets were closed for a holiday. Oil prices declined. Wall Street fell after a private sector report showed U.S. employers hired slightly more workers than forecast in September. That gives ammunition to Fed officials who say more rate hikes are needed to cool the economy and rein in inflation that is at a four-decade high. The U.S. government was due to release its official data on September hiring.

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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — At least one person died while police clashed with soccer fans trying to push into an Argentine league match Thursday night, and the referee stopped the game as clouds of tear gas spread inside the stadium.

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Protests in Iran over the death of a 22-year-old woman detained by the country's morality police have stretched into a third week, even after authorities disrupted the internet, deployed riot troops and attacked perceived enemies abroad.

As he turns 70, Russian President Vladimir Putin finds himself in the eye of a storm of his own making: His army is suffering humiliating defeats in Ukraine. Hundreds of thousands of Russians are fleeing his mobilization order, and his top lieutenants are publicly insulting military leaders. With his room for maneuvering narrowing, Putin has repeatedly signaled that he could resort to nuclear weapons to protect the Russian gains in Ukraine — a harrowing threat that shatters the claims of stability he has repeated throughout his 22-year rule. Andrei Kolesnikov is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment. He says Putin can't blame anyone but himself.

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The back-to-back shipwrecks of migrant boats off Greece that left at least 22 people dead this week has once again put the spotlight on the dangers of the Mediterranean migration route to Europe. The Greek shipwrecks came just days after Italy commemorated the ninth anniversary of one of the deadliest Mediterranean shipwrecks in recent memory, the Oct. 3, 2013, capsizing of a migrant ship off Lampedusa, Sicily in which 368 people died.  U.N. refugee officials note that overall numbers of migrants seeking to come to Europe by land or sea has decreased, to an average of around 120,000 annually. Officials call that relatively manageable compared with the 7.4 million Ukrainians who fled their homeland this year.