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CURRITUCK — Although state Rep. Paul O’Neal has announced he is no longer campaigning for a school board seat in Currituck County, the newly sworn-in state legislator still has not clarified what he would do if he receives the most votes in the Nov. 8 election.


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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…

Features

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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Experts say the U.S. Supreme Court’s June ruling overturning Roe v. Wade appears to be sending more teens to their doctors in search of birth control, including long-acting reversible forms like intrauterine devices and implants. Waits for appointments are growing in some areas, Planned Parenthood is getting a flood of questions and doctors report demand even among teens who aren’t sexually active. Some patients are especially fearful because some of the new abortion laws don’t include exceptions for sexual assault. Dr. Peggy Stager said dedicated spots for insertion of the Nexplanon implant are consistently filled at her Ohio practice and requests for contraceptive refills have increased 30% to 40% since the Court's June ruling.

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Four people have pleaded guilty to misdemeanors for their roles in absentee ballot fraud in rural North Carolina during the 2016 and 2018 elections. These convictions Monday stemmed from an investigation that in part resulted in a do-over congressional election. The defendants were associated with Leslie McCrae Dowless, a political operative in Bladen County whom authorities called the ringleader of the ballot scheme. Dowless died this year before his case went to trial. The State Board of Elections has ordered a new election for the 2018 9th Congressional District because of all the fraud allegations. Cases against six other defendants are pending.

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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.

National & World AP Stories

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Stocks are opening solidly higher on Wall Street a day after the Dow Jones Industrial Average followed other major U.S. indexes in entering a bear market. The Dow was up a bit more than 1% in the early going Tuesday, and the S&P 500 was up 1.5%. Gains for technology companies helped push the Nasdaq composite up 2%. Energy prices rose and Treasury yields eased lower. With just a few days left in September, stocks are heading for another losing month as markets fear that the higher interest rates being used to fight inflation could knock the economy into a recession.

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Hurricane Ian has made landfall in western Cuba, lashing the island with rain and winds as it swirls north toward the Florida coast. The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Ian hit Cuba early Tuesday as a Category 3 storm and continued to strengthen, with sustained winds of 125 mph. Authorities in Cuba evacuated more than 50,000 people ahead of what the hurricane center is calling significant wind and storm surge impacts. Florida is already getting heavy rain from Ian, which is expected to intensify into a catastrophic Category 4 hurricane before its most damaging winds hit the peninsula on Wednesday.

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Referendums that are expected to serve as a pretext for Moscow to annex Russian-held regions of Ukraine are in their final day of voting. The preordained outcome of the Kremlin-orchestrated votes has heightened tension between Russia and the West. The annexation of the four occupied regions could happen as soon as Friday and sets the stage for a dangerous new phase in the seven-month war in Ukraine. Russia warned it could resort to deploying nuclear weapons to defend its territory, including newly acquired lands. The Kremlin's spokesman said that after the balloting ends Tuesday, the changed status of the regions will bring "all the corresponding consequences for protection of those areas and ensuring their security.”

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Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has been waging an all-out campaign to shore up the crucial evangelical vote ahead of Oct. 2 elections. Evangelicals helped carry him to power in 2018, and he proceeded to tap members of their churches for important ministries and for a Supreme Court nomination. But in this electoral cycle, Bolsonaro initially found more difficulty winning their favor. The campaign involves the first lady and keyboard crusaders. Influential pastors and politicians are warning their followers, on Facebook and in pulpits, that the race’s front-runner, leftist former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, would close Christian churches. The campaign also involves associating da Silva with Afro Brazilian religions.

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A hard-line Iranian lawmaker has slammed female protesters who have taken off mandatory headscarves as prostitutes, doubling down on the government stance amid the dramatic demonstrations following the death of a 22-year-old woman detained by the country’s morality police. Tuesday's harsh language by a legislator from Tehran was in sharp contrast to the appeal by a top cleric on Sunday, urging the government to listen to the people’s demands. The fate of Mahsa Amini, an Iranian Kurdish woman who died in custody after being detained by the morality police, has ignited unrest across Iran. Protests have spread to at least 46 cities, towns and villages with scenes of violence and street clashes unseen for years in Iran.

A Spanish judge has approved a trial for Colombian pop singer Shakira on charges of tax fraud. Spanish prosecutors accused the entertainer in 2018 of failing to pay 14.5 million euros ($13.9 million) in taxes on income earned between 2012 and 2014. They are seeking an eight-year prison sentence and a hefty fine if she is found guilty of tax evasion. The 45-year-old Shakira has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and rejected a deal with authorities to avoid going to trial. The date for the trial has yet to be set.

Civil rights lawyers and Democratic senators are pushing for legislation that would limit U.S. law enforcement agencies’ ability to buy cellphone tracking tools to follow people’s whereabouts, including back years in time, and sometimes without a search warrant. Concerns about police use of the tool known as “Fog Reveal” raised in an investigation by The Associated Press published earlier this month also surfaced in a Federal Trade Commission hearing three weeks ago. Police agencies have been using the platform to search hundreds of billions of records gathered from 250 million mobile devices, and hoover up people’s geolocation data to assemble so-called “patterns of life,” according to thousands of pages of records about the company.

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Japan’s assassinated hawkish former leader, Shinzo Abe, has been honored by a rare and divisive state funeral that was full of militaristic pomp and surrounded by throngs of mourners as well as by widespread protests. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida says the publicly financed ceremony was a well-deserved honor for Japan’s longest-serving modern political leader, but it has deeply split public opinion. The event was attended by U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, Japanese Crown Prince Akishino and other foreign and Japanese dignitaries. Kishida praised Abe as a leader with a clear vision for economic growth who promoted national security and the concept of a “free and open Indo-Pacific” as a counter to China’s rise.