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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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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.

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The North Carolina Cancer Hospital has been formally named for late state Senate leader Marc Basnight. Among those who spoke at the dedication ceremony Monday in Chapel Hill were Gov. Roy Cooper, current Senate leader Phil Berger and former UNC system President Erskine Bowles. Basnight served a record 18 years as Senate president pro tempore through 2010. He died in December 2020 at age 73. During his tenure, the legislature authorized $180 million for the hospital project in 2004. The hospital opened in 2009. The funding came as Basnight's late wife Sandy was being treated for leukemia.

National & World AP Stories

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Saudi Arabia appears to be leaving behind the stream of negative coverage the killing of Jamal Khashoggi elicited since 2018. Once again enthusiastically welcomed back into polite and powerful society, it is no longer as frowned upon to seek their investments and accept their favor. Saudi Arabia’s busy week of triumphs included brokering a prisoner swap between Ukraine and Russia, holding a highbrow summit on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, marking the country’s national day, hosting the German chancellor and discussing energy supply with top White House officials. The pivot is drawing focus back to the crown prince’s ambitious re-branding of Saudi Arabia and its place in the world.

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Fiona washed houses into the sea, tore the roofs off others and knocked out power to the vast majority of two Canadian provinces as it made landfall as a big, powerful post-tropical cyclone Saturday. Fiona transformed from a hurricane into a post-tropical storm late Friday, but it still had hurricane-strength winds and brought drenching rains and huge waves as it hit Nova Scotia. There was no confirmation of fatalities or injuries. Ocean waves pounded the town of  Channel-Port Aux Basques on the southern coast of Newfoundland, where entire structures were washed into the sea. Fiona has weakened to tropical storm strength as it moves across the Gulf of St. Lawrence

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Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister says the world needs more fossil fuel investments. It's a message at odds with the United Nations’ own panel of scientists and researchers. Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan made his comments at the U.N. General Assembly. The U.N. panel says there should not be new investments in fossil fuel infrastructure and that the fuels, which are mostly responsible for climate change, must phase out over time. The kingdom has committed to carbon neutrality by 2060, but insists that the energy transitions must be gradual.

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Two U.S. military veterans who disappeared three months ago while fighting with Ukrainian forces have arrived in their home state of Alabama. The men were greeted Saturday by hugs and cheers at the airport in Birmingham, Alabama. Alex Drueke, and Andy Huynh had gone missing June 9 in northeastern Ukraine near the Russian border. The Alabama residents were released by Russian-backed separatists as part of a recent prisoner exchange mediated by Saudi Arabia. Also freed were five British nationals and three others — from Morocco, Sweden and Croatia. Smiling but looking tired, the two were pulled into long emotional hugs by family members before being taken to a waiting car.

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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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Gov. Ron DeSantis has declared a state of emergency in Florida as Tropical Storm Ian gathers strength over the Caribbean and is expected to bring heavy rains and intense hurricane winds to the state next week. DeSantis initially issued the emergency order for two dozen counties but on Saturday expanded the warning to the entire state. He is encouraging residents and local governments to prepare for a storm that could lash large swaths of Florida as forecasters track its path. The National Hurricane Center said Ian is forecast to rapidly strengthen in the coming days before moving over western Cuba and approaching Florida in the middle of next week with major hurricane force.

Arizona Democrats are vowing to fight for women’s rights after a court reinstated a law first enacted during the Civil War that bans abortion in nearly all circumstances. Democrats on Saturday looked to capitalize on an issue they hope will have a major impact on the midterm elections. Top Democrats implored women not to sit on the sidelines this year, saying the ruling sets women back  to an era when only men had the right to vote. Republican candidates have been silent since the ruling, which said the state can prosecute doctors and others who assist with an abortion unless it’s necessary to save the mother’s life.

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Russian forces launched new strikes on Ukrainian cities as Kremlin-orchestrated votes took place in occupied regions of Ukraine to create a pretext for their annexation by Moscow. In Russia, hundreds were arrested on Saturday while trying to protest President Vladimir Putin's order to mobilize more troops to fight in Ukraine. Kyiv and its Western allies say the votes underway in four regions of Ukraine are a sham with no legal force. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged residents to undermine “this farce.” He also encouraged people called up to fight to desert or sabotage the Russian military. Ukraine’s presidential office said the latest Russian shelling killed at least three people and wounded 19.