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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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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."

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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.

National & World AP Stories

Florida, South Carolina and South Florida are taking steps to salvage home football games as Hurricane Ian approaches. The Gators moved their game against Eastern Washington from Saturday to Sunday just before a slate of NFL games begin. The Gamecocks will host South Carolina State on Thursday night, two days earlier than previously scheduled. And the Bulls relocated their Saturday game against East Carolina from Tampa, Florida, to Boca Raton. Stetson canceled its home game scheduled for Saturday against San Diego. No. 23 Florida State and 22nd-ranked Wake Forest, meanwhile, are “closely monitoring” the storm and hoping to play as planned Saturday in Tallahassee.

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Pro-Moscow officials say that residents in all four occupied areas of Ukraine voted to join Russia. The Kremlin-orchestrated votes have been dismissed by the U.S. and its Western allies as illegitimate. According to Russia-installed election officials, 93% of the ballots case in the Zaporizhzhia region were in support of annexation, as were 87% of ballots in the southern Kherson region and 98% in Luhansk. The preordained outcome sets the stage for a dangerous new phase in Russia’s seven-month war in Ukraine because it is expected to serve as a pretext for Moscow to annex the four areas. That could happen within days.

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Nicole Hockley lost one son in the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre. She testified Tuesday that her biggest fear is that people who believe the shooting never happened will harm her other son, who survived the attack at his school. Hockle, her former husband, Ian Hockley, and the sister of another victim were the latest family members of the 26 victims of the school shooting to testify at the defamation trial of Alex Jones, where a jury is deciding how much the conspiracy theorist must pay for spreading the lie that the shooting was a hoax. Defense attorney Norm Pattis is arguing that any damages should be limited and accused the victims’ relatives of exaggerating the harm the lies caused them.

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A Tennessee cheerleading gym faces sexual abuse allegations in a case that escalates the accusations against some of the sport's top institutions. A federal lawsuit brought Monday by two anonymous plaintiffs alleges that an adult coach at Premier Athletics sexually assaulted teenage boys. Lawyers brought a similar complaint this month against coaches at Rockstar Cheer in South Carolina. Attorneys say that in both cases, Varsity Spirit and the U.S. All Star Federation failed to provide a safe environment. Athletics Knoxville West says it is “inaccurately implicated” in the newest lawsuit.

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Hurricane Ian tore into western Cuba as a major hurricane Tuesday and left 1 million people without electricity. Now it's on a collision course with Florida over warm Gulf waters expected to strengthen it into a catastrophic Category 4 storm. Ian made landfall early Tuesday in Cuba’s Pinar del Rio province, where officials set up 55 shelters, evacuated 50,000 people, rushed in emergency personnel and took steps to protect crops in the nation’s main tobacco-growing region. Ian was expected to get even stronger over the warm Gulf of Mexico. In Florida, 2.5 million people were ordered to evacuate.

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Stocks ended a wobbly day with mixed results on Wall Street as markets continue to be unstable amid worries about a possible recession. The volatile trading came a day after the Dow Jones Industrial Average followed other major U.S. indexes into a bear market. The S&P 500 slipped 0.2%, the Dow fell a bit more and the Nasdaq composite wound up with a gain of 0.2%. 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 help knock the economy into a downturn.

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Denmark says it believes “deliberate actions” by unknown perpetrators were behind big leaks, which seismologists said followed powerful explosions, in two natural gas pipelines running under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany. European leaders and experts pointed to possible sabotage amid the energy standoff with Russia provoked by the war in Ukraine. Although filled with gas, neither pipeline is currently supplying it to Europe. Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said Tuesday that “it is the authorities’ clear assessment that these are deliberate actions -– not accidents." The incident overshadowed the inauguration of a long-awaited pipeline that will bring Norwegian gas to Poland to bolster the continent’s energy independence from Moscow.

The patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church says Russian soldiers who die in the line of duty in Ukraine have all of their sins forgiven. That was a key message in a sermon Sunday by Moscow Patriarch Kirill, who has staunchly supported Russia’s war on Ukraine since its beginning in February. Kirill has characterized the war as part of a larger struggle against an encroaching liberal West, which he depicts as demanding gay pride parades. He has echoed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s depiction of Ukraine as spiritually and politically tied to Russia through their common medieval roots.