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Root rot threatens traditional Christmas fir trees

BAKERSVILLE, N.C. - Growers in Oregon, the nation's No. 1 Christmas tree producer, have been experimenting with the Turkish fir for more than 30 years.
Newtown holds first funerals for school shooting victims

NEWTOWN, Conn. - A grief-stricken Newtown began burying the littlest victims of the school massacre, starting with two 6-year-old boys.
This job is mine

COAL RUN, Ky. - Sidney Coal Co. President Charlie Bearse was expressing an opinion that many in these mountains secretly share. Problem was, he put that opinion in writing.
Harry Potter is growing up - and so is my little girl

...have cared less about witches and warlocks sat transfixed in the back seat, not uttering a word. EDITOR'S NOTE: Allen G. Breed is the AP's Southeast regional writer, based in Raleigh.
Things to Do
One bishop, many brides

DULUTH - Bathed in sunlight streaming through a stained-glass window of Jesus Christ, Gwen Robinson held the hand of one man of God as she listened to the words of another.
Tobacco farmers ride roller coaster of federal buyout talks

WHITAKERS, N.C. -- When Dwight Watson drove his tractor into a pond near the Washington Monument last spring to publicize the tobacco farmer's plight, angry commuters snarled in rush-hour traffic saw him as little more than a nutcase.
Unemployed face reality of a dying industry

...because he's where the action is, so to speak. "He's where it's all being done." * * * * EDITOR'S NOTE: Allen G. Breed is the AP's Southeast regional writer, based in Raleigh, N.C.
Pleasant Hill tranquillity

PLEASANT HILL, Ky. - I was proposing to my future wife and wanted everything to be perfect. I couldn't have scripted it better.
Life & style
Rights for All: From suffragettes to King and beyond, more than a dream

ATLANTA -- Four-year-old Jabari Flemings is gazing innocently up at a television monitor when his mother, Glenda, swiftly steps between him and the flickering image and gently nudges him along.
Love letters reveal glimpse of war life

STATESBORO, Ga. -- At 89, Paul Nessmith is one of the few in his family old enough to remember anything personal about his Grampa Wiley. He recalls the huge pistol Wiley kept on a nail over his bed, and how he watched in awe during the sticky North Georgia evenings as the old man picked off roosting bats from the front porch. When 7-year-old Paul begged to shoot the cannon himself, Wiley agreed, but on one condition: First catch that yellow butterfly fluttering in the yard.