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Economic opportunity for all is a focus of the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day observance for North Carolina state employees

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RALEIGH, North Carolina — Economic opportunity for all will be a focus of the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day observance for North Carolina state employees in addition to music and speeches recalling the slain civil rights leader.

Hundreds were expected at the midday Friday service at a Raleigh church facing Capitol Square. Gov. Pat McCrory planned to address the crowd, as well as Freddie Parker, the former history department chairman at North Carolina Central University.

The theme for this year's service is "Economic Development and Commerce in Black Communities Across North Carolina."

McCrory's office and two state commissions put on the event.

King was born 87 years ago Friday. The state and federal holiday is Monday. A bell-ringing ceremony was set for Friday morning in Raleigh's state government complex before the service.

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