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Greater Mid-Atlantic News Digest 6 p.m.

Hello! Here’s a look at how AP’s general news coverage is shaping up in the Mid-Atlantic, covering North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and Delaware. Questions about coverage plans are welcome and should be directed to 919-510-8937, 202-641-9660, 410-837-8315, 804-643-6646 or metro@ap.org. AP-Mid-Atlantic News Editor Steve McMillan can be reached at 804-643-6646 or smcmillan@ap.org.
Published: Jun. 30, 2020 at 1:33 PM EDT
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Hello! Here’s a look at how AP’s general news coverage is shaping up in the Mid-Atlantic, covering North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and Delaware. Questions about coverage plans are welcome and should be directed to 919-510-8937, 202-641-9660, 410-837-8315, 804-643-6646 or metro@ap.org. AP-Mid-Atlantic News Editor Steve McMillan can be reached at 804-643-6646 or smcmillan@ap.org.

A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change. Expected stories may not develop, or late-breaking and more newsworthy events may take precedence. Advisories and digests will keep you up to date. For up-to-the minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at newsroom.ap.org

All times are Eastern.

Some TV and radio stations will receive broadcast versions of the stories below, along with all updates.

TODAY’S TOP STORIES

NORTH CAROLINA

RACIAL INJUSTICE-CONFEDERATE FLAG BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The Confederate battle flag is losing its place of official prominence in the South 155 years after the end of the Civil War. Mississippi’s Republican-controlled Legislature voted Sunday to remove the Confederate emblem from the state flag. Other states took action previously. NASCAR, meanwhile, has banned the rebel banner from its car races. The flag with the familiar X design is still visible along Southern highways and in some stores. It’s far from being banished in the region. But even flag supporters are surprised by the speed with which change is taking place amid a national debate over racial inequality. By Jay Reeves. SENT: 810 words, AP Photos.

AUDIT-VIRTUAL PUBLIC SCHOOL RALEIGH, N.C. — Some classes offered through North Carolina’s online public school portal aren’t meeting required content and design standards, just as traditional in-person instruction must meet them, state auditors said Tuesday. The performance audit from State Auditor Beth Wood examined courses offered by the North Carolina Virtual Public School, which was used by 32,000 middle and high school students during the 2018-19 school year. The Department of Public Instruction, which operates the virtual school program, disagreed with the audit’s chief findings. By Gary D. Robertson. SENT: 460 words.

UNC-PUBLIC RECORDS SETTLEMENT RALEIGH, N.C. — The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill announced Tuesday that it will pay a $1.5 million fine to the U.S. Department of Education to resolve a dispute over its failure to fully report information about crimes that occurred on campus. A report from the education department in August 2019 outlined a years-long “persistent failure to compile and disclose accurate and complete campus crime statistics” at the university. By Bryan Anderson. SENT: 310 words, AP Photo.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA RALEIGH, N.C. — All North Carolinians living and working in nursing homes will soon receive a one-time coronavirus test, the state announced Tuesday. Mandy Cohen, the state’s top public health official, said the state’s effort to boost testing will be underway from July through the middle of August. By Bryan Anderson. SENT: 360 words, AP Photo.

IN BRIEF:

— AUDITORIUM-NAME CHANGE — The board of trustees at Western Carolina University has voted unanimously to approve a resolution removing the name of a former North Carolina governor from a campus auditorium.

— COURTS-EMERGENCY DIRECTIVES — The chief justice of North Carolina’s Supreme Court is extending various emergency directives in the state’s courts in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

— CONFEDERATE MONUMENT-TIME CAPSULE-NORTH CAROLINA — Crews removing a Confederate monument in North Carolina have unearthed a time capsule.

— COLLEGE PROFESSOR-SOCIAL MEDIA POST — The University in North Carolina says one of its professors will retire following a backlash over his latest social media comments.

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VIRGINIA

NEW LAWS VIRGINIA RICHMOND, Va. — Marijuana will be decriminalized, local governments will have the ability to take down Confederate monuments, and Virginians will pay more in taxes for gasoline and cigarettes starting Wednesday. July 1 is the start date for most of the new laws passed earlier this year by the General Assembly. By Alan Suderman. SENT: 580 words.

EX-BANK PRESIDENT-RELEASE NORFOLK, Va. — The leader of a fraud scheme that precipitated the collapse of Bank of the Commonwealth nearly a decade ago will soon be released from federal prison amid concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, according to court documents. Ed Woodard, the 77-year-old former bank president, has served less than a third of a 23-year sentence he received in November 2013 for multiple bank fraud and related charges, The Virginian-Pilot reported. Woodard was granted compassionate release last Friday by U.S. District Judge Raymond Jackson, who presided over the 10-week trial and sentencing. SENT: 290 words.

IN BRIEF:

— VIRUS OUTBREAK-SCAMMERS — The Virginia Department of Health is warning residents that scammers might call them posing as COVID-19 contact tracers in order to take their money.

— MOUNTAIN VALLEY PIPELINE — Regulators in Virginia want to fine Mountain Valley Pipeline $86,000 for what they say are continued environmental violations

— RACIAL INJUSTICE-ACLU LAWSUIT — Lawyers from the Virginia branch of the American Civil Liberties Union have filed an emergency request to bar police from using chemical irritants or other devices to disperse protesters.

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MARYLAND/ DELAWARE

BUDGET CUTS-MARYLAND ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Maryland’s comptroller plans to oppose about $205 million out of $672 million in budget cuts proposed by Gov. Larry Hogan in response to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the state’s budget, the comptroller’s spokeswoman said Tuesday. The board, which includes Comptroller Peter Franchot, Hogan and Treasurer Nancy Kopp, can cut up to 25% of the budget when the General Assembly is not in session. It is slated to take up the cuts at a meeting on Wednesday — the start of fiscal year 2021. By Brian Witte. SENT: 400 words, AP Photo.

RACIAL INJUSTICE-WHIPPING POST REMOVAL GEORGETOWN, Del. — Delaware officials are set to remove a whipping post that was historically used to hold people as they were publicly lashed for committing crimes. The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will bring down the 8-foot (2.4-meter) concrete post located outside the Old Sussex County Courthouse in Georgetown on Wednesday and place it in a Dover storage unit with other historical artifacts, according to a statement issued by the agency Tuesday. SENT: 360 words, AP Photo.

ELECTION 2020-BIDEN WILMINGTON, Del. — Joe Biden took aggressive aim Tuesday at President Donald Trump’s fitness for the Oval Office, suggesting he has abdicated his duty to protect U.S. troops facing Russian threats abroad and American citizens facing a pandemic and economic calamity at home. Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, told reporters Trump has “a lot to answer for” concerning news reports that he was advised as early as March 2019 of intelligence that suggested Russia was offering bounties to the Taliban for the deaths of Americans. And, in prepared remarks, Biden accused Trump of “waving the white flag” as coronavirus cases spike nationwide and the death toll surpasses 125,000. By Bill Barrow and Alexandra Jaffe. SENT: 940 words, AP Photos.

ELECTION 2020-BIDEN-SUPREME COURT WILMINGTON, Del. — Joe Biden said Tuesday that his team is putting together a list of potential options for his first Supreme Court nominee, which he has already pledged will be a Black woman. “We are putting together a list of African American women who are qualified and have the experience to be on the court. I am not going to release that until we go further down the line in vetting them as well,” the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee told reporters after a campaign event in Wilmington, Delaware. By Alexandra Jaffe. SENT: 320 words.

IN BRIEF:

— VIRUS OUTBREAK-FEDERAL AID — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has outlined $190 million in federal COVID-19 relief for small businesses, higher education and nonprofit organizations.

— VIRUS OUTBREAK-MACY'S LAYOFFS — Macy’s is laying off more than 200 of its employees in two Maryland malls.

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SPORTS

BBA—ORIOLES-KJERSTAD BALTIMORE — Outfielder Heston Kjerstad agreed to a minor league contract with the Baltimore Orioles that includes a $5.2 million signing bonus, well below the slot value of $7,789,900 assigned to the No. 2 overall pick. “Just the beginning of a new journey! Excited to be an Oriole!” Kjerstad wrote on Twitter. SENT: 220 words.

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