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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: Jul. 13, 2020 at 1:48 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A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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

VIRUS OUTBREAK-OCRACOKE ISLAND OCRACOKE, N.C. — When Hurricane Dorian pounded the wisp of earth that is Ocracoke Island, a wall of Atlantic seawater flooded Bob Chestnut’s home, surf shop and four vehicles. Seven months later, his shop was ready for business. But the coronavirus pandemic kept the doors locked. Now, as the abbreviated summer season shifts into high gear, Chestnut is focused on economic survival, welcoming crucial tourists while hoping the potentially deadly virus never arrives. By Ben Finley. SENT: 790 words, AP Photos.

ELECTION 2020-GOVERNOR RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest recorded his largest fundraising haul in his gubernatorial bid, according to his latest campaign finance report. His numbers are still but a small fraction of the money Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper has brought into his re-election campaign coffers. The Committee to Elect Dan Forest said it raised $2.4 million for the 4 1/2 months ending June 30 and had almost $2 million in cash. State campaign finance reports were due late last week and over time are being posted on the State Board of Elections website. By Gary D. Robertson. SENT: 520 words.

RACIAL INJUSTICE-NORTH CAROLINA-STATUE RALEIGH, N.C. — The statue of a 19th-century North Carolina Supreme Court justice was removed on Monday from the entrance of the state Court of Appeals building. Chief Justice Thomas Ruffin is known in part for a ruling in which he concluded the slave owner’s power over his slave was absolute. A flatbed pulled by a truck took away the full-body statue of Ruffin, which had sat under an overhang near the front door of the building, situated across the street from the old state Capitol and that once housed the Supreme Court. The Department of Natural and Cultural Resources will store the statue temporarily until its new location is determined. SENT: 300 words, AP Photos.

IN BRIEF:

— WILD HORSE DEATH — A wild horse on the North Carolina coast has died after officials say it choked on an apple, leading to warnings for people not to feed the herd.

— INMATE DEAD-JAIL — An inmate in a North Carolina jail has died two days after he was booked into the facility.

— HIKER DEATH — A 54-year-old man has died while hiking in western North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest.

— SWIMMER DEAD — A swimmer that had been reported missing at a beach on North Carolina’s Outer Banks has died.

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VIRGINIA

RACIAL INJUSTICE-CONFEDERATE MONUMENTS RICHMOND, Va. — The state of Virginia plans to remove the large statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee on Richmond’s Monument Avenue by cutting it into three sections and then reassembling it elsewhere. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that statue’s removal still depends on a court’s approval. A judge recently halted removal plans after a lawsuit was filed against taking down the monument. SENT: 310 words, AP Photos.

IN BRIEF:

— PRISON ESCAPE — Two inmates escaped on Monday from a Virginia juvenile prison in what authorities say is the first break from the facility in 20 years.

— OBIT-JANE GARDNER — Jane Gardner, a longtime news anchor in the Norfolk television market who shared her battles with cancer with her viewers after she left the air, has died after a fifth bout with the disease. She was 68.

— WHITE NATIONALIST THREATS — A leading white nationalist has been indicted on additional charges related to a dispute he was having last year with an unidentified person on a messaging app.

— OFFICER-STUN GUN — Prosecutors plan to obtain a grand jury indictment against a white Fairfax County police officer charged with assault after firing a stun gun at an African American man.

— ATTORNEY GENERAL RACE — A Virginia Democrat is announcing his bid to be the state’s next attorney general.

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MARYLAND/ DELAWARE

VIRUS OUTBREAK-ABORTION PILL SILVER SPRING, Md. — A federal judge agreed Monday to suspend a rule that requires women during the COVID-19 pandemic to visit a hospital, clinic or medical office to obtain an abortion pill. U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang in Maryland concluded that the “in-person requirements” for patients seeking medication abortion care impose a “substantial obstacle” to abortion patients and are likely unconstitutional under the circumstances of the pandemic. By Michael Kunzelman. SENT: 760 words, AP Photo.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-IMMIGRATION COURTS BALTIMORE — Three immigration courts reopened Monday as the government extended its push to fully restart the clogged system despite rising coronavirus cases in states where many of the small courtrooms are located. In Baltimore, people with hearings to reach final decisions were allowed to enter the federal building housing the immigration court only if they wore masks. Benches in a courtroom and seats in a waiting area were blocked off with tape, and social distancing signs were placed on the floor and elevators. By Regina Garcia Cano and Julie Watson. SENT: 870 words, AP Photos.

ELECTION 2020-WATCH UNDATED — These are among the darkest days of President Donald Trump’s presidency. Coronavirus infections are exploding, the economic recovery is in jeopardy and Trump may have undermined his own “law and order” message by commuting the prison sentence of his friend and political adviser. Emboldened Democrats are trying to guard against overconfidence, even as they see real opportunities to expand Joe Biden’s path to the White House in states like Georgia, Iowa and Ohio. Meanwhile, there’s less time for Republicans to turn things around than they’d like. Early voting across several swing states is set to begin in little more than two months. By Steve Peoples. SENT: 900 words.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS BOSTON — More than 200 universities are backing a legal challenge to the Trump administration’s new restrictions on international students, arguing that the policy jeopardizes students’ safety and forces schools to reconsider fall plans they have spent months preparing. The schools have signed court briefs supporting Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as they sue U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in federal court in Boston. The lawsuit challenges a recently announced directive saying international students cannot stay in the U.S. if they take all their classes online this fall. By Education Writer Collin Binkley. SENT: 930 words, AP Photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-ABORTION PILL SILVER SPRING, Md. — A federal judge agreed Monday to suspend a rule that requires women during the COVID-19 pandemic to visit a hospital, clinic or medical office to obtain an abortion pill. U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang in Maryland concluded that the “in-person requirements” for patients seeking medication abortion care impose a “substantial obstacle” to abortion patients and are likely unconstitutional under the circumstances of the pandemic.

NATION’S CAPITAL-PSYCHEDELICS WASHINGTON — Despite pandemic conditions that made normal signature-gathering almost impossible, activists in Washington, D.C., say they have enough signatures for a November ballot initiative that would decriminalize natural psychedelics such as certain mushrooms. Activists presented more than 36,000 signatures to the Board of Elections. They claim the plant-based psychedelics can successfully treat depression, trauma and addiction. The initiative would direct the police to treat such natural psychedelics as a low law-enforcement priority. But even if it passes, supporters acknowledge it will probably be blocked by Congress, which retains the right to alter or even overturn D.C. laws. By Ashraf Khalil. SENT: 990 words, AP Photo.

IN BRIEF:

— SHOOTING-TEENS-CHILD WOUNDED — Four teenagers and a 10-year-old boy have been hospitalized for gunshot wounds after a shooting in Delaware.

___

SPORTS

CAR—NASCAR-IN THE PITS CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Bubba Wallace deserves a spot in NASCAR’s All-Star race, a $1 million exhibition designed for race winners and previous champions of the event. Wallace doesn’t qualify under those conditions, though he has four chances to make the 20-driver field Wednesday night at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee. There are 22 drivers entered in the “open” event in which the winners of each of the three stages earn an automatic berth into the show. By Auto Racing Writer Jenna Fryer. SENT: 760 words, AP Photos.

CAR--NASCAR-SRX ALL-STAR SERIES CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Remember the old IROC Series where the best drivers from various disciplines raced each other in equally prepared cars? It ran for 30 seasons before Tony Stewart won its final championship in 2006 and the series quietly went away. Now Stewart and fellow NASCAR Hall of Famer Ray Evernaham have teamed to bring an all-star circuit back in 2021. The Superstar Racing Experience plans a six-race, short-track series to air in prime-time on CBS in a Saturday night summer spectacular. SRX envisions fields of 12 drivers competing on famed short tracks across the country in cars prepared by Evernham. By Auto Racing Writer Jenna Fryer. SENT: 830 words, AP Photos.

FBN—REDSKINS NAME WASHINGTON — The Washington NFL franchise announced Monday it is dropping the “Redskins” name and Indian head logo, bowing to recent pressure from sponsors and decades of criticism that they are offensive to Native Americans. A new name must still be selected for one of the oldest and most storied teams in the National Football League, and it was unclear how soon that will happen. But for now, arguably the most polarizing name in North American professional sports is gone at a time of reckoning over racial injustice, iconography and racism in the U.S. By Sports Writer Stephen Whyno. SENT: 1,160 words, AP Photos.

RENAMING THE REDSKINS UNDATED — Washington, perhaps the nation’s most reviled city, needs a new nickname for its football team. What could possibly go wrong? Naming opportunities are rife with ridicule, partisanship and humor: Washington Gridlock, Washington Swamp Monsters, Washington Bureaucrats, Washington Subpoenas, Washington Scandals or Washington Pardons. And then there’s the Capitol Indictments, Deep Staters or Deplorables if you really want to get partisan. By Science Writer Seth Borenstein. SENT 670 words, AP Photos.

SOC—NWSL-THORNS-REIGN HERRIMAN, Utah — The Portland Thorns will face top-seeded North Carolina in the quarterfinals of the National Women’s Soccer League’s Challenge Cup after wrapping up the group stage with a scoreless draw with the rival OL Reign on Monday. The Thorns were winless in the opening round to finish last among the eight teams playing in the tournament, which was wrapping up group stage matches Monday. SENT: 220 words, AP Photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-COLLEGE SPORTS UNDATED — The Patriot League joined the Ivy League on Monday, punting on football and other fall sports because of the pandemic while holding out hope games can be made up. The Patriot League said its 10 Division I schools will not compete in any fall sports, which include football, men’s and women’s soccer, women’s volleyball and field hockey. The council of presidents said the league will consider making up those seasons in the winter and spring if possible. By College Sports Writer Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 590 words, AP Photo.

BKW—DUKE-LAWSON UNDATED — Kara Lawson has always wanted to coach at Duke — a fact the first-time college coach hadn’t shared with many people. Once the job opened up earlier this month, the Boston Celtics assistant jumped at the opportunity. By Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg. SENT: 630 words, AP Photos.

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