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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. 14, 2020 at 6:28 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A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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-NORTH CAROLINA RALEIGH, N.C. — Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper announced guidelines Tuesday that will allow North Carolina K-12 schools to reopen at reduced in-classroom capacity but give parents and school districts the choice to have classes entirely online. The guidelines from Cooper and the Department of Health and Human Services allows in-person instruction if students, teachers and staff members wear face coverings and people remain 6 feet (2 meters) apart at school. The plan also lets families decide whether to opt-in for remote learning. By Bryan Anderson. SENT: 580 words, AP Photo.

ELECTION 2020-GOVERNOR RALEIGH — Gov. Roy Cooper touts his plan to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and criticizes his Republican challenger’s comments about COVID-19 in television ads broadcast Tuesday, the first of his reelection campaign. The commercials, unveiled the same day the Democratic governor announced his plans for public school classes to resume next month, are the first of a $7 million statewide ad buy through the end of August, campaign spokesperson Liz Doherty said. The first two began running this week in the Charlotte and Greensboro TV markets. By Gary D. Robertson. SENT: 310 words.

FIRST BLACK COUNCILWOMAN RALEIGH, N.C. — The city council in North Carolina’s capital city on Tuesday chose its first Black councilwoman to fill an seat vacated after a council member resigned. Stormie Denise Forte, 49, an attorney and community radio host, was chosen from among 54 candidates to fill the position that represents Raleigh’s District D, which covers the southwest portion of the city, news outlets reported. She received six out of seven votes, and her first meeting as a council member is Aug. 18. SENT: 230 words.

PRISON ESCAPEE CAPTURED RALEIGH — An inmate who escaped from a North Carolina prison last week put on a janitor’s uniform and followed another employee out the door, according to a report from a state agency. Chad Lee Houser, 37, who was in prison awaiting trial on murder charges, escaped from Central Prison last Friday afternoon and fled Raleigh in a stolen pickup truck. He was caught later that night in Cumberland County, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of the state capital, The News & Observer of Raleigh reported. SENT: 250 words.

IN BRIEF:

— BEAGLES RESCUED — Two rescue groups worked together to retrieve 46 beagles from a home where a man said he had become overwhelmed trying to take care of the dogs.

— HUNTING DOGS FOUND DEAD — A North Carolina dog owner is offering a $10,000 reward for information after 19 of his hunting dogs were discovered dead.

— VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA-BOWLING ALLEYS — North Carolina’s highest court has temporarily blocked a judge’s ruling that allowed dozens of North Carolina’s bowling alleys to reopen by overturning a portion of Gov. Roy Cooper’s COVID-19 executive order keeping them closed.

— RACIAL INJUSTICE-ASHEVILLE STATUES — Workers have removed a Confederate monument that stands outside a county courthouse in the western North Carolina city of Asheville.

— VIRUS OUTBREAK-ALCOHOL BAN — The mayor of North Carolina’s largest city said she would support banning alcohol sales after 10 p.m. in an effort to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

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VIRGINIA

SWATTING NEO NAZI ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A founder and former leader of a neo-Nazi group has pleaded guilty to conspiring to place hoax phone calls targeting an African American church, a Cabinet official, journalists and others. John C. Denton, 26, of Montgomery, Texas, faces up to five years in prison after entering a guilty plea Tuesday in federal court in Alexandria to conspiring to transmit threats. By Matthew Barakat. SENT: 440 words, AP Photo.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-VIRGINIA RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam says he’s ramping up enforcement of a mask mandate and social distancing measures at restaurants and stores because he’s concerned about a rising number in cases, particularly among young people, in areas near the state’s beaches. Northam said Tuesday the state is doing well overall but he wants to avoid a spike in cases that other southern states, like Texas and Florida, are currently experiencing. By Alan Suderman. SENTL 490 words.

RACIAL INJUSTICE-CONFEDERATE MONUMENTS UNDATED — At least some of the Confederate monuments that have been recently removed from places of prominence in Richmond, Virginia, are being stored on the grounds of a waste water treatment plant, photographs show. Photos taken this week by The Associated Press and Richmond Times-Dispatch show a collection of statues and other large objects under tarps at the facility just outside the city’s downtown. SENT: 290 words, AP Photos.

RACIAL INJUSTICE-HISTORICAL SOCIETY DANVILLE, Va. — The president of a historical society in Virginia has resigned from his position after racist comments about a statue depicting a Black man posted on his social media account. Danville Historical Society President Mark Joyner vacated his post Monday, the organization said in a statement to the Danville Register & Bee. SENT: 340 words.

RAILROAD-PRICE-FIXING-LAWSUIT OMAHA, Neb. — Federal regulators say the nation’s four largest railroads shouldn’t be able to exclude all the details of their conversations from a lawsuit challenging the way they set rates in the past. Dozens of major companies filed lawsuits last year against Union Pacific, BNSF, CSX and Norfolk Southern railroads. The lawsuits say the railroads conspired to boost prices starting in 2003 by imposing coordinated fuel surcharges and pocketing billions of dollars in profits. By Business Write Josh Funk. SENT: 400 words.

GUN BACKGROUND CHECKS-LAWSUIT LYNCHBURG, Va. — A Virginia judge on Tuesday upheld much of a new state law that expands background checks for gun buyers but issued an injunction preventing it from being enforced on buyers between 18 to 20 years old. Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring intends to appeal the injunction, his office said in a statement. SENT: 260 words.

IN BRIEF:

— TEEN-FATAL CRASH — A Virginia teenager will serve six months in jail for a fatal wreck in 2019 that killed a friend, court officials said Tuesday.

— VIRUS OUTBREAK-CONGRESSMAN — U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith of Virginia says he’s tested positive for the coronavirus.

— ELECTION 2021-LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR — A state delegate in Virginia announced Tuesday she will run for lieutenant governor in 2021.

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MARYLAND/ DELAWARE

VIRUS OUTBREAK-MARYLAND SCHOOLS ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Maryland’s leading teachers union called on the state Tuesday to begin the upcoming school year with online learning because of safety concerns about the coronavirus. By deciding now, school districts would have six weeks to plan for a single, known model of learning, said Cheryl Bost, the president of the Maryland State Education Association. Bost was joined in an online announcement by Diamonte Brown, president of the Baltimore Teachers Union, and Tonya Sweat, vice president of advocacy for the Maryland Parent Teachers Association. By Brian Witte. SENT: 450 words.

ELECTION 2020-BIDEN-CLIMATE WILMINGTON, Del. — Joe Biden released a $2 trillion plan on Tuesday to boost investment in clean energy and stop all climate-damaging emissions from U.S. power plants by 2035, arguing that dramatic action is needed to tackle climate change and revive the economy. In remarks near his home in Wilmington, Delaware, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee sought to reframe the politics of climate change. He rebuffed arguments from President Donald Trump and his Republican allies that Democratic plans to invest in clean energy would cost jobs. By Alexandra Jaffe, Ellen Knickmeyer and Will Weissert. SENT: 880 words, AP Photos.

IN BRIEF:

— CHESAPEAKE BAY-UNDERWATER GRASSES — A new report says that underwater grasses in the Chesapeake Bay have declined by nearly 40 percent.

— ODD-PIZZA DEFENSE — Delaware State Police say a pizza shop owner used his available resources to fend off a robbery attempt by a man with a machete.

— WOMAN-OFFICERS ASSAULT — A woman who was seen on video getting punched by a Baltimore police officer after she punched another officer twice on his face has pleaded guilty to assault charges

— HEALTH INSURANCE-ENROLLMENT — The deadline for Maryland residents to enroll in a health care plan is near under two special enrollment initiatives.

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SPORTS

FBN—WASHINGTON-WHAT'S NEXT UNDATED — When the University of North Dakota moved on from being the Fighting Sioux like Washington’s NFL team is doing from Redskins, the new name could’ve been anything. More than 1,600 suggestions were submitted, ranging from the realistic to the ridiculous, like the “Abdominal Snowman.” By Sports Writer Stephen Whyno. SENT: 800 words, AP Photos.

BBA—ORIOLES-PREVIEW BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Orioles will attempt to navigate an abbreviated baseball season without their most productive player, a severe shortage of outfielders and a precarious starting rotation. On March 12, the same day that the coronavirus outbreak brought spring training to an abrupt halt, rising star Trey Mancini underwent colon cancer surgery. After batting .291 with 35 homers and 97 RBIs in 2019 for the last-place Orioles, the 28-year-old outfielder is receiving chemotherapy treatments and is out for the season. By Sports Writer David Ginsburg. SENT: 720 words, AP Phots.

SOC-NWSL-COURAGE-SKY BLUE HERRIMAN, Utah — Samantha Mewis and Crystal Dunn each scored and the North Carolina Courage won their fourth straight game, beating Sky Blue 2-0 on Monday night in the National Women’s Soccer League’s Challenge Cup. The two-time league defending champions finished the group stage atop the field heading into the quarterfinals. Mewis scored in the seventh minute for the fastest goal of the Challenge Cup so far. Dunn added her first goal of the tournament in the 57th minute. Both players were on the U.S. national team that won the World Cup last summer in France. SENT: 200 words.

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