Greater Mid-Atlantic News Digest 1 p.m.
Here’s a look at how AP’s general news coverage is shaping up for select stories. For up-to-the minute information on AP’s complete coverage of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, and the rest of the world, visit Coverage Plan at newsroom.ap.org
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Cedar Fair and Six Flags are merging, creating an expansive amusement park operator with operations spread across 17 U.S. states and three countries. The combined company will include 27 amusement parks, 15 water parks and nine resort properties in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The company’s newly formed board will include six directors from Cedar Fair and six directors from Six Flags. The business will be headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, and will keep significant finance and administrative operations in Sandusky, Ohio, where Cedar Fair is based. By Michelle Chapman. SENT: 560 words, photo.
CARY, N.C. — The Republican field for North Carolina governor has been winnowed further as a retired health care executive who announced his bid three months ago is instead now running for secretary of state. Jesse Thomas of Cary said Wednesday that he decided to compete for the seat held by longtime Democratic Secretary of State Elaine Marshall. Thomas is the second GOP candidate in as many weeks to say they’ll run for another post. Former U.S. Rep. Mark Walker is now seeking a return to Congress. The GOP gubernatorial field still contains people like Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, State Treasurer Dale Folwell, former state legislator Andy Wells and attorney Bill Graham. SENT: 310 words.
DEATH PENALTY-SOUTH CAROLINA
COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina’s highest court apparently isn’t ready to allow the state to restart executions after more than 12 years until they hear more arguments about newly obtained lethal injection drugs as well as the firing squad and electric chair. The state Supreme Court set a Feb. 6 date for a hearing over a lawsuit by four death row inmates out of appeals who initially argued dying by electrocution or bullets to the heart is cruel and unusual punishment. The justices say the inmates can now also argue about the legality of the new shield law which allows the state to keep secret the companies that sell them lethal injection drugs and the exact procedure used. By Jeffrey Collins. SENT: 560 words, photos.
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley is on the rise with party donors and voters, thanks in part to strong debate performances and the 2024 campaign’s increased focus on foreign policy. Her climb has come partly at the expense of rival Ron DeSantis, the Florida governor. But donors and voters who seeking an alternative to Donald Trump haven’t fully coalesced around Haley. At a recent closed-door meeting of roughly 60 millionaires and billionaires, influential financier Paul Singer praised Haley, but stopped short of endorsing her. Chicago hedge-fund billionaire Ken Griffin also hasn’t committed to the former U.N. ambassador and South Carolina governor despite calling her a “rock star.” But Haley is gaining interest heading into next week’s GOP debate. By Thomas Beaumont and Steve Peoples. SENT: 1,320 words, photos.
Gov. Glenn Youngkin has issued an executive order requiring school systems to notify parents of school-related overdoses after the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office said there have been seven fentanyl-related overdoses connected to one high school in the last three weeks. By Matthew Barakat. UPCOMING: 500 words by 4 p.m.
SOCIAL-MEDIA-CHILDREN-STATES-LOCALIZE IT: Dozens of U.S. states, including California and New York, have sued Meta Platforms Inc. alleging that they are harming young people and contributing to the youth mental health crisis. The lawsuits claim that the social media giant deliberately designed features on Instagram and Facebook that addict children to its platforms, leading to depression, anxiety and eating disorders. We list the states who are suing together, states that have filed separate lawsuits and states that are not suing, along with tips for localizing the story. Find the latest Localize It guides.
BALLOT INITIATIVES-LOCALIZE IT: This year marks the 125th anniversary of South Dakota becoming the first state in the nation to enact a process for citizens to initiate ballot measures — a prominent example of direct democracy in America. Today about 165 million people live in 25 states with provisions that let residents bypass the legislature to amend the constitution and enact or repeal laws. We list out the states where these provisions exist, offer resources and suggest tips for localizing the story. Find the latest Localize It guides.
SCHOOL VOUCHERS-COST-LOCALIZE IT: Some of the states letting higher-income families use taxpayer money for private school tuition are seeing more families than they expected taking them up on the offer, and they might have to scramble to shore up their budgets on the fly as a result. We name the states with these expanded programs and offer suggestions for localizing the story. Find the latest Localize It guides.
ELECTIONS-WORKER TURNOVER-LOCALIZE IT: Local election offices across the country are seeing historic turnover, an exodus fueled by election conspiracies and threats against election workers. We highlight AP’s findings and offer resources and tips for localizing the story. Find the latest Localize It guides.
ISRAEL-HAMAS-STYLE GUIDE-LOCALIZE IT: This advisory includes AP’s latest guidance related to the Israel-Hamas war, including important context and definitions. Find the latest Localize It guides.
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