Dorothy Abernathy, The Associated Press bureau chief for West Virginia and Virginia, shares the 10 things you need to know Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014. Look for full stories on these late-breaking news items, upcoming events and stories in West Virginia newspapers:
1. WHO’S BRACING FOR THE FIRST STORM OF 2014
A major winter storm is bearing down on the Northeast, promising heavy snows and strong winds. Up to 14 inches of snow is forecast for the Boston area.
2. COLORADO USHERS IN 2014 WITH ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH
Long lines greet marijuana shoppers testing the nation’s first legal recreation pot shops. But customers who waited hours in snow and frigid wind had few complaints.
3. ANTARCTICA RESCUE TAKES OFF
The long-awaited rescue of passengers on board a research ship that has been trapped in Antarctic ice for more than a week finally gets underway.
4. HEALTH CARE OVERHAUL BECOMES A REALITY
After a troubled rollout, the health care overhaul faces its most personal test as major pieces of the Affordable Care Act take full effect with the new year.
5. IT’S TIME TO START MAKING HARD DECISIONS
That’s the message Secretary of State John Kerry is taking to Israeli and Palestinian leaders as he returns to the Middle East to outline a peace plan.
6. HOW AMERICANS ARE FEELING ABOUT THEIR GOVERNMENT
Americans have a profoundly negative view of their government as they enter 2014. Half say the country’s system of democracy needs a lot of change or even a complete overhaul.
7. STUDY CONFIRMS DISTRACTED DRIVING RISK
Dialing, texting or reaching for a cellphone while driving raises the risk of a crash or near-miss by seven times, especially for younger drivers.
8. EGYPT FLEXES SOME NEW MUSCLES
More than politics has changed in Egypt since autocratic Hosni Mubarak was forced from office. A cultural revolution has taken root, revolutionizing the pop culture scene.
9. HOW AN OBSESSION BECAME A MUSEUM
A Seattle couple’s collection of pinball machines grew into something they wanted to share with others – a good solution after they ran out of space in their garage.
10. SPARTANS COME UP SMELLING LIKE ROSES
Connor Cook passes for a career-high 332 yards and No. 4 Michigan State holds on to beat No. 5 Stanford 24-20 for its first Rose Bowl title in 26 years.