Updated at 8:52 a.m. ET

More than 300 news publications across the country are joining together to defend the role of a free press and denounce President Trump's ongoing attacks on the news media in coordinated editorials publishing Thursday, according to a tally by The Boston Globe.

Updated at 8:51 a.m. ET Thursday

More than 70 people have overdosed in or around a historic Connecticut park near the Yale University campus on Wednesday after receiving what authorities believe was synthetic marijuana laced with the powerful opioid fentanyl. Although there have been no deaths, at least two people suffered life-threatening symptoms, according to authorities.

Jaclyn Driscoll / NPR Illinois

Republicans held their annual rally at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield Wednesday with a message of party unity.  Bruce Rauner still holds the top office in state government. But as he pushes for re-election, he’s trying to appease conservatives who feel betrayed and whose support he needs to win a second term.   

Lance Cpl. Damany S. Coleman / Released by the United States Marine Corps [Public Domain]

Once considered the new frontier of drugs and drug trafficking, synthetic cannabinoids have been around for years now and they’re becoming increasingly dangerous. Just this week, authorities say more than 30 overdoses in Connecticut occurred due to a drug called K-2 that was possibly laced with fentanyl.  

Michelle McAnarney said she realized her daughter Darby was different than other children soon after she was born.

"She was always a little delayed physically," said McAnarney, a Springfield resident. Darby was well over a year old when she started walking, but "once she could walk, I'm not even joking the next day she was running," she said.

If McAnarney and her husband took Darby, who is now four years old, to loud or chaotic places, she'd become overwhelmed -- tip a plate over in a restaurant, throw a tantrum in a grocery store -- in an attempt to exit the situation.

As students arrived at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School for the start of the new school year on Wednesday, they found a tall new fence surrounding the perimeter, banners draped along the exterior willing them to be "#MSDStrong," and a fresh coat of burgundy paint in the hallways.

Each in its own way was an attempt to mark the setting as a place of learning and reassure its occupants of a fortified safety within its walls.

At a news conference held on the school lawn, Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie called it a "bittersweet day."

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There are a bunch of historical anniversaries in August. The Watts riots happened 53 years ago. Woodstock was 49 years ago today in fact. And then there's the 46th anniversary of Wattstax.

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Jaclyn Driscoll / NPR Illinois

In an effort to deliver a message of unity in the Republican party, both statewide and nationally, Gov. Bruce Rauner offered a rare show of support for the Commander in Chief at Wednesday's GOP rally in Springfield. 

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