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BC-Deep South News Digest

March 17, 2019

Good afternoon! Here’s a look at how AP’s news coverage is shaping up today in the Deep South. Questions about today’s coverage plans are welcome and should be directed to:

The Atlanta AP Bureau at 404-522-8971 or apatlanta@ap.org

The Columbia AP Bureau at 803-799-5510 or apcolumbia@ap.org

The Montgomery AP Bureau at 334-262-5947 or apalabama@ap.org

The New Orleans AP Bureau at 504-523-3931 or nrle@ap.org

The Jackson AP Bureau at 601-948-5897 or jkme@ap.org

For up-to-the minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at newsroom.ap.org.

Deep South Editor Jim Van Anglen can be reached at 1-800-821-3737 or jvananglen@ap.org. Administrative Correspondent Rebecca Santana can be reached at 504-523-3931 or rsantana@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 A reminder: this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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.

Some TV and radio stations will receive shorter APNewsNow versions of the stories below, along with all updates.

GEORGIA (All times Eastern)

TOP STORIES:

YOGA LAWSUIT

KENNESAW, Ga. _ A federal judge said Friday that a jury will decide if a Georgia school system’s decision to ban yoga was done to promote Christianity. U.S. Judge William “Billy” Ray, II refused the Cobb County school system’s request for summary judgment and said the lawsuit filed by a former assistant principal will go to trial. SENT: 260 words.

SOUTH CAROLINA-ABORTION

COLUMBIA, S.C. _ While nearby states are acting quickly to move more restrictive abortion laws through their legislatures, South Carolina lawmakers have barely touched the issue so far in 2019. Lawmakers have introduced at least nine different abortion bills in the South Carolina General Assembly in 2019, from a near outright ban on abortions to banning specific abortion methods. None of them have received public hearings. By Jeffrey Collins and Christina L. Myers. SENT: 720 words, photos.

AP MEMBER EXCHANGES:

EXCHANGE-MIDDLE SCHOOL NOVELIST

FORT VALLEY, Ga. _ Many aspiring writers spend their lives planning to write a novel and never get it done, much less published, but Keenon Solomon has managed that at age 14. His book, “The Relic of Power,” is not self-published either. He has an actual publishing contract, which he won in a writing contest. The book can be purchased online at Amazon or Barnes and Noble, or from his mom, who proudly carries around a box of them.

By Wayne Crenshaw. The Macon Telegraph.

SPORTS:

BKN--HAWKS-MAGIC

ORLANDO, Fla. _ The Orlando Magic continue their push for a playoff berth, hosting Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks. By Dick Scanlon. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts at 6 p.m. ET.

SOC--MLS-PHILADELPHIA UNION-ATLANTA UNITED. Upcoming: 150 words. Game starts at 7 p.m.

BKC--SUN BELT-TEXAS-ARLINGTON-GEORGIA ST

NEW ORLEANS _ Georgia State meets Texas-Arlington in the Sun Belt Conference tournament final with an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament at stake. By Brett Martel. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Tip-off 2 p.m. ET

SOUTH CAROLINA (All times Eastern)

TOP STORIES:

SOUTH CAROLINA-ABORTION

COLUMBIA, S.C. _ While nearby states are acting quickly to move more restrictive abortion laws through their legislatures, South Carolina lawmakers have barely touched the issue so far in 2019. Lawmakers have introduced at least nine different abortion bills in the South Carolina General Assembly in 2019, from a near outright ban on abortions to banning specific abortion methods. None of them have received public hearings. By Jeffrey Collins and Christina L. Myers. SENT: 720 words, photos.

AP MEMBER EXCHANGES:

EXCHANGE-SAVING FORESTS

CHARLESTON, S.C. _ South Carolina and California have little in common politically, but the Golden State’s laws are protecting the Palmetto State’s trees. California’s cap and trade program, which took effect in 2013, is the nation’s most expansive regulatory scheme aimed at fighting climate change in part by preserving forests.

By Chloe Johnson. The Post and Courier.

IN BRIEF:

_EDUCATION MEETINGS _ Senators studying a bill that would overhaul public education in South Carolina plan two more meetings on either side of the state.

_EMERGENCY EXERCISE _ One coastal South Carolina county is going to practice for a major disaster _ not a hurricane or flood, but a school bus crashing into a train while a flu outbreak has the emergency room packed.

ALABAMA (All times Central)

TOP STORIES:

BRIDGE WRITER

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. _ An Alabama man’s 10,000th bylined column on the game of bridge has been published in The Tuscaloosa News and the more than 100 newspapers nationwide that carry it. They include such publications as The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and The Boston Globe. Columnist Frank Stewart remains one of a handful of syndicated newspaper columnists nationwide who writes exclusively about bridge.

Information from The Tuscaloosa News. SENT: 370 words.

AP MEMBER EXCHANGES:

EXCHANGE-RETAKING ICONIC CALL LETTERS

DOTHAN, Ala. _ Blow that horn, swinger, because The Big Dig has returned to Dothan. After decades of residing elsewhere, the local 1450 AM station has reclaimed the WDIG call letters that made it famous when it played rock ‘n’ roll music in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Larry Williams, who purchased the station after the previous owner switched the call letters to WWNT, endeavored for years to recapture the iconic call letters but was not successful _ until about a month ago.

By Jeremy Wise. The Dothan Eagle.

EXCHANGE-ALABAMA CHEF-NEW YORK

MOUNTAIN BROOK, Ala. _ Hannah Black was on her way back from a trip to New York City when a friend texted her with the news. Black, an Alabama native who grew up in Mountain Brook, learned that she and her business partner, Carla Perez-Gallardo, had just been named James Beard Foundation Award semifinalists for best chef in the Northeast.

By Bob Carlton. al.com.

IN BRIEF:

_ WORKER SHORTAGE _ The county with Alabama’s lowest unemployment rate is in need of more workers.

SPORTS:

BKC--T25-SEC-AUBURN-TENNESSEE

NASHVILLE, Tenn. _ Eighth-ranked Tennessee has never been a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and the Vols’ lone Southeastern Conference Tournament title was 40 years ago. No. 22 Auburn won its only tournament title back in 1985. One drought ends Sunday in the championship game. By Teresa M. Walker. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts at 1 p.m. ET.

LOUISIANA (All times Central)

TOP STORIES:

LOUISIANA SPOTLIGHT-ANALYSIS

BATON ROUGE, La. _ Republican candidates for Louisiana governor have tried to hammer Democratic incumbent John Bel Edwards for the abortion rights policies endorsed by his party nationally. That’s a problematic fight to pick with Edwards, whose anti-abortion stance is well-documented over years of legislative votes, gubernatorial bill signings, and his own personal family story. The narrative was made more difficult when statistics released last week showed the number of abortions in Louisiana continued to decline during Edwards’ tenure in office, as the governor and lawmakers added more restrictions to accessing the procedure. By Melinda Deslatte. UPCOMING: 750 words.

AP MEMBER EXCHANGES:

EXCHANGE-VENEZUELA NATIVE-LSU ACCEPTED

LAKE CHARLES, La. _ Jose Betancourt, a senior at Lake Charles College Prep, has overcome tremendous odds as a recent immigrant from Venezuela, to a future Louisiana State University student. Betancourt, 16, arrived in the U.S. eight months ago knowing little English and a strong desire to succeed in light of his home country’s turmoil.

By Marlisa Harding. American Press.

EXCHANGE-STRAWBERRY FARMERS

SPRINGFIELD, La. _ Ponchatoula still holds the title of Louisiana’s strawberry capital, but the sweet fruit’s future here looks less than rosy. Farmers in Livingston and Tangipahoa parishes are growing fewer acres of the crop than ever, as an aging group of growers and an increasingly risky business is shuttering family farms.

By Caroline Grueskin. The Advocate.

IN BRIEF:

_SPACE FORCE-LOUISIANA _ U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham is urging President Donald Trump to consider Louisiana for the future headquarters of Trump’s proposed Space Force.

_WATERWAY LAWSUIT _ Louisiana’s attorney general is appealing a federal judge’s decision to throw out a lawsuit claiming that a federal canal has expanded well beyond the boundaries set in a 1920s agreement.

_ BUSINESSMAN ARRESTED _ A Louisiana sheriff says investigators have located more people who say a former Louisiana port official and businessman stole investments from them.

_ DEPUTY-INSURANCE FRAUD _ A Mississippi sheriff’s deputy and another man face felony charges after authorities said they cheated an insurance company by falsely claiming an off-road vehicle was stolen. The deputy also works as a guard at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola.

MISSISSIPPI (All times Central)

TOP STORIES:

UNDER THE CAPITOL DOME-ANALYSIS

JACKSON, Miss. _ Mississippi lawmakers are aiming for an early end to their scheduled 90-day session. This is the fourth and final year of the current term, and most members of the House and Senate are seeking re-election. Finishing early gives all representatives and senators more time with their families and their other jobs (legislating is a part-time gig, after all). And an early wrap-up gives incumbents more time to campaign in their home districts. By Emily Wagster Pettus. UPCOMING: 620 words.

SOUTH CAROLINA-ABORTION

COLUMBIA, S.C. _ While nearby states are acting quickly to move more restrictive abortion laws through their legislatures, South Carolina lawmakers have barely touched the issue so far in 2019. Lawmakers have introduced at least nine different abortion bills in the South Carolina General Assembly in 2019, from a near outright ban on abortions to banning specific abortion methods. None of them have received public hearings. By Jeffrey Collins and Christina L. Myers. SENT: 720 words, photos.

AP MEMBER EXCHANGES:

EXCHANGE-IDEA SHOP

STARKVILLE, Miss. _ Spencer Reed’s first visit to the MSU Idea Shop on March 7 was also the first time using power tools for wood-turning. The Starkville resident began his own woodworking business, Reed’s Woodworking, last fall and has primarily been creating cutting boards and coasters by hand.

By Isabelle Altman. Commercial Dispatch.

EXCHANGE-TRAGEDY-PREVAILING TEEN

HATTIESBURG, Miss. _ Life has been tough for 18-year-old Joseph French, a Mississippi high school student. Now a senior at Sacred Heart Catholic School in Hattiesburg, he has faced many tragedies: By Ellen Ciurczak. Hattiesburg American.

IN BRIEF:

_CRAWFORD-TAX LIEN _ A Mississippi town has agreed to pay tax lien of more than $30,000 because it improperly managed employee retirement funds.

_DEPUTY-INSURANCE FRAUD _ A Mississippi sheriff’s deputy and another man face felony charges after authorities said they cheated an insurance company by falsely claiming an off-road vehicle was stolen.

___

If you have stories of regional or statewide interest, please email them to

The Atlanta AP Bureau: apatlanta@ap.org

The Columbia AP Bureau: apcolumbia@ap.org

The Montgomery AP Bureau: apalabama@ap.org

The New Orleans AP Bureau: nrle@ap.org

The Jackson AP Bureau: jkme@ap.org

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