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BC-Deep South News Digest SUNDAY

February 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 A reminder: this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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:

HOT CARS-PET RESCUES

ATLANTA _ A Georgia lawmaker is seeking protection for people who break into cars to rescue pets in hot weather. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick is proposing legislation that would protect people from a lawsuit if they damage a vehicle to rescue an animal in danger. Kirkpatrick says she’s adding language to an existing law protecting people who rescue children from hot cars. It was passed after the 2015 death of 22-month-old Cooper Harris. Information from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. SENT: 260 words.

VACANT LOT-NURSERIES

SAVANNAH, Ga. _ Officials in Savannah are working to grow both jobs and the lush urban forest in Georgia’s oldest city by turning vacant lots into tree nurseries. Funding from a $230,000 grant to promote green jobs is helping the city transform three empty city-owned lots to space for growing trees, the Savannah Morning News reported. The pilot project already has 12 trainees growing 150 bald cypress and black gum saplings at the first site. SENT: 400 words.

AP MEMBER EXCHANGES:

EXCHANGE-CAVE RESEARCH

CHICKAMAUGA, Ga. _ A group of biologists, state employees and volunteers traversed a protected North Georgia cave on a spelunking expedition to conduct research related to the white-nose syndrome wiping out millions of bats across North America, Asia and Europe. The cave _ Frick’s Cave in Walker County _ is only open one day per year to protect the endangered species within. It is home to endangered gray bats, Georgia’s only population of Tennessee cave salamander and more than 3 miles of surveyed cave with more yet to be explored. By Mark Pace. Times Free Press.

IN BRIEF:

_ SAVANNAH-PROTECTED FOREST _ Savannah weighs costs associated with accepting donation of 863 acres of protected forest and wetlands.

_ RIGHT WHALES _ Seven rare right whale calves have been spotted so far this winter off Florida’s Atlantic coast.

SOUTH CAROLINA (All times Eastern)

TOP STORIES:

CO-OP REFORMS

COLUMBIA, S.C. _ A new bill at the Statehouse would allow a state watchdog agency to review South Carolina’s electric cooperatives for the first time. The bill would allow the Office of Regulatory Staff to audit a co-op and let them know if they were spending their money properly and following state law. The agency could take concerns to the Public Service Commission, which could weigh in as well. Regulators couldn’t change rates. SENT: 420 words.

AP MEMBER EXCHANGES:

EXCHANGE-CONCERNED TEACHER

GREENVILLE, S.C. _ Divine providence put Keller Sutherland in her car at the same time a 7-year-old boy was peddling his bike down U.S. 25 _ that’s how Sutherland explained that day in hindsight. Sutherland, a first-grade teacher at Ellen Woodside Elementary School, said she had left early after a rough day at work. By Anna Lee. The Greenville News.

IN BRIEF:

COUNTY ADMINISTATOR CONTRACT _ The administrator in South Carolina’s largest county gets paid nearly $100,000 more a year than the person who runs the state’s second largest county.

SPORTS:

_ BKW--T25-SOUTH CAROLINA-FLORIDA. Upcoming: 150 words. Game starts at 2 p.m.

ALABAMA (All times Central)

TOP STORIES:

SUPREME COURT-POSTAL SERVICE

WASHINGTON _ Mitch Hungerpiller thought he had a first-class solution for mail that gets returned as undeliverable, a common problem for businesses that send lots of letters. But the process he helped develop and built his small Alabama technology company around has resulted in a more than decadelong fight with the U.S. Postal Service, which says his solution shouldn’t have been patentable. The David vs. Goliath dispute has now arrived at the Supreme Court. On Tuesday, the justices will hear Hungerpiller’s case, which involves parsing the meaning of a 2011 patent law. SENT: 680 words.

BIRMINGHAM AIRPORT-PASSENGERS

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. _ New numbers show that Birmingham’s airport is experiencing strong growth in passenger traffic. Al.com reports that more than 2.9 million passengers passed through the airport in 2018. That’s a 10 percent increase compared to the 2.7 million passengers who used the airport in 2017. Information from Al.com. SENT: 200 words.

HOT CARS-PET RESCUES

ATLANTA _ A Georgia lawmaker is seeking protection for people who break into cars to rescue pets in hot weather. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick is proposing legislation that would protect people from a lawsuit if they damage a vehicle to rescue an animal in danger. Kirkpatrick says she’s adding language to an existing law protecting people who rescue children from hot cars. It was passed after the 2015 death of 22-month-old Cooper Harris, who moved to Georgia from Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Information from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. SENT: 260 words.

AP MEMBER EXCHANGES:

EXCHANGE-RETIRING COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR

TUSCUMBIA, Ala. _ Kathy Polk has seen a lot of changes since she first started working at the Colbert County Courthouse some 36 years ago. She started working in the tax collector’s office, but in 2011 she became the interim county administrator, a position she continues to hold, at least until the end of the month when her retirement takes effect. By Russ Corey. TimesDaily.

EXCHANGE-BASKETBALL STAR-ILL SISTER

MONTGOMERY, Ala. _ Demond Robinson leans in, his 6-foot-8 frame nestling into a huddle of his three much-younger siblings. They crowd around a smartphone _ what else in this day and age? _ to check out another video or another video game, all laughing at what unfolds. By A. Stacy Long. Montgomery Advertiser.

IN BRIEF:

CHILDREN’S HOPSITAL _ An Alabama contractor has started work on a $15.8 million parking garage at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.

LOUISIANA (All times Central)

TOP STORIES:

LOUISIANA SPOTLIGHT-ANALYSIS

BATON ROUGE, La. _ They may not seem like a natural fit, but sports betting and early childhood education may soon become inextricably linked at the Louisiana Capitol. By Melinda Deslatte. An AP News Analysis. UPCOMING: 700 words.

AP MEMBER EXCHANGES:

EXCHANGE-HELPING BLANKETS

LAKE CHARLES, La. _ A Sugartown woman is realizing her purpose through her mission to create personalized blankets for children struggling with life-threatening medical issues. Alison Greene says that with each blanket she creates, she pours a piece of herself into the threads in the hopes that her work is able to bring comfort to a child struggling through tough medical treatments. Greene’s own son, Justin, endured two battles with leukemia, and she said she learned through that experience that simple items of comfort can mean the world to a sick child. By Pamela Sleezer. The Lake Charles American Press.

EXCHANGE-SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING FAIR

NEW ORLEANS _ Reps from Entergy and a local oil and gas company are already inquiring about ninth grader Grayson Barron’s backpack with a practical application – it converts into a portable desk, and tenth grader Zachary LaBarre is hypothesizing a practical way to tackle two environmental problems unique to New Orleans; too many discarded Mardi Gras beads and potholes that litter the streets. Both John Curtis Christian high schoolers are presenting their enterprising projects at the Greater New Orleans Science and Engineering Fair (GNOSEF) (www.gnosef.org), and both see financial futures in their findings. By Leslie T. Snadowsky. Biz New Orleans.

IN BRIEF:

_ INTERSTATE 10 SHOOTING _ Authorities say someone has been shot to death in a car on Interstate 10 just west of New Orleans.

_ AGRICULTURE-HALL OF DISTINCTION _ Louisiana’s agricultural hall of fame will have four new members in March, including its second female member.

SPORTS:

BKW--T25-HOUSTON-TULANE

NEW ORLEANS _ No. 9 Houston rides a nine-game winning streak into its visit to struggling Tulane. The Green Wave have lost their past 13 games. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos from 1 p.m. start.

MISSISSIPPI (All times Central)

TOP STORIES:

POLICE SHOOTING-MISSISSIPPI

CLINTON, Miss. _ Authorities say a man who killed four people during a hostage situation inside a Mississippi home has died at a hospital. Mississippi Public Safety Department spokesman Capt. John Poulos said the suspect was shot during the 12-hour standoff at a home in Clinton. UPCOMING; 200 words.

UNDER THE CAPITOL DOME-ANALYSIS

JACKSON, Miss. _ Mississippi lawmakers acknowledge they are inviting a new court fight over banning most abortions at about six weeks into pregnancy, even as the state remains enmeshed in a fight over a 15-week ban. By Emily Wagster Pettus. UPCOMING: 600 words.

AP MEMBER EXCHANGES:

EXCHANGE-VETERAN-NURSE-SHARE LIFE

TUPELO, Miss. _ For nurse practitioner Debra Hill and military veteran Neil Vickers, the long, winding road that brought them together personally and professionally led to Thomas Street in Tupelo. The pair, who are engaged, bought the Westside Family Medical Clinic, renaming it the Thomas Street Medical Clinic this fall. By Michaela Gibson Morris. Daily Journal.

EXCHANGE-ALPACA FARM

BAY SPRINGS, Miss. _ Motorists will see many things when riding through the hills of Jasper County _ fields of grazing cows, trees mirrored in ponds _ and maybe, just maybe, they will run across a herd of alpaca trotting through a meadow. The relative of llamas and camels, alpaca traditionally are found in the Andes mountains of South America and raised mainly for their wool. By Lici Beveridge. The Hattiesburg American.

IN BRIEF:

_ XGR-REVENGE PORN _ Mississippi could make revenge porn a crime. The state Senate passed a bill Thursday to set penalties for anyone who shares or publishes “intimate visual material,” such as nude photos, that were created with the intention of being private.

_ TUPELO PUBLIC DEFENDER _ Northeast Mississippi’s largest city wants to hire a full-time public defender for its municipal court.

_ CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL _ Work has begun on a $15.8 million parking garage at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.

_ NATIONAL GUARD-GENERAL _ The Mississippi National Guard has a new general, promoting Amos P. Parker from colonel to that rank.

SPORTS:

BKW--T25-MISSISSIPPI ST-TEXAS A&M

COLLEGE STATION, Texas _ No. 5 Mississippi State looks to bounce back after a loss to Missouri when the Bulldogs visit No. 22 Texas A&M. By Kristie Rieken. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos from 2 p.m. start.

___

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

If you have photos of regional or statewide interest, please send them to the AP state photo center in New York, 888-273-6867. For access to AP Newsroom and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at apcustomersupport@ap.org or 877-836-9477.