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 A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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

GEORGIA POWER-NUCLEAR PLANT

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Georgia Power says its customers will get a $25 credit on their September bills in connection with financing of the Plant Vogtle nuclear power plant expansion. The Augusta Chronicle reports that the credit is the third payment in 2018 bills credits for a total of $75 — or $188 million overall — that was approved by the Georgia Public Service Commission to continue the construction of Vogtle. Information from The Augusta Chronicle. SENT: 250 words.

TROPICAL WEATHER

ATLANTA— Tropical Storm Florence turned into a hurricane Sunday morning and swirled toward the U.S. for what forecasters said could be a direct hit on the Southeast toward the end of the week. The storm's sustained winds reached 75 mph (121 kph), just over the threshold for a hurricane, as it made its way across the Atlantic, about 750 miles (1,210 kilometers) southeast of Bermuda, the National Hurricane Center said. It was moving west at 6 mph. The Miami-based center said that it was still too early to predict the hurricane's exact path but that a huge coastal area from South Carolina to the mid-Atlantic region should prepare for a major strike late in the week. SENT: 350 words. Upcoming: 600 words.

AP MEMBER EXCHANGES:

EXCHANGE-AQUAPONICS-UNIVERSITY DINING

SAVANNAH, Ga. — When students on the Armstrong campus of Georgia Southern University bite into a slice of pad thai on campus, they might be chomping on Thai basil freshly harvested in the university's aquaponics program. The Foram Sustainable Aquaponics Research Center (SARC), a joint venture between Georgia Southern University and the Foram Group Charitable Foundation, has been growing food for about 18 months in a 4,100-square-foot greenhouse where students can volunteer to plant seeds, clean the tanks and in the process learn the science of harvesting produce and fish from an agriculture system designed for sustainability. By Ann Meyer. The Savannah Morning News.

IN BRIEF:

— SMOKING BAN-AUGUSTA — Augusta is joining other Georgia cities that ban smoking in bars and most other public, indoor spaces.

—BOY DROWNS — Authorities say a 4-year-old boy has died after he was pulled from a pond near his Georgia home.

SPORTS:

FBC--T25-RELENTLESS GEORGIA

COLUMBIA, S.C. — No. 3 Georgia heard the whispers during the offseason, plenty of outsiders wondering if the Bulldogs had what it takes to be more than one-year wonders both in the Southeastern Conference and nationally. Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart's unsure at the moment, even after his team's 41-17 blowout win over previously No. 24 South Carolina. Smart was pleased with the victory but said it would mean little down the road if his players did not keep their same relentless attitude about improving as they showed since losing the national title game last January. By Pete Iacobelli. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 3 p.m. EDT.

BBN--BRAVES-DIAMONDBACKS

PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks send lefty Robbie Ray to the mound and Atlanta counters with Touki Toussaint in the finale of what's been a wild four-game series between the two NL playoff contenders. By Jose Romero. AP Photos. Game starts at 4:10 p.m.

SOUTH CAROLINA (All times Eastern)

TOP STORIES:

TROPICAL WEATHER

ATLANTA— Tropical Storm Florence turned into a hurricane Sunday morning and swirled toward the U.S. for what forecasters said could be a direct hit on the Southeast toward the end of the week. The storm's sustained winds reached 75 mph (121 kph), just over the threshold for a hurricane, as it made its way across the Atlantic, about 750 miles (1,210 kilometers) southeast of Bermuda, the National Hurricane Center said. It was moving west at 6 mph. The Miami-based center said that it was still too early to predict the hurricane's exact path but that a huge coastal area from South Carolina to the mid-Atlantic region should prepare for a major strike late in the week. SENT: 350 words. Upcoming: 600 words.

SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS

COLUMBIA, SC — Students in several dozen South Carolina schools soon will have the protection of a full-time school resource officer thanks to a $2 million addition in the state's budget. But The State newspaper reports that the money isn't enough to cover the cost of placing a full-time officer in more than 300 other schools that currently don't have one. Information from The State.

AP MEMBER EXCHANGE:

EXCHANGE-DOUBLE TRAGEDY

Brooke Turner and husband Justin Turner had been married for 13 years and had three children. On the night of Aug. 23, they prayed with their young son. Brooke Turner, who is battling stage 4 breast cancer, took a photo of the three of them and posted it on Facebook. By Angelia Davis. The Greenville News.

IN BRIEF:

— REGULATOR CANDIDATES — A panel of lawmakers will review six applicants for a seat on the board that regulates South Carolina utilities.

SPORTS:

FBC--T25-RELENTLESS GEORGIA

COLUMBIA, S.C. — No. 3 Georgia heard the whispers during the offseason, plenty of outsiders wondering if the Bulldogs had what it takes to be more than one-year wonders both in the Southeastern Conference and nationally. Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart's unsure at the moment, even after his team's 41-17 blowout win over previously No. 24 South Carolina. Smart was pleased with the victory but said it would mean little down the road if his players did not keep their same relentless attitude about improving as they showed since losing the national title game last January. By Pete Iacobelli. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 3 p.m. EDT.

ALABAMA (All Times Central)

TOP STORIES:

FIRE RESCUE-BUDGET

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — An Alabama city's fire and rescue has spent more than $2 million beyond its budget as the multi-year worker shortage continues. The Montgomery Advertiser reports the Montgomery Fire/Rescue's shortage is producing a substantial amount of overtime that is exceeding the department's budget. The department has spent $2.2 million on overtime as of mid-August, amounting to $2,079,470. That's 1,411 percent over budget. Information from the Montgomery Advertiser.

ALABAMA FUTURES FUND

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley is one of several big names behind a venture capital fund in Alabama. The Alabama Futures Fund announced this week that it has closed a $25 million early-stage venture capital fund that will focus on the state's growing entrepreneurial culture. Investors include Barkley, Protective Life Insurance Company, HOAR Construction, Raymond J. Harbert, G. Ruffner Page Jr., and Benny M. LaRussa Jr. Information Al.com. SENT: 250 words.

AP MEMBER EXCHANGES:

EXCHANGE-LIBRARY NAME-CHILD'S HONOR

DOTHAN, Ala. — One Dothan mother has established a local campaign to name the children's reading tower in the Dothan-Houston County Library's main branch in honor of her late daughter. Jeanne Walding's special needs daughter April died Dec. 18, 2016. She was 31. By Michele W. Forehand. The Dothan Eagle.

EXCHANGE-PARK-HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR

OPELIKA, Ala. — A gathering of jubilant smiles from humans and canines offset the gray Tuesday morning sky at a ribbon-cutting ceremony to welcome Opelika's new park. Located at 409/415 First Avenue, the Henry and Roslyn Stern Community Park was donated to the city from the Henry J. Stern Family Foundation. By Keith Huffman. The Opelika Auburn News.

IN BRIEF:

—FATAL SHOOTING-ALABAMA — One person is dead and four people have been injured following a shooting at a McDonald's near Auburn University in Alabama.

—CHIEF JUSTICE RACE — In the race for Alabama chief justice, Democratic nominee Bob Vance is attracting more donors than Republican Tom Parker.

LOUISIANA (All Times Central)

TOP STORIES:

STREET ART SALES-NEW ORLEANS

NEW ORLEANS Louisiana's Supreme Court has thrown out a New Orleans ordinance limiting street art sales to two parts of the French Quarter, saying it violates the right to free speech. The 5-2 ruling came in the case of Lawrence Clark, who was ticketed for showing art for sale in the broad median of a street on the edge of the French Quarter. He and public defender Laura Bixby challenged the ordinance rather than pay the $500 fine. By Janet McConnaughey. UPCOMING: About 600 words.

LOUISIANA SPOTLIGHT-ANALYSIS

BATON ROUGE — In Louisiana politics, tradition holds that election cycles tend to pick up after Labor Day, with intensified campaign advertising and more attention from voters. But with that holiday benchmark passed and a statewide election fewer than two months away, the major races still seem low-radar, overshadowed by other political interests and drawing little public notice. An AP News Analysis. By Melinda Deslatte. UPCOMING: 700 words.

BATON ROUGE LIBRARY-REPAIRS

BATON ROUGE, La. — It's going to cost almost another $2 million to steady the library being constructed in Baton Rouge. Construction on the River Center Branch Library was halted in April after crucial supports that hold up the library's upper floors failed. That prompted fears the building could collapse. Local media report the new costs were released Thursday. The repairs should be done by mid-January and the total construction by mid-May. SENT: 300 words.

PEARL RIVER-DAM PROJECT

JACKSON, Miss. — U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson says he "strongly objects" to a Mississippi flood control project on the Pearl River and is urging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reject it. The Clarion Ledger reports Thompson wrote to the Corps that he has "grave concerns" with the estimated $345 million project in his 2nd Congressional District. Thompson cited as "unacceptable" the environmental harm, costs to taxpayers and public health and safety impacts of the proposed project. SENT: 450 words.

AP MEMBER EXCHANGES:

EXCHANGE-TRAIL RIDERS

LAFAYETTE, La. — In 2014, Jeremiah Ariaz was riding his motorcycle near Grosse Tete and encountered something he had never seen — a trail ride. About 50 African Americans, some dressed in cowboy boots and hats, were riding horses, playing music, cooking jambalaya and enjoying each other's company. Ariaz, a longtime photographer, began taking pictures and was invited to tag along. But questions were more on Ariaz's mind than pictures. By Herman Fuselier. The Advertiser of Lafayette.

EXCHANGE-MORGANZA BALD EAGLE

MORGANZA, La. — Twenty years ago, a newcomer took up residence in this Pointe Coupee Parish village and quickly became one of its most popular residents. His name was Montana, a bald eagle nursed back to health and released into the wild to flourish. By Terry L. Jones. The Advocate of Baton Rouge.

IN BRIEF:

—TRUCK CHASE-BOY ARRESTED — Authorities in Louisiana say a 15-minute chase after a stolen pickup truck ended with the arrest of a 13-year-old boy.

—SHOESHINE HOLDUP — A midafternoon shoeshine in the heart of New Orleans' French Quarter turned into a holdup.

SPORTS:

FBN--BUCCANEERS-SAINTS

NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers open their regular season against one another on Sunday at a time when expectations are vastly different for each club. The Saints are coming off a playoff campaign, while the Bucs are trying to improve on a five-win season and are playing without suspended starter Jameis Winston. By Brett Martel. UPCCOMING: 700 words, photos. Kickoff 1 p.m. ET

MISSISSIPPI (All Times Central)

TOP STORIES:

UNDER THE CAPITOL DOME-ANALYSIS

JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi may be making its first substantial deposit into a state savings account in several years, but the state is still far short of having enough savings to cover a substantial downturn. The Department of Finance and Administration estimates the state will have $55 million to put into the rainy day fund. The deposit comes a year after lawmakers raised the legal limit on the savings account from 7.5 percent of the state's General Fund to 10 percent of the state's General Fund. By Jeff Amy. UPCOMING: 600 words.

PEARL RIVER-DAM PROJECT-THOMPSON

JACKSON, Miss. — U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson says he "strongly objects" to a Mississippi flood control project on the Pearl River and is urging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reject it. The Clarion Ledger reports Thompson wrote to the Corps that he has "grave concerns" with the estimated $345 million project in his 2nd Congressional District. Thompson cited as "unacceptable" the environmental harm, costs to taxpayers and public health and safety impacts of the proposed project. SENT: 450 words.

FATHER-SON KILLING

HATTIESBURG, Miss. — A south Mississippi police officer says a son was lying on the floor when his father blasted him with a shotgun, killing him. The Hattiesburg American reports the testimony came Friday in a preliminary hearing concerning evidence against 45-year-old Joel "Chad" Graves, who is charged with second-degree murder. SENT: 380 words.

AP MEMBER EXCHANGES:

EXCHANGE-PADDLING MISSISSIPPI RIVER

VICKSBURG, Miss. — Fueled by a love of the outdoors and a desire to preserve it, a Mississippi man is on a solo trip paddling the length of the Mississippi River. "I guess it would be fair to call me an adventurer, at least that's how it all began as a young man," said Matt Briggs of Jackson. "I did not have any male friends living near me when I was young. By Brian Broom. The Clarion Ledger.

EXCHANGE-UPSCALE RESTAURANT

NEW ALBANY, Miss. — A couple of years ago, four professionals in New Albany decided the small town needed an upscale restaurant downtown where they could entertain clients and friends. In June 2017, the idea came to fruition with the opening of The Rainey Restaurant on Railroad Avenue near the Tanglefoot Trail. By Ginna Parsons. The Daily Journal.

IN BRIEF:

— SEWER REPAIRS-GREENVILLE — A Mississippi Delta city is struggling to pay for sewer repairs.

— POLICE SHOOTINGS-IDENTIFICATION — Mississippi's largest city could start releasing names of police officers involved in shootings after 72 hours.

— GREENWOOD-DILAPIDATED PROPERTY — A city in the Mississippi Delta is taking steps to clean up some dilapidated private property.

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The Atlanta AP Bureau: apatlanta@ap.org

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