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AP-Deep South News Digest

September 22, 2018

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 A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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

TROPICAL WEATHER

BLADENBORO, N.C. — Travel remained dangerous Saturday in southeastern North Carolina, where the governor warned of “treacherous” floodwaters more than a week after Hurricane Florence made landfall, and urged residents to stay alert for flood warnings and evacuation orders. Gov. Roy Cooper said nine of the state’s river gauges are at major flood stage and four others are at moderate stage, while parts of Interstates 95 and 40 will remain underwater for another week or more. Emergency management officials said residents whose homes were damaged or destroyed will begin moving into hotel rooms next week. By Gary D. Robertson, Martha Waggoner and Alan Suderman. SENT: 905 words.

AP Photos NCWSN103-0921180943, NCWSN101-0921181227, RPAS101-0922181408, SCGH106-0921181215, SCGH107-0921181155, NCDG230-0919181717, NCBER107-0921182200, NCBER101-0921182200, NCBER103-0921182200.

— With: BC-TROPICAL WEATHER-THE LATEST

HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION RATE

ATLANTA — Georgia’s high school graduation has increased and now stands at 81.6 percent. SENT: 366 words.

AP MEMBER EXCHANGES:

EXCHANGE-POLICE EXPLORER SAVES COWORKERS

MARIETTA, Ga. — A local teen is being called a hero after police said he stepped in to assist two coworkers who had been stabbed in a shoplifting incident. When 17-year-old Campbell High School junior Mario Alexander is not working, reading or practicing his French, he participates in the Cobb County Police Explorers. That program teaches young people about law enforcement, including some of the skills they will need for a future career as a police officer. By Ross Williams. The Marietta Daily Journal.

EXCHANGE-MUSICAL COUPLE

MERIDIAN, Miss. — Living thousands of miles apart as children Levi and Teodora Mitze-Circiumaru never knew their love for music would one day bring the two together - or to Meridian. Levi Mitze-Circiumaru teaches Algebra I at Meridian High School and Teodora is the organist at First Christian Church where the two attend. As a young girl in Romania, Teodora started playing the piano when she was in fourth grade. She later discovered in high school she wanted to play the organ and began to take private lessons. By Cheryl Owens. The Meridian Star.

IN BRIEF:

— DICKEY BETTS-ACCIDENT — Allman Brothers Band founding member Dickey Betts has had successful surgery after slipping and hitting his head while playing with his dog in Florida.

AP Photos GAMAT301-0603171634.

IN SPORTS:

BBN--BRAVES-FOLTYNEWICZ-NO-HITTER ALERT

ATLANTA — Mike Foltynewicz of the Atlanta Braves has lost his no-hit bid in the seventh inning against the Philadelphia Phillies. Odubel Herrera led off the seventh by lining a clean single up the middle Saturday at SunTrust Park. By The Associated Press. SENT: 105 words.

AP Photos GAJB102-0922181307.

BBN--PHILILES-BRAVES

ATLANTA — The Atlanta Braves, with All-Star pitcher Mike Foltynewicz on the mound, can win their first division title in five years with a victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. Jake Arrieta starts for Philadelphia. By George Henry. UPCOMING. 800 words with photos. Game starts at 1:05 p.m.

GLF--TOUR CHAMPIIONSHIP

ATLANTA — Tiger Woods is tied for the 36-hole for the first time in more than three years going into the weekend of the Tour Championship. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 7 p.m. ET

FBC--T25-GEORGIA-MISSOURI

COLOMBIA, Mo. — Second-ranked Georgia heads to Faurot Field to face Missouri, let by Heisman Trophy contender Drew Lock. By Joe Walljasper. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 11 a.m. CT.

FBC--T25-CLEMSON-GEORGIA TECH

ATLANTA — No. 3 Clemson is a huge favorite in its Atlantic Coast Conference opener against struggling Georgia Tech, but the Yellow Jackets have pulled off some big upsets over the years at Bobby Dodd Stadium. By Paul Newberry. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts at 3:30 p.m. EDT.

SOUTH CAROLINA (All times Eastern)

TOP STORIES:

TROPICAL WEATHER

BLADENBORO, N.C. — Travel remained dangerous Saturday in southeastern North Carolina, where the governor warned of “treacherous” floodwaters more than a week after Hurricane Florence made landfall, and urged residents to stay alert for flood warnings and evacuation orders. Gov. Roy Cooper said nine of the state’s river gauges are at major flood stage and four others are at moderate stage, while parts of Interstates 95 and 40 will remain underwater for another week or more. Emergency management officials said residents whose homes were damaged or destroyed will begin moving into hotel rooms next week. By Gary D. Robertson, Martha Waggoner and Alan Suderman. SENT: 905 words.

AP Photos NCWSN103-0921180943, NCWSN101-0921181227, RPAS101-0922181408, SCGH106-0921181215, SCGH107-0921181155, NCDG230-0919181717, NCBER107-0921182200, NCBER101-0921182200, NCBER103-0921182200.

TROPICAL WEATHER-TOXIC SITES

WILMINGTON, N.C. — Gray muck is flowing into the Cape Fear River from the site of a dam breach at a Wilmington power plant where an old coal ash dump had been covered over by Florence’s floodwaters. Forecasters predicted the water will continue to rise Saturday at the L.V. Sutton Power Station. Duke Energy spokeswoman Paige Sheehan said the utility doesn’t believe the breach poses a significant threat of increased flooding to nearby communities. By Michael Biesecker and Alan Suderman. SENT: 994 words.

AP Photos NYSH902-0921181751, NY118-0921180749, NY116-0921180746, NY119-0921181030, NY120-0921181030, AX302-0921181220, AX301-0921181221.

TROPICAL WEATHER-HOTEL SWEPT AWAY

SPRING LAKE, N.C. — When the floodwaters from Florence receded, half the Starlite Motel was gone. A ragged lip of concrete edged parking spaces with no corresponding rooms, just a void of standing water and debris. The surge swept away personal belongings of the owner’s family — even his father’s wheelchair. And it wiped out the investment that three brothers from India had spent years working toward. By David Goldman and Jonathan Drew. SENT: 922 words.

AP Photos NCDG226-0919181725, NCDG221-0919181833, NCDG231-0919181811, NCDG145-0919181717, NCDG227-0919181747, NCDG229-0919181747, NCDG129-0919181722, NCDG130-0919181712, NCDG132-0919181813, NCDG144-0919181825, NCDG131-0919181723.

TROPICAL WEATHER-HOMEOWNERS-Q&A

In the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, thousands of people in the Carolinas are still waiting to return to their homes. Those who have are assessing the damage. Catastrophe modeling firm AIR Worldwide estimates insured wind and storm surge losses for Florence between $1.7 billion and $4.6 billion. The exact financial impact will become apparent over time as insurance claims roll in. By Sarah Skidmore Sell. SENT: 867 words.

AP Photos NYBZ601-0916182026, NYBZ602-0917181339, NYBZ603-0919182338, NCBER604-0920182331, NCBER605-0920182332.

FEMA-INVESTIGATION

WASHINGTON — The head of the federal disaster response agency used government vehicles without proper authorization, but will not lose his job over it, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Friday. Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator William “Brock” Long had been under investigation by the Homeland Security Department’s watchdog over possibly misusing government vehicles to travel to his home in Hickory, North Carolina. Word leaked of the investigation just as Hurricane Florence was poised to make landfall earlier this month. By Colleen Long. SENT: 588 words.

AP Photos SCEV325-0919181627.

AP MEMBER EXCHANGE:

EXCHANGE-REMEMBERING ANGELA

GREER, S.C. — Angela Giacometti and her daughter, Nora, did everything together. But the 7-year-old no longer has her mother to take care of her after Giacometti was killed in a Greer townhouse. By Daniel J. Gross. The Greenville News.

IN BRIEF:

— NUCLEAR REACTORS-SOUTH CAROLINA — A federal appeals court has refused to stop rate cuts for customers of a private South Carolina utility who are saddled with billions of dollars of debt for a nuclear plant that never generated power.

— SC GOVERNOR — With 46 days to go in the general election campaign, South Carolina’s Democratic gubernatorial nominee is out with a unique video the campaign says shows a commitment to representing people in the state’s 46 counties.

AP Photos SCCHA201-0524182200.

IN SPORTS:

FBC--T25-CLEMSON-GEORGIA TECH

ATLANTA — No. 3 Clemson is a huge favorite in its Atlantic Coast Conference opener against struggling Georgia Tech, but the Yellow Jackets have pulled off some big upsets over the years at Bobby Dodd Stadium. By Paul Newberry. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts at 3:30 p.m. EDT.

FBC--SOUTH CAROLINA-VANDERBILT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — South Carolina has waited two weeks to get back on the football field due to Hurricane Florence after being routed by Georgia. The Gamecocks visit the Vanderbilt Commodores, who are looking to snap a nine-game skid in this series. By Teresa M. Walker. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts at 4 p.m. ET.

ALABAMA (All Times Central)

TOP STORIES:

TROPICAL WEATHER

BLADENBORO, N.C. — Travel remained dangerous Saturday in southeastern North Carolina, where the governor warned of “treacherous” floodwaters more than a week after Hurricane Florence made landfall, and urged residents to stay alert for flood warnings and evacuation orders. Gov. Roy Cooper said nine of the state’s river gauges are at major flood stage and four others are at moderate stage, while parts of Interstates 95 and 40 will remain underwater for another week or more. Emergency management officials said residents whose homes were damaged or destroyed will begin moving into hotel rooms next week. By Gary D. Robertson, Martha Waggoner and Alan Suderman.

AP Photos NCWSN103-0921180943, NCWSN101-0921181227, RPAS101-0922181408, SCGH106-0921181215, SCGH107-0921181155, NCDG230-0919181717, NCBER107-0921182200, NCBER101-0921182200, NCBER103-0921182200.

— With: BC-TROPICAL WEATHER-THE LATEST

JACKSONVILLE STATE-TORNADO

JACKSONVILLE, Alabama — Six months after a tornado tore through the campus of Jacksonville State University, the school aims to open a new baseball stadium and fitness and wellness center. The upgrades are planned despite a slight decrease in undergraduate enrollment and damages caused by the March 19 tornado, Al.com reported. SENT: 334 words.

HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION RATE

ATLANTA — Georgia’s high school graduation has increased and now stands at 81.6 percent. SENT: 366 words.

LAW SCHOOL GIFT

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama is lauding the largest gift in its history — a $25 million donation to the School of Law from Florida businessman and attorney Hugh Culverhouse Jr. In recognition of the gift announced this week, UA President Stuart Bell says the university is naming the law school after Culverhouse, The Tuscaloosa News reported . The renaming got preliminary approval from the UA System’s board of trustees’ honorary degrees committee on Thursday and formal approval by the full board was expected. SENT: 610 words.

AP MEMBER EXCHANGE:

EXCHANGE-KOREAN CHILDREN-SCHOOLS

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Teacher Stacey Powell raised an eyebrow. “Are you reading the words?” Jessica nodded. “You don’t have to read the words. Just look at the pictures,” Powell said. Jessica arrived from Korea last year and started learning English in kindergarten. Now, she’s a month into classes at James W. Wilson Jr. Elementary School in east Montgomery, part of a public school system operating in the red while under state intervention. By Brad Harper. Montgomery Advertiser.

IN BRIEF:

IN SPORTS:

FBC--T25-TEXAS A&M-ALABAMA

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — No. 1 Alabama hosts No. 22 Texas A&M and former Nick Saban staffer Jimbo Fisher. By John Zenor. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts 2:30 p.m.

FBC--T25-ARKANSAS-AUBURN

AUBURN, Ala. — Arkansas opens Southeastern Conference play at No. 9 Auburn, which is trying to rebound from a last-play loss to sixth-ranked LSU. By Charles Odum. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts 7:30 p.m. EDT.

LOUISIANA (All Times Central)

TOP STORIES:

TROPICAL WEATHER

BLADENBORO, N.C. — Travel remained dangerous Saturday in southeastern North Carolina, where the governor warned of “treacherous” floodwaters more than a week after Hurricane Florence made landfall, and urged residents to stay alert for flood warnings and evacuation orders. Gov. Roy Cooper said nine of the state’s river gauges are at major flood stage and four others are at moderate stage, while parts of Interstates 95 and 40 will remain underwater for another week or more. Emergency management officials said residents whose homes were damaged or destroyed will begin moving into hotel rooms next week. By Gary D. Robertson, Martha Waggoner and Alan Suderman. SENT: 905 words.

AP Photos NCWSN103-0921180943, NCWSN101-0921181227, RPAS101-0922181408, SCGH106-0921181215, SCGH107-0921181155, NCDG230-0919181717, NCBER107-0921182200, NCBER101-0921182200, NCBER103-0921182200.

— With: BC-TROPICAL WEATHER-THE LATEST

UNCLAIMED RETIREMENT BENEFITS

BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana U.S. Sen. John Kennedy wants federal officials to release billions of dollars in unclaimed retirement benefits to states, saying they’re better equipped to try to locate the people owed the money. The Republican senator met with U.S. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta on Wednesday to pitch his idea that uncashed and undistributed retirement benefits be returned to their rightful owners through states’ unclaimed property programs. SENT: 231 words.

UNIVERSITY-MONTEZUMA CYPRESS

A state champion tree at a Louisiana university campus may get a bit more room to grow even larger. The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is considering moving a greenhouse to make room for the big Montezuma cypress. Workers have already torn out four concrete parking spaces, and university officials are working on plans to create a deck with seating around the big tree. By Janet McConnaughey. SENT: 571 words.

AP Photos NYSH203-0921181830, NYSH201-1018171830, NYSH202-0921181830.

BURNED WOMAN

JACKSON, Miss. — Was it Quinton or Eric? That’s likely to be the choice again facing Mississippi jurors this week in the trial of Quinton Tellis, accused of setting 19-year-old Jessica Chambers on fire in her car in December 2014, only to see the dying woman stagger down a rural backroad and be found by firefighters. By Jeff Amy. SENT: 795 words.

AP Photos TNMEM201-1012171445, JX202-1016171400, JX201-1015172039, JX203-1016172107.

AP MEMBER EXCHANGES:

EXCHANGE-REMEMBERING THE ENSLAVED

GRAND COUTEAU, La. — Lake Charles native Dorson Purdy has accomplished what few African Americans can by tracing his lineage back to his five-time great-grandfather who was enslaved in the 19th century at the Convent of the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Grand Couteau. The convent and the Religious of The Sacred Heart will host a ceremony on Sept. 23 to honor and memorialize the families and descendants, like Purdy, who lived their lives enslaved to the work of the convent. By Marlisa Harding. Lake Charles American Press.

EXCHANGE-OPEN CLOSET

Slidell, La. — At first, Wendy Keller didn’t believe what she was hearing. Her 14-year-old was asking for hygiene products she could bring to school for friends who were homeless. She recalled thinking: Are there really students in my child’s school who don’t have homes? By Bob Warren. NOLA.com ′ The Times-Picayune.

IN BRIEF:

— MARSH BURNING CLASS — The LSU AgCenter is offering a class for people who want certification to perform prescribed burns on marshland they own, manage or lease.

IN SPORTS:

FBC-T25-LOUISIANA TECH-LSU

BATON ROUGE, La. — No. 6 LSU can improve to 4-0 when it hosts Louisiana Tech on Saturday night. The Bulldogs also have yet to lose through two games. By Brett Martel. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Kickoff 7 p.m. ET

FBC--T25-TULANE-OHIO STATE

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Tulane will be a heavy underdog to surging No. 4 Ohio State as the Green Wave makes its first ever visit to Ohio Stadium, The Buckeyes will get another tuneup game before playing Penn State next week. By Mitch Stacy. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts at 3:30 p.m.

FBC--T25-MCNEESE ST-BYU

PROVO,Utah — After a largely successful run against Power Five programs that vaulted it into the rankings, No. 25 BYU faces McNeese State on Saturday. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts at 4 p.m. MT.

MISSISSIPPI (All Times Central)

TOP STORIES:

TROPICAL WEATHER

BLADENBORO, N.C. — Travel remained dangerous Saturday in southeastern North Carolina, where the governor warned of “treacherous” floodwaters more than a week after Hurricane Florence made landfall, and urged residents to stay alert for flood warnings and evacuation orders. Gov. Roy Cooper said nine of the state’s river gauges are at major flood stage and four others are at moderate stage, while parts of Interstates 95 and 40 will remain underwater for another week or more. Emergency management officials said residents whose homes were damaged or destroyed will begin moving into hotel rooms next week. By Gary D. Robertson, Martha Waggoner and Alan Suderman. SENT: 905 words.

AP Photos NCWSN103-0921180943, NCWSN101-0921181227, RPAS101-0922181408, SCGH106-0921181215, SCGH107-0921181155, NCDG230-0919181717, NCBER107-0921182200, NCBER101-0921182200, NCBER103-0921182200.

— With: BC-TROPICAL WEATHER-THE LATEST

BURNED WOMAN

JACKSON, Miss. — Was it Quinton or Eric? That’s likely to be the choice again facing Mississippi jurors this week in the trial of Quinton Tellis, accused of setting 19-year-old Jessica Chambers on fire in her car in December 2014, only to see the dying woman stagger down a rural backroad and be found by firefighters. By Jeff Amy. SENT: 795 words.

AP Photos TNMEM201-1012171445, JX202-1016171400, JX201-1015172039, JX203-1016172107.

AP MEMBER EXCHANGES:

EXCHANGE-MUSICAL COUPLE

MERIDIAN, Miss. — Living thousands of miles apart as children Levi and Teodora Mitze-Circiumaru never knew their love for music would one day bring the two together - or to Meridian. Levi Mitze-Circiumaru teaches Algebra I at Meridian High School and Teodora is the organist at First Christian Church where the two attend. As a young girl in Romania, Teodora started playing the piano when she was in fourth grade. She later discovered in high school she wanted to play the organ and began to take private lessons. By Cheryl Owens. The Meridian Star.

EXCHANGE-CIVIL RIGHTS MONUMENT

NATCHEZ, Miss. — In October 1965, racial tensions were high in Natchez. President Lyndon B. Johnson in August had just passed the Voting Rights Act, outlawing discriminatory voting practices, and some black residents in Natchez were marching in support of civil rights on a regular basis, said Natchez filmmaker and historian, Mark LaFrancis. By Scott Hawkins. The Natchez Democrat.

IN BRIEF:

— INDUSTRIAL PARK GRANT — The U.S. Department of Commerce is awarding $1.5 million to a northeast Mississippi city to improve water service at an industrial park.

— BAYOU REROUTING — Officials looking to rebuild a collapsed bridge in a Mississippi city have another problem — the underlying waterway is trying to change course.

— CRAFT CENTER-WALLER — The state is naming a building for late Mississippi Gov. Bill Waller Sr., but it’s not one of the usual suspects in downtown Jackson.

— HIGHWAY WORKER SAFETY — State transportation officials are urging drivers to be more careful in work zones after six road workers were hit on job sites this week.

IN SPORTS:

FBC--T25-MISSISSIPPI ST-KENTUCKY

LEXINGTON, Ky. — No. 14 Mississippi State visits Kentucky in a matchup of unbeaten SEC schools. The Bulldogs and Wildcats boast two of the conference’s top three rushing offenses. By Gary B. Graves. UPCOMING. 650 words and photos. Game starts at 7 p.m. ET.

FBC--KENT ST-MISSISSIPPI

OXFORD, Miss. — Mississippi hosts Kent State in a nonconference game on Saturday at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. The Rebels are trying to improve their defense, which statistically has been among the nation’s worst during the first three weeks of the season. By David Brandt. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos from 11 a.m. kickoff.

___

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

The Atlanta AP Bureau: apatlanta@ap.org

The South Carolina 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.

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