Hello! The interim Carolinas News Editor is Jeffrey Collins. The supervisor is Skip Foreman.

A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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

TOP STORIES:

BUDGET MEETINGS POSTPONED

COLUMBIA — South Carolina lawmakers say they need more time to figure out the state's $8 billion spending plan for the new fiscal year starting July 1. In a joint statement released Wednesday evening, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Hugh Leatherman of Florence and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Brian White of Anderson said they will postpone further budget meetings until June. By Christina L. Myers. SENT: 440 words.

BUDDING BI-PARTISANS

BLYTHEWOOD — As many decry the breakdown of civil, political discourse, two South Carolina teens are proving disagreement doesn't have to equal disrespect. Lauren McDowell describes herself on Twitter as a "queer feminist" and advises a Democratic congressional hopeful on LGBTQ-related issues. She founded a chapter of South Carolina High School Democrats at Blythewood High School, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of Columbia. By Meg Kinnard. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 600 words by 4 p.m.

IN BRIEF:

— WHOOPING COUGH-SOUTH CAROLINA, from DUNCAN — Three more cases of whooping cough have been reported in a South Carolina school district, bringing the total number of cases to six. SENT: 130 words.

— DEPUTY EDUCATION SECRETARY-ZAIS, from COLUMBIA — A former South Carolina education superintendent has been confirmed as Deputy U.S. Education Secretary. SENT: 130 words.

— CHOKING DEATH-ARREST, from CONWAY — A man has been arrested and charged with choking a man to death earlier this week. SENT: 130 words.

— KAYAK RESCUE, from PORT ROYAL — A South Carolina man has been rescued after he was swept away in a river while trying to retrieve his kayak. SENT: 130 words.

— BRIDGE-CABLE SNAPPED, from MOUNT PLEASANT — Officials say a bridge near the South Carolina coast will remain closed for four weeks while a broken cable tying it together is repaired. SENT: 130 words.

__

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

___

The AP, Columbia