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 A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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

MIAMI — Tropical Storm Florence is becoming a "better organized" weather system that will likely strengthen into a hurricane late Saturday, weather forecasters said. The National Hurricane Center said Saturday the storm was expected to become a "major hurricane" by Tuesday as it passes between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday. The storm is expected to approach the southeast U.S. Coast on Thursday. Officials in North Carolina were already bracing for impact. In South Carolina, Gov. Henry McMaster declared a state of emergency Saturday to give his state time to prepare for the possible arrival of a hurricane. SENT: 240 words. Developing.

WITH Tropical Weather-The Latest

CHURCHES REPURPOSED

SAVANNAH, Ga. — Downtown churches in Savannah are being sold and repurposed for new uses as their leaders aim to expand congregations or avoid costly repairs to historic properties. The Savannah Morning News reports that churches are being transformed at a time when developers are seeking opportunities in areas attracting increasing investment. Also, preservationists hope to save part of Savannah's history by saving the older structures. Information from The Savannah Morning News. SENT: 450 words.

AP MEMBER EXCHANGES:

EXCHANGE-WWII BOMBER PILOT

ATLANTA — Crawford Hicks' recent ride on a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber ended better than one he took 74 years ago. Hicks, 97, of Warner Robins, was a B-17 pilot in World War II and flew 10 missions before getting shot down over Germany and taken prisoner. Hicks and his crew bailed out as the plane went down in flames, then he was immediately captured. By Wayne Crenshaw. The Macon Telegraph.

IN BRIEF:

— DEER SEASON — It's open season for deer in Georgia, as long as you're hunting with a bow.

SPORTS:

FBC--T25-GEORIGA-SOUTH CAROLINA

COLUMBIA, S.C. — No. 3 Georgia gets its first true test of the season when it faces the newly ranked No. 24 South Carolina to start Southeastern Conference season on Saturday. By Pete Iacobelli. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts at 3:30 p.m.

FBC--T25-SAVANNAH ST-MIAMI

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — No. 22 Miami plays host to Savannah State, a FCS team that fully expects to be overmatched in a number of areas by the Hurricanes. Game begins 6 p.m. By Tim Reynolds. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos.

BRAVES-DIAMONDBACKS

PHOENIX — Paul Goldschmidt hit his 33rd home run and the Arizona Diamondbacks took an early lead and held off the Atlanta Braves 5-3 Friday night in a matchup of slumping playoff contenders. The NL East-leading Braves lost for the fourth time in five games and had their edge over Philadelphia cut to 2 1/2 games. By Jose M. Romero.

AP Photos AZRF208-0907181903, AZRF212-0907181930, AZRF209-0907182005.

SOUTH CAROLINA (All times Eastern)

TOP STORIES:

TROPICAL WEATHER

MIAMI — Tropical Storm Florence is becoming a "better organized" weather system that will likely strengthen into a hurricane late Saturday, weather forecasters said. The National Hurricane Center said Saturday the storm was expected to become a "major hurricane" by Tuesday as it passes between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday. The storm is expected to approach the southeast U.S. Coast on Thursday. Officials in North Carolina were already bracing for impact. In South Carolina, Gov. Henry McMaster declared a state of emergency Saturday to give his state time to prepare for the possible arrival of a hurricane. SENT: 240 words. Developing. SENT: 240 words. Developing.

WITH Tropical Weather-The Latest

CITADEL-EXCESS CADETS

CHARLESTON, SC — An extra-large freshman class and fewer upperclassmen dropping out of school have some cadets at The Citadel staying in a clock tower or off campus. South Carolina's military college has had to find places outside barracks for 92 students. Information from The Post and Courier of Charleston. SENT: 290 words.

AP MEMBER EXCHANGE:

EXCHANGE-CELEBRITY HEDGEHOG

It's the second Sunday of the month and Anna Mathias and her boyfriend, Charleston Battery midfielder Nicco Rittmeyer, are walking down King Street looking for a place to grab a quick bite to eat, having worked up an appetite after a morning of shopping. But that's not going to be possible. By Andrew Miller. The Post and Courier of Charleston.

IN BRIEF:

— SCHOOLS-PANIC BUTTONS — A sheriff in South Carolina says officials will install a panic button app on every teacher's cellphone in his county.

SPORTS:

FBC--T25-GEORIGA-SOUTH CAROLINA

COLUMBIA, S.C. — No. 3 Georgia gets its first true test of the season when it faces the newly ranked No. 24 South Carolina to start Southeastern Conference season on Saturday. By Pete Iacobelli. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts at 3:30 p.m.

FBC--T25-CLEMSON-TEXAS A&M

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — No. 2 Clemson travels to Texas A&M for an early-season test against an Aggie team looking to make a statement in its first year under new coach Jimbo Fisher, who has lost three in row to Tigers' coach Dabo Swinney. By Kristie Rieken. Starts at 6 p.m. CT.

FBC--T25-SOUTH CAROLINA ST-UCF

ORLANDO, Fla. — No. 19 UCF is heavily favored to extend the nation's longest winning streak to 15 games when the Knights face South Carolina State in their home opener. By Corey Long. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts at 6 p.m. ET.

FBC--GEORGIA ST-NC STATE

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina State looks to improve to 2-0 when the Wolfpack play host to Georgia State. The Panthers have never beaten a team from a power conference. By Joedy McCreary. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos from 12:30 p.m. start.

FBC--GEORGIA TECH-SOUTH FLORIDA

TAMPA, Fla. — South Florida tries to continue an impressive stretch of success against Power 5 conference opponents when the Bulls face Georgia Tech in a nationally televised matchup. By Fred Goodall. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts at Noon ET.

ALABAMA (All Times Central)

TOP STORIES:

ROY MOORE-LAWSUIT

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Defeated Senate candidate Roy Moore is dropping a defamation lawsuit against a super PAC that ran a campaign ad blitz focused on sexual misconduct accusations against him. AL.com reports that the motion filed Friday asks a county court to drop the lawsuit against Highway 31 super PAC, other PACS and four men who worked with them. The newspaper says the motion doesn't say why Moore and his wife, Kayla, want to drop the suit. It said attorney Melissa Isaak had not answered a phone message and email seeing comment. UPCOMING: About 250 words.

TROPICAL WEATHER

MIAMI —MIAMI — Tropical Storm Florence is becoming a "better organized" weather system that will likely strengthen into a hurricane late Saturday, weather forecasters said. The National Hurricane Center said Saturday the storm was expected to become a "major hurricane" by Tuesday as it passes between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday. The storm is expected to approach the southeast U.S. Coast on Thursday. Officials in North Carolina were already bracing for impact. In South Carolina, Gov. Henry McMaster declared a state of emergency Saturday to give his state time to prepare for the possible arrival of a hurricane. SENT: 240 words. Developing.

WITH Tropical Weather-The Latest

TRUMP-SESSIONS

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Jeff Sessions has vigorously pushed President Donald Trump's agenda at the Justice Department, and before that, spent 20 years championing conservative causes in the Senate. Yet as Sessions enters what may be the final stretch of his Cabinet tenure, those efforts are at risk of being eclipsed by his boss' frequent verbal attacks that have made Sessions seem like a presidential punching bag. It's a role he never asked for, though perhaps could have anticipated. By Eric Tucker. SENT: 1000 words. Developing.

AP Photos WX101-0822181628, ALDA112-0907181303, ALDA108-0907181340, ALDA110-0907181329, ALDA107-0907181337, ALDA106-0907181330.

PRISON STAFF SHORTAGE

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Last year John Chandler, 33, made the decision to step away from his job as a correctional officer at Limestone Correctional Facility after eight years with the state prison system. Too few officers trying to control too many inmates, he said, were creating dangerous conditions for both, and he saw no hope that the situation was going to get better anytime soon. By Kim Chandler. SENT: 600 words.

AP Photos NYCD801-0618151213.

AP MEMBER EXCHANGE:

EXCHANGE-F-16 PILOTS

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — When people watch air shows like Saturday's Red Tails Over Montgomery, odds are they have no idea what the pilots above them are going through. "It's about the busiest you'll ever be in your life," said Capt. Don Roney of the 187th Fighter Wing. He's an F-16 pilot, but for Red Tails Over Montgomery he's the air operations officer in charge of making sure the flying goes off without a hitch. By Shannon Heupel. Montgomery Advertiser.

IN BRIEF:

— INFANT MORTALITY-ALABAMA — Health officials are planning a meeting to raise awareness of Alabama's worsening infant death rate.

—ASSAULT IN SOCKS — Coastal Alabama authorities say a man wearing only socks allegedly grabbed a 22-year-old woman in her back yard.

SPORTS:

FBC--T25-ARKANSAS ST-ALABAMA

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — No. 1 Alabama and newly minted starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa face Arkansas State in the Crimson Tide's home opener. By John Zenor. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts 2:30 p.m. CT.

FBC--T25-ALABAMA ST-AUBURN

AUBURN, Ala. — No. 7 Auburn, fresh from winning a top 10 matchup with Washington, hosts FCS Alabama State. By Nathan King. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts 6:30 p.m. CT.

FBC--SOUTH ALABAMA-OKLAHOMA ST

STILLWATER, Okla. — It would be easy for Oklahoma State, which sits just outside the Top 25 poll, to overlook South Alabama as an inferior opponent with a contest the following week against No. 20 Boise State, but with so many things to work on, the Cowboys are focused on Saturday's home game against the Jaguars. UPCOMING: 650 words, with photos. Game time 7 p.m. Central.

LOUISIANA (All Times Central)

TOP STORIES:

TROPICAL WEATHER

MIAMI —Tropical Storm Florence is becoming a "better organized" weather system that will likely strengthen into a hurricane late Saturday, weather forecasters said. The National Hurricane Center said Saturday the storm was expected to become a "major hurricane" by Tuesday as it passes between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday. The storm is expected to approach the southeast U.S. Coast on Thursday. Officials in North Carolina were already bracing for impact. In South Carolina, Gov. Henry McMaster declared a state of emergency Saturday to give his state time to prepare for the possible arrival of a hurricane. SENT: 240 words. Developing.

WITH Tropical Weather-The Latest

LOUISIANA-LONG-MISSING PERSONS

NEW ORLEANS — Authorities in northwest Louisiana are asking the public for help solving three missing persons cold cases: a woman missing for 39 years, and men last seen 18 and 13 years ago. According to a national database, as many as 600,000 people a year are reported missing in the United States. Crime Stoppers in Bossier Parish put up billboards Wednesday about Arrilla Webb-Vaul, Gregory Vice Jr. and Clinton Devon Nelson. All were in their early 20s when they disappeared. Nelson had moved to Louisiana from South Dakota about six months earlier. His mother, Carolyn Johnson of Sturgis, South Dakota, says the uncertainty never gets easier to bear. By Janet McConnaughey. SENT: 750 words. AP Photos.

AP MEMBER EXCHANGES:

EXCHANGE-LGBT FILM FESTIVAL

SHREVEPORT, La. — The North Louisiana Gay and Lesbian Film Festival will turn 10 years old and organizers are planning for more attendees, special guests and events to mark the milestone. The NLGLFF, presented by People Acting for Change and Equality (PACE), will be Sept. 7-13 at Robinson Film Center. By Tiana Kennell. The Shreveport Times.

EXCHANGE-FATHER'S LEGACY-FOOTBALL PLAYERS

HOUMA, La. — Whenever he puts on his No. 74 Terrebonne High School football jersey, Johnny Carter III said he feels a source of inspiration flowing through his body. Johnny III, a senior offensive and defensive lineman for the Tigers, said the jersey is more than a roster number. By Chris Singleton. The Courier of Houma.

IN BRIEF:

— 100-YEAR SENTENCE-REVIEW — A Louisiana court is refusing to review the case of a 31-year-old Houma man who is serving 100 years for the attempted murder of two people.

SPORTS:

FBC--T25-SE LOUISIANA-LSU

BATON ROUGE, La. — No. 11 LSU plays its home opener against Southeastern Louisiana of the second-tier Football Championship Subdivision. It's LSU's final game — and lone tuneup — before the Tigers open a tough Southeastern Conference slate at Auburn the following week. By Brett Martel. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Kickoff 7 p.m. ET

MISSISSIPPI (All Times Central)

TROPICAL WEATHER

MIAMI —Tropical Storm Florence is becoming a "better organized" weather system that will likely strengthen into a hurricane late Saturday, weather forecasters said. The National Hurricane Center said Saturday the storm was expected to become a "major hurricane" by Tuesday as it passes between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday. The storm is expected to approach the southeast U.S. Coast on Thursday. Officials in North Carolina were already bracing for impact. In South Carolina, Gov. Henry McMaster declared a state of emergency Saturday to give his state time to prepare for the possible arrival of a hurricane. SENT: 240 words. Developing.

WITH Tropical Weather-The Latest

TOP STORIES:

DRUG OVERDOSE-MURDER CHARGES

JACKSON, Miss. — A Mississippi appeals court has rejected a test case of whether drug dealers can be prosecuted for murder under state law when a drug user dies. The state Court of Appeals last week overturned the second-degree murder conviction of Skylar O'Kelly, who had been convicted of the crime after a friend died from consuming synthetic LSD from O'Kelly in Starkville. The ruling could spark further state legislative efforts to enhance penalties for dealer-induced overdose deaths. By Jeff Amy. SENT: 460 words.

DAM COLLAPSE-MISSISSIPPI

JACKSON, Miss. — Officials said that a dam is breaching on the edge of Mississippi's Delta region after heavy rains during Tropical Storm Gordon. The National Weather Service issued a flood warning for parts of Carroll County downstream from Murdock Lake, where water was eroding an earthen dam late Friday. By Jeff Amy. SENT: 400 words.

AP MEMBER EXCHANGES:

EXCHANGE-CRIME PODCAST-KILLINGS

STARKVILLE, Miss. — For most of their lives, Nashville resident Jason B. Jones and his brother Simon have wanted the answer to one question: Who killed their step-grandmother, Betty Jones, and her friend Kathryn Crigler in Starkville on Labor Day 1990? Jason was 11 and Simon not quite 4 when Betty and Crigler were sexually assaulted in Crigler's home on Highway 82 East on Sept. 3 of that year. According to investigators, Betty was stabbed to death at the scene, while Crigler was taken to the hospital, where she died about two months later. While there have been suspects over the years, the killer was never arrested and the case is still unsolved. By Isabelle Altman. The Dispatch.

EXCHANGE-VISION IMPAIRMENT-CHILDREN

HATTIESBURG, Miss. — Tripp McCardle has had a tough go of it during his two years of life. When he was 8 months old, he contracted meningitis, starting a health journey on which he is still traveling. One of the consequences he suffered from the disease was cortical vision impairment, or CVI. This occurs when the eyes are healthy and able to see, but the brain is not interpreting what is being visualized. By Ellen Ciurczak. The Hattiesburg American.

IN BRIEF:

— POLICE SHOOTING-DEATH — A man is dead after he was shot during a foot chase in the Mississippi Delta.

— HOMECOMING QUEEN KICKER — One Mississippi Gulf Coast senior is the homecoming queen and the game-winning placekicker.

— TEACHER-SEXUAL BATTERY PLEA — A former northeast Mississippi teacher is pleading guilty to the sexual battery of a student but won't go to prison.

— SHERIFF-BUDGET DISPUTE — A sheriff in one Mississippi county is clashing with supervisors over funding for his department.

— COMMUNITY COLLEGE-PRESIDENT SEARCH — A Mississippi community college is naming its athletic director as interim president, after a previous interim leader resigned.

SPORTS:

FBC--T25-MISSISSIPPI ST-KANSAS ST

MANHATTAN, Kan. — Mississippi State plays its first true road game in a decade when the Bulldogs and Heisman Trophy candidate Nick Fitzgerald visit Kansas State. The Wildcats are coming off a fourth-quarter comeback victory over South Dakota. By Dave Skretta. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 11 a.m. CT.

FBC--S ILLINOIS-MISSISSIPPI

OXFORD, Miss. — Mississippi hosts Southern Illinois on Saturday in a non-conference game. The Rebels are trying to build off their impressive 47-27 win over Texas Tech last weekend. By David Brandt. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos from 3 p.m. CT 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.