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 A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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

POLICE DRONES-GEORGIA

SAVANNAH, Ga. — Police in Savannah plan to use drones to help in a variety of situations, such as searches for missing persons and car crash investigations. The city recently issued a bid request to purchase three drones, each with their own specialized features for different scenarios, The Savannah Morning News reported. UPCOMING: About 300 words.

DRAG QUEEN STORY HOUR-PROTESTS

NEW ORLEANS — Once upon a time, in 2015, a writer in San Francisco named Michelle Tea got the idea for "Drag Queen Story Hour": men in full drag reading children's books to kids and parents in programs aimed at providing "positive and unabashedly queer role models." Since then, Drag Queen Story Hours have been held at libraries or book stores in big cities including Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and costume-loving New Orleans — where over-the-top hair, makeup and gowns and stories about gender fluidity aren't exactly new. By Kevin McGill. SENT: 570 words, photos.

IN BRIEF:

— RIVER CLEANUP — Volunteers are needed to help with Georgia's annual "Rivers Alive" cleanup program.

— INSPIRE BRANDS-GEORGIA — The corporate parent of restaurant franchises including Arby's and Buffalo Wild Wings is building a new headquarters in Georgia.

IN SPORTS:

MEMBER EXCHANGE:

EXCHANGE-LAOS NATIVE-DRAGON BOAT

GAINESVILLE, Ga. — Growing up in Laos gave Enoy Chanlyvong every opportunity he needed to fall in love with dragon boat racing. But it never stuck. Each year, he watched others from the village he lived in cut down a tree and carve a dragon boat out of it. By Layne Saliba.

https://www.gainesvilletimes.com/sports/laos-native-missed-cut-2014-now-will-paddle-dragon-boat-team-usa/

SOUTH CAROLINA (All times Eastern)

TOP STORIES:

ACTIVE SHOOTER-DRILLS

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Something new is coming to all South Carolina schools this year — an active shooter and an intruder drill each semester. The drills are required under a law passed last spring. The guidelines were sent to all South Carolina schools last month. The school safety law is one of several reforms passed after 17 students and teachers were shot and killed at Parkland High School in Florida by a former student on Feb. 14. SENT: 272 words.

IN BRIEF:

— INTERSTATE 20 EXPANSION — South Carolina officials say work to expand a stretch of Interstate 20 that crosses the Savanah River into Georgia will start in 2019.

IN SPORTS:

MEMBER EXCHANGE:

EXCHANGE-RENOVATING OLD HOMES

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Wall Street financier Dick Jenrette had a passion for old homes, renovating some of the finest residential works of architecture from the Caribbean to New York's Hudson River and receiving national recognition for his historic preservation. He died in April, but his seven meticulously restored homes — including two in South Carolina: the William Roper House at 5 East Battery in Charleston and Millford Plantation in Pineville — live on as house museums run by the nonprofit he created, the Classical American Homes Preservation Trust. By Robert Behre. The Post and Courier of Charleston.

https://www.postandcourier.com/news/after-dick-jenrette-s-death-a-preservation-trust-strives-to/article_ebea938c-9caf-11e8-8d49-778c19469160.html

ALABAMA (All Times Central)

TOP STORIES:

ARETHA FRANKLIN-FUNERAL-WILLIAMS EULOGY

ATLANTA — A fiery, old-school pastor who is under fire for saying black America is losing "its soul" at Aretha Franklin's funeral stands firm by his words with the hopes that those critics can understand his perspective. Rev. Jasper Williams Jr. told The Associated Press in a phone interview Sunday he felt his stirring sermon was appropriate at Franklin's funeral Friday in Detroit. He felt his timing was right, especially after other speakers spoke on the civil rights movement and President Donald Trump. By Jonathan Landrum Jr. SENT: 713 words, photo. AP Video.

AIR FORCE-INNOVATION HUB

An Air Force innovation hub has opened in Alabama to harness research and technology for the military. "Mission Launch 2018" was meant to introduce the hub's mission to defense and regional leaders, Al.com reported. MGMWERX will be operating out of the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce building. MGMWERX is a partnership with the Air Force Research Laboratory. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 250 words.

BUS DRIVER SHORTAGE

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — A city in Alabama is going through a drought: Bus drivers. The Montgomery Public Schools are working toward solutions for the lack of drivers at the start of this school year, the Montgomery Advertiser reported. A school official says the district is seeking more drivers, but they aren't receiving any applications despite efforts to advertise openings. Of MPS's 159 routes, 151 have a driver with no subs. The problem becomes even worse when drivers call out. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: About 550 words.

DRAG QUEEN STORY HOUR-PROTESTS

NEW ORLEANS — Once upon a time, in 2015, a writer in San Francisco named Michelle Tea got the idea for "Drag Queen Story Hour": men in full drag reading children's books to kids and parents in programs aimed at providing "positive and unabashedly queer role models." Since then, Drag Queen Story Hours have been held at libraries or book stores in big cities including Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and costume-loving New Orleans — where over-the-top hair, makeup and gowns and stories about gender fluidity aren't exactly new. By Kevin McGill. SENT: 570 words, photos.

MEMBER EXCHANGE:

EXCHANGE-CANCER SURVIVOR

DECATUR, Ala. — For a year, Tiffany Spencer, the U.S. Air Force reservist, marathoner and bicyclist, searched for answers. She listened to the doctors' diagnoses of colon, ovarian, cervical and appendix cancer. She read testimonials and studied medical terminology. She endured 20 rounds of chemotherapy and supplemented her care with natural therapies — Epsom salt baths, coffee enemas, Vitamin C IVs. Still the tumor in her abdomen grew — eventually reaching 18 pounds. By Catherine Godbey.

https://www.decaturdaily.com/news/local/decatur-woman-who-had_pound-tumor-removed-offers-hope/article_ac1faa82-35e6-5791-8262-5052849e44f1.html

EXCHANGE-CHURCH-PASTOR MOTORBIKES

OPELIKA, Ala. — Opelika pastor Hamlet Barnes Jr. thought he had entered a time capsule, one that carried him as far back as the 1950s, the moment he set foot in Bungoma, Kenya. Taking in the sights of green farmlands worked by villagers living in small homes sealed with mud, Barnes also watched as animals roamed freely, including some chickens who entered kitchens of houses lacking screen doors. Villagers fetched water from wells, relied on outhouses and used kerosene lamps due to the lack of adequate electricity. By Keith Huffman.

https://www.oanow.com/news/local/opelika-church-raising-funds-to-buy-motorbikes-for-kenya-pastors/article_e7214bc0-a8df-11e8-b80b-df7a03e04555.html

LOUISIANA (All Times Central)

TOP STORIES:

DRAG QUEEN STORY HOUR-PROTESTS

NEW ORLEANS — Once upon a time, in 2015, a writer in San Francisco named Michelle Tea got the idea for "Drag Queen Story Hour": men in full drag reading children's books to kids and parents in programs aimed at providing "positive and unabashedly queer role models." Since then, Drag Queen Story Hours have been held at libraries or book stores in big cities including Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and costume-loving New Orleans — where over-the-top hair, makeup and gowns and stories about gender fluidity aren't exactly new. By Kevin McGill. SENT: 570 words, photos.

LOUISIANA SPOTLIGHT-ANALYIS

BATON ROUGE — Louisiana State University is getting more entrenched in the hospital business again, partially reversing a course plotted by former Gov. Bobby Jindal to get the state out of hospital management. A new plan unveiled by Gov. John Bel Edwards' administration will have LSU jointly operating safety-net hospitals in Shreveport and Monroe that the university system administered only a few years ago. It's a different vision than when Jindal privatized nearly all the state-run charity hospitals and their clinics during his second term as governor, saying no other state manages its safety-net health system in the same fashion. The Edwards administration says it's the best approach after the hospital manager chosen by its predecessor rankled state officials, lawmakers and LSU leaders with unpaid debts and management concerns. But it also comes with a higher price tag. An AP News Analysis. By Melinda Deslatte.

IN BRIEF:

— OIL EXPORT TERMINAL — Louisiana officials say a crude oil export terminal on the Mississippi River and 700-mile pipeline project will be a $2.5 billion investment, creating 35 permanent jobs.

— WORKING OFF LITTER — People caught littering in one New Orleans-area parish will have to pay in both money and time, by picking up trash.

MEMBER EXCHANGE:

EXCHANGE-DAY IN CORONER'S OFFICE

Not one case that rolls into the autopsy room of the Jefferson Parish Coroner's Office is the same. But on any given weekday morning, there are three constants: the smell of peppermint, Top 40 hits trickling from a tiny speaker and Dr. Dana Troxclair singing Mr. Rogers' iconic theme song, "It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood," as she walks in the door. "Everyone looks at me like, 'What neighborhood are you in?'" says Troxclair, the chief forensic pathologist at the office. By Hanna Krueger. NOLA.com ' The Times-Picayune.

https://www.nola.com/expo/news/erry-2018/08/02aa85272d9149/we-are-the-last-voice-for-so-m.html

EXCHANGE-NEW ORLEANS TACO TRUCKS

NEW ORLEANS — Like any proud cook, Iris Cardona gets a thrill when people tell her they like her food. Sometimes that praise comes in Spanish, sometimes in English. Other times it's just a big thumbs-up from someone scarfing down tacos on the run. By Ian Mcnulty. The Advocate of New Orleans.

https://www.theadvocate.com/new_orleans/entertainment_life/food_restaurants/article_a4a57732-a79d-11e8-8ded-bbc6f66f49cb.html

MISSISSIPPI (All Times Central)

TOP STORIES:

UNDER THE CAPITOL DOME-ANALYSIS

JACKSON, Miss. — When Mississippi lawmakers met in special session to deal with transportation funding, they agreed relatively quickly on issues that had been tangled in arguments for months or years. By Emily Wagster Pettus. UPCOMING: 600 words.

IN BRIEF:

— PORT ROADWORK — The Mississippi Department of Transportation will spend nearly $400,000 to rebuild the access road to a river port.

— METHADONE CLINIC OPPOSITION — A company that intended to open a drug treatment center is suing a Mississippi county that blocked its plans.

MEMBER EXCHANGE:

EXCHANGE-COURT CASE RECORDS

COLUMBUS, Miss. — In 1856, Catherine Atkins, a 26-year-old free woman of color from Maryland, sued Lowndes County resident Dunston Banks for illegally holding her as a slave — and won. There's not much detail Mona Vance-Ali, archivist at the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library, knows about the case. But no one would know about it — or more than 50,000 other circuit court cases from the 1800s and early 1900s — at all if library employees, interns and volunteers hadn't spent the last six years going through the records and organizing them for historians, genealogists and other visitors at the library's local history section. By Isabelle Altman.

http://www.cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=68108

EXCHANGE-POPCORN SHOP

TUPELO, Miss. — For 46 years, the same stainless steel kettle has popped countless batches of popcorn for customers young and old. Started by Titus and Barbara Harris in 1972 at the old Downtown Mall, the CaramelCorn Shop has been an institution in the All-America City, where the decadent and enticing smells of warm butter and sugar mixed with popcorn have created legions of fans. By Dennis Seid.

http://www.djournal.com/news/homegrown-caramelcorn-has-new-owner-new-location-same-familiarity/article_db423ae1-a093-566c-be47-bb2d19115d8b.html

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