Here's a look at AP's Indiana news coverage at 6 p.m. Questions about coverage plans are welcome and should be directed to the AP-Indianapolis bureau at 317-639-5501, 800-382-1582 or indy@ap.org. Ken Kusmer is on the desk, followed by Herbert McCann.

All times ET.

A reminder: This information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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. All times are Eastern. Some TV and radio stations will receive shorter APNewsNow versions of the stories below, along with all updates.

NEW THIS DIGEST: INDIANA-OPIOID ABUSE, INDIANA FIRE DEATHS, HOME INVASION-BOY, POLICE CHASE-FATAL CRASH

TOP STORY:

XGR--INDIANA LEGISLATURE

INDIANAPOLIS — Legislators are returning to the Indiana Statehouse to begin this year's General Assembly session. Members of both the Indiana House and Senate will meet on Wednesday to formally start the session that must end by mid-March. The Republican-dominate Legislature could face contentious debates over issues such as ending Indiana's longtime ban on Sunday carryout alcohol sales and repealing the state law requiring licenses to carry handguns in public. By Brian Slodysko. Developing from 1:30 p.m. House and Senate sessions. AP Photos.

With:

— XGR--INDIANA LEGISLATURE-THE LATEST: The Latest on the convening of the 2018 Indiana legislative session.

— BIRD'S BROTHER-LEGISLATIVE RACE: The older brother of Basketball Hall of Famer Larry Bird is entering the race for a seat in the Indiana Legislature. SENT: 125 words.

AROUND THE STATE:

DEEP FREEZE

SAVANNAH, Ga. — A brutal winter storm dumped snow, sleet and freezing rain from normally balmy Florida up the Southeast seaboard Wednesday, delivering a white coating that some cities hadn't seen in decades. Cars spun out of control on icy overpasses from Texas to Georgia. The water park at Disney World and other Florida theme parks closed because of the unusually cold temperatures, adding to the misery of a dayslong bitter cold snap across the country. By Russ Bynum. SENT: 800 words, photos, videos.

With:

— DEEP FREEZE-WATER TOWER: An official says frigid weather likely caused a water tower in northwestern Indiana to overflow. SENT: 130 words, photos.

— BARGE STOWAWAY RESCUED: Southern Indiana authorities say a man who stowed away on an Ohio River barge was rescued after nearly freezing to death in frigid weather. SENT: 130 words.

INDIANA WELFARE-LAWSUIT

INDIANAPOLIS — IBM Corp. must post a $25 million bond as it appeals a $78 million judgment in a long-running case that stems from the company's failed effort to automate much of Indiana's welfare services, a judge has ruled. Marion Superior Court Judge Heather Welch issued the order Tuesday while granting IBM's request to halt enforcement of the full monetary judgment as its appeal is pending. The company has two weeks to post the $25 million, which is Indiana's maximum for an appeals bond. By Rick Callahan. SENT: 430 words.

INDIANA-OPIOID ABUSE

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. — Preliminary statistics show a 30 percent decline in overdose deaths last year in a southern Indiana county, marking the first dip in at least three years. The Clark County Health Department is waiting on final numbers but says tests so far show 60 drug-related deaths in 2017. That compares to 90 in 2016. There were 55 overdose deaths in 2015, up from 53 in 2014. SENT: 300 words.

TRAVEL-EVENTS AND OPENINGS

For travelers, the new year opens up a whole new world of places to go and things to do. Here are a few notable openings and events scheduled for 2018 around the U.S. In Indianapolis, the Children's Museum opens the Riley Children's Health Sports Legends Experience on March 17, with 12 outside sports experiences and three indoor exhibits devoted to physical fitness and sports history. By Travel Editor Beth J. Harpaz. SENT: 790 words, photo.

EXCHANGE-HARDY HIKERS

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — Starting 2018 with subzero temperatures and a wind child advisory was a challenge for many hikers Monday. For the many people who braved Monday's cold, however, a First Day Hike at Turkey Run State Park was the place to encounter a winter wonderland on the first day of the new year. Continuing their 14-year tradition for New Year's Day, an extended Putnam County family gathered at outside the park's nature center to hike. By Lisa Trigg. (Terre Haute) Tribune-Star. SENT: 690 words, photos pursuing.

IN BRIEF:

— HOME INVASION-BOY SHOT: Authorities say the occupants of a northern Indiana apartment fired the shots that killed a 13-year-old boy during an attempted home invasion last week.

— POLICE CHASE-FATAL CRASH: An Evansville Police Department report says a 7-month-old boy wasn't properly strapped into a car seat when he died after a car fleeing an officer crashed into one carrying his family.

— INDIANA FIRE DEATHS: The Indiana State Police have asked experts with the Indianapolis Fire Department to review its investigation of a northern Indiana house fire that killed four young sisters.

— CHURCH-PIPE ORGAN RESTORED: A northern Indiana church's more than century-old pipe organ is back in full working order after decades of not hitting all the notes.

— LAND TRUST-ENDANGERED BATS: A conservation group says a heavily wooded tract in western Indiana that's home to two federally endangered bats will be protected from development.

— NATIONAL GUARD DEPLOYMENT: Hundreds of family members and friends cheered for members of an Indiana National Guard unit based in Kokomo who are being deployed to Kuwait.

SPORTS:

BKN--PACERS-BUCKS

MILWAUKEE — The Bucks return home to face the Indiana Pacers, who are trying to snap a four-game losing streak. By Genaro C. Armas. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts at 8 p.m.

BKC--NOTRE DAME-BREY'S RUN

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Mike Brey has piled up 393 wins at Notre Dame, a school record he currently shares with Digger Phelps. Now in his 18th season at Notre Dame, Brey's teams have made 16 postseason appearances, including back-to-back NCAA Elite Eight showings in 2015 and 2016. Notre Dame next plays on Wednesday night at home against North Carolina State. By John Fineran. SENT: 575 words, photos.

BKC--NC STATE-NOTRE DAME

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame hosts North Carolina State in its first game since losing star Bonzie Colson for up to eight weeks with a fractured foot. By John Fineran. UPCOMING: 650 words. Game starts at 9 p.m.

BKC--T25-RUTGERS-PURDUE

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — No. 13 Purdue chases its 10th consecutive win Wednesday when it resumes conference play by hosting Rutgers. The Boilermakers haven't been 3-0 in the Big Ten since 2010-11. The Scarlet Knights have lost two in a row and their first two league games. By Michael Marot. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts at 7 p.m.

Also:

— BKC--EVANSVILLE-S. ILLINOIS. UPCOMING: 130 words. 8 p.m. tipoff.

— BKC--INDIANA ST.-LOYOLA OF CHICAGO. UPCOMING: 130 words. 8 p.m. tipoff.

— BKC--VALPARAISO-BRADLEY. UPCOMING: 130 words. 8 p.m. tipoff.

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