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BC-Deep South News Digest

December 23, 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 Columbia 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 A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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:

ATLANTA AIRPORT-WILDLIFE

ATLANTA _ The world’s busiest airport in Atlanta is ramping up its efforts to prevent birds from colliding with the roughly 2,500 commercial flights the airport handles each day. The work includes trapping hawks, scaring birds off with loud cannons, and sometimes using lethal force _ with coyotes, for instance. The airport recently hired a second wildlife biologist to help protect planes and their passengers from the risk posed by birds and other wildlife. Information from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. SENT: 430 words.

AP MEMBER EXCHANGES:

GA-EXCHANGE-GUATEMALA DENTAL CARE TRIP

NEWNAN, Ga. _ Dr. Moataz Elkasrawy, who owns an Aspen Dental practice in Newnan, recently came back from a humanitarian trip to Guatemala where nearly 750 school children received free dental care. “Dr. Taz,” as his patients call him, joined forces with seven other dentists, three dental hygienists, four dental assistants and two support team members from Aspen Dental-branded practices and Global Dental Relief to journey to Antigua, Guatemala, with a unified mission to deliver crucial dental care and oral health education to more than 750 local schoolchildren. By Kandice Bell. The Newnan Times-Herald.

IN BRIEF:

_ GROUND TURKEY RECALL _ A Minnesota-based poultry producer is recalling more than 164,000 pounds of raw ground turkey products that may be contaminated with salmonella. The products were shipped to Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas and Wisconsin.

IN SPORTS:

FBN--FALCONS-PANTHERS

CHARLOTTE, N.C. _ Taylor Heinicke will make his first NFL start against the Falcons with Cam Newton out with a shoulder injury. By Steve Reed. UPCOMING. 700 words, photos. Game starts at 1 p.m. EDT.

BKN--HAWKS-PISTONS

DETROIT _ The Pistons have slipped back to seventh in the Eastern Conference. They host an Atlanta team with only eight wins, but which has won two in a row. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts at 4 p.m. ET.

SOUTH CAROLINA (All times Eastern)

TOP STORIES:

UTILITY PROPERTY

COLUMBIA, SC _ A private utility ordered to pay some refunds to South Carolina customers for a pair of nuclear reactors that were never finished is selling off property. The State newspaper reports SCANA Corp. will sell a 3,000-acre plantation in Georgetown, a 140-year-old business office in Charleston and hundreds of undeveloped acres near its headquarters in Cayce. The money made on the sale will go to pay South Carolina Electric & Gas customers as part of a settlement over a lawsuit over the utility’s mismanagement of the construction of two nuclear plants that were never finished. Customers own billions of dollars. The money will also go to the lawyers who negotiated the roughly $200 million deal. How much will go to ratepayers and how much to lawyers hasn’t been determined. Information from The State. SENT: 275 words.

AP MEMBER EXCHANGES:

EXCHANGE-SMITH’S NEXT STEPS

COLUMBIA, S.C. _ James Smith has been scrolling through photos on his iPhone for a few minutes now, but he can’t find the one he is looking for. The 2018 Democratic nominee for S.C. governor stops every so often to look at a few of the thousands of pictures from his campaign. There are photos of overworked teachers, South Carolinians who can’t afford health care and a mother who is trying to get autism therapy for her 14-year-old son. By Avery G. Wilks. The State.

IN BRIEF:

_ WOUNDED OFFICERS-DONATIONS _ A private school in Darlington has raised $30,000 for the families of seven officers who authorities say were shot during an ambush earlier this year.

ALABAMA (All Times Central)

TOP STORIES:

MONTGOMERY SCHOOLS-MAINTENANCE

MONTGOMERY, Ala. _ School officials say millions of dollars are needed to tackle a long list of maintenance issues in Montgomery’s public schools. Rats have roamed the halls of a middle school. Cats were getting into another local school, leaving behind fleas that hatched eggs in the carpet. The Montgomery Advertiser reports that problems varying in severity plague most of Montgomery’s public schools, but the district’s $3.1 million maintenance budget doesn’t go far enough to take care of the aging buildings. Information from The Montgomery Advertiser. SENT: 500 words.

AP MEMBER EXCHANGES:

AL-EXCHANGE-PRESERVING NEIGHBORHOODS

MONTGOMERY, Ala. _ Bunmi Lawoyin was surprised by the condition of homes in Montgomery’s historic Centennial Hill neighborhood. A native of Nigeria in her first year of the Auburn’s graduate Community Planning program, Lawoyin compared the homes in Centennial to houses she would see in the ghettos of Africa. Some were dilapidated, rundown or vacant. By Krista Johnson. Montgomery Advertiser.

AL-EXCHANGE-COLLEGE AUTOMOTIVE TECH CENTER

DECATUR, Ala. _ An automotive technology center at Calhoun Community College’s Decatur campus, expected to be ready for students in August 2020, will offer a two-year associate degree to prepare them for jobs in auto maintenance and repair and also provide dual-enrollment opportunities for high school students. ”(Students) will be able to go into the field and have the knowledge to do the work of an entry-level and advanced technician,” said Lewis Nall, Calhoun’s automotive instructor since February. They’ll be able to handle basic maintenance and repair work on components like brakes, gaskets, alignment and timing belts, he said. By Marian Accardi. The Decatur Daily.

IN BRIEF:

_ SHEFFIELD-SMOKING BAN _ The mayor of a north Alabama city is setting up a January meeting with restaurant owners who say an anti-smoking ordinance has hurt their business.

LOUISIANA (All Times Central)

TOP STORIES:

LSU-SHOOTING INVESTIGATION

BATON ROUGE, La. _ Police say two LSU football players were trying to sell an electronic item when one player fatally shot an 18-year-old man trying to rob them. A statement by Baton Rouge Police does not identify the football players. But a person familiar with the investigation tells The Associated Press the players are running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire and linebacker Jared Small. The man killed was not an LSU student and died at the scene. By Brett Martel. SENT: 360 words.

LOUISIANA SPOTLIGHT-ANALYSIS

NEW ORLEANS _ Companies that link tourists looking for a place to stay in New Orleans with homeowners willing to accommodate for a price reacted swiftly to a proposal that would sharply limit the money-making possibilities for some. An AP News Analysis. Kevin McGill. UPCOMING: 700 words.

AP MEMBER EXCHANGES:

EXCHANGE-PACKAGE THIEVES

BATON ROUGE, La. _ Online ordering changed the holiday shopping landscape in recent years, but there’s at least one important reason Amazon and internet-based retailers can’t compete with Santa and his reindeer. Package thieves have descended upon neighborhoods in Baton Rouge and across the country, dashing Christmas dreams and igniting social media crusades against them. By Lea Skene and Grace Toohey. The Advocate.

EXCHANGE-LOUISIANA’S MARSH-FIRE

AVERY ISLAND, La. _ Heath Romero kills the engine on his airboat and climbs to the top of the propeller cage, the highest point in the flat expanse of marsh around this part of South Louisiana. Sitting quietly with his face tilted upward, he notes the parting clouds, the brightening sun, and the wind, just now starting to come to life. “Feel that? Now it’s gonna happen,” he says. By Tristan Baurick. Nola.com/Times-Picayune.

IN BRIEF:

_ GROUND TURKEY RECALL _ A Minnesota-based poultry producer is recalling more than 164,000 pounds of raw ground turkey products that may be contaminated with salmonella. The products were shipped to Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas and Wisconsin.

IN SPORTS:

FBN--STEELERS-SAINTS

NEW ORLEANS _ The New Orleans Saints can clinch No. 1 overall playoff seed in the NFC when they host the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Superdome on Sunday. The Steelers need a victory to stay ahead of Baltimore atop the AFC North. By Brett Martel. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Kickoff 4:25 p.m. ET

BKN--PELICANS-KINGS

SACRAMENTO, Calif. _ The New Orleans Pelicans visit the Sacramento Kings. By Michael Wagaman. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts at 3 p.m. PST

MISSISSIPPI (All Times Central)

TOP STORIES:

UNDER THE CAPITOL DOME-ANALYSIS

JACKSON, Miss. _ After mandating an increase in employer contributions to Mississippi’s public pension system, projections reported to the Public Employees Retirement System show its finances look to be in good shape. But that assessment, as always, comes with a caveat. Investment returns, economic conditions or state employee levels could change in the future, all of which could change the projected outcomes. By Jeff Amy. UPCOMING: 600 words; filed in advance.

AP MEMBER EXCHANGES:

MS-EXCHANGE-AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES-MSU

STARKVILLE, Miss. _ Mississippi State University’s Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems, or CAVS, decided a few years back that what it really wanted was the Great Outdoors. It’s getting its wish. By Ted Carter. Mississippi Business Journal.

MS-EXCHANGE-STENNIS CENTER-MILITARY TRAINING

BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. _ Your average fisherman would likely be surprised to suddenly see a team of boats carrying fully armed, tactically dressed military silently cruising by in the pre-dawn light. But regulars near the mouth of the Pearl River are probably used to it by now. By Lauren Walck. The Sun Herald.

IN BRIEF:

_ MISSISSIPPI HIGHWAYS-OVERSIZED VEHICLES _ Mississippi is banning oversized and overweight commercial vehicles on its state and federal highways for part of the holidays.

_ MISSISSIPPI-PRIVATE PRISONS _ A 23-year employee of the Mississippi Department of Corrections is moving up to become warden for three privately managed prisons and 15 regional jails.

_ SHIPYARD CONTRACT _ Lawmakers say a Mississippi shipyard has been awarded a $930.8 million contract to build the 10th and 11th U.S. Coast Guard National Security Cutters.

___

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

The Atlanta AP Bureau: apatlanta@ap.org

The Columbia 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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