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 A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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

POLLING PLACES-PROPOSED CLOSURES

CUTHBERT, Ga. — Election officials have scrapped a widely condemned proposal to eliminate most of the polling places in a majority black Georgia county. The elections board said it voted Friday against the plan that would close seven of nine voting locations in the rural county. County officials say an independent consultant had recommended the consolidation to save money. That consultant has been fired. Developing.

WITH:

— POLLING PLACES-PROPOSED CLOSURES-THE LATEST — The latest developments.

TAX OVERHAUL-HIGH TAX STATES

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration has laid down rules aimed at preventing residents in high-tax states from avoiding a new cap on widely popular state and local tax deductions. The action under the new Republican tax law pits the government against high-tax, heavily Democratic states in an election-year showdown. By Marcy Gordon and Geoff Mulvihill. SENT: 1,056.

Eds.: The story mentions that several states — Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Montana and South Carolina — allow taxpayers who donate to private-school funds to get a 100 percent credit against their state taxes, according to data compiled by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

EXTRA

Analysis and commentary from universities provided by The Conversation and distributed by AP. Find it in AP Newsroom or at the links below.

— Is there such a thing as a stress-free school lunch? Here's how to pack one. Molly Paulson, Georgia State University

http://theconversation.com/is-there-such-a-thing-as-a-stress-free-school-lunch-heres-how-to-pack-one-100996

IN BRIEF:

— SUPERINTENDENT-DISCRIMINATION LAWSUIT — The Georgia schools superintendent accused of using racist language in two recorded conversations and discriminating against a black employee has resigned.

— MAN SHOT BY OFFICERS — State law officers are investigating after local police and sheriff's deputies shot a man, critically wounding him at a north Georgia truck stop.

IN SPORTS:

BBN--BRAVES-MARLINS

MIAMI — Mike Foltynewicz tries for his 11th victory when the Braves face the Marlins and Dan Straily on Friday night. By Santos Perez. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game scheduled to begin 7:10 p.m. ET.

FBC--T25-GEORGIA-FROMM'S FIGHT

ATHENS, Ga. — It will be difficult for Jake Fromm to top his 2017 freshman season as Georgia's starting quarterback after winning at Notre Dame, winning in the Rose Bowl and taking the Bulldogs to their first SEC championship since 2005. Fromm's first challenge for 2018 is just to keep his starting job over top recruit Justin Fields. By Charles Odum. UPCOMING: 600 words, file photos by 7 p.m.

BKN--HAWKS-CARTER

ATLANTA — Vince Carter, the oldest active player in the NBA, is about to begin his 21st season and first with the Atlanta Hawks, a rebuilding team that's likley to be among the worst in the league. Carter will serve as a mentor to the Hawks' younger players as he eyes his 42nd birthday in January. By George Henry. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 6:30 p.m. DEVELOPING from 3 p.m. availability.

SOC--MLS-ATLANTA UNITED-ORLANDO SC. UPCOMING: 150 words. Game starts at 8 p.m.

SOUTH CAROLINA (All times Eastern)

TOP STORIES:

OPIOID LAWSUITS

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina's high court has appointed a single judge to handle any lawsuits related to opioids in the state system. On Thursday, the state Supreme Court assigned Circuit Court Judge Perry Gravely to the task. Gravely, based in Pickens, has been on the circuit bench since 2015. By Meg Kinnard. SENT: 307 words.

TAX OVERHAUL-HIGH TAX STATES

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration has laid down rules aimed at preventing residents in high-tax states from avoiding a new cap on widely popular state and local tax deductions. The action under the new Republican tax law pits the government against high-tax, heavily Democratic states in an election-year showdown. By Marcy Gordon and Geoff Mulvihill. SENT: 1,056.

Eds.: The story mentions that several states — Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Montana and South Carolina — allow taxpayers who donate to private-school funds to get a 100 percent credit against their state taxes, according to data compiled by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

IN BRIEF:

— INDECENT EXPOSURE-HOME — A South Carolina man has been charged with indecent exposure after being photographed standing naked in the window of his apartment.

— CHILD SEX CRIMES-DRUGS — Hours after a woman pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting children in South Carolina, authorities in North Carolina say she was found slumped over in a vehicle that contained drugs.

— BABY DROWNS-UNRELATED CHARGES — A baby found unresponsive in a bathtub in South Carolina has died more than a week later, and his mother and stepfather have been arrested on separate charges.

— COLD CASE KILLER-LAWSUIT — A woman who was chained in a shipping container by a man who killed seven people in South Carolina has won more than $6 million from his estate.

IN SPORTS:

FBN--PATRIOTS-PANTHERS

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Cam Newton and Tom Brady are expected to see their most extensive playing time in the preseason as the Panthers host the Patriots in the third preseason game for both teams. By Steve Reed. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT

FBC--T25-CLEMSON-YEARGIN

CLEMSON, S.C. — Reserve Clemson defensive lineman Richard Yeargin decides he longer wants to play football after recovering from a neck injury following a 2017 car accident. A team spokesman says the 6-foot-3, 260-pound graduate student from Lauderdale Lakes, Florida informed Clemson coaches of his decision this week. Yeargin will spend the year as a student coach for the Tigers. SENT: 150 words.

FBC--T25-CLEMSON'S RISE

CLEMSON, S.C. — Few believed 10 years ago Dabo Swinney could transform Clemson into a perennial championship contender. It was a longshot that he even got the job. But there he stood in an ill-fitting orange coat, the down-home guy with the folksy dialogue and no head coaching experience, smiling, trying to make a good first impression. By Pete Iacobelli. SENT: 975 words.

AP Photos NY154-0923172326, NY163-0923172117, NY167-0816180942, NCCHN901-1130171941.

ALABAMA (All Times Central)

TOP STORIES:

TAX OVERHAUL-HIGH TAX STATES

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration has laid down rules aimed at preventing residents in high-tax states from avoiding a new cap on widely popular state and local tax deductions. The action under the new Republican tax law pits the government against high-tax, heavily Democratic states in an election-year showdown. By Marcy Gordon and Geoff Mulvihill. SENT: 1,056.

Eds.: The story mentions that several states — Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Montana and South Carolina — allow taxpayers who donate to private-school funds to get a 100 percent credit against their state taxes, according to data compiled by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

LOUISIANA MANATEES

BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana is warning boaters to watch out for manatees, threatened marine mammals which have migrated from Florida across the Gulf Coast. The state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said West Indian manatees have been seen across coastal Louisiana, so the department has posted caution signs at boat launches throughout the area. Manatees are native to Florida. During the summer, they sometimes swim toward Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. SENT: 236 words.

IN BRIEF:

— HOT CAR-CHILD DEATH — Authorities say a 2-year-old Alabama girl died in south Huntsville after being left in a hot car.

— SHERIFF-FIFTH AMENDMENT — An Alabama sheriff is avoiding testifying in two lawsuits by citing her Fifth Amendment right and saying she could face prosecution for unspecified crimes.

— HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL-SHOTS FIRED — Gunfire in the vicinity of Alabama State University's stadium brought a high school football game to an early close.

IN SPORTS:

FBC--ALABAMA-CONTRACTS

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama has given athletic director Greg Byrne a raise and three-year contract extension through June 30, 2025. Byrne is set to earn $980,000 this year with the salary rising to $1.13 million in his final year. Trustees approved that deal and new contracts for several coaches on Friday, including the previously announced eight-year, $74 million deal for football coach Nick Saban. SENT: 169 words.

LOUISIANA (All Times Central)

TOP STORIES:

VOTING MACHINES

BATON ROUGE, La. — One of the losing bidders for Louisiana's voting machine replacement work wants a re-do, saying the bid process was "irresponsibly rushed and fundamentally flawed." Election Systems and Software filed a formal protest late Thursday with the state's procurement office, objecting to the choice of another vendor for the lucrative contract. By Melinda Deslatte. SENT: 575 words.

LOUISIANA CREDIT RATING

BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana's financial standing with another national credit rating improved Friday, an acknowledgement that state leaders have moved to stabilize the budget and end a decade of uncertainty over finances. S&P Global Ratings boosted its outlook for Louisiana from "negative" to "stable," an indication the firm believes the state has moved to a more sound financial position and is no longer at heightened risk of a credit downgrade. By Melinda Deslatte. SENT: 391 words.

LOUISIANA MANATEES

BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana is warning boaters to watch out for manatees, threatened marine mammals which have migrated from Florida across the Gulf Coast. The state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said West Indian manatees have been seen across coastal Louisiana, so the department has posted caution signs at boat launches throughout the area. Manatees are native to Florida. During the summer, they sometimes swim toward Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. SENT: 236 words.

IN BRIEF:

— PEDESTRIANS HIT-LSU — Louisiana State University officials say four students were hospitalized after a multi-vehicle car crash knocked one vehicle into pedestrians on a campus sidewalk.

— EDWARDS-MISSISSIPPI — Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards is helping to raise cash for Democratic candidates in Mississippi.

— COLD CASE RAPES — The New Orleans district attorney's office says a man awaiting trial in a 1994 kidnapping and rape has now been indicted in a second 1994 case.

— COLD CASE-RAPE ARREST — A man has been arrested in Louisiana and charged in a 1987 sexual battery case after DNA evidence from the Florida assault was re-tested.

— FORGED DIVORCE — A 27-year-old Louisiana man is accused of filing false divorce papers, and his girlfriend's daughter is accused of forging the man's wife's signature.

MISSISSIPPI (All Times Central)

TOP STORIES:

XGR--SPECIAL SESSION

JACKSON, Miss. — If Mississippi creates a lottery, its governing board would have to abide by the state's longstanding Open Meetings and Public Records laws, under a plan advancing in the state House. A bill that passed the state Senate on Thursday said a lottery corporation would be exempt from the government sunshine laws. The House Gaming Committee removed the exemption Friday after Republican Gov. Phil Bryant said he wanted the change. By Emily Wagster Pettus and Jeff Amy. SENT: 315 words.

AP Photos MSRS106-0823180953, MSRS115-0823181618, MSRS116-0823181316, MSRS109-0823181424, MSRS118-0823181623.

WITH:

— SPECIAL SESSION-THE LATEST — The latest developments.

LOUISIANA MANATEES

BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana is warning boaters to watch out for manatees, threatened marine mammals which have migrated from Florida across the Gulf Coast. The state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said West Indian manatees have been seen across coastal Louisiana, so the department has posted caution signs at boat launches throughout the area. Manatees are native to Florida. During the summer, they sometimes swim toward Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. SENT: 236 words.

IN BRIEF:

— BONANZA CLOSING — The second to last Bonanza Steakhouse restaurant left below the Mason-Dixon Line is closing its doors after 45 years.

— AIRPORT PURCHASE — Mississippi's senators say the City of Olive Branch has received a $14.9 million federal grant to help with the purchase of the Olive Branch Airport.

— NISSAN PLANT — Nissan has announced a $170 million investment at two assembly plants in Tennessee and Mississippi to produce the 2019 Altima sedan.

— EDWARDS-MISSISSIPPI — Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards is helping to raise cash for Democratic candidates in Mississippi.

___

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.