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BC-Deep South News Digest

February 28, 2019

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 A reminder: this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM LAW-GEORGIA

ATLANTA _ A ‘religious liberties’ bill that aims to add greater protections for personal beliefs has renewed a recurring debate in Georgia about discrimination and religious freedom. Republican state Sen. Marty Harbin of Tyrone said Thursday his proposal was drafted to mirror a federal law passed in 1993. By Ben Nadler and Sanya Mansoor. SENT: 127 words. Will be updated.

IN BRIEF:

_ DEPUTY SHOOTING _ The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has released the identity of a man shot and wounded by a Walton County Sheriff’s deputy during a foot chase.

_ BODY-CREEK-GEORGIA ARRESTS _ Police say a man’s body was found in an Alabama creek and now two Georgia men are charged with murder.

_ FRAMINGHAM STATE-JOHN LEWIS _ Framingham State University in Massachusetts has announced that U.S. Rep. and civil rights leader John Lewis has agreed to deliver the school’s commencement address this spring.

SPORTS:

BBN—BRAVES-FIFTH STARTER

KISSIMMEE, Fla. _ A rough outing by Touki Toussaint on Thursday adds more uncertainty to the competition for the Atlanta Braves’ fifth starter. Mike Soroka’s bid for the job already has been hurt by shoulder soreness. By Dick Scanlon. UPCOMING: 500 words by 4 p.m.

ALSO:

_ BBO--TIGERS-BRAVES

BKN--HAWKS-MATURING YOUTH

ATLANTA _ Trae Young and John Collins are removing all doubts about this status as the base of the Atlanta Hawks’ rebuilding process. Both are showing more consistent signs they are ready to lead the team that still needs to draft or sign more help. By Charles Odum. UPCOMING: 600 words, file photos by 3 p.m.

Also:

_ BKW--T25-GEORGIA TECH-MIAMI. Upcoming: 150 words. Game starts at 7 p.m.

SOUTH CAROLINA (All times Eastern)

TOP STORIES:

ASSETS SEIZED

COLUMBIA, S.C. _ South Carolina lawmakers are considering a major overhaul of the state’s forfeiture laws, requiring a criminal conviction before money or other items can be taken. The proposals would also create a public online database of forfeiture cases and send all money and items seized to the state instead of letting it be kept by local police agencies. By Jeffrey Collins. SENT: 568 words.

AP Photos RPJC101-0228190952.

XGR-VOTER ELIGIBILITY-PAST OFFENDERS

COLUMBIA, S.C. _ South Carolina lawmakers say some former convicted offenders who complete their sentence, parole and probation period are unaware that current state law allows for their voting rights to be restored. Proposed legislation would provide clarity to state agencies and hold them accountable for notifying offenders, lawmakers said. Members of the House election laws subcommittee voted Thursday in favor of a bill that would require the South Carolina Department of Corrections and the Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services to notify those who were convicted of a crime or former felons of their rights. Though current state law allows for a former offender to register to vote after successful completion of their sentence, including terms of supervision, lawmakers said the problem lies in them being unaware of those rights. By Christina L. Myers. SENT: 663 words.

CONSERVATION BANK

COLUMBIA, S.C. _ The appointment of a former state representative to lead the South Carolina Conservation Bank has been sent to the full Senate even after one senator called the appointment “extraordinarily wrong.” Sen. Dick Harpootlian said Thursday during a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing that ex-Rep. Mike Pitts was one of the least qualified applicants to run the board which buys land for protection and public recreation. By Jeffrey Collins. SENT: 135 words. Will be updated.

ELECTION 2020-BERNIE SANDERS

UNDATED _ Over nearly three decades on Capitol Hill, Sen. Bernie Sanders has refused to formally identify as a Democrat. His 2016 primary challenge against Hillary Clinton exposed deep divisions among Democrats and fundamentally reshaped the party. But as the Vermont independent seeks the Democratic presidential nomination again, he is taking steps to assure skeptical party faithful that he’s one of them. By Bill Barrow and Meg Kinnard. SENT: 1,042 words.

AP Photos WX110-0130191644.

IN BRIEF:

_ SUMTER SCHOOLS-FISCAL EMERGENCY _ The South Carolina state superintendent of education has declared a fiscal emergency in the Sumter School District, citing the district’s failure to comply with its own financial recovery plan.

_ CONGRESS-GUN CONTROL _ Capping two days of action on gun control, the House has passed legislation to allow a review period of up to 10 days for background checks on firearms purchases.

SPORTS:

BKW--T25-SOUTH CAROLINA-AUBURN

AUBURN, Ala. _ Auburn, which just picked up its 20th win, hosts No. 14 South Carolina. UPCOMING: 150 words. Game starts 6 p.m. CT.

BKC--T25-WOFFORD-CHATTANOOGA

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - No. 24 Wofford plays as a ranked team for the first time and chases its 16th consecutive victory as it visits Chattanooga. By Steve Megargee. UPCOMING: 650 words, with photos. The game starts at 7 p.m.

ALABAMA (All times Central)

TOP STORIES:

THE ROUND HOUSE

MONTGOMERY, Ala. _ An admitted con man who scammed nearly $2 million from investors told a federal judge that he was “disgusted” with himself but asked to serve at least part of his sentence on home confinement so he can access a computer to make money and repay his victims. Kyle Sandler, 43, appeared in federal court for a sentencing hearing after pleading guilty to wire and securities fraud. U.S. District Judge Keith Watkins said sentence guidelines indicate Sandler should spend between 63 to 78 months in prison. By Jay Reeves and Kim Chandler. SENT: 393 words.

AP Photos GAMS602-0225190914, ALJR601-0224190937.

WITH

_ THE ROUND HOUSE-LATEST DEVELOPMENTS _ The latest developments.

IN BRIEF:

_ FATHER SLAIN-CONVICTION _ Prosecutors say a man who stabbed his father 71 times and dumped his body in an Alabama river has been convicted.

_ BODY-CREEK-GEORGIA ARRESTS _ Police say a man’s body was found in an Alabama creek and now two Georgia men are charged with murder.

_ MISSING PERSONS-SEARCHES _ Authorities looking for two missing people in Alabama say one has been found safe and that the search for the other has been suspended because of rain and unsafe conditions.

SPORTS:

BKW--T25-SOUTH CAROLINA-AUBURN

AUBURN, Ala. _ Auburn, which just picked up its 20th win, hosts No. 14 South Carolina. UPCOMING: 150 words. Game starts 6 p.m. CT.

LOUISIANA (All times Central)

TOP STORIES:

INTERSTATE 25-BARRICADE SITUATION

HATCH, N.M. _ An Arizona man shot and wounded by an officer during a standoff along Interstate 25 reportedly abducted his wife in Louisiana and threatened to kill his 7-year-old son during the standoff, New Mexico authorities said. The wife of James Kirkland, 39, of Kingman bolted from the vehicle when it stopped early Wednesday on I-25 near the southern New Mexico village of Hatch following a pursuit that began after the vehicle bypassed a Border Patrol checkpoint, police said. SENT: 355 words.

FARM DEBT

WICHITA, Kan. _ The nation’s farmers are struggling to pay back loans after years of low crop prices and a backlash from foreign buyers over President Donald Trump’s tariffs, with a key government program showing the highest default rate in at least nine years. Many agricultural loans come due around Jan. 1, in part to give producers enough time to sell crops and livestock and to give them more flexibility in timing interest payments for tax filing purposes. By Roxana Hegeman. SENT: 1,010 words.

AP Photos CER301-0405181527.

METEOROLOGIST SIGNS OFF

NEW ORLEANS _ After a decades-long career as a TV weather forecaster, meteorologist Carl Arredondo is signing off Friday due to vision problems. Arredondo announced Feb. 19 that he had a rare genetic disorder called retinitis pigmentosa that was eroding his peripheral vision, and that his last day at WWL-TV in New Orleans would be March 1. SENT: 138 words. Will be updated.

AP Photos LAORS104-0226190738, LAORS103-0226190640, LAORS102-0226190717, LAORS101-0226190513.

IN BRIEF:

_ OFFICER SHOOTING-LOUISIANA _ Police in southwest Louisiana say officers shot and killed a man who pulled out a weapon when they tried to arrest him.

_ WHEELCHAIR FATAL _ Louisiana State Police say a man in an electric wheelchair was hit and killed when he moved to the left on a two-lane road as an SUV approached from behind.

_ HYDROGEN PLANT _ An industrial gas company says it will build a new hydrogen plant in Louisiana and be one of the largest hydrogen production units in the country.

_ INTERSTATE 25-BARRICADE SITUATION _ New Mexico authorities say an Arizona man shot and wounded by an officer during a barricade situation along Interstate 25 reportedly abducted his wife in Louisiana and threatened to kill his 7-year-old son during the standoff Wednesday.

_ TODDLER POOL DEATH _ The sheriff’s office of Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana, says a toddler found unresponsive in a Chauvin pool has died.

_ DEALERSHIP MANAGERS-THEFT _ Two car dealership managers have pleaded guilty or no contest to felony theft in what prosecutors describe as a $350,000 fraud.

SPORTS:

BKW--T25-LSU-MISSISSIPPI ST

STARKVILLE, Miss. _ No. 5 Mississippi State hosts LSU in a Southeastern Conference game on Wednesday. It’s the last regular season home game for the Bulldogs, who are trying to win their fourth straight. By David Brandt. UPCOMING: 550 words, photos from 7 p.m. CT tipoff.

MISSISSIPPI (All times Central)

TOP STORIES:

FARM DEBT

WICHITA, Kan. _ The nation’s farmers are struggling to pay back loans after years of low crop prices and a backlash from foreign buyers over President Donald Trump’s tariffs, with a key government program showing the highest default rate in at least nine years. Many agricultural loans come due around Jan. 1, in part to give producers enough time to sell crops and livestock and to give them more flexibility in timing interest payments for tax filing purposes. By Roxana Hegeman. SENT: 1,010 words.

AP Photos CER301-0405181527.

JAPAN-NISSAN-GHOSN

TOKYO _ A Japanese court says lawyers for Carlos Ghosn, the former Nissan chairman detained for more than three months in Tokyo, are seeking his release on bail. Two earlier such requests were rejected. Ghosn was arrested on Nov. 19. He insists he is innocent of charges of falsifying financial reports and breach of trust. By Yuri Kageyama. SENT: 281 words, photos.

IN BRIEF:

_ SCHOOL BOND ISSUE _ Voters in one southwest Mississippi school district will be asked this spring to borrow $8 million.

_ TORNADO REPAIR DEATH _ A Mississippi man has died while repairing a Columbus roof that was damaged by a tornado over the weekend.

SPORTS:

BKW--T25-LSU-MISSISSIPPI ST

STARKVILLE, Miss. _ No. 5 Mississippi State hosts LSU in a Southeastern Conference game on Wednesday. It’s the last regular season home game for the Bulldogs, who are trying to win their fourth straight. By David Brandt. UPCOMING: 550 words, photos from 7 p.m. CT tipoff.

___

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