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Deep South News Digest

December 23, 2019 - 5:33 pm

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 A reminder: this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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 broadcast versions of the stories below, along with all updates.

GEORGIA (All times Eastern)

TOP STORIES:

HEALTH OVERHAUL-GEORGIA

ATLANTA — Georgia's Republican governor on Monday submitted twin plans requesting that President Donald Trump's administration allow changes to federal government subsidies for health insurance. Gov. Brian Kemp said proposed changes to former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act would give individuals and families less expensive coverage options, a particular benefit for those who don’t qualify for federal subsidies to cover premiums. By Jeff Amy. SENT: 640 words.

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS-GEORGIA FARM

STATESBORO, Ga. — Roy Thompson's farm in southeast Georgia lights up after dark like a Christmas wonderland — not just the house, but the fields and even surrounding woods. And cars and trucks by the thousands come rolling in with visitors eager for a look. SENT: 330 words

WEST GEORGIA-PRESIDENT

CARROLLTON, Ga. — A South Carolina educator will be the next president of the University of West Georgia. The Georgia Board of Regents voted on Monday to name Brendan Kelly, now the leader of the University of South Carolina Upstate, as president of the 13,000-student public university in Carrollton. Kelly will start work on April 1. SENT: 290 words.

SOUTHERN FLOODING

Forecasters say several roads were closed during the morning rush hour in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, as heavy rain soaked several southern states. The National Weather Service said before dawn Monday that Charleston was flooding due to a combination of coastal flooding and the effects of the heavy rains. Creeks and streams were on the rise there and across the South. Flash flood watches and warnings covered large parts of Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama and South Carolina. In Florida, the heavy rain and flooding delayed dozens of flights at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida. By 6:30 a.m. Monday, flight operations were resuming. SENT: 237 words.

IN BRIEF:

— POLICE SHOOTING-GEORGIA — Authorities say a Georgia deputy has shot and killed a shovel-wielding man who hit him and threatened a store clerk.

SPORTS:

BKN—HAWKS-CAVALIERS

CLEVELAND — The Atlanta Hawks visit the Cleveland Cavaliers. Developing from 7 p.m. start.

FBN-FALCONS-ANALYSIS

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Coach Dan Quinn doesn't want to consider whether this is his last week on the job, but with one game to go, the Falcons have been out of the playoff hunt for nearly a month and are finishing with their third non-winning season in five years under his leadership. A change might be coming soon in Atlanta. By George Henry. UPCOMING. 650 words with photos by 6:30 p.m.

FBC—CFP-PEACH BOWL-LINEUP CONCERNS

ATLANTA — While No. 1 LSU could be without top rusher Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who hurt his hamstring in practice last week, No. 4 Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley hasn't confirmed reports three players, including starting defensive end Ronnie Perkins, will be suspended for the CFP semifinal. By Charles Odum. UPCOMING: 600 words by 7 p.m.

BKC-GEORGIA SOUTHERN-GEORGIA

ATHENS, Ga. — Coming off a double-OT win over SMU, Georgia will try to add more momentum for its SEC schedule when it plays in-state rival Georgia Southern on Monday night. By Blake Giles. UPCOMING: 600 words from 7 p.m. start.

SOUTH CAROLINA (All times Eastern)

TOP STORIES:

SOUTHERN FLOODING

Forecasters say several roads were closed during the morning rush hour in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, as heavy rain soaked several southern states. The National Weather Service said before dawn Monday that Charleston was flooding due to a combination of coastal flooding and the effects of the heavy rains. Creeks and streams were on the rise there and across the South. Flash flood watches and warnings covered large parts of Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama and South Carolina. In Florida, the heavy rain and flooding delayed dozens of flights at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida. By 6:30 a.m. Monday, flight operations were resuming. SENT: 237 words.

WEST GEORGIA-PRESIDENT

CARROLLTON, Ga. — A South Carolina educator will be the next president of the University of West Georgia. The Georgia Board of Regents voted on Monday to name Brendan Kelly, now the leader of the University of South Carolina Upstate, as president of the 13,000-student public university in Carrollton. Kelly will start work on April 1. SENT: 290 words.

DEFENDANT-TRANSFER DISPUTE

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — State health officials are involved in a legal dispute over their plan to transfer a manslaughter defendant to a prison hospital in another state because officials have said he is too dangerous to be kept in Alaska. The defense attorney for 24-year-old Duop Tharjiath has asked a judge to halt the proposed move from the Alaska Psychiatric Institute to a for-profit hospital in South Carolina, The Anchorage Daily News reported. SENT: 320 words.

IN BRIEF:

— SHOOTING AFTER FUNERAL — A 23-year-old man was shot and killed by gang members in South Carolina during a gathering after the funeral of a different victim of gunfire in Columbia, authorities said.

— CHRISTMAS PARTY SHOOTING — A man was shot and killed during a fight during a Christmas party at a South Carolina real estate firm, authorities said.

ALABAMA (All times Central)

TOP STORIES:

3M-CHEMICAL CONTAMINATION

DECATUR, Ala. — A north Alabama school system has taken the first step to sue 3M Co. over claims that chemicals are leaking from a closed landfill that is on school system property. News outlets reported that Decatur's school system has filed notice saying it plans to sue over industrial toxins leaking from the one-time landfill beneath the former Brookhaven Middle School. Chemicals are leaking into a creek, groundwater and the Tennessee River, the system contends. SENT: 360 words.

OBIT-ELMER HARRIS

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Former Alabama Power Co. chief executive Elmer Harris, who helped build Alabama's automotive industry as an economic developer, died Monday, the utility said in a statement. Harris was 80. The utility did not announce a cause of death, but Harris had been in declining health. SENT: 200 words.

SOUTHERN FLOODING

Forecasters say several roads were closed during the morning rush hour in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, as heavy rain soaked several southern states. The National Weather Service said before dawn Monday that Charleston was flooding due to a combination of coastal flooding and the effects of the heavy rains. Creeks and streams were on the rise there and across the South. Flash flood watches and warnings covered large parts of Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama and South Carolina. In Florida, the heavy rain and flooding delayed dozens of flights at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida. By 6:30 a.m. Monday, flight operations were resuming. SENT: 237 words.

IN BRIEF:

— INDUSTRIAL EXPANSION — A Texas-based company said an expansion announced Monday at a plant in north Alabama will increase production and reduce pollution.

— CITY-THEFT CHARGES — Two former city officials are accused of stealing almost $70,000 total from a south Alabama town, a prosecutor said Monday.

— FATAL WRECK — Alabama State Troopers are identifying three people who died in a one-car wreck near Aliceville on Friday.

— SECURITY GUARD KILLED — Police say a fight at a bar in south Alabama left a security guard dead.

— MISSING WOMAN-ALABAMA — Police are searching for a missing woman who left an Alabama bar with two strangers and then reportedly texted someone that she might be in trouble.

LOUISIANA (All times Central)

TOP STORIES:

PRESCHOOL GRANT

BATON ROUGE, La. — The Louisiana Department of Education won a three-year grant totaling more than $33 million to make preschool more available to low-income children from birth to age 3. The federal Preschool Development Grant will create at least 600 new openings to let such children attend preschool without any payment from their parents, according to a news release Monday. Programs that provide infant care, meet teacher certification requirements and minimum quality rating scores will get priority. SENT: 240 words.

CLOSED FACTORY-PURCHASER

LAPLACE, La., — London-based Liberty Steel Group said Monday that its $28 million cash offer has made it the preferred buyer for a Louisiana steel mill that shut down abruptly in the fall, putting 376 people out of work. Bayou Steel Group announced the layoffs and shutdown Sept. 30. The following day, it said it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. SENT: 300 words.

SLOW MOTION EVACUATION

WOODBRIDGE, N.J. — In one New Jersey town of more than 100,000 residents, some neighborhoods are projected to be underwater in coming decades as sea levels rise because of climate change. People who live on the land are accepting offers from the government to buy and demolish their homes, taking them permanently out of harm's way. Buyouts of flood-prone properties have become a reality in numerous coastal states, as well as inland. New York, Texas, Louisiana, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota and others have programs. By Wayne Parry and Ted Shaffrey. SENT: 866 words, photos, video.

IN BRIEF:

— CROP DUSTER-BLESSINGS — A Roman Catholic church in Louisiana decided to disperse some blessings to a local town via crop dusters.

— CADDO COMMISSIONER CHARGED — A federal grand jury in Louisiana has brought more charges against a local government official who was re-elected in spite of an earlier indictment.

— BALD EAGLE KILLED — State wildlife agents believe at least one bald eagle, and possibly a second, may have been killed in northwest Louisiana, according to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

— HOUSE FIRE DEATH — An 83-year-old man may have been trying to fight the flames at his Louisiana home as it burned over the weekend, according to a fire marshal's office spokeswoman.

SPORTS:

FBC—CFP-PEACH BOWL-LINEUP CONCERNS

ATLANTA — While No. 1 LSU could be without top rusher Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who hurt his hamstring in practice last week, No. 4 Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley hasn't confirmed reports three players, including starting defensive end Ronnie Perkins, will be suspended for the CFP semifinal. By Charles Odum. UPCOMING: 600 words by 6 p.m.

FBC—CFP-LSU-STINGLEY'S SUCCESS

Derek Stingley Jr. sat flanked by the Heisman Trophy favorite and LSU coach Ed Orgeron, as usual the youngster in the group. Quarterback Joe Burrow even felt compelled to offer a reminder about the Tigers cornerback after both had starring roles in the Southeastern Conference championship game. SENT: 730 words.

FBN—SAINTS-ANALYSIS

NEW ORLEANS — If the Saints wanted to test their playoff readiness, overcoming a two-touchdown deficit on the road, outdoors, in the rain and against a Titans team trying to clinch a postseason berth was one way to do it. By Brett Martel. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 6 p.m.

BKN—PELICANS-TRAIL BLAZERS

PORTLAND, Ore. — The New Orleans Pelicans visit the Portland Trail Blazers. Developing from 9 p.m. start.

MISSISSIPPI (All times Central)

TOP STORIES:

MISSING DOG SHOT

OZONA, Miss. — A Mississippi man searching for his missing dog was left an anonymous note that said his dog had been killed and that he should abide by the county leash law. The Sun Herald of Biloxi reports Chad Stricker had already spent several days searching for his 10-month-old wolfdog named Nymeria when he found the note and Nymeria's collar in his mailbox this month. Nymeria's large yellow collar featured an oversized tag that included her photo, owner's address and number and a description of her personality. Stricker says Nymeria's body hasn't been returned to him. SENT: 329 words.

DRAINAGE DISTRICT-ILLEGAL PAYMENTS

TUPELO, Miss. — A north Mississippi flood control district will stop collecting property taxes while it seeks to resolve claims that board members illegally paid themselves more than $350,000. The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports the Town Creek Master Water Management District filed an agreement in court last week to temporarily halt tax collections. SENT: 200 words.

SOUTHERN FLOODING

Forecasters say several roads were closed during the morning rush hour in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, as heavy rain soaked several southern states. The National Weather Service said before dawn Monday that Charleston was flooding due to a combination of coastal flooding and the effects of the heavy rains. Creeks and streams were on the rise there and across the South. Flash flood watches and warnings covered large parts of Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama and South Carolina. In Florida, the heavy rain and flooding delayed dozens of flights at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida. By 6:30 a.m. Monday, flight operations were resuming. SENT: 237 words.

IN BRIEF:

— MEMA LEADER — Mississippi's incoming governor is keeping the state emergency director.

— POLICE SHOOTING-MISSISSIPPI — A man has died after he was shot by a police officer in south Mississippi, a Hattiesburg police spokesman said.

— STRAY BULLET-CHILD KILLED — A 13-year-old boy died after being hit by a stray bullet while playing video games at a southeast Mississippi apartment complex, police said.

___

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

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