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Deep South News Digest

April 01, 2020 - 6:12 pm

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 A reminder: this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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

VIRUS OUTBREAK-GEORGIA

ATLANTA — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced Wednesday that he will issue a statewide shelter-in-place order to prevent spread of the coronavirus and shut down public schools for the rest of the year. Kemp had previously resisted calls for a statewide order for all Georgians to stay at home, saying those decisions are best left to local governments. The result has been a patchwork of ordinances that can vary widely even among neighboring communities. By Jeff Amy and Sudhin Thanawala. SENT: 531 words.

AP Photos transref:GAATJ321, transref:GAATJ501, transref:GAATJ101, transref:XAZ109, transref:XAZ110.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-GEORGIA ELECTIONS

ATLANTA — Gov. Brian Kemp says he doesn't believe he has the power to order a delay in Georgia's May 19 party primary elections under the current state of emergency. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger at first reiterated his position Wednesday that he doesn't have the power to further delay the presidential primary, originally set for March 24. But he appeared to soften that stance in a statement he released hours later as Georgia grappled with the new coronavirus pandemic. By Jeff Amy. SENT: 642 words.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-CONGRESS-STOCKS

WASHINGTON — The husband of Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler recently acquired as much as $415,000 in stock in DuPont de Nemours, a chemical company that manufactures protective equipment in exceedingly high demand because of the coronavirus pandemic. The transaction, detailed in a mandatory disclosure the Republican filed late Tuesday, comes as senators in both parties have faced questions about the stock transactions they made in the weeks before the coronavirus upended the U.S. economy, wiping out jobs and personal wealth. By Brian Slodysko and Mary Clare Jalonick. SENT: 676 words.

AP Photos transref:DCSW128.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-MAKING RENT

UNDATED — It's the first of the month, and everybody knows the rent's due. For millions of Americans, Wednesday is the first time the landlord is knocking on the door since the coronavirus outbreak turned the economy upside down. Many of those renters are without jobs - nearly 3.3 million people in the U.S. filed for unemployment the week of March 16, about five times the previous high in 1982. Most state and local governments are putting evictions on pause as states prepare to pay unemployment and the federal government prepares to send stimulus checks. So for most, April's knock won't come with a notice to get out. By Jeffrey Collins. SENT: 2,003 words.

AP Photos transref:MAEA202, transref:MAEA204, transref:MAEA201, transref:VAHO201, transref:AX601, transref:AX609, transref:AX603, transref:AZRF104, transref:AZRF106, transref:AZRF105, transref:AZRF103, transref:AX608, transref:AX604, transref:NYDB504, transref:AX602, transref:AX607, transref:ILCA112, transref:ILCA115, transref:VAHO201M, transref:AX609M, transref:AX603M, transref:AX604M, transref:NYDB504M, transref:AX602M, transref:AX607M.

IN BRIEF:

— GEORGIA MAYOR DIES —The longtime mayor of the southeast Georgia city known as the “Sweet Onion Capital of the World” has died after 26 years in office, according to city officials.

— TRIPLE SLAYING-CHILD TAKEN — Florida state troopers were in a standoff Wednesday afternoon with a Georgia man accused of fatally shooting three people in his child's mother's family, and then leaving with the child, authorities said. AP Photos transref:GAPD101.

— INJURED TURTLES RELEASED — Stranded New England sea turtles released to wild in Georgia

IN SPORTS:

PAUL NEWBERRY-RESTARTING SPORTS

UNDATED — The NBA playoffs on cruise ships? Tiger vs. Lefty, The Sequel? Paul Newberry. SENT: 951 words.

AP Photos transref:FLWL101, transref:FLWL108, transref:NY152, transref:NY154, transref:PDJ125, transref:XRR123.

SOUTH CAROLINA (All times Eastern)

TOP STORIES:

VIRUS OUTBREAK-SOUTH CAROLINA

COLUMBIA, S.C. — As businesses considered nonessential close across South Carolina to fight the coronavirus, state health officials are coming under increased scrutiny over information it isn't gathering or releasing about the spread of the virus. For a brief time last week, the Department of Health and Environmental Control released the number of COVID-19 cases in each ZIP code. But less than a day later, officials replaced it with a list that included only ZIP codes where there had been at least one case. By Jeffrey Collins. SENT: 587 words.

AP Photos transref:RPJC101, transref:SCMYR102, transref:SCMYR303, transref:SCMYR104, transref:SCMYR302, transref:SCMYR101.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-MAKING RENT

UNDATED — It's the first of the month, and everybody knows the rent's due. For millions of Americans, Wednesday is the first time the landlord is knocking on the door since the coronavirus outbreak turned the economy upside down. Many of those renters are without jobs - nearly 3.3 million people in the U.S. filed for unemployment the week of March 16, about five times the previous high in 1982. Most state and local governments are putting evictions on pause as states prepare to pay unemployment and the federal government prepares to send stimulus checks. So for most, April's knock won't come with a notice to get out. By Jeffrey Collins. SENT: 2,003 words.

AP Photos transref:MAEA202, transref:MAEA204, transref:MAEA201, transref:VAHO201, transref:AX601, transref:AX609, transref:AX603, transref:AZRF104, transref:AZRF106, transref:AZRF105, transref:AZRF103, transref:AX608, transref:AX604, transref:NYDB504, transref:AX602, transref:AX607, transref:ILCA112, transref:ILCA115, transref:VAHO201M, transref:AX609M, transref:AX603M, transref:AX604M, transref:NYDB504M, transref:AX602M, transref:AX607M.

TROUBLED SHERIFFS-REELECTION

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Two South Carolina sheriffs who faced recent troubles have filed for reelection in their respective counties. Suspended Chester County Sheriff Alex Underwood filed Monday for a third term, The Herald of Rock Hill reported. SENT: 297 words.

IN BRIEF:

— CANDIDATE ARRESTED —The founder of a charity that provides bulletproof vests for police departments who can't afford them was arrested and charged with incest and rape, authorities said.

— MISSING MAN-BODY FOUND — The body of a 20-year-old man reported missing in February has been found in woods in South Carolina, authorities said.

ALABAMA (All times Central)

TOP STORIES:

VIRUS OUTBREAK-ALABAMA

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama on Wednesday reached more than 1,000 cases of the coronavirus, with 17 confirmed deaths from the virus. The Alabama Department of Public Health said that 26 deaths have been reported in COVID-19 patients, and the state has so far confirmed that 17 of those were caused by the respiratory illness. SENT: 210 words.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-MISSISSIPPI

JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves announced Wednesday that he is ordering people statewide to stay at home to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. The order will take effect at 5 p.m. Friday and last until 8 a.m. April 20. The Republican governor said: "This will not be easy for anyone, but we believe it is the right course of action.” By Emily Wagster Pettus. SENT: 601 words.

AP Photos transref:MSMES602, transref:MSMES601, transref:MSJC103, transref:MSJC110, transref:MSJC107, transref:MSJAD401, transref:MSMES101, transref:MSTUP.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-RURAL HOSPITALS

CARROLLTON, Ala. — As the coronavirus spread across the United States, workers at the lone hospital in one Alabama county turned off beeping monitors for good and padlocked the doors, making it one of the latest in a string of nearly 200 rural hospitals to close nationwide. Now Joe Cunningham is more worried than ever about getting care for his wife, Polly, a dialysis patient whose health is fragile. The nearest hospital is about 30 miles away, he said, and that’s too far since COVID-19 already has been confirmed in sparsely populated Pickens County, on the Mississippi state line. By Jay Reeves. SENT: 1,087 words.

AP Photos transref:WVFAI302, transref:ALJR102, transref:ALJR101, transref:WVFAI301.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-JOB MARKET

UNDATED — As millions of job cuts tear through the U.S. economy, a faint glimmer of light has emerged: Some employers are trying to maintain ties to the staffers they're letting go so they can more quickly rehire them once the viral outbreak has passed. Several large retail chains are furloughing workers — a form of temporary job cut that often maintains health insurance — rather than laying them off. And many small businesses, too, are keeping in touch with workers they've had to let go. By Christopher Rugaber. SENT: 1,184 words.

AP Photos transref:NYCD301, transref:CACC104, transref:NYDD201.

WEST VIRGINIA GOVERNOR-COAL FINES

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Billionaire West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice's coal companies have agreed to pay more than $5 million for thousands of mine safety violations, federal prosecutors said Wednesday. The civil case brought by prosecutors in Virginia last year on behalf of the U.S. Department of Labor and the Mine Safety and Health Administration sought to claim payments on nearly 2,300 violations committed since 2014. By Anthony Izaguirre. SENT: 420 words.

AP Photos transref:WVCHG101, transref:WVCJ101, transref:WVCHG101.

IN BRIEF:

— FATAL SHOOTING-STUDENT — An Alabama high school student was fatally shot Wednesday morning and a classmate was taken into custody, authorities said.

— INMATE DEATH — Alabama inmate killed during fight with another prisoner

— FATHER KILLED — Alabama woman charged in fatal shooting of her father

— MAN CHARGED — Birmingham Police have made an arrest in the shooting of a 25-year-old man over the weekend.

— MISSISSIPPI NEWSPAPERS-PUBLISHER — A longtime newspaper executive has been named publisher of several Mississippi newspapers and magazines owned by Boone Newspapers Inc. AP Photos transref:MSNAT101.

IN SPORTS:

CAR—INDYCAR-IRACING-NBCSN

UNDATED — IndyCar's virtual racing will be televised beginning with Saturday's iRacing event, which has been picked up by NBC Sports. The debut virtual race last weekend drew 433,000 combined viewers to both IndyCar and iRacing's online stream. Totals viewers jumped to 600,000 when IndyCar tallied how many watched drivers' social media feeds or gaming channels. By Jenna Fryer. SENT: 245 words.

AP Photos transref:NYHO203, transref:INMC105, transref:NYHO201, transref:NYHO202, transref:INMC104, transref:INMC107.

LOUISIANA (All times Central)

TOP STORIES:

VIRUS OUTBREAK-LOUISIANA

BATON ROUGE, La. — As coronavirus cases spike ever higher in Louisiana, the state's nursing homes, assisted living sites and adult residential care facilities are showing more and more “clusters” of the virus, but the full scale of the outbreak at those sites remains uncertain. Louisiana's Department of Health has identified 47 long-term care facilities that it considers a cluster, with at least two apparently related cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. That number has increased steadily, as the coronavirus epidemic has grown across Louisiana. By Melinda Deslatte and Janet McConnaughey. SENT: 753 words.

AP Photos transref:LAGH111, transref:LABAT503, transref:LABAT202.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-LOUISIANA CHURCH SERVICE

CENTRAL, La. — Buses and cars filled a Louisiana church parking lot for another service as worshipers flocked to hear a pastor who is facing misdemeanor charges for holding services despite a ban intended to control the new coronavirus. Some protesters turned out, too, including one man shouting through a bullhorn against the gathering at the Life Tabernacle Church in the city of Central. Pastor Tony Spell was issued a summons hours earlier on Tuesday for holding services previously at the church in violation of the governor's order banning gatherings. Authorities say more than 5,200 people in Louisiana have confirmed virus infections, and 239 state residents have died. By Stacey Plaisance, Chevel Johnson and Melinda Deslatte. SENT: 675 words, photos, video.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-GUNS

UNDATED — Background checks required to buy firearms have spiked to record numbers in the past month, fueled by a run on guns from Americans worried about their safety during the coronavirus crisis. According to figures from the FBI, 3.7 million background checks were done in March — the most for a single month since the system began in 1998. It eclipsed the previous record, set in December 2015, when 3.3 million checks were conducted. By Lisa Marie Pane. SENT: 800 words.

AP Photos transref:NYHK201, transref:PAKS102, transref:PAKS103.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-FEDERAL PRISONS

WASHINGTON — The federal Bureau of Prisons is locking all its 146,000 inmates in their cells for the next two weeks in an unparalleled effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus, as the focus shifts to a Louisiana compound, where two inmates have died and nearly 20 others remain hospitalized. The compound, known as FCC Oakdale, has emerged as ground zero in the federal prison system’s struggle to contain coronavirus behind bars. The situation there is so dire that the local health department told the federal government there was no need to test inmates anymore for the coronavirus, officials said. Those showing symptoms should be presumed to have it. By Michael Balsamo and Michael R. Sisak. SENT: 1,100 words.

AP Photos transref:WX102.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-JUVENILE OFFENDERS

MINNEAPOLIS — For the tens of thousands of kids locked up in juvenile detention centers and other correctional facilities across America, the coronavirus is on its way. Louisiana confirmed this week that a staff member and three children in state custody had contracted the virus. Minnesota, New York, Texas and Connecticut also have reported positive tests among youth or staff. More than 30 correctional administrators and children’s rights advocates called Tuesday for the release of vulnerable youths and for the stoppage of all new admissions. They also want a clear safety plan for those who remain inside, including access to adequate cleaning supplies and contact with loved ones. By Robin McDowell and Margie Mason. SENT: 675 words, photos.

IN BRIEF:

— CHURCH FIRE — A fire just after midnight Wednesday at a Louisiana church was deliberately set, investigators said.

IN SPORTS:

FBN—SAINTS-PAYTON

NEW ORLEANS — Saints coach Sean Payton said he didn't mean to insinuate on a television appearance that record-setting quarterback Drew Brees informed him of plans to retire after the upcoming season. “I'm a big dummy,” Payton said Wednesday during a conference call with media in New Orleans. “I honestly don't know if it’s his last year. I think the thing he's done, and we've all done, is taking it year by year.” By Brett Martel. SENT: 800 words.

AP Photos transref:NY162, transref:NY163.

MISSISSIPPI (All times Central)

TOP STORIES:

VIRUS OUTBREAK-MISSISSIPPI

JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves announced Wednesday that he is ordering people statewide to stay at home to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. The order will take effect at 5 p.m. Friday and last until 8 a.m. April 20. The Republican governor said: "This will not be easy for anyone, but we believe it is the right course of action.” By Emily Wagster Pettus. SENT: 601 words.

AP Photos transref:MSMES602, transref:MSMES601, transref:MSJC103, transref:MSJC110, transref:MSJC107, transref:MSJAD401, transref:MSMES101, transref:MSTUP.

IN BRIEF:

— VIRUS OUTBREAK-MISSISSIPPI PRISONS — Mississippi alters probation check-in because of virus

— MAN CHARGED — Police: Man charged with slaying in Birmingham

— MAN KILLED-SIX CHARGED — Sheriff: Suspect's mother among 6 arrested in fatal shooting

— MISSISSIPPI NEWSPAPERS-PUBLISHER — A longtime newspaper executive has been named publisher of several Mississippi newspapers and magazines owned by Boone Newspapers Inc. AP Photos transref:MSNAT101.

___

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