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Deep South News Digest Advisory

January 18, 2020 - 2:08 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 A reminder: this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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:

XGR—GEORGIA LEGISLATURE

ATLANTA — Georgia’s 2020 legislative session opened Monday, bringing a flurry of activity back to the state Capitol. As lawmakers returned, they saw quick movement on legislation seeking to protect consumers from unexpected medical bills and tighten sales tax collection by online businesses. They also heard Gov. Brian Kemp outline his agenda in the annual State of the State address. Here is a look at some of the action under the gold dome during the opening week: By Ben Nadler. SENT: 744 words.

AP Photos transref:GAJB103.

SCHOOL TURNAROUND OFFICER

ATLANTA — The man who was supposed to be in charge of turning around poorly performing schools in Georgia has resigned amid an investigation, possibly signalling the end of his position. Georgia's state Board of Education voted unanimously Friday to accept the resignation of Eric Thomas from the position as chief turnaround officer. By Jeff Amy. SENT: 465 words.

TRANSGENDER YOUTH-LAWS

SALT LAKE CITY — At the urging of conservative advocacy groups, Republican legislators in more than a dozen states are promoting bills that focus on transgender young people. One batch of bills would bar doctors from providing them certain gender-related medical treatment; another batch would bar trans students from participating on school sports teams of the gender they identify with. The proposed laws, if enacted, “would bring devastating harms to the transgender community,” said Chase Strangio, a transgender-rights lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union. By Lindsay Whitehurst and David Crary. SENT: 1,056 words.

AP Photos transref:UTRB103, transref:UTRB104, transref:UTRB105, transref:UTRB106.

AP MEMBER EXCHANGES:

EXCHANGE-FORMER BLACK NEIGHBORHOOD-THEATER

SAVANNAH, Ga. — As the 1950s and ’60s found the Eastside Theater hosting the premiere entertainment for black Savannahians on the eastside, the following decades would not be as kind. While during its heyday, the theater would see matinee movies, live performances and 15-cent popcorn, the next decades would see the decay of the roof, the isolation of the property and the disappearance of its community purpose for the neighborhood.

By Zach Dennis. The Savannah Morning News.

IN BRIEF:

— CAR SEAT GRANTS — A Georgia agency says dozens of counties statewide will share $166,000 in grant money to buy child car seats.

— AMTRAK ROUTE — Amtrak executives say they want to establish a passenger route from Nashville to Atlanta, with stops including Murfreesboro, Tullahoma and Chattanooga.

IN SPORTS:

BKN--PISTONS-HAWKS

ATLANTA — Andre Drummond and the Pistons have lost three of four but are coming off a road win at Boston as Detroit visits Atlanta. The Hawks, last in the Eastern Conference, have dropped four of five but are coming off a home win over Phoenix as Jeff Teague makes his return to the team. By George Henry. UPCOMING. 650 words with photos. Game starts at 7:30 p.m.

BKC--VIRGINIA-GEORGIA TECH

ATLANTA — Defending national champion Virginia looks to break a three-game losing streak when it takes on hot-and-cold Georgia Tech. By Paul Newberry. UPCOMING: 650 words. Game starts at 8 p.m. EST.

BKC--GEORGIA-MISSISSIPPI ST

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Georgia and Mississippi State are both chasing their second straight wins as they face off in Starkville. By Paul Jones. UPCOMING: 600 words. The game starts at 8:30 p.m.

SOUTH CAROLINA (All times Eastern)

TOP STORIES:

XGR-DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina lawmakers want the state's residents to stop turning their clocks forward and backward each year. But it will take a law from Congress to do it. SENT: 206 words.

ELECTION 2020-BUTTIGIEG-SOUTH CAROLINA

FLORENCE, S.C. — Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, who has been criticized for his slow outreach to blacks and other minorities, is trying to rearrange his schedule to make room for events in early-voting South Carolina that honor Martin Luther King Jr. Buttigieg’s campaign told The Associated Press on Saturday that the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, wants to attend a march and rally at the South Carolina Statehouse in Columbia on Monday, the federal holiday that commemorates the late civil rights leader. By Meg Kinnard. SENT: 189 words.

AP Photos transref:IAPS113.

TRANSGENDER YOUTH-LAWS

SALT LAKE CITY — At the urging of conservative advocacy groups, Republican legislators in more than a dozen states are promoting bills that focus on transgender young people. One batch of bills would bar doctors from providing them certain gender-related medical treatment; another batch would bar trans students from participating on school sports teams of the gender they identify with. The proposed laws, if enacted, “would bring devastating harms to the transgender community,” said Chase Strangio, a transgender-rights lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union. By Lindsay Whitehurst and David Crary. SENT: 1,056 words.

AP Photos transref:UTRB103, transref:UTRB104, transref:UTRB105, transref:UTRB106.

AP MEMBER EXCHANGES:

EXCHANGE-SHERIFF-REFLECTION

GREENVILLE, S.C. — Johnny Mack Brown opened the door to the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office nearly two years ago expecting to step into a discouraged agency. The smiles he saw when he walked in took him by surprise.

The sitting sheriff, Will Lewis, in April 2018 was indicted and suspended from office following a public sex scandal and related civil lawsuit. Gov. Henry McMaster appointed Brown, former Greenville County Sheriff of 24 years, to lead the law enforcement agency as interim sheriff.

By Haley Walters. The Greenville News.

IN BRIEF:

— CHANGING AGENDAS — A judge in a Freedom of Information Act case has ruled a two-thirds vote isn't enough for city and county councils to change an agenda during a meeting.

IN SPORTS:

BKC--SOUTH CAROLINA-TEXAS A&M. Upcoming: 500 words. Game starts at 1 p.m. ET

BKC--CLEMSON-NC STATE

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina State hosts Clemson on Saturday looking for a second straight win with leading scorer C.J. Bryce back in the lineup after missing four games while in the concussion protocol. The Tigers have already beaten the Wolfpack once and are coming off wins against North Carolina and Duke in the past week. UPCOMING: 600 words and photos. Game starts at 2 p.m.

ALABAMA (All times Central)

TOP STORIES:

INTERSTATE SHUTDOWN-BIRMINGHAM

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Months of headaches for daily commuters, long-haul drivers and downtown businesses are coming to an end as Interstate 59/20 reopens through Alabama's largest city. Workers have virtually completed finishing touches like yellow striping and installing signs on a mile-long section of the highway that was demolished and rebuilt after the old road was shut down about a year ago. The project forced east-west traffic to take alternate route through Birmingham. SENT: 425 words.

50-YARD-LINE BAPTISMS

REELTOWN, Ala. — The baptism of high school football players on the 50-yard-line in their football stadium has drawn complaints from a group that pushes for separation of church and state. After more than two dozen Reeltown High school players were baptized on the field in November, the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation demanded an investigation.

TRANSGENDER YOUTH-LAWS

SALT LAKE CITY — At the urging of conservative advocacy groups, Republican legislators in more than a dozen states are promoting bills that focus on transgender young people. One batch of bills would bar doctors from providing them certain gender-related medical treatment; another batch would bar trans students from participating on school sports teams of the gender they identify with. The proposed laws, if enacted, “would bring devastating harms to the transgender community,” said Chase Strangio, a transgender-rights lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union. By Lindsay Whitehurst and David Crary. SENT: 1,056 words.

AP Photos transref:UTRB103, transref:UTRB104, transref:UTRB105, transref:UTRB106.

AP MEMBER EXCHANGES:

EXCHANGE-NEWSPAPER OWNER

SULLIGENT, Ala. — Burns from a wax machine. Tiny nicks on her hands from an exacto knife. Stephanie Minor remembers firmly, even somewhat fondly, these markers of her early years working in the small-town newspaper business. Over more than 20 years Minor, 49, has held just about every position at the Lamar Leader in Sulligent, a town of about 1,800 residents in West Alabama. She designed pages the "old school" way -- typing copy that had to be cut out, run through a machine of hot wax that was then adhered to a paste-up sheet that would be shot into a negative and burned to a metal plate -- before the paper transitioned to digital design in the early 2000s. She's served as office manager and advertising representative, as well.

By Zack Plair. The Dispatch

IN SPORTS:

BKC--T25-AUBURN-FLORIDA

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — No. 4 Auburn looks to rebound from its first loss of the season when it plays at Florida, which could be without point guard Andrew Nembhard (flu). By Mark Long. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Begins at 1:30 p.m. EDT.

BKC--MISSOURI-ALABAMA

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Missouri visits Alabama, which is coming off a lopsided upset of No. 4 Auburn. By John Zenor. UPCOMING: 600 words. Game starts 2:30 p.m. CT.

LOUISIANA (All times Central)

TOP STORIES:

MEDICAID CONTRACTS

BATON ROUGE, La. — Multibillion-dollar Medicaid contracts awarded by Gov. John Bel Edwards' administration have been scrapped by Louisiana's chief procurement officer, who determined the health department mishandled the bid process for deals to provide health services to 1.5 million people. Louisiana's state procurement officer Paula Tregre said the health department failed to follow state law or its own evaluation and bid guidelines in determining which private companies should receive contracts to manage care for most of Louisiana's Medicaid patients. In a decision issued late Friday, Tregre wrote the health department's actions “resulted in a fatally flawed procurement process.” By Melinda Deslatte. SENT: 648 words.

AP Photos transref:NYCD102.

AP MEMBER EXCHANGES:

EXCHANGE-LSU ROOMMATES-LIEFLONG FRIENDS

LAKE CHARLES, La. — “The greatest gift of life is friendship,” said Hubert H. Humphrey. Such is true of Cissie McLeod and Angel Wright. The two women, born and raised in Lake Charles, were college roommates at LSU in 1958 when the university won its first national title. They’ve remained avid fans of their alma mater, even going so far as to call each other every time LSU plays.

By Kathleen Hilliard. American Press

EXCHANGE-THRIFT STORE

THIBODAUX, La. — There’s a treasure in Thibodaux but you don’t need a secret map to find it. Hundreds of bargain hunters converge on 811 Jackson St. every month to find a good deal at Gym Dandy, Thibodaux’s oldest thrift store. “It started out in a gym, which is why it’s called Gym Dandy,” said Alma Robichaux, president of the E.D. White Mother’s Club.

By Dan Copp. The Courier.

IN BRIEF:

— AVIATION COMPANY — An aviation maintenance and repair facility will open at a northwest Louisiana airport to serve commercial airline customers.

— EMPLOYEE PAY-AUDIT — A southwestern Louisiana city may have run afoul of the state's constitution when it gave its workers a one-time pay supplement that cost nearly $41,000, according to an independent financial audit.

IN SPORTS:

BKN--CLIPPERS-PELICANS

NEW ORLEANS — The Pelicans have won 10 of 14 and Brandon Ingram is in top form as New Orleans hosts the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday. The Clippers and Kawhi Leonard coming in with wins in four of their last five. By Brett Martel. Upcoming: 700 words, photos. Tip-off 3:30 p.m.

BKC--LSU-MISSISSIPPI

OXFORD, Miss. - Southeastern Conference leader LSU seeks to remain unbeaten in league play as it visits Mississippi, which has dropped four straight and hasn’t beaten a single conference opponent. By Chris Burrows. UPCOMING: 600 words. The game starts at 8 p.m.

MISSISSIPPI (All times Central)

TOP STORIES:

HISTORY EXAM

UNDATED — Mississippi's state Board of Education is keeping the state's U.S. history exam, despite months of pressure from teachers and others to cut testing. The board voted unanimously on Thursday to keep the test, one of four that public school students must keep in high school. By Jeff Amy. SENT: 555 words.

FROZEN FOOD-EXPANSION

OAKLAND, Miss. — A frozen food manufacturer plans to invest $27.3 million in a project to increase capacity at its facility in north Mississippi. Ajinomoto Foods North America also is adding 15 jobs to its plant in Oakland, in Yalobusha County, bringing the total to 450 employees at the plant, officials said. SENT: 208 words.

AP MEMBER EXCHANGES:

EXCHANGE-LOCAL BROADWAY STAR

NEW YORK CITY When Emma Pittman was moving into her New York City apartment, everything seemingly fell into place all at the same time. Pittman’s mother was in town helping her settle into her new apartment as Pittman began her new life when she received a phone call that would assuredly jump-start that life. Pittman was informed she will be starring in the Broadway classic “Chicago” as its leading lady, Roxie Hart. By JAKE THOMPSON, The Oxford Eagle

EXCHANGE-POLICE CONNECT COMMUNITY-DOGS

STARKVILLE, Miss. — A group of children flocked from the school bus to the police officer and the dog on a leash at Brookville Garden Apartments one afternoon. Most of them focused on Star Gazer, a friendly black-and-white pit bull mix, but one child asked Community Relations Officer Angelica Colbert, “Who's getting arrested?” Colbert replied that no one was.

By Tess Vrbin. The Dispatch

IN BRIEF:

— LAB OWNER-FRAUD — A lab owner hired to insure water quality for dozens of Mississippi towns has been sentenced to 18 months for faking his test results.

IN SPORTS:

FBC—MICHIGAN-STAFF

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan has hired Brian Jean-Mary as linebackers coach, Bob Shoop as safeties coach and elevated Jay Harbough to special teams coordinator. The Wolverines made the announcements Saturday. Harbaugh, the son of coach Jim Harbaugh, will continue coaching running backs as well. SENT: 147 words.

BKC--GEORGIA-MISSISSIPPI ST

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Georgia and Mississippi State are both chasing their second straight wins as they face off in Starkville. By Paul Jones. UPCOMING: 600 words. The game starts at 8:30 p.m.

BKC--LSU-MISSISSIPPI

OXFORD, Miss. - Southeastern Conference leader LSU seeks to remain unbeaten in league play as it visits Mississippi, which has dropped four straight and hasn’t beaten a single conference opponent. By Chris Burrows. UPCOMING: 600 words. The game starts at 8 p.m.

___

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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