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Deep South News Digest

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:
Published: Jun. 29, 2020 at 10:18 AM CDT
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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 A reminder: this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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:

POLICE SHOOTING-ATLANTA

ATLANTA — The former Atlanta police officer who fatally shot Rayshard Brooks can be free on bond while his case is pending, a judge ruled Tuesday. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jane Barwick set a bond of $500,000 for Garrett Rolfe, who faces charges including felony murder in the killing of Brooks, a 27-year-old Black man. The shooting by the white officer happened against the backdrop of demonstrations nationwide over police brutality and systemic racism after George Floyd died under a Minneapolis officer’s knee. By Kate Brumback. SENT: 768 words.

AP Photos transref:APHO304, transref:GABA106, transref:MH203, transref:GABA105, transref:GABA103, transref:GABA102, transref:GABA101.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-GEORGIA

SAVANNAH, Ga. — The mayor of Savannah said Tuesday he’s ordering people to wear masks inside retail shops, grocery stores and other public places — and those who refuse could face $500 fines. “Frankly and honestly, I do not believe that we have any other choice,” Mayor Van Johnson told a news conference, warning that “COVID-19 cases are spiking in our community.” By Russ Bynum. SENT: 503 words.

XGR-GEORGIA BUDGET

ATLANTA — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a $25.9 billion budget Tuesday, one day before the start of the new fiscal year. The budget promises sharp cuts but avoids unpaid employee furloughs and layoffs. SENT: 250 words.

AP Photos transref:GAATJ.

RACIAL INJUSTICE-CONFEDERATE FLAG

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Long a symbol of pride to some and hatred to others, the Confederate battle flag is losing its place of official prominence 155 years after rebellious Southern states lost a war to perpetuate slavery. Mississippi’s Republican governor on Tuesday signed legislation to remove the Civil War emblem from the state flag, a move that was both years in the making and notable for its swiftness amid a national debate over racial inequality following the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota. Mississippi’s was the last state flag to include the design. By Jay Reeves.

AP Photos transref:MSTUP401, transref:NYAG102, transref:NYAG103, transref:NYAG104, transref:NYAG105, transref:TXDAM506, transref:NYAG107.

IN BRIEF:

— FATAL DRIVE-BY — One person was fatally shot and four others were wounded during a drive-by shooting Tuesday morning in Atlanta, police said.

— CAR CRASHES INTO HOSPITAL — One person was killed and others injured when a vehicle crashed into the lobby of a major Atlanta hospital’s emergency room, authorities said.

IN SPORTS:

BBO—RACIAL INJUSTICE-MVP PLAQUES

NEW YORK — Something still bothers Barry Larkin about his Most Valuable Player award. The other name engraved on the trophy: Kenesaw Mountain Landis. By Ben Walker. SENT: 1,006 words.

AP Photos transref:NY151M, transref:NY150, transref:NY160, transref:NY152, transref:NY156, transref:NY154, transref:NYX158, transref:NY159, transref:NY155, transref:NY157, transref:NY153, transref:NY151.

SOUTH CAROLINA (All times Eastern)

TOP STORIES:

VIRUS OUTBREAK-SOUTH CAROLINA

COLUMBIA, S.C. — As South Carolina approaches a holiday weekend often an anchor for its typically booming tourism industry, and the state’s numbers of positive coronavirus tests continue to rise, public health officials are encouraging people to just stay home. Dr. Joan Duwve, public health director for the Department of Health and Environmental Control, said Tuesday that some of the largest increases in virus cases were popping up along South Carolina’s coastline, the heart of its multibillion-dollar annual tourism industry. By Meg Kinnard. SENT: 527 words.

AP Photos transref:RPJC104, transref:SCGH101, transref:SCMYR624.

RACIAL INJUSTICE-CONFEDERATE FLAG

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Long a symbol of pride to some and hatred to others, the Confederate battle flag is losing its place of official prominence 155 years after rebellious Southern states lost a war to perpetuate slavery. Mississippi’s Republican governor on Tuesday signed legislation to remove the Civil War emblem from the state flag, a move that was both years in the making and notable for its swiftness amid a national debate over racial inequality following the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota. Mississippi’s was the last state flag to include the design. By Jay Reeves. SENT: 857 words.

AP Photos transref:MSTUP401, transref:NYAG102, transref:NYAG103, transref:NYAG104, transref:NYAG105, transref:TXDAM506, transref:NYAG107.

IN BRIEF:

— PRISON GUARD ARRESTED — A guard at a South Carolina prison has been arrested on a drug charge.

— BODY IDENTIFIED —A woman whose body was found in a vacant building on property owned by a private South Carolina university has been identified.

IN SPORTS:

GOLF NOTES

UNDATED — Three tournaments is hardly a reasonable sample size. Even so, the numbers have been jarring since the PGA Tour returned to competition. Mackenzie Hughes opened with a 60 at the Travelers Championship. Rory McIlory has twice posted rounds of 63, and he still hasn’t cracked the top 10 in the three tournaments he has played since the restart. Those are among 56 rounds of 64 or better over the last three weeks. By Doug Ferguson. SENT: 1,339 words.

AP Photos transref:NYJC24, transref:NYJC186, transref:NYJC171, transref:NYJC146.

ALABAMA (all times Central)

TOP STORIES:

VIRUS OUTBREAK-ALABAMA

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Faced with climbing virus numbers, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Tuesday extended a state health order that limits the number of people in restaurants and stores but didn’t follow other states that have issued new restrictions amid the worsening pandemic. Ivey announced she was extending the state’s “safer at home” order that, among other things, limits occupancy in stores and restaurants, limits nursing home visitation, prohibits non-work gatherings where social distancing can’t be maintained and requires safety measures at salons and other businesses. The Republican governor extended the order, which had been set to expire Friday, through the end of July. By Kim Chandler. SENT: 643 words.

AP Photos transref:ALMON103, transref:ALMON102, transref:ALMON101.

RACIAL INJUSTICE-CONFEDERATE FLAG

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Long a symbol of pride to some and hatred to others, the Confederate battle flag is losing its place of official prominence 155 years after rebellious Southern states lost a war to perpetuate slavery. Mississippi’s Republican governor on Tuesday signed legislation to remove the Civil War emblem from the state flag, a move that was both years in the making and notable for its swiftness amid a national debate over racial inequality following the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota. Mississippi’s was the last state flag to include the design. By Jay Reeves. SENT: 857 words.

AP Photos transref:MSTUP401, transref:NYAG102, transref:NYAG103, transref:NYAG104, transref:NYAG105, transref:TXDAM506, transref:NYAG107.

IN BRIEF:

— FIRE OFFICIAL-FATAL CRASH — A fire official in Alabama has been charged with leaving the scene of a car crash that killed a 22-year-old motorcyclist, according to authorities.

— INMATE ESCAPE — Authorities quickly captured a man who scaled one of the inner fences at a Louisiana prison and got caught in the razor wire.

— COLLEGE MASCOT DIES —The University of North Alabama said its 17-year-old lion mascot Una died Tuesday on campus after a brief illness.

LOUISIANA (All times Central)

TOP STORIES:

POLICE INDICTED-EXCESSIVE FORCE

UNDATED — A Louisiana grand jury has accused eight police officers of using excessive force in arresting two men after a chase in January. A district attorney said Tuesday that a grand jury charged each officer on Monday with one count of malfeasance in office. Prosecutors have dropped all charges against Chico Bell and Damon Robinson, the men who were arrested, because of unnecessary force, Attorney James Stewart Sr. said in a news release. By Janet McConnaughey. SENT: 761 words.

LOUISIANA-BLACK JUDGES

UNDATED — A federal appeals court in New Orleans has overturned a lower court ruling calling for a majority Black judgeship election district in a south Louisiana parish. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal said there was “weak evidence” of discriminatory dilution of Black votes in majority white Terrebonne Parish, in a ruling posted Monday evening. By Kevin McGill. SENT: 362 words.

CLERGY-ABUSE-NEW ORLEANS DEACON

UNDATED — A former Roman Catholic deacon awaiting trial on rape charges in New Orleans has died, his defense attorney said Tuesday. George F. Brignac, 85, had been accused of sexually abusing children for years before being removed from the ministry in 1988. By Jim Mustian. SENT: 468 words.

AP Photos transref:NYCD301.

CLERGY-ABUSE-NEW ORLEANS DEACON

UNDATED — A former Roman Catholic deacon awaiting trial on rape charges in New Orleans has died, his defense attorney said Tuesday. George F. Brignac, 85, had been accused of sexually abusing children for years before being removed from the ministry in 1988. By Jim Mustian. SENT: 444 words.

XGR—LOUISIANA SPECIAL SESSION

BATON ROUGE, La — Louisiana lawmakers on Tuesday completed a 30-day special session called in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, after awarding millions of dollars in tax breaks to businesses and finishing the state’s multibillion-dollar budget a day before it must take effect. The $34 billion spending plan approved unanimously by the House and Senate — for the financial year that starts Wednesday — uses federal virus aid to stop deep cuts but sets Louisiana up for future financial problems if state tax collections don’t rebound from the virus outbreak. By Melinda Deslatte. SENT: 807 words.

AP Photos transref:LAMD102, transref:RPMD202, transref:RPMD101, transref:LAMD101, transref:LAMD104, transref:LAMD103.

XGR—LOUISIANA SPECIAL SESSION-TAX BREAKS

BATON ROUGE, La. — In their special session that ended Tuesday, Louisiana lawmakers agreed to expand and extend business tax credits, exemptions and incentive programs, bills that were pitched as a coronavirus recovery tactic and are estimated to siphon millions from the treasury each year. Supporters said the measures would help businesses struggling with closures and restrictions mandated by Gov. John Bel Edwards in response to the virus outbreak. By Melinda Deslatte. SENT: 601 words.

AP Photos transref:LAMD104, transref:LAMD103, transref:LAMD102, transref:LAMD101.

SUPREME COURT-ABORTION-WHAT’S NEXT

NEW YORK — Supporters of abortion rights are elated, foes of abortion dismayed and angry, but they agree on one consequence of the Supreme Court’s first major abortion ruling since President Donald Trump took office: The upcoming election is crucial to their cause. Both sides also say Monday’s ruling is not the last word on state-level abortion restrictions. One abortion rights leader evoked the image of playing whack-a-mole as new cases surface. By David Crary. SENT: 1,030 words.

AP Photos transref:WX214, transref:DCSA107, transref:DCPS104.

RACIAL INJUSTICE-CONFEDERATE FLAG

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Long a symbol of pride to some and hatred to others, the Confederate battle flag is losing its place of official prominence 155 years after rebellious Southern states lost a war to perpetuate slavery. Mississippi’s Republican governor on Tuesday signed legislation to remove the Civil War emblem from the state flag, a move that was both years in the making and notable for its swiftness amid a national debate over racial inequality following the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota. Mississippi’s was the last state flag to include the design. By Jay Reeves. SENT: 857 words.

AP Photos transref:MSTUP401, transref:NYAG102, transref:NYAG103, transref:NYAG104, transref:NYAG105, transref:TXDAM506, transref:NYAG107.

IN BRIEF:

— FIRE OFFICIAL-FATAL CRASH — A fire official in Alabama has been charged with leaving the scene of a car crash that killed a 22-year-old motorcyclist, according to authorities.

— INMATE ESCAPE — Authorities quickly captured a man who scaled one of the inner fences at a Louisiana prison and got caught in the razor wire.

IN SPORTS:

BKN—VIRUS OUTBREAK-NBA TESTING

DENVER — The Denver Nuggets say they’ve closed their facilities after two members of the team’s traveling party tested positive for the coronavirus over the weekend. A third tested positive this week. All three are asymptomatic, the Nuggets said Tuesday in confirming a report by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. By Arnie Stapleton. SENT: 380 words.

MISSISSIPPI (All times Central)

TOP STORIES:

RACIAL INJUSTICE-CONFEDERATE FLAG-MISSISSIPPI

JACKSON, Miss. — With a stroke of the governor’s pen, Mississippi is retiring the last state flag in the U.S. with the Confederate battle emblem — a symbol that’s widely condemned as racist. Republican Gov. Tate Reeves signed the historic bill on Tuesday afternoon that takes the 126-year-old state flag out of law, immediately removing official status for the banner that has been a source of division for generations. By Emily Wagster Pettus. SENT: 725 words.

AP Photos transref:MSRS201, transref:MSRS203, transref:MSRS106, transref:MSRS104, transref:MSRS101, transref:MSRS103, transref:MSRS202, transref:MSRS102.

RACIAL INJUSTICE-CONFEDERATE FLAG

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Long a symbol of pride to some and hatred to others, the Confederate battle flag is losing its place of official prominence 155 years after rebellious Southern states lost a war to perpetuate slavery. Mississippi’s Republican governor on Tuesday signed legislation to remove the Civil War emblem from the state flag, a move that was both years in the making and notable for its swiftness amid a national debate over racial inequality following the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota. Mississippi’s was the last state flag to include the design. By Jay Reeves. SENT: 857 words.

AP Photos transref:MSTUP401, transref:NYAG102, transref:NYAG103, transref:NYAG104, transref:NYAG105, transref:TXDAM506, transref:NYAG107.

NETFLIX-INVESTS-MISSISSIPPI

JACKSON, Miss. — Netflix on Tuesday announced a $10 million investment in a Mississippi-based credit union to build economic opportunities in Black communities across the Deep South. The Netflix deposit is one of the first investments in the $100 million initiative by Hope Credit Union to make more business, mortgage and consumer loans to low-income families. By Leah Willingham. SENT: 407 words.

IN BRIEF:

— INMATE DEATH-MISSISSIPPI — The Mississippi Department of Corrections says an autopsy will be done on an inmate who died Saturday in a Jackson hospital.

—DESTROYER CONTRACT — A Mississippi shipyard has a $936 million Navy contract modification to build another destroyer equipped to launch guided missiles.

___

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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