Deep South News Digest

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:
Published: Jul. 11, 2020 at 2:08 PM CDT
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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

The Columbia AP Bureau at 803-799-5510 or

The Montgomery AP Bureau at 334-262-5947 or

The New Orleans AP Bureau at 504-523-3931 or

The Jackson AP Bureau at 601-948-5897 or

For up-to-the minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at

Deep South Editor Jim Van Anglen can be reached at 1-800-821-3737 or Administrative Correspondent Rebecca Santana can be reached at 504-523-3931 or A reminder: this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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)



ATLANTA — Georgia state government preliminarily closed out its 2019-2020 budget year with a more than $1 billion drop in tax collections according to figures released Friday, but the real budget shortfall won’t be known for weeks yet as state officials await delayed income tax receipts. Whatever the budget hole ends up being, Gov. Brian Kemp and lawmakers have agreed it will be filled using the state’s rainy day fund, which had $2.8 billion at the beginning of the year. By law, the state can’t run a deficit. By Jeff Amy. SENT: 526 words.


BROOKHAVEN, Ga. — Georgia’s largest public transit system plans to require riders to wear masks to protect against the coronavirus, even though the governor insists that local mask orders aren’t enforceable because he hasn’t mandated them. MARTA, the main public transit system serving Atlanta and nearby suburbs, will require that riders wear masks on trains and buses beginning Monday. Several cities within MARTA’s service area — including Atlanta, Decatur and Brookhaven — have local orders requiring that masks be worn inside public spaces. But the requirement for riders will be system-wide and apply even in areas where there is not a local mask order in effect. By Ben Nadler. SENT: 418 words.

AP Photos transref:GAAUG302.


LUTHERSVILLE, Ga. — A west Georgia town says it will stop enforcing its sign ordinance after the state House minority leader complained that it discriminated against the content of his election signs by violating the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Newnan Times-Herald reports that Democratic Rep. Bob Trammell challenged the sign ordinance in the Meriwether County town of Luthersville, where he lives. SENT: 424 words.

AP Photos transref:GAATJ.


ATLANTA — In a presidential election year, there’s always a push to get people registered to vote. For one Atlanta family, that push got a little interesting. SENT: 284 words.



BRUNSWICK, Ga. — Roderrick Davis has painted murals before, but the one gracing the south-facing side of an old car wash on Altama Avenue represents two firsts for the Brunswick artist. “I’ve never tried to put together a design and put it up in one week,” Davis said. “It was definitely new.” By Taylor Cooper, The Brunswick News. SENT: 843 words.


— ARSON INDICTMENT — Federal authorities have charged a Savannah man with setting a fire that burned a city office building.

— LAWMAKER HOSPITALIZED — Georgia officials say a Republican state lawmaker was hospitalized after a Thursday seizure.



LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Atlanta United plays the New York Red Bulls in the MLS is Back tournament. UPCOMING: 150 words, more on merits. Game starts at 8 p.m. ET.

SOUTH CAROLINA (All times Eastern)



GREENWOOD, S.C. — Racial tensions right now are troubling to Cynthia M. Gary, a physician assistant who lives in North Carolina. She grew up in Greenwood and graduated from Greenwood High School. Gary, 46, has a hopeful story about race relations that has been published in two of the more than 350 different “Chicken Soup for the Soul” book titles. Her story, “The Other Bus Story,” appears in “Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Magic of Moms” published in March 2020. The story was first published in 2017 in “Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Kind (of) America.” It tells the story of an incident in Cynthia’s mother’s life when she was a child. The story also was featured in a podcast. By St. Claire Donaghy, The Index-Journal. SENT: 802 words.


— TESTING COVERAGE — South Carolinians without health insurance can now apply to have COVID-19 testing costs reimbursed by the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

— RAILROAD REOPENING — The South Carolina Railroad Museum is reopening train rides for the summer this weekend.

— PLANT EXPANSION — A pharmaceutical plant in South Carolina has announced a $215 million expansion, that will create 380 new jobs.

ALABAMA (All times Central)

AP is moving election test reports for the July 14 Alabama runoff election beginning Monday, July 6. These tests are NOT for publication, broadcast or use online. Additional information is available in the election testing advisory sent Mondays and Thursdays, found in advisory queues: AL—Alabama Primary Runoff Election Testing Advisory.



MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Seeking a political comeback, former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is trying to beat out ex-college football coach Tommy Tuberville in Tuesday’s Republican primary runoff and reclaim the Alabama Senate seat he held for decades. To do that, Sessions also has to go through President Donald Trump. Trump has endorsed Tuberville, whose name recognition comes from his time on the sidelines at Auburn University, and turned decisively against his former Cabinet member, making direct appeals for Alabama voters to reject Sessions’s candidacy. “Do not trust Jeff Sessions,” Trump tweeted this spring. “He let our Country down.” By Kim Chandler. SENT: 1,062 words.

AP Photos transref:WX106, transref:ALMON102, transref:ALBIN101, transref:ALMON104, transref:ALMON106, transref:ALMON106, transref:ALMON103, transref:ALMON105, transref:ALMON101, transref:RPKC101.


The Republican Senate runoff for U.S. Senate and three contests to select party nominees for two open U.S. House seats are the highlights of Tuesday’s election in Alabama. Here is a look at the top races on the ballot: By The Associated Press. SENT: 660 words.

AP Photos transref:RPKC101, transref:ALBIN802.


MOBILE, Ala. — A historical marker that was erected to commemorate the racist killing of a black man in south Alabama more than 70 years ago is missing. Relatives of Rayfield Davis tell WPMI-TV that city officials haven’t been able to answer their questions about what happened to the sign acknowledging his slaying, and they want answers. SENT: 280 words.


MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The Republican leader of the Alabama Senate said he used a poor choice of words when he suggested he wanted more people to get infected with the new coronavirus. SENT: 421 words.



BAY MINETTE, Ala. — Kynadra Lewis’ journey to basketball stardom is a testament to her strong work ethic and determination. The point guard successfully translated those skills from Selma High School to Coastal Alabama Community College South. Lewis plans to make a smooth transition next year at Rust College, where she recently signed a scholarship. Rust College, located in Holly Springs, Mississippi, is a Historically Black College University (HCBU) and plays on the NAIA level. By James Jones, The Selma Times-Journal. SENT: 851 words.


— EX-OFFICER-TRAFFICKING CHARGE — A former Alabama police officer facing human trafficking and other charges has been apprehended in New Hampshire, the U.S. Marshals Service said Saturday.

LOUISIANA (All times Central)



BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana holds its presidential primary Saturday, an election that was postponed twice because of the coronavirus outbreak and pushed back so many months that it became irrelevant to the selection of the Democratic nominee to challenge Donald Trump. SENT: 439 words.


BATON ROUGE, La. — The Oscar- and Emmy Award-winning composer who wrote scores for movies including “Rocky,” “The Right Stuff” and “The Karate Kid” is giving them to Louisiana State University. William “Bill” Conti and his wife, Shelby Cox Conti, are donating a lifetime of original scores to LSU, where they met as students. SENT: 471 words.

AP Photos transref:NYDD201.


CHICAGO — Jasmin Pierre was 18 when she tried to end her life, overdosing on whatever pills she could find. Diagnosed with depression and anxiety, she survived two more attempts at suicide, which felt like the only way to stop her pain. Years of therapy brought progress, but the 31-year-old Black woman’s journey is now complicated by a combination of stressors hitting simultaneously: isolation during the pandemic, a shortage of mental health care providers and racial trauma inflicted by repeated police killings of Black people. By Sophia Tareen. SENT: 1,127 words.

AP Photos transref:LAGH520, transref:LAGH521, transref:LAGH522, transref:LAGH523, transref:LAGH524, transref:LAGH525.



SHREVEPORT, La. — The business partners behind Daiquiri Express and What’s On Tap? and have added a new spirited enterprise to their repertoire. Bourbon Bar debuted at 8620 Youree Dr. in Shreveport—the brainchild of owners Mike Johnson, Randy Comer, and Wayne Wentworth. By Tiana Kennell, The Shreveport Times. SENT: 986 words.


JENNINGS, La. — The Louisiana Department of Veterans is trying to spread some love and joy to veterans across the state while they remain under quarantine due to the coronavirus pandemic. Project LOVE, is an initiative to send letters and cards to the more than 600 veterans who live in Louisiana’s five state-run veterans homes including the Southwest Louisiana Veterans Home in Jennings. By Doris Maricle, American Press. SENT: 500 words.


— CARBON BLACK MAKER — A manufacturer plans to spend $90 million on plant improvements in Louisiana. The state economic development office says in a news release that Cabot Corporation plans the upgrades at its operations in Ville Platte

— MOTEL SHOOTING — A 29-year-old New Orleans man is in custody for his alleged role in a shooting that left one man dead at a Mississippi motel.

MISSISSIPPI (All times Central)



JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi’s top public health official has ordered a temporary halt to all elective surgeries to try to save hospital bed space as the state sees a rapid expansion in cases of the new coronavirus. The order by the state health officer, Dr. Thomas Dobbs, covers all medical facilities in the state. It takes effect Sunday and lasts until at least July 20. SENT: 331 words.

AP Photos transref:MSRS104, transref:MSRS103.


COLUMBUS, Miss. — A north Mississippi sheriff says his department was “blessed” to get an armored vehicle through a program that transfers excess military equipment to local law enforcement agencies. Monroe County Sheriff Kevin Crook told the Commercial Dispatch that the Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected carrier will be used for search-and-rescue efforts after floods and storms, and will provide cover for the SWAT teams in hostage or active-shooter situations. SENT: 325 words.



CRAWFORD, Miss. — Ball in hand, Tagarrine “Gary” Ellis hops off the ground. All eyes are on him. On the scoreboard, his team trails behind the other closely. The 17-year-old Starkville High School senior aims, then shoots. He scores as the ball swishes in the basket. By Yue Stella Yu, The Columbus Dispatch. SENT: 956 words.


— HUMAN REMAINS-BOOT — A coroner says the Mississippi Crime Lab will test DNA from the remains of a human foot that were found inside a boot on the banks of the Mississippi River.

— MOTEL SHOOTING — A 29-year-old New Orleans man is in custody for his alleged role in a shooting that left one man dead at a Mississippi motel.


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

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