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Deep South News Digest
AP

Deep South News Digest

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 A reminder: this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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

XGR—CORONAVIRUS-LEGISLATURE

ATLANTA — The Republican majority leader of Georgia’s state Senate announced Tuesday that he tested positive for COVID-19 during mandatory testing at the state Capitol. Sen. Mike Dugan, whose district includes Carroll, Douglas and Paulding counties, said in a statement that he was experiencing “minor” symptoms and would isolate at home. By Ben Nadler and Jeff Amy. SENT: 332 words.

XGR—SENATE COMMITTEES

ATLANTA — Republican leaders in the Georgia state Senate sent two of their internal opponents to timeout Tuesday, stripping them of committee chair posts. Republican Burt Jones of Jackson lost a challenge to Senate President Pro Tem Butch Miller of Gainesville in Republican leadership elections in November. Now he has also lost his position as chair of the Senate Insurance and Labor Committee with the announcement of committee assignments by Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan. By Jeff Amy and Ben Nadler. SENT: 495 words.

BERNICE KING

ATLANTA — The daughter of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. says Americans angered by the mob attack on the U.S. Capitol should take care to ensure their responses do not feed the divisive message of extremists. “I think we tend to fuel the fires, to fan the flames quite a bit in this nation when people do stuff that is extreme like that in a hateful way,” the Rev. Bernice King said of the chaos in Washington last week. By Alex Sanz. SENT: 375 words.

AP Photos transref:AX101.

MISSING TEACHER-GEORGIA

ATLANTA — Georgia’s highest court heard arguments Tuesday on whether taxpayers should cover portions of the legal defense for a man facing trial in the 2005 slaying of a high school teacher whose disappearance remained a mystery for more than a decade. Ryan Duke had been scheduled to stand trial on murder charges in April 2019 in the killing of teacher and beauty queen Tara Grinstead. The COVID-19 pandemic that’s shuttered courtrooms statewide has contributed to the long delay. But it’s rooted in an ongoing dispute over whether Duke is entitled to state funding. SENT: 474 words.

AP Photos transref:NYCD305.

CHANCELLOR RETIRES

ATLANTA — The leader of Georgia’s mammoth public university system announced Tuesday that he will retire on July 1. Chancellor Steve Wrigley made the announcement after a regularly scheduled Board of Regents meeting. By Jeff Amy. SENT: 373 words.

AP Photos transref:GASAV301.

ELECTIONS OFFICIAL RESIGNS

SAVANNAH, Ga. — A coastal Georgia elections board member twice censured by fellow board members has resigned. Chatham County Board of Elections member Debbie Rauers announced her resignation Thursday, after she was accused of bumping an off-duty poll worker with her car at a Savannah polling place last Tuesday. SENT: 353 words.

CHILD DEATH-PARENTS CHARGED

IVEY, Ga. — Parents charged with the murder of their 12-year-old daughter have been granted bail because prosecutors have not yet sought their indictment by a grand jury. Mary Katherine “Katie” Horton and John Joseph “Joey” Yozviak were each granted $100,000 bail Monday. Both remained jailed Monday night in Wilkinson County. SENT: 214 words.

SUPREME COURT-RELIGIOUS SPEECH

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Tuesday wrestled with whether to revive a lawsuit brought by a Georgia college student who sued school officials after being prevented from distributing Christian literature on campus. The school, Georgia Gwinnett College, has since changed its policies and the student has graduated. A lower court dismissed the case as moot and an appeals court agreed, but the student, Chike Uzuegbunam, is urging the justices to allow the case to move forward. He’s seeking just $1 and says he wants the Lawrenceville, Georgia, school to be held accountable for its past policies. By Jessica Gresko. SENT: 639 words.

AP Photos transref:DCEV416, transref:DCAF102.

IN BRIEF:

— SOUTHWEST GEORGIA MORGUE — Leaders of a southwest Georgia county are planning a new morgue, saying there’s not enough room to keep using the local hospital’s morgue.

— ARSON CHARGE-DEADLY FIRE — Police have charged a middle Georgia man with arson in a house fire that left his own mother dead.

IN SPORTS:

FBN—BILLS-FREEMAN

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The Buffalo Bills signed running back Devonta Freeman to their practice squad Tuesday to add veteran depth after placing rookie Zack Moss on injured reserve. Freeman is a seventh-year player who was released by the New York Giants last week. He joins Buffalo (14-3) after Moss suffered a season-ending ankle injury in a 27-24 wild-card playoff victory over Indianapolis last Saturday. By John Wawrow. SENT: 325 words.

AP Photos transref:NYFF138.

FBN—SALUTE TO SERVICE AWARD

NEW YORK — San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch, New England Patriots long snapper Joe Cardona, and Atlanta Falcons executive Steve Cannon are finalists for the NFL Salute to Service Award. Now in its 10th year, the award recognizes exceptional efforts to honor and support members of the military community. It will be presented Feb. 6, the night before the Super Bowl, at NFL Honors, when The Associated Press announces its individual NFL awards. SENT: 569 words.

GLF—MASTERS-SPECTATORS

UNDATED — Some volume is returning to the Masters, just maybe not the head-turning roars. Augusta National Chairman Fred Ridley said Tuesday the club intends to allow a limited number of spectators for the Masters on April 8-11, provided it can be done safely amid the COVID-19 pandemic. By Doug Ferguson. SENT: 702 words.

AP Photos transref:NY153, transref:NY152, transref:NY187.

SOUTH CAROLINA (All times Eastern)

TOP STORIES:

CAPITOL PROTEST-ATTORNEY GENERAL

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina’s top prosecutor is facing a disciplinary complaint alleging he backed a “false and frivolous” lawsuit seeking to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, accused of helping to fan the flame of insurrection that engulfed the U.S. Capitol last week. In a four-page filing with the South Carolina Office of Disciplinary Counsel, Columbia attorney Chris Kenney accused Attorney General Alan Wilson and 16 other Republican attorneys general of contributing to the chaotic political situation by filing legal challenges casting doubt on election’s integrity, the Post and Courier of Charleston reported Tuesday. SENT: 413 words.

SOUTH CAROLINA LEGISLATURE

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina General Assembly opened up its 2021 session Tuesday promising to not let COVID-19 stop their work and with the largest Republican Senate majority in modern times changing rules that could limit lengthy debates. It was a much different opening day. There were lawmakers in masks — although not all of them — and elbow taps and fist bumps replaced hugs and handshakes. There was extra security in fatigues and uniforms, supplementing the typical Statehouse security in suits after last week’s violence when a mob breached the U.S. Capitol in Washington. By Jeffrey Collins. SENT: 718 words.

AP Photos transref:SCJC107, transref:RPMK201, transref:SCJC105, transref:SCJC103, transref:SCJC104, transref:SCJC102, transref:SCJC106, transref:RPMK204, transref:RPMK200, transref:RPKM104, transref:RPMK201, transref:SCJC108, transref:SCJC109.

IN SPORTS

FBC—SOUTH CAROLINA-BEAMER’S START

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina coach Shane Beamer can’t look at his phone these days without worrying if it’s bad news. Player transfers, de-commitment by recruits and offensive assistants Beamer hired opting to leave for a Southeastern Conference rival is not the smooth transition the first-time head coach had hoped he would enjoy. By Pete Iacobelli. SENT: 637 words,

AP Photos transref:OKOKL201, transref:NY161.

BKC—T25-TOP 25-THIS WEEK

UNDATED — Michigan has rolled through the first part of its schedule, beating two ranked opponents while opening the season with 10 straight wins. The Wolverines face a stiff challenge this week in an always-tough Big Ten if they’re going to keep it going. By John Marshall. SENT: 702 words.

AP Photos transref:MDNW121, transref:WIMG110.

FBC—PAUL NEWBERRY-NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

UNDATED — By halftime, with Alabama clearly unstoppable and cruising toward a perfect season, the mind began to wander toward an obvious question. Has Nick Saban, the greatest coach in the history of college football, assembled the greatest team of them all? By Paul Newberry. SENT: 929 words.

AP Photos transref:HRS194, transref:HRS186, transref:HRS161, transref:HRS198, transref:HRS160, transref:HRS200, transref:HRS147, transref:HRS157, transref:HRS185, transref:HRS140.

FBC—NORTH CAROLINA-CHANDLER

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Running back Ty Chandler is transferring to North Carolina for his final season of eligibility after graduating from Tennessee. North Carolina announced Chandler’s decision Tuesday. Chandler also announced his decision on Twitter, thanking Tennessee but saying he looks forward to a special season in Chapel Hill. SENT: 170 words.

ALABAMA (All times Central):

TOP STORIES:

CAPITOL BREACH-ALABAMA

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Two House Democrats have proposed that Congress censure U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, arguing that his remarks at a rally of President Donald Trump’s supporters incited the mob that attacked the U.S. Capitol last week. By Kim Chandler. SENT: 516 words.

AP Photos transref:DCJM417, transref:DCJM416.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-ALABAMA

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Tuesday urged people to be patient amid the slow rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, but to take the vaccine as soon as it is available to them. A state hotline has been overwhelmed with calls from people seeking appointments for the shots next week when the state begins making them available to people over 75. SENT: 318 words.

AP Photos transref:ALMON400, transref:ALMON401, transref:ALMON403.

ALABAMA CELEBRATION

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Thousands of University of Alabama football fans partied in the street near campus after the Crimson Tide defeated Ohio State 52-24 for the national championship, ignoring pleas for safety at the height of the coronavirus pandemic in a celebration a top health official said Tuesday could worsen disease. Students and others poured out of jampacked bars near campus as time expired in Miami late Monday, traffic cameras and images posted on social media show, gathering on University Boulevard in an area called “The Strip.” SENT: 607 words.

AP Photos transref:ALBIN201, transref:ALBIN202, transref:ALBIN203, transref:ALBIN204, transref:HRS197, transref:HRS193, transref:HRS117, transref:HRS200, transref:HRS199.

IN BRIEF:

— MOONSHINE BUST — Three people are in custody after state authorities busted an illegal moonshine operation in east Alabama.

IN SPORTS:

FBC—ALABAMA-WHAT’S NEXT

UNDATED — Nick Saban wasn’t ready to contemplate his legacy moments after capturing a record seventh national championship “because you’re always looking forward.” It was time to start chasing No. 8, after all. The Crimson Tide capped off a 13-0 season with a 52-24 win over Ohio State Monday night in the national championship game at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. By John Zenor. SENT: 871 words.

AP Photos transref:HRS199, transref:HRS192, transref:SPANHRS176, transref:HRS200.

PAUL NEWBERRY-NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

UNDATED — By halftime, with Alabama clearly unstoppable and cruising toward a perfect season, the mind began to wander toward an obvious question. Has Nick Saban, the greatest coach in the history of college football, assembled the greatest team of them all? By Paul Newberry. SENT: 929 words.

AP Photos transref:HRS194, transref:HRS186, transref:HRS161, transref:HRS198, transref:HRS160, transref:HRS200, transref:HRS147, transref:HRS157, transref:HRS185, transref:HRS140.

BKC--ALABAMA-KENTUCKY

LEXINGTON, Ky. — First-place Alabama visits second-place Kentucky in a matchup of the SEC’s two unbeaten teams. The host Wildcats have won three in a row since a 1-6 start. UPCOMING. 250 words. Game starts at 9 p.m. ET.

LOUISIANA (All times Central)

TOP STORIES:

VIRUS OUTBREAK-LOUISIANA

BATON ROUGE, La. — With an unrelenting coronavirus spike bearing down on Louisiana, Gov. John Bel Edwards called on the state’s employers Tuesday to keep as many workers as possible in their homes, but he didn’t tighten restrictions on businesses any further. The Democratic governor said he’s renewed the same coronavirus rules that he’s had in place since late November, which were slated to expire Wednesday. Those rules include a statewide mask mandate, limits on crowd sizes, provisions keeping bars limited to outdoor and takeout service and restrictions on the number of customers allowed in nonessential businesses such as restaurants, gyms and salons. By Melinda Deslatte. SENT: 723 words.

AP Photos transref:LABAT306.

NEW ORLEANS DISTRICT ATTORNEY

NEW ORLEANS — The new district attorney in New Orleans, Jason Williams, said he was unaware that a star performer at his inauguration ceremony had criminal cases pending. Online court records show three pending cases involving trombonist and singer Glen David Andrews, who performed at Monday’s ceremony. Charges include domestic abuse and child endangerment, armed robbery, and drug possession. By Kevin McGill SENT: 310 words.

AP Photos transref:LABAT701.

SAINTS-WILL SMITH SHOT

UNDATED — The U.S. Supreme Court has thrown out the manslaughter conviction for the man who shot former New Orleans Saints star Will Smith to death in 2016. Monday’s order in favor of Cardell Hayes had been expected. In December 2017, a jury convicted Hayes by a vote of 10-2 on charges of manslaughter and attempted manslaughter in the death of Smith and the wounding of Smith’s wife, who was struck in the leg by gunfire. But the Supreme Court has since ruled that such convictions must be unanimous. By Kevin McGill. SENT: 357 words.

RACIAL INJUSTICE-STERLING LAWSUIT

BATON ROUGE, La. — A judge in Louisiana has rejected a change-of-venue request in a civil lawsuit over the death of Alton Sterling, a Black man who was fatally shot by a white police officer in 2016. Judge William Morvant’s decision on Monday means a trial that was scheduled for March 1 will remain in East Baton Rouge Parish, The Advocate reported. SENT: 424 words.

LEAST TERN-RECOVERY

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — The interior least tern, a hardy Midwestern bird that survived a craze for its plumage and dam-building that destroyed much of its habitat, has soared off the endangered species list. Federal officials said Tuesday that 35 years of legal protection and habitat restoration efforts had brought the tern back from the brink of extinction. By John Flesher. SENT: 604 words.

AP Photos transref:CER202.

LOUISIANA LAWMAKER RESIGNS

BATON ROUGE, La. — A Louisiana lawmaker from Jefferson Parish has abruptly resigned from his elected position only a year after taking office. The House of Representatives clerk’s office confirmed Tuesday that Republican Rep. Charles Henry submitted his resignation to House Speaker Clay Schexnayder on Monday. The resignation from the 105-member chamber was effective immediately. SENT: 248 words.

IN BRIEF:

— VIRUS OUTBREAK-JURY TRIALS — A Louisiana Supreme Court order says no jury trials can be launched in the state until March 1 because of coronavirus concerns.

IN SPORTS:

FBN—BEHIND THE CALL

UNDATED — Say this about Ju-Ju Smith-Schuster: he sure knows how to fire up foes through jigs and digs alike. Baker Mayfield trolled the Steelers star Sunday night, bellowing, “The Browns is the Browns!” as he hurried to join his delirious teammates following Cleveland’s 48-37 AFC wild card win at Pittsburgh. By Arnie Stapleton. SENT: 972 words.

AP Photos transref:PAGP148, transref:NYSB705, transref:LAGH101, transref:PAGP179, transref:PAKS106.

FBC—PAUL NEWBERRY-NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

UNDATED — By halftime, with Alabama clearly unstoppable and cruising toward a perfect season, the mind began to wander toward an obvious question. Has Nick Saban, the greatest coach in the history of college football, assembled the greatest team of them all? By Paul Newberry. SENT: 929 words.

AP Photos transref:HRS194, transref:HRS186, transref:HRS161, transref:HRS198, transref:HRS160, transref:HRS200, transref:HRS147, transref:HRS157, transref:HRS185, transref:HRS140.

MISSISSIPPI (All times Central)

TOP STORIES:

MISSISSIPPI FLAG

JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi hoisted a new state flag without the Confederate battle emblem on Monday, just over six months after legislators retired the last state banner in the U.S. that included the divisive rebel symbol. The new flag has a magnolia and the phrase, “In God We Trust.” Voters approved the design in November, and Gov. Tate Reeves on Monday signed a law to make it an official state symbol. By Emily Wagster Pettus. SENT: 816 words.

AP Photos transref:MSRS117, transref:MSRS120, transref:MSRS123, transref:MSRS121, transref:MSRS119, transref:MSRS124, transref:MSRS122, transref:MSRS125, transref:MSRS118, transref:MSRS116, transref:MSRS118.

AP Video

VIRUS-OUTBREAK-MISSISSIPPI

JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi residents who are 65 and older and those with preexisting conditions will now be eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine, Gov. Tate Reeves announced Tuesday. The announcement comes less than a week after the state made vaccinations available for Mississippians 75 and older. Mississippi set up drive-thru sites for vaccinations across the state. The vaccine is also available at some private clinics. By Leah Willingham. SENT: 547 words.

AP Photos transref:MSRS110, transref:MSRS107, transref:MSRS106, transref:MSRS102, transref:MSRS109, transref:MSRS108, transref:MSRS102, transref:MSRS101.

LEAST TERN-RECOVERY

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — The interior least tern, a hardy Midwestern bird that survived a craze for its plumage and dam-building that destroyed much of its habitat, has soared off the endangered species list. Federal officials said Tuesday that 35 years of legal protection and habitat restoration efforts had brought the tern back from the brink of extinction. By John Flesher. SENT: 604 words.

AP Photos transref:CER202.

OBIT-CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST

JACKSON, Miss. — Meredith C. Anding Jr., a member of the “Tougaloo Nine,” who famously participated in a library “read-in” in segregated Mississippi 60 years ago, has died. He was 79. Anding was diagnosed with leukemia and had been sick since March, his son Armaan Anding said. He died Friday in Brandon, Mississippi. By Leah Willingham. SENT: 739 words.

AP Photos transref:MSRS201, transref:MSRS202.

IN BRIEF

— EMBEZZLEMENT ARREST — A former board member of a Mississippi Crimestoppers’ group has been arrested following her indictment for embezzlement.

IN SPORTS:

BKC--OLE MISS-FLORIDA. Upcoming: 250 words. Game starts at 6 p.m.

FBC—INDIANA-TRANSFERS

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — The Indiana Hoosiers have beefed up their offensive and defensive lines with the addition of transfers Ryder Anderson and Zach Carpenter, who will both be eligible this fall. Anderson, a 6-foot-6, 275-pound defensive lineman, recorded 99 career tackles and 6 1/2 career sacks at Mississippi. Last season, he had 43 tackles 2 1/2 sacks and finished with three tackles and a sack against the Hoosiers in the Outback Bowl. He earned his degree in integrated marketing communications last May. SENT: 373 words.

———

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

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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