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 A reminder: this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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

CITIZENS ARREST-GEORGIA

ATLANTA — Georgia’s governor is backing a plan to overhaul the state’s citizen’s arrest law, taking aim at a statute scrutinized last year after white men fatally shot Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man they claimed had committed a crime. Since 1863, Georgia’s written law has allowed a private citizen to make an arrest if a crime is committed in the person’s presence “or within their immediate knowledge.” Advocates say the law is steeped in racism and slavery. By Jeff Amy. SENT: 660 words, photos.

XGR-DEFUND POLICE BAN

ATLANTA — A Republican-backed bill advancing in the Georgia House would block “defund the police” movements in cities and counties, after Atlanta and Athens debated plans to cut or redirect spending following racial injustice protests last year. The measure is a response to arguments by protesters nationwide that minority communities are suffering from overpolicing and that governments should spend less on law enforcement and more on social service workers who could help address problems, but without guns and arrest powers. By Jeff Amy. SENT: 600 words, photos.

GEORGIA ELECTION-FULTON COUNTY

ATLANTA — Officials in Georgia on Tuesday voted to fire the man in charge of overseeing elections in the state’s most populous county, which was frequently in the spotlight last year after a disastrous primary and attention from then-President Donald Trump. The Fulton County Board of Elections voted 3-2 during a sometimes contentious video conference to terminate Rick Barron after hearing from staff who supported him as well as some county residents who said he needed to go. By Kate Brumback. SENT: 690 words, photos.

HEALTH CARE OVERHAUL

ATLANTA — Gov. Brian Kemp’s proposal to reshape Medicaid in Georgia has been put on hold by President Joe Biden’s administration only four months after the plan won approval under Donald Trump. Biden’s acting director for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Elizabeth Richter, sent Georgia officials a letter said work or related activity requirements in Kemp’s proposal are “unreasonably difficult or impossible” for people to meet during the coronavirus pandemc. Kemp’s plan seeks to add 50,000 low-income or uninsured adults to Medicaid rolls over the next two years. Democrats continue to call for a full expansion of Medicaid services under the Affordable Care Act. Kemp’s office has 30 days to respond to the decision from Washington. SENT: 511 words, photo.

POLICE SHOOTING-ATLANTA

ATLANTA — Attorneys alleging excessive force involving Atlanta police officers in two high-profile cases, including the fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks, want a special prosecutor appointed after the local district attorney argued her office shouldn’t be involved in either case. By Kate Brumback and Ben Nadler. SENT: 580 words, photos.

PAID PARENTAL LEAVE

ATLANTA — Georgia’s House of Representatives is trying again to give paid parental leave to state workers, teachers and university employees. The House voted 155-2 on Tuesday to pass House Bill 146. It would offer three weeks of paid parental leave any time to those nearly 250,000 workers after the birth, adoption or foster placement of a child. The measure mirrors a bill that sailed through the House last year and failed in the Senate in the final hours of the session. House Speaker David Ralston, a Blue Ridge Republican, has made the measure one of his priorities. SENT: 200 words.

TRUMP-LEGAL TROUBLES

NEW YORK — Acquitted by the Senate of inciting last month’s U.S. Capitol insurrection, former President Donald Trump faces more fallout from the unrest, including a lawsuit from a congressman Tuesday. But his biggest legal problems might be the ones that go much further back. Riot-related consequences aren’t the only thing Trump has to worry about. By Michael R. Sisak and Jim Mustian. SENT: 1,500 words, photos.

RACIAL INJUSTICE-HBCU CAMPUS PRESERVATION

CHICAGO — Several historically Black colleges and universities will receive more than $650,000 in grants to preserve their campuses as part of a new initiative announced Tuesday. The funding for the HBCUs comes as leaders of the colleges and universities continue to advocate for additional funding nearly a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, which has threatened the survival of many already chronically underfunded schools. By Christine Fernando. SENT: 953 words, photos.

CAPITOL BREACH-EXTREMISTS

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — The attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 has reignited the debate over how law enforcement should handle domestic extremist groups. In nearly half of the more than 200 federal cases stemming from that day, attackers appeared inspired by conspiracy theories, right-wing propaganda, and racist or extremist ideologies. That’s according to an Associated Press review of court records and social media posts. By Michael Kunzelman and Amanda Seitz. SENT: 1,176 words, photos.

VACCINES-GROCERY WORKERS

As panicked Americans cleared supermarkets of toilet paper and food last spring, grocery employees gained recognition as among the most indispensable of the pandemic’s front-line workers. A year later, most of those workers are waiting for COVID-19 vaccines, with little clarity about when their turns may come. The country’s chaotic vaccine rollout has resulted in a patchwork of policies that differ from state-to-state, and even county-to-county in some areas. Debbie Whipple, a scan manager at a Kroger in Fayetteville, Georgia, said her union, UFWC Local 1996, doesn’t expect Georgia to open vaccines to grocery workers until April at the earliest. By Alexandra Olson, Dee-Ann Durbin and Ann D'Innocenzio. SENT: 1,280 words, photos, video.

IN BRIEF:

—TORNADO-GEORGIA — The National Weather Service confirmed Tuesday that a tornado struck an area of southwest Georgia where one home was destroyed and several others got damaged.

—CRASH-THREE KILLED — Authorities say a 21-year-old Georgia man and two boys are dead following a crash in Paulding County.

—COTTRELL-EXPANSION — A Georgia manufacturer of auto-hauling trailers says it will invest $125 million to build a new factory.

— POLICE SHOOT MAN — State law officers say they’re investigating after a gun battle between four police officers and a man in DeKalb County.

— FATAL SHOOTING-MISSING CHILD — A reward for information in the killing of a 12-year-old boy has been increased to $10,000.

SPORTS:

BKC-T25-MISSOURI-GEORGIA

ATHENS, Ga. — No. 20 Missouri will try to recover from back-to-back losses which caused it to drop 10 spots in the Top 25 when the Tigers visit Georgia on Tuesday night. By Charles Odum. UPCOMING: 600 words. Game starts at 7 p.m.

SOUTH CAROLINA (All times Eastern)

TOP STORIES:

XGR-PORT BONDS

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Some of South Carolina’s longest serving and most powerful senators began their push Tuesday to get the state to borrow $550 million to bring more technology and rail service to the port in Charleston. They were met with skepticism from other senators who questioned whether the state should let a private company handle the upgrades, wanted more oversight of the State Ports Authority or wondered if the proposal had been fully vetted. By Jeffrey Collins. SENT: 690 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-SOUTH CAROLINA

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina lawmakers agreed Tuesday to spend up to $208 million to bolster coronavirus vaccination efforts across the state. The House approved a plan to put the money toward the costs of administering vaccines and testing, personal protective equipment and other expenses associated with the vaccine rollout. By Michelle Liu. SENT: 430 words, photo.

WINTER WEATHER-DEEP SOUTH

UNDATED — With snow flurries falling on the Gulf Coast during record cold temperatures and some Deep South towns already coated in ice, forecasters on Tuesday said another blast of winter weather could cause still more travel problems and shutdowns. Northern sections of Mississippi and Louisiana may get another 2 inches (5 centimeters) of snow and ice through Thursday, the National Weather Service said. SENT: 440 words, photos.

RACIAL INJUSTICE-HBCU CAMPUS PRESERVATION

CHICAGO — Several historically Black colleges and universities will receive more than $650,000 in grants to preserve their campuses as part of a new initiative announced Tuesday. The funding for the HBCUs comes as leaders of the colleges and universities continue to advocate for additional funding nearly a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, which has threatened the survival of many already chronically underfunded schools. By Christine Fernando. SENT: 953 words, photos.

IN BRIEF:

—HOME INVASION-SUSPECT DIES — Authorities in South Carolina say a man accused of attacking an elderly couple in their home is dead after the 82-year-old husband fought back.

—TRAIN TRESTLE-DROWNING — A man walking on a train bridge over a South Carolina lake drowned after he had to jump into the water to avoid an oncoming locomotive.

— MALL SHOOTING — Police say they are increasing patrols at a South Carolina shopping mall where three people were injured by a gunman over the weekend.

SPORTS:

BKC—SOUTH CAROLINA-TENNESSEE

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — No. 19 Tennessee plays South Carolina Wednesday night, a day later than scheduled because of a positive COVID-19 test in the Volunteers’ program. By Al Lesar. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts at 9 p.m. ET.

ALABAMA (All times Central)

TOP STORIES:

OBIT-JIMMY EVANS

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Former Alabama Attorney General Jimmy Evans, who successfully prosecuted the state’s governor in an ethics case in the 1990s, died Monday. He was 81. Evans was Alabama’s attorney general from 1991 to 1995. He is best known for the 1993 prosecution and conviction of then-Gov. Guy Hunt on charges of stealing $ 200,000 from an inaugural fund. Evans also pushed for passage of legislation to give crime victims a greater voice in the criminal justice system and was a mentor to many young attorneys, said friends and former colleagues. By Kim Chandler. SENT: 440 words, photo.

WINTER WEATHER

OCEAN ISLE BEACH, N.C. — A winter storm that left millions without power in record-breaking cold weather claimed more lives Tuesday, including three people found dead after a tornado hit a seaside town in North Carolina and four family members who perished in a Houston-area house fire while using a fireplace to stay warm. The storm that overwhelmed power grids and immobilized the Southern Plains carried heavy snow and freezing rain into New England and the Deep South and left behind painfully low temperatures. Wind-chill warnings extended from Canada into Mexico. By Bryan Anderson. SENT: 1,100 words, photos, video. WITH: Winter Weather-The Latest.

DEEP SOUTH-WINTER WEATHER

UNDATED — With snow flurries falling on the Gulf Coast during record cold temperatures and some Deep South towns already coated in ice, forecasters on Tuesday said another blast of winter weather could cause still more travel problems and shutdowns. Northern sections of Mississippi and Louisiana may get another 2 inches (5 centimeters) of snow and ice through Thursday, the National Weather Service said. SENT: 440 words, photos.

MARDI GRAS

NEW ORLEANS — Music blared from the courtyard of a French Quarter restaurant on Mardi Gras morning but nobody was there to hear it until Tom Gibson and Sheila Wheeler of Philadelphia walked out of their hotel’s nearly empty lobby. “We were expecting a little bit lower key than the normal Mardi Gras,” Wheeler said. But empty Bourbon Street was a shock. Coronavirus-related restrictions in New Orleans included canceled parades, closed bars and a near shutdown of rowdy Bourbon Street. That, and unusually frigid weather, prevented what New Orleans usually craves at the end of Mardi Gras season: streets and businesses jam-packed with revelers. By Kevin McGill. SENT: 800 words, photos, video.

RACIAL INJUSTICE-HBCU CAMPUS PRESERVATION

CHICAGO — Several historically Black colleges and universities will receive more than $650,000 in grants to preserve their campuses as part of a new initiative announced Tuesday. The funding for the HBCUs comes as leaders of the colleges and universities continue to advocate for additional funding nearly a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, which has threatened the survival of many already chronically underfunded schools. By Christine Fernando. SENT: 953 words, photos.

IN BRIEF

—MAYOR-ETHICS CHARGES — An east Alabama mayor was arrested Tuesday after being indicted on felony ethics charges.

—FAMILY KILLED-ALABAMA — A judge ruled that an Alabama teenager charged with killing five family members will remain jailed pending trial, denying a request to move him to a juvenile detention center.

—FIREFIGHTER INJURED — An Alabama firefighter was injured while battling a blaze inside a warehouse in Mobile, according to officials.

LOUISIANA (All times Central)

TOP STORIES:

MARDI GRAS

NEW ORLEANS — Music blared from the courtyard of a French Quarter restaurant on Mardi Gras morning but nobody was there to hear it until Tom Gibson and Sheila Wheeler of Philadelphia walked out of their hotel’s nearly empty lobby. “We were expecting a little bit lower key than the normal Mardi Gras,” Wheeler said. But empty Bourbon Street was a shock. Coronavirus-related restrictions in New Orleans included canceled parades, closed bars and a near shutdown of rowdy Bourbon Street. That, and unusually frigid weather, prevented what New Orleans usually craves at the end of Mardi Gras season: streets and businesses jam-packed with revelers. By Kevin McGill. SENT: 800 words, photos, video.

WINTER WEATHER

OCEAN ISLE BEACH, N.C. — A winter storm that left millions without power in record-breaking cold weather claimed more lives Tuesday, including three people found dead after a tornado hit a seaside town in North Carolina and four family members who perished in a Houston-area house fire while using a fireplace to stay warm. The storm that overwhelmed power grids and immobilized the Southern Plains carried heavy snow and freezing rain into New England and the Deep South and left behind painfully low temperatures. Wind-chill warnings extended from Canada into Mexico. By Bryan Anderson. SENT: 1,100 words, photos, video. WITH: Winter Weather-The Latest.

DEEP SOUTH-WINTER WEATHER

UNDATED — With snow flurries falling on the Gulf Coast during record cold temperatures and some Deep South towns already coated in ice, forecasters on Tuesday said another blast of winter weather could cause still more travel problems and shutdowns. Northern sections of Mississippi and Louisiana may get another 2 inches (5 centimeters) of snow and ice through Thursday, the National Weather Service said. SENT: 440 words, photos.

SPORTS:

BKN-PELICANS-GRIZZLIES

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Memphis Grizzlies are back home and host the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night in the first of a pair of back-to-back games. By Clay Bailey. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts at 7:30 p.m. ET.

MISSISSIPPI (All times Central)

TOP STORIES:

CAPITOL BREACH-TRUMP LAWSUIT

A Democratic congressman from Mississippi has sued Donald Trump, alleging Trump incited the deadly insurrection at the Capitol. The Washington federal court lawsuit is part of an expected wave of litigation over the riot and is believed to be the first filed by a member of Congress. It alleges Trump conspired with members of far-right extremist groups to try to prevent Congress from certifying the presidential election results. It was filed by Mississippi congressman Bennie Thompson under a Reconstruction-era law known as the Ku Klux Klan Act and comes days after Trump was acquitted in an impeachment trial. It seeks unspecified punitive and compensatory damages. A Trump adviser says Trump “did not incite” any violence at the Capitol. By Eric Tucker. SENT: 920 words, photos.

RACIAL INJUSTICE-HBCU CAMPUS PRESERVATION

CHICAGO — Several historically Black colleges and universities will receive more than $650,000 in grants to preserve their campuses as part of a new initiative announced Tuesday. The funding for the HBCUs comes as leaders of the colleges and universities continue to advocate for additional funding nearly a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, which has threatened the survival of many already chronically underfunded schools. By Christine Fernando. SENT: 953 words, photos.

WINTER WEATHER

OCEAN ISLE BEACH, N.C. — A winter storm that left millions without power in record-breaking cold weather claimed more lives Tuesday, including three people found dead after a tornado hit a seaside town in North Carolina and four family members who perished in a Houston-area house fire while using a fireplace to stay warm. The storm that overwhelmed power grids and immobilized the Southern Plains carried heavy snow and freezing rain into New England and the Deep South and left behind painfully low temperatures. Wind-chill warnings extended from Canada into Mexico. By Bryan Anderson. SENT: 1,100 words, photos, video. WITH: Winter Weather-The Latest.

DEEP SOUTH-WINTER WEATHER

UNDATED — With snow flurries falling on the Gulf Coast during record cold temperatures and some Deep South towns already coated in ice, forecasters on Tuesday said another blast of winter weather could cause still more travel problems and shutdowns. Northern sections of Mississippi and Louisiana may get another 2 inches (5 centimeters) of snow and ice through Thursday, the National Weather Service said. SENT: 440 words, photos.

IN BRIEF:

— VIRUS OUTBREAK-MISSISSIPPI — Authorities say all but one Mississippi State Department of Health vaccination sites will be closed Tuesday due to the winter storm that’s slamming the region.

—ARTS FESTIVAL CANCELED — A Mississippi festival that usually attracts thousands of people is being canceled for the second year in a row because of the coronavirus pandemic.

———

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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