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Deep South News Digest

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

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or Administrative Correspondent Rebecca Santana can be reached at 504-523-3931 or A reminder: this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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 — A section of concrete on a parking deck under construction in Atlanta partially collapsed on Friday, injuring six workers. Atlanta Fire Rescue Deputy Chief Glen Riley said firefighters cut out one worker trapped under debris with saws. Video from news outlets showed the worker, who Riley said had leg injuries, being strapped into a basket next to the collapsed section. By Jeff Amy. SENT: 455 words.

AP Photos transref:GAEN101, transref:GAEN102, transref:EN101.


SAVANNAH, Ga. — A year after a giant cargo ship carrying 4,200 automobiles overturned on the Georgia coast, public testimony from crew members and technical experts could soon provide answers to what caused the shipwreck. The U.S. Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board have scheduled hearings in Georgia starting Monday on the ill-fated South Korean ship Golden Ray. The vessel had just left the Port of Brunswick, 70 miles (112 kilometers) south of Savannah, when it capsized on Sept. 8, 2019. By Russ Bynum. SENT: 567 words.

AP Photos transref:NYSB201.


ATLANTA — The Democratic candidate for an open U.S. House seat in Georgia dropped out of the race Friday, clearing a near-certain path to victory for a QAnon-supporting Republican contender who has been criticized for her incendiary comments. Democrat Kevin Van Ausdal bowed out of the race against Marjorie Taylor Greene for “personal and family reasons,” his campaign manager Vinny Olsziewski told The Associated Press. By Ben Nadler. SENT: 432 words.

AP Photos transref:NYMV402, transref:GAROM301.


ATLANTA — A federal hearing on a challenge to Georgia’s voting machines was interrupted Friday when someone began posting video and symbols during the live Zoom session, including images from the Sept. 11 attacks, a swastika and pornography. Before the interruption, there were roughly 100 people signed in as participants and observers to the high-profile hearing. By Kate Brumback. SENT: 717 words.

AP Photos transref:AX101.


BRUNSWICK, Ga. — Voters can’t try to abolish an embattled Georgia police department that was wrapped in controversy even before the department oversaw the initial investigation into the fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery, a judge ruled Friday. Superior Court Judge Charles Paul Rose ruled that the referendum on abolishing the Glynn County Police Department is unconstitutional. He also issued an injunction keeping the measure off the Nov. 3 ballot. County election supervisor Chris Channell told The Brunswick News the elections board would not appeal the decision. SENT: 244 words.

AP Photos transref:NYSB222.


ATLANTA — Election officials in Georgia approved a new rule Thursday that changes the standard for how much an oval needs to be filled in on an absentee ballot to count as a vote. Under the rule, passed by the State Election Board in a 3-1 vote, scanners will be changed to tabulate all selections where at least 20% of a bubble is filled in. If less than 10% is filled in, it won’t count as a vote. Marks that fill in between 10-20% will be flagged for manual review. SENT: 329 words.

AP Photos transref:GAATJ101.


ATLANTA — Attorneys for a white father and son charged with killing Ahmaud Arbery say their clients weren’t motivated by race when they armed themselves, chased after the young Black man and shot him in the street after a confrontation, according to interviews published Friday. Gregory and Travis McMichael have been jailed since they were arrested on murder charges in May, more than two months after 25-year-old Arbery was fatally shot while running in their neighborhood outside the port city of Brunswick. By Russ Bynum. SENT: 524 words.

AP Photos transref:NYPS205, transref:GAHO201.


ATLANTA — Georgia state court judges may begin calling grand juries to consider indictments, as courts take another step toward resuming trials suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, Chief Justice Harold Melton said. The head of the state’s judicial system said judges should consult with district attorneys and move forward “as local conditions allow.” Melton says courts should follow existing guidance on safety and that advice on remote grand jury proceedings would be issued soon. SENT: 324 words.


AUGUSTA, Ga. — The former leader of emergency medical services in Augusta, Georgia, says he resigned in the face of discrimination because he’s gay. James Kelly, in a letter to Augusta commissioners, says he faced two years of hostility from Fire Chief Chris James. SENT: 615 words.


SAVANNAH, Ga. — A Georgia sheriff said Friday he has fired a fourth deputy for neglecting duties following the death of a jail inmate. Chatham County Sheriff John Wilcher announced the latest firing in a statement the day after he said three other deputies had been terminated — including one who was charged with falsifying jail records. By Russ Bynum. SENT: 162 words.


— SEX CHARGES-FORMER POLICE CHIEF — A former central Georgia police chief and blacksmith at a historic site has been arrested on sex charges.

— ELECTION 2020-RECOUNTS — A recount in a Georgia state House race changed the margin by one vote, but didn’t change the winner.

— POLICE SHOOTING-SUSPECT KILLED — A suspect accused of running from Georgia police and shooting at them from a wooded area was killed when officers returned fire.

— PRISON DEATH — Officials in Georgia say an inmate has died from apparent stab wounds following a fight with a fellow prisoner.

— MISSING AIRPLANE-SEARCH — Helicopters and ground crews searched Friday for a small airplane that went missing in Alabama during a flight between Georgia and Mississippi.



ATLANTA — The Atlanta Falcons went all season without a 100-yard rusher in the backfield last year, so when Todd Gurley became available as a free agent, they were eager to sign him. Gurley has a history of knee problems and was cut by the Los Angeles Rams just two years removed from consecutive seasons as an All-Pro running back. The Falcons waited a couple of weeks during the early days of quarantine because of the coronavirus pandemic to sign Gurley to a $6 million, one-year deal, hoping he can spark a rushing attack that finished third-worst in the NFL last season. By George Henry. SENT: 756 words.

AP Photos transref:GAATJ501.


FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — The Atlanta Falcons will be without cornerback Kendall Sheffield and defensive end Charles Harris for Sunday’s season opener against the Seattle Seahawks. Sheffield (foot) and Harris (ankle) were ruled out Friday after missing practice all week. Rookie defensive tackle Marlon Davidson (knee) was listed as questionable. SENT: 158 words.

AP Photos transref:GAATJ501.


RENTON, Wash. — K.J. Wright might be one of the biggest surprises in Seattle’s starting lineup for Sunday’s opener against Atlanta, which is saying something considering he’s currently the longest-tenured Seahawks player and about to begin his 10th NFL season. But this was an offseason of challenges for Wright. By Tim Booth. SENT: 693 words.

AP Photos transref:WATW104, transref:WASET503, transref:WASET202


UNDATED — Four years after Colin Kaepernick took a knee, this is where we are with the NFL. Fans booing a display of unity. By Paul Newberry. SENT: 1,097 words.

AP Photos transref:NYDD206, transref:TNMH126, transref:TNMH135, transref:TNMH138, transref:TNMH153, transref:TNMH180, transref:TNMH137, transref:FLJA114.


WASHINGTON — The Atlanta Braves and struggling Washington Nationals continue their series. Starts at 6:05 p.m. ET. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos.


BRADENTON, Fla. — The Atlanta Dream visit the Connecticut Sun. UPCOMING: 150 words. Game starts at 7 p.m.

SOUTH CAROLINA (All times Eastern)



COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina’s public health director appeared to be on her way to a new job in Ohio before abruptly withdrawing, saying a day later she was concerned because the previous director’s family was harassed including protests at her home. Joan Duwve said she isn’t returning to her job in South Carolina either. SENT: 515 words.


WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump bestowed the Medal of Honor on a U.S. soldier Friday, calling him “one of the bravest men anywhere in the world” for his role in a daring 2015 missio n to rescue dozens of hostages who were set to be executed by Islamic State militants in Iraq. Trump picked the 19th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks to honor Sgt. Maj. Thomas “Patrick” Payne, who negotiated a barrage of enemy gunfire and repeatedly entered a burning building in a harrowing effort that saved more than 70 hostages. The president said that Payne, who was in high school on 9/11, and his classmates learned about the attacks on the United States from a teacher who solemnly relayed what had happened. By Aamer Madhani and Jill Colvin. SENT: 765 words.

AP Photos transref:DCAH433, transref:DCAH126, transref:DCAH128, transref:DCAH121, transref:DCAH123, transref:WX131, transref:WX132.


RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina will keep challenging the U.S. government’s decision to advance seismic testing off the state’s Atlantic coast although a potential testing company has pulled out, Attorney General Josh Stein’s office said on Friday. The state sued last month over the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s decision that overrode objections by state coastal regualtors to the seismic activity WesternGeco LLC wanted to conduct. Last week, WesternGeco withdrew its energy exploration application for the Atlantic coast. SENT: 291 words.


UNDATED — A U.S. Navy veteran had no idea he was living with the virus that causes AIDS for more than two decades, because government health care workers never informed him of his positive test result in the mid-1990s, he says. In a federal lawsuit filed this week, the South Carolina man says he ended up with “full-blown AIDS” because he never received treatment after being kept in the dark. By Jeff Martin. SENT: 825 words.

AP Photos transref:NYDD202.


— VIRUS OUTBREAK-INMATES DEATH — Three inmates at a South Carolina prison have died after testing positive for COVID-19, bringing the death toll at the facility up to five, officials said.

ALABAMA (All times Central)



TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx on Friday praised Alabama’s response to the pandemic, but expressed concern about the number of men she saw not wearing masks as she visited the state. During a stop at the University of Alabama, the site of a recent outbreak, Birx praised the state leadership, university administrators, students and citizens for their response to the virus. But she noted a gender gap as she traveled the state in mask wearing, one of the tools to curb the spread of the virus. Birx said she purposely drives on visits so she can see what happens in gas stations, coffee shops and as people are “going around their everyday life.” SENT: 493 words.

AP Photos transref:ALTUS211.


MONTEVALLO, Ala. — His Army stint complete after serving in Afghanistan, Damian Daniels left Alabama to begin a new life in Texas. He bought a house, enrolled in college and supported the Black Lives Matter movement. Black himself, Daniels was working to start a new business when paranoid hallucinations began last month and a brother sought help from police. Shot dead by officers who were sent to aid him, Daniels was buried Friday on Sept. 11, the anniversary of the date that sent him down the path to war. By Jay Reeves. SENT: 930 words.

AP Photos transref:ALJR102, transref:ALJR101, transref:ALJR103, transref:AX401.


— RAILROAD CAR PLANT CLOSING — A factory that employs hundreds of people manufacturing railroad cars in north Alabama is closing amid declining demand linked to the coronavirus pandemic.

— MISSING AIRPLANE-SEARCH — Helicopters and ground crews searched Friday for a small airplane that went missing in Alabama during a flight between Georgia and Mississippi.

— FUGITIVE DEATH — A defense attorney who fled rape charges in Tennessee apparently killed himself when confronted by law enforcement officers in Alabama, authorities said Friday.

LOUISIANA (All times Central)



New Orleans — Bars in a handful of Louisiana parishes will be allowed to re-open under new, looser coronavirus restrictions announced Friday by Gov. John Bel Edwards. Bars in the state have been closed since July unless they have licenses to operate as restaurants. Under the guidelines announced Friday, bars in parishes where the percentage of positive COVID-19 deaths is 5% or below for four weeks can open if parish leaders give the OK, Edwards said. By Kevin McGill. SENT: 553 words.


LAKE CHARLES, La. — Decaying plants pushed in by Hurricane Laura are the likely cause of stinky, bad water in two southwestern lakes, and a fish kill in one lake adds to the stench, state officials say. “Its not dangerous. It just smells bad. It’s a real nuisance in some spots,” Department of Environmental Quality press secretary Greg Langley said Friday. SENT: 294 words.


— EX-OFFICER PLEADS — A former Louisiana police officer charged with malfeasance in the alleged beating last year of a young man at a hospital has entered a plea in the case.

— TRIPLE SHOOTING-INDICTMENT — Two Louisiana brothers have been indicted on murder charges in a drive-by shooting that killed a 3-year-old boy and his 23-year-old sibling.

— NEW JOBS — Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has announced that a California-based manufacturer will invest $5.1 million to build a new facility in Louisiana, creating nearly 70 new jobs in the state.

— HURRICANE LAURA-FARMERS AID — Louisiana farmers and ranchers in areas hit by Hurricane Laura have four more weeks to apply for a COVID-19 aid program.



CHARLOTTE, N.C. — For some players, a devastating knee injury can be crushing. For Teddy Bridgewater, it was an awakening. On the four-year anniversary of suffering a torn ACL and shattered kneecap which essentially left his left leg dangling by one ligament and his budding NFL career in serious doubt, the Panthers quarterback took time for a moment of reflection, offering thanks to the day he got hurt. By Steve Reed. SENT: 929 words.

AP Photos transref:NY188, transref:NYDD202, transref:NYDD203.


UNDATED — For the first time since 2012, Iowa State will open its season against an opponent from the Football Bowl Subdivision. The Cyclones originally were set to ease into the season against South Dakota of the FCS. But the coronavirus pandemic caused postponements and cancellations across college football, and the Cyclones had to scramble to line up Louisiana-Lafayette for Saturday. By Eric Olson. SENT: 682 words.

AP Photos transref:NYPS201, transref:NY151.

MISSISSIPPI (All times Central)



JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi reported 853 new cases of coronavirus Friday, and a “modest uptick” in hospitalizations related to the virus, the state health officer said. “One day does not make a trend - but it should remind us to keep our guard up,” Dr. Thomas Dobbs tweeted. “We are a long way from herd immunity.” SENT: 228 words.


JACKSON, Miss. — A Memphis lawyer has been indicted for conspiring with a former top official in the Mississippi Department of Education to rig contracts and steal public money, authorities said Friday. Errol Harmon, 47, is charged with conspiracy, bribery, and interstate transportation in aid of bribery, U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst said in a statement. Harmon is the fourth person to be indicted in the scheme. SENT: 372 words.


NATCHEZ, Miss. — The mayor of Mississippi’s oldest city remains under quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19. Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson was on a 14-day self-imposed quarantine after a person he had lunch with tested positive for the coronavirus. The last day of that restriction was Tuesday. Gibson said he waited until then to get tested for the virus and for antibodies and was notified later Tuesday that he was positive for the virus, The Natchez Democrat reported. SENT: 238 words.


VICKSBURG, Miss. — A recent spike in juvenile crime has prompted a Mississippi city to reinstate a juvenile curfew effective immediately. The City of Vicksburg moved Thursday to re-emphasize the curfew that has been in place as part of the city’s shelter-in-place COVID-19 civil emergency, which is set to expire Oct. 5. The latest order will run from 7:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. daily and supersedes the city’s ongoing juvenile curfew on school nights, which runs from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., The Vicksburg Post reported. SENT: 244 words.


UNDATED — Missi Magness wanted her children back in school. The parent of a first-grader and a sixth-grader who attend schools on Indianapolis’ southeast side struggled trying to oversee her children’s schooling while working from home this spring. By Kalyn Belsha and Gabrielle Lamarr Lemee Of Chalkbeat, and Michael Rubinkam and Larry Fenn Of The Associated Press. SENT: 1,658 words.

AP Photos transref:NYAG501, transref:NYAG502, transref:NYAG503, transref:NYAG504, transref:NYAG505, transref:NYAG506, transref:NYAG507, transref:NYAG508, transref:NYAG509, transref:NYAG510.




— WOMAN SLAIN — Three family members are in custody after a woman was killed at a home in east-central Mississippi.

— MISSING AIRPLANE-SEARCH — Helicopters and ground crews searched Friday for a small airplane that went missing in Alabama during a flight between Georgia and Mississippi.


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