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Deep South News Digest

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 A reminder: this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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

Get a look forward at AP’s plans for US national and regional news coverage by subscribing to our twice-weekly newsletter. http://discover.ap.org/NationalCoverage

GEORGIA (All times Eastern)

TOP STORIES:

DISASTER DECLARATION-GEORGIA

NEWNAN, Ga. — The Federal Emergency Management Agency says individual residents won’t get disaster assistance after a March 26 tornado damaged more than 1,700 homes southwest of Atlanta. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that FEMA rejected an appeal from Gov. Brian Kemp for payments to individuals after initially turning down the request, finding the damage was not severe enough to warrant individual assistance. President Joe Biden in May approved assistance to governments and electric cooperatives in eight Georgia counties after March storms. Government aid usually requires a lower threshold of damage. SENT: 300 words.

OVERTURNED CARGO SHIP-GEORGIA

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — Health officials warned swimmers and fishers to be on the lookout for oil sheens off two Georgia islands after oil spilled from an overturned cargo ship while crews were dismantling it. The Coastal Health District issued the alert Thursday for the waters off Jekyll and St. Simons islands hours after a large amount of oil from the nearby Golden Ray escaped a barrier around the ship. SENT: 260 words.

QUARTERBACK SHOOTING

PENSACOLA, Fla. — A star Florida high school quarterback playing for a Georgia university died after more than 50 gunshots were fired into the car he was driving. Eighteen-year-old Ladarius Clardy was found dead with several gunshot wounds before dawn Thursday after the vehicle he was driving crashed at a Pensacola intersection. SENT: 319 words.

TROPICAL WEATHER-ATLANTIC

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Elsa strengthened into the first hurricane of the Atlantic season on Friday as it blew off roofs and snapped trees in the eastern Caribbean, where officials closed schools, businesses and airports. It appeared headed eventually in the general direction of Florida. The Category 1 storm is the first hurricane to hit Barbados in more than 60 years, unleashing heavy rains and winds on the island and then on St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which are struggling to recover from recent massive volcanic eruptions. By Danica Coto. SENT: 490 words, AP Photos.

TVA-COAL PLANTS

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The nation’s largest public utility is looking at shutting down three of its five remaining coal-fired power plants, saying they are old and no longer practical. But despite President Joe Biden’s goal of a carbon-pollution-free energy sector by 2035, the Tennessee Valley Authority, an independent federal agency, is considering replacing the lost megawatts from coal with another carbon-producing fuel — natural gas. By Travis Loller. SENT: 740 words, AP Photo.

NOT REAL NEWS

Social media users shared a range of false claims this week. A letter that purported to be from an Alabama utility warning about “flesh eating bacteria” at a lake was fabricated. SENT: 1,400 words.

IN BRIEF:

— DEPUTY SUPERINTENDENT-WIFE-MURDER — A former deputy school superintendent in middle Georgia has been charged with murder in the 2019 death of his wife, with investigators suggesting he was somehow responsible for her drug overdose.

— OVERDOSE DEATH-CHARGES — A Georgia man has admitted selling heroin that caused a woman’s death hours later, prosecutors said.

— TODDLER'S BODY-CHATTAHOOCHEE RIVER — A woman was charged Friday with concealing the death of a toddler whose body was found the day before in the Chattahoochee River by a fire crew during a training exercise, authorities said.

— STORE SHOOTING-SPLIT VERDICT — A middle Georgia teenager has been convicted of the 2018 armed robbery and murder of one convenience store clerk, but acquitted in the killing of a second clerk a week later.

SPORTS:

BKN--BUCKS-HAWKS PREVIEW

ATLANTA -- It has become a familiar holding pattern in the Eastern Conference final. The wait to see who’s going to play. Nothing has changed with the series headed back to Atlanta for a potentially clinching Game 6 Saturday night between the Hawks and the Milwaukee Bucks. By Paul Newberry. SENT: 780 words, AP photos.

BKN--BUCKS-PORTIS

MILWAUKEE - Bobby Portis says he turned down more lucrative offers to sign with the Milwaukee Bucks in the offseason because he wanted to play for a winner and experience a deep playoff run. He has emerged as a fan favorite with his new team and is now a win away from the NBA Finals. By Steve Megargee. SENT: 700 words, AP Photos.

BKN--TNT-ALBERT’S FINALE

Marv Albert has seen his share of athletes and broadcasters announce their retirement and then come back a couple years later. He doesn’t expect to be one of them. The Hall of Fame announcer would call his final game on Saturday if the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Atlanta Hawks in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals, which would propel the Bucks to their first NBA Finals since 1974. By Joe Reedy. SENT: 580 words, AP Photo.

FBC--MARK RICHT-PARKINSON’S

ATLANTA -- Former Georgia and Miami football coach Mark Richt has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Richt, who guided the Bulldogs for 15 seasons and closed out his coaching career at his alma mater Miami, made the announcement on Twitter and says he’ll rely on his deep religious faith to cope with the condition. By Paul Newberry. SENT: 540 words, AP photos.

BBN--MARLINS-BRAVES

ATLANTA — Drew Smyly pitches for the Braves and Zach Thompson takes the mound for the Marlins as Atlanta and Miami begin a three-game series. By George Henry. UPCOMING. 600 words, AP Photos from 7:20 p.m. EDT start.

BKL--DREAM-STORM — Upcoming: 150 words

SOUTH CAROLINA (All times Eastern)

TOP STORIES:

WATER SYSTEM WORKERS SHOT

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A Charter Communications worker was killed Thursday in a South Carolina shooting and standoff that also wounded two public workers repairing a sewer main, a deputy and a woman inside the home where the shooter was barricaded, authorities said. The man who shot the workers fixing the sewer, 45-year-old Shannon Earl Smith, died from at least one gunshot wound at the hospital shortly after the standoff ended around 5 p.m., authorities said. By Jeffrey Collins. SENT: 425 words, AP Photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-MINK BAN

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A bipartisan proposal in the U.S. House would ban the farming of mink fur in the United States in an effort to stem possible mutations of the coronavirus, something researchers have said can be accelerated when the virus spreads among animals. The bill introduced this week is an effort from Reps. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., and Nancy Mace, R-S.C. It would prohibit the import, export, transport, sale or purchase of mink in the United States. By Meg Kinnard. SENT: 430 words, AP Photos.

STATEHOUSE CORRUPTION

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A top Republican political consultant in South Carolina faces 14 additional charges in a 7-year-old investigation into corruption among lawmakers. The new indictments against Richard Quinn Sr. on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice were handed up May 20, but weren’t announced publicly or even shared with Quinn’s attorney, The State newspaper reported. SENT: 290 words.

WILDLIFE CHARGES

BISHOPVILLE, S.C. — Two women face criminal charges after South Carolina Department of Natural Resources officers found more than 200 squirrels stacked in cages inside a mobile home near Bishopville. The department says wildlife officers also found deer, armadillos and potentially invasive nutria on the property. SENT: 272 words.

OVERTURNED CARGO SHIP-GEORGIA

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — Health officials warned swimmers and fishers to be on the lookout for oil sheens off two Georgia islands after oil spilled from an overturned cargo ship while crews were dismantling it. The Coastal Health District issued the alert Thursday for the waters off Jekyll and St. Simons islands hours after a large amount of oil from the nearby Golden Ray escaped a barrier around the ship. SENT: 260 words.

TROPICAL WEATHER-ATLANTIC

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Elsa strengthened into the first hurricane of the Atlantic season on Friday as it blew off roofs and snapped trees in the eastern Caribbean, where officials closed schools, businesses and airports. It appeared headed eventually in the general direction of Florida. The Category 1 storm is the first hurricane to hit Barbados in more than 60 years, unleashing heavy rains and winds on the island and then on St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which are struggling to recover from recent massive volcanic eruptions. By Danica Coto. SENT: 490 words, AP Photos.

IN BRIEF:

— TRACTOR SHOOTING — An 8-year-old and a 9-year-old boy have been charged with killing a man who was shot with a rifle while cutting down brush in a South Carolina field, authorities said.

— RICE KRISPIES-CONTRABAND — A guard was fired and arrested after trying to smuggle prescription stimulant pills into a South Carolina women’s prison by hiding them in Rice Krispies treats, authorities said.

ALABAMA (all times Central):

TOP STORIES:

ALABAMA PRISONS

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — An inmate died after an apparent assault last month at Bullock Correctional Facility, the Alabama Department of Corrections confirmed this week. The reported death comes as the Justice Department argues a lawsuit should not be dismissed against the state prison system. SENT: 280 words.

TRUCK DIVERSION-TUNNEL

MOBILE, Ala. — Trucking officials are unhappy after the Alabama Department of Transportation moved with little notice to divert trucks from the Interstate 10 tunnel in Mobile. The state announced Thursday that trucks had to detour from noon to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday to try reduce traffic on I-10 before the July 4 holiday. SENT: 425 words.

TVA-COAL PLANTS

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The nation’s largest public utility is looking at shutting down three of its five remaining coal-fired power plants, saying they are old and no longer practical. But despite President Joe Biden’s goal of a carbon-pollution-free energy sector by 2035, the Tennessee Valley Authority, an independent federal agency, is considering replacing the lost megawatts from coal with another carbon-producing fuel — natural gas. By Travis Loller. SENT: 740 words, AP Photo.

TROPICAL WEATHER-ATLANTIC

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Elsa strengthened into the first hurricane of the Atlantic season on Friday as it blew off roofs and snapped trees in the eastern Caribbean, where officials closed schools, businesses and airports. It appeared headed eventually in the general direction of Florida. The Category 1 storm is the first hurricane to hit Barbados in more than 60 years, unleashing heavy rains and winds on the island and then on St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which are struggling to recover from recent massive volcanic eruptions. By Danica Coto. SENT: 490 words, AP Photos.

NOT REAL NEWS

Social media users shared a range of false claims this week. A letter that purported to be from an Alabama utility warning about “flesh eating bacteria” at a lake was fabricated. SENT: 1,400 words.

IN BRIEF:

— GUNFIRE-LAWMAKER — Police are investigating after about two dozen gunshots were fired into the house of an Alabama lawmaker who wasn’t home at the time.

— NATCHEZ TRACE SUPERINTENDENT — A 30-year veteran of the National Park Service will take over as leader of the Natchez Trace Parkway.

LOUISIANA (all times Central)

TOP STORIES:

LOUISIANA TAXES-ROADWORK

BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana will shift up to $300 million in taxes charged annually on the sales of new cars and trucks to roadwork, under a bill Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Friday he signed into law, handing a victory to Senate leaders who pushed for the boosted transportation funding. The dollars will be removed from the state general fund where they help to pay for health care, education, public safety services and other government operations. The shift will be phased in over two years starting in mid-2023, with some provisions for cutting the size of the transfer if the state faces budget gaps. A specific list of road and bridge work will be prioritized for the money. By Melinda Deslatte. SENT: 600 words.

DEPUTY INDICTED-ARREST DEATH

SHREVEPORT, La. — A Louisiana sheriff’s deputy has been charged with malfeasance in connection with the death of a man he and other deputies had arrested while they were trying to conduct a search. Deputy Ryan Chapman is accused of handcuffing William Walls without reasonable suspicion of a crime, his attorney, Ronald Miciotto, told The Associated Press on Friday. SENT: 620 words, AP Photo.

LOUISIANA SOLAR

NEW ORLEANS — Solar power companies are looking to build at least seven big projects in rural Louisiana, including three in one unincorporated community. State records reveal that previously undisclosed projects seeking economic incentives include three in the St. Jams Parish community of Vacherie and one each in Thibodaux, Bogalusa, Singer and Franklinton, The Times-Picayune / The New Orleans Advocate reported. SENT: 440 words.

TROPICAL WEATHER-ATLANTIC

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Elsa strengthened into the first hurricane of the Atlantic season on Friday as it blew off roofs and snapped trees in the eastern Caribbean, where officials closed schools, businesses and airports. It appeared headed eventually in the general direction of Florida. The Category 1 storm is the first hurricane to hit Barbados in more than 60 years, unleashing heavy rains and winds on the island and then on St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which are struggling to recover from recent massive volcanic eruptions. By Danica Coto. SENT: 490 words, AP Photos.

TRUCK DIVERSION-TUNNEL

MOBILE, Ala. — Trucking officials are unhappy after the Alabama Department of Transportation moved with little notice to divert trucks from the Interstate 10 tunnel in Mobile. The state announced Thursday that trucks had to detour from noon to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday to try reduce traffic on I-10 before the July 4 holiday. SENT: 425 words.

IN BRIEF:

— ABORTION-LOUISIANA — Doctors should offer scientifically questionable information to women taking the abortion pill suggesting that terminating the pregnancy termination could be stopped midway through the process, according to a bill Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards signed Friday.

MISSISSIPPI (All times Central)

TOP STORIES:

CAPITOL BREACH-INVESTIGATION-LAWMAKERS

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is acting swiftly to launch a new investigation of the violent Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, choosing a diverse slate of eight lawmakers — one from the opposing party — to serve on a select committee with subpoena power. Republicans have the chance to recommend five additional members, but it’s unclear whether they will do so. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who could be called to testify about a conversation with former President Donald Trump as the attack unfolded, has not committed to any appointments. SENT: 940 words, AP Photos.

TVA-COAL PLANTS

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The nation’s largest public utility is looking at shutting down three of its five remaining coal-fired power plants, saying they are old and no longer practical. But despite President Joe Biden’s goal of a carbon-pollution-free energy sector by 2035, the Tennessee Valley Authority, an independent federal agency, is considering replacing the lost megawatts from coal with another carbon-producing fuel — natural gas. By Travis Loller. SENT: 740 words, AP Photo.

TROPICAL WEATHER-ATLANTIC

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Elsa strengthened into the first hurricane of the Atlantic season on Friday as it blew off roofs and snapped trees in the eastern Caribbean, where officials closed schools, businesses and airports. It appeared headed eventually in the general direction of Florida. The Category 1 storm is the first hurricane to hit Barbados in more than 60 years, unleashing heavy rains and winds on the island and then on St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which are struggling to recover from recent massive volcanic eruptions. By Danica Coto. SENT: 490 words, AP Photos.

TRUCK DIVERSION-TUNNEL

MOBILE, Ala. — Trucking officials are unhappy after the Alabama Department of Transportation moved with little notice to divert trucks from the Interstate 10 tunnel in Mobile. The state announced Thursday that trucks had to detour from noon to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday to try reduce traffic on I-10 before the July 4 holiday. SENT: 425 words.

IN BRIEF:

— CHILD-BURNING DEATH — A boy has died after he was severely burned in north Mississippi.

— NATCHEZ TRACE SUPERINTENDENT — A 30-year veteran of the National Park Service will take over as leader of the Natchez Trace Parkway.

———

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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