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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: Jun. 20, 2020 at 1:33 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 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 A reminder: this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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:

POLICE SHOOTING-ATLANTA OFFICER

ATLANTA — The former Atlanta police officer charged with felony murder in the death of Rayshard Brooks was involved in another shooting five years ago that left a man with a punctured lung, a newspaper reported Saturday. Citing court documents, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the older case was investigated by Atlanta police and turned over to Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard, who cleared the officers involved — including Garrett Rolfe — in February. SENT: 725 words.

AMERICA PROTESTS-ATLANTA’S DIVIDE

UNDATED — Police cars burned in the streets of Atlanta as protesters smashed windows and spray-painted graffiti outside CNN headquarters. Even during the national outcry over police brutality and racial injustice, Chassidy Evans struggled to understand why her hometown, with its legacy of peaceful resistance, had erupted in chaos. Then her uncle, Rayshard Brooks, was shot in the back by a white Atlanta police officer after fighting a drunken driving arrest and trying to run away. The turbulent protests ignited by the May 25 police killing of another Black man, George Floyd in Minneapolis, had barely simmered down when Brooks was killed last week. By Russ Bynum. SENT: 1,113 words.

AP Photos transref:GAJB201, transref:GAJB202.

MEMBER EXCHANGE:

EXCHANGE-RACIST PAST

CUMMING, Ga. — Zack Arias grew up in Gwinnett County during the late 1970s to 1980s, surrounded by other kids who looked much like him. He could count on one hand how many black kids he may have come into contact with at school, and as a result of this “white-washed” life, he was admittedly a racist for many, many years. Arias, who has lived in Forsyth County for a year now, admitted to his past anger and ignorance in a video that he posted to his YouTube channel on Thursday, June 11, and shared on other social media platforms. By Sabrina Kerns, The Forsyth County News. SENT: 1,540 words.

IN BRIEF:

— POLICE KILLING-ATLANTA — Investigators said Saturday they have issued an arrest warrant for a woman in the burning of a Wendy’s restaurant in Atlanta during protests over the police shooting of Rayshard Brooks.

IN SPORTS:

BKL—AMERICA PROTESTS-WNBA PLAYERS

NEW YORK — Natasha Cloud and her WNBA colleagues are staying active in the fight against social injustice and police brutality, participating in protests and sticking with the work they began four years ago. Renee Montgomery, the former UConn guard now with the Dream, was passing out bottled water this month to protesters on the streets of Atlanta following the death of George Floyd in Minnesota while he was in police custody. She also became the first WNBA player to say she would sit out the upcoming season to focus on social injustice and voter registration. By Doug Feinberg. SENT: 840 words.

AP Photos transref:NY150, transref:NY151.

SOUTH CAROLINA (All times Eastern)

TOP STORIES:

RUNOFFS-SOUTH CAROLINA

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Polls will open again Tuesday in South Carolina for runoffs from the primaries two weeks before, but only in about half the state. There are no statewide runoffs and the nominations for all seven of the state’s U.S. House seats have been decided. SENT: 277 words.

AP Photos transref:SCMR119.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-WEST VIRGINIA

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Coronavirus cases in West Virginia linked to travel to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, continue to rise as health officials push for people to follow safety precautions. Preston County health officials on Friday said they have now connected 16 cases to travel to the popular beach tourism spot. Across West Virginia, state officials said around 30 cases have emerged following trips to Myrtle Beach. SENT: 313 words.

MEMBER EXCHANGE:

EXCHANGE-ONE DAY IN CHARLESTON

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Even in a city with 350 years of history, there were seven hours Wednesday that felt particularly historic. It started at 3 p.m., when a mayor made a promise to remove a looming symbol of slavery. By Carol Motsinger, The Greenville News.

AP Photos transref:SCAND201, transref:SCAND205, transref:SCAND203, transref:SCAND209, transref:SCAND207.

IN BRIEF:

— VIRUS OUTBREAK-SOUTH CAROLINA — South Carolina again saw more COVID-19 cases, more people in the hospital with the virus and the highest percentage of positive tests in a day, health officials said Saturday.

IN SPORTS:

GLF—VIRUS OUTBREAK-PGA TOUR

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — The PGA Tour made it through 11 days of its return to golf before Nick Watney became the first player to test positive for the coronavirus. The next question is who’s next, or how many, before the show no longer goes on. The tour began contact tracing of anyone who might have been in close contact with Watney, who tested negative Tuesday when he arrived at the RBC Heritage, reported symptoms on Friday and had another test that came back positive. By Doug Ferguson. SENT: 531 words.

AP Photos transref:SCGB201, transref:SCGH105, transref:MH139.

ALABAMA (All times Central)

TOP STORIES:

ALABAMA PARK REOPENS

GROVE OAK, Ala. — A state park in northeastern Alabama is back open after four years. The completely renovated Bucks Pocket State Park campground and a new 8-mile-long trail for ATVS and other small off-road vehicles opened Monday, news outlets report. The park headquarters are in Grove Oak, an unincorporated community in DeKalb County. The park itself also goes into Jackson and Marshall counties, and is in a natural pocket in Sand Mountain’s plateau, according to the Alabama State Parks website. SENT: 246 words.

MEMBER EXCHANGE:

EXCHANGE-BLM LEADER-TEEN

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — It began with a few texts, a flyer and a hashtag: #WeMatterMontgomery. It ended with hundreds of people gathered downtown under the searing June sun, with as equal of a platform given to recent high school graduates as the city’s top leader and a civil rights attorney. By Melissa Brown and Safiya Charles, The Montgomery Advertiser. SENT: 2,055 words.

IN SPORTS:

CAR—NASCAR-TALLADEGA PREVIEW

UNDATED — NASCAR’s return to racing shifts to Talladega Superspeedway, with new rules in place after Ryan Newman’s frightful crash in the season-opening Daytona 500. The Alabama track will admit up to 5,000 fans Sunday — with at least one NASCAR team facing a coronavirus scare — while NASCAR will be on the lookout for the newly banned Confederate flag. By Jenna Fryer. SENT: 1,233 words.

AP Photos transref:NY153, transref:NY154.

CAR--NASCAR-XFINITY

TALLADEGA, Ala. — Defending champion Chase Elliott and points leader Kevin Harvick are among the contenders in the NASCAR’s Xfinity Series at Talladega Superspeedway. UPCOMING: 500 words. Race starts 4:30 p.m. CT.

LOUISIANA (All times Central)

TOP STORIES:

VIRUS OUTBREAK-LOUISIANA COLLEGES

BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana colleges are returning at least $24 million to students because the academic year was interrupted by the coronavirus outbreak. LSU is doling out the largest amount in refunds at $4.4 million. The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is sending back $3.8 million, and Southern University in Baton Rouge is returning $3.5 million to its students. SENT: 304 words.

AP Photos transref:LABAT401.

BROADWATER REVIVAL

BILOXI, Miss. — Developers have announced plans for a $1.2 billion redevelopment of a once-popular tourist spot on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Mississippi news outlets report that Dakia Entertainment Hospitality and Broadwater Development, LLP have signed a formal letter of intent to redevelop the historic, former Broadwater Beach hotel, marina, and golf course. The original resort has a history dating back to the 1930s. SENT: 258 words.

TEACHER-DIVERSE AUTHORS

LAFAYETTE, La. — A middle school English teacher in Lafayette is pushing for more diversity in the authors who his students are reading. Jacob Leger has been a teacher at the David Thibodaux STEM Magnet Academy for three years, The Advertiser reported. SENT: 227 words.

MEMBER EXCHANGE:

EXCHANGE-YOUTH MENTOR GROUP

MORGAN CITY, La. — Four college-aged students from the Morgan City area said they understand the issues facing young men today. It is a reason why they have teamed up together to start a new youth mentoring organization for young men called the “Roots of Brotherhood.” By Chris Singleton, The Houma Courier. SENT: 1,169 words.

EXCHANGE-OYSTER HATCHERY-INLAND

BATON ROUGE, La. — Many an oyster comes to the end of its days in a local restaurant. If Steve Pollock has his way, Baton Rouge is where millions of the tasty bivalves will get their start. Although the capital city is over 50 miles from the nearest salt water, Pollock has started an inland oyster hatchery with the goal of supplying commercial oyster fishermen and helping coastal restoration efforts. By George Morris, The Advocate. SENT: 746 words.

IN BRIEF:

— HEROIN SENTENCE

GULFPORT, Miss. — A 61-year-old Louisiana man has been sentenced in Mississippi to more than 11 years in federal prison for heroin dealing. Peter Oliver Henry of Chalmette was sentenced Monday by District Judge Sul Ozerden to 11 years and 3 months in prison, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Hattiesburg said.

IN SPORTS:

BKL—AMERICA PROTESTS-WNBA PLAYERS

NEW YORK — Natasha Cloud and her WNBA colleagues are staying active in the fight against social injustice and police brutality, participating in protests and sticking with the work they began four years ago. Renee Montgomery, the former UConn guard now with the Dream, was passing out bottled water this month to protesters on the streets of Atlanta following the death of George Floyd in Minnesota while he was in police custody. She also became the first WNBA player to say she would sit out the upcoming season to focus on social injustice and voter registration. By Doug Feinberg. SENT: 840 words.

AP Photos transref:NY150, transref:NY151.

MISSISSIPPI (All times Central)

TOP STORIES:

BROADWATER REVIVAL

BILOXI, Miss. — Developers have announced plans for a $1.2 billion redevelopment of a once-popular tourist spot on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Mississippi news outlets report that Dakia Entertainment Hospitality and Broadwater Development, LLP have signed a formal letter of intent to redevelop the historic, former Broadwater Beach hotel, marina, and golf course. The original resort has a history dating back to the 1930s. SENT: 258 words.

MEMBER EXCHANGE:

EXCHANGE-AIR BOWS-ARCHERY SEASON

JACKSON, Miss. — Under a bill in the Mississippi Legislature, hunters could be allowed to use air bows during archery season for deer. The biggest question is who will be allowed. House Bill 1309, authored by Rep. Joey Hood, states: By Brian Broom, The Clarion Ledger. SENT: 753 words.

EXCHANGE-BLACK OFFICERS-INFLUENCE COMMUNITY

MERIDIAN, Miss. — A bad encounter with a police officer led Randall Davis to a career in law enforcement. Years ago, in Louisiana, Davis remembers sitting on the side of the road for two hours after an officer accused him of having stolen items in his truck. By Bianca Moorman, The Meridian Star. SENT: 601 words.

IN BRIEF:

— HEROIN SENTENCE — A 61-year-old Louisiana man has been sentenced in Mississippi to more than 11 years in federal prison for heroin dealing.

— UNIVERSITY-MUSIC BUILDING — Construction has begun on a new Music Building at Mississippi State University in Starkville.

___

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