BC-Deep South News Digest Advisory

July 23, 2019 - 7:08 pm

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 A reminder: this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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 shorter APNewsNow versions of the stories below, along with all updates.

GEORGIA (All times Eastern)

TOP STORIES:

ABORTION-GEORGIA

ATLANTA _ Opponents of a Georgia law that bans most abortions on Tuesday asked a judge to keep it from taking effect while their legal challenge plays out. The law is set to become enforceable Jan. 1. Lawyers with the American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive Rights sued on behalf of Georgia advocacy groups and abortion providers last month to challenge the measure. By Kate Brumback. SENT: 552 words.

AP Photos GAATJ302-0507191322, GAATJ301-0307190626.

BLACK LAWMAKER ACCOSTED

ATLANTA _ No charges will be filed in the dispute between a black Georgia lawmaker and a white man she accused of verbally assaulting her for having too many items in an express checkout line at a grocery store, police said Tuesday. In a widely shared Facebook video, a tearful state Rep. Erica Thomas accused a man later identified as Eric Sparkes of a racist attack during the encounter Friday. Thomas, a Democrat from Austell, said she was with her 9-year-old daughter at the time. She is also nine months pregnant. By Ben Nadler. SENT: 507 words.

AP Photos GAATJ220-0507191611.

SAME-SEX PARENTS-CITIZENSHIP

ATLANTA _ A same-sex couple in Georgia said in a lawsuit filed Tuesday that the U.S. State Department is unconstitutionally refusing to recognize their daughter's rightful American citizenship. The State Department's policy treats married same-sex couples as if their marriages do not exist and treats them differently from married straight couples in violation of the law and the Constitution, according to the suit filed in federal court in Atlanta. It was filed on behalf of Derek Mize and Jonathan Gregg, whose daughter Simone was born in England in July 2018 via surrogate. By Kate Brumback. SENT: 810 words.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE COUNCIL

SACRAMENTO, Calif. _ A criminal justice reform group that launched Tuesday has brought together Democratic and Republican governors, a Black Lives Matter organizer and a Koch Industries executive in an unlikely collaboration focusing on finding solutions to problems like racial disparity and the effects of a 1994 crime bill in policing and prisons. Veteran criminal justice policy expert Adam Gelb said he formed the Council on Criminal Justice because the field seems ripe for consensus. He previously led the Pew Charitable Trusts' Public Safety Performance Project, which helped states with sentencing reforms, and worked with Congress on the crime bill. By Don Thompson and Adam Beam. SENT: 723 words.

AP Photos LA201-1218181704, SC202-0326190306, SC204-0508170852, LA204-1205181757, SC201-1218180941, LA202-0521192048, LA205-0524171547, LA203-0123191650.

MENTAL HEALTH-JAIL CONDITIONS

ATLANTA _ A U.S. judge ordered officials in a metro Atlanta county Tuesday to improve conditions at a local jail where women with mental health problems said in a lawsuit that they were subject to prolonged solitary confinement and dirty cells. Fulton County Sheriff Theodore Jackson must permit the women at South Fulton jail to have one hour of recreation time and two hours of free time each day and come up with a plan to provide clean cells and "therapeutic activities," Judge William Ray said. SENT: 295 words.

HIV CRIMES

ATLANTA _ As Sanjay Johnson describes it, his sexual encounter with James Booth on Oct. 2, 2015, was a one-night stand. But it would bind the men inextricably two years later, when Booth walked into an Arkansas police station and accused Johnson of exposing him to HIV. Little Rock prosecutors pursued a criminal charge against Johnson even though a doctor said he couldn't have transmitted HIV to Booth because he was on medication that suppressed his virus. By Sudhin Thanawala. SENT: 957 words.

AP Photos ARGP102-0720190522, ARGP101-0720190511.

COMPUTER FRAUD-ROMANIANS

ATLANTA _ Three men who hacked U.S. computers from Romania have been sentenced to prison for a fraud scheme totaling more than $21 million, federal prosecutors in Georgia said Tuesday. Sentences ranged from four years and three months to eight years and two months for the men, who all are from Ploiesti (ploy-ESH-tee), Romania, U.S. Attorney Byung J. "BJay" Pak of Atlanta said in a news release. SENT: 401 words.

EARNS-COCA-COLA

ATLANTA _ Coca-Cola shares hit a record high after the company upped its full-year revenue expectations and said it's winning customers with new drinks like low-sugar sodas and iced coffees. Shares of Coca-Cola Co. rose 6% to close at $54.33 Tuesday. Coke's shares first rose above $50 in early June. SENT: 551 words.

AP Photos NYBZ279-0720190439.

UPS-EXPANSION

NEW YORK _ United Parcel Service Inc. is responding to the growth in online shopping and pressures for speedy delivery by seeking to expand its drone deliveries and adding thousands of new spots where customers can pick up packages. The Atlanta-based package delivery giant said Tuesday it is adding 12,000 new package pickup locations inside CVS, The Michaels Co. and Advance Auto Parts stores. The new locations will bring to 21,000 the number of pickup points UPS has in the U.S. and to 40,000 globally. By Anne D'innocenzio. SENT: 253 words.

AP Photos NYBZ292-0624192203.

IN BRIEF:

_ SON SHOT-FATHER DEAD _ Police say a 6-year-old was apparently shot in the face by his father, who then turned the gun on himself.

_ SLAIN PREGNANT WOMAN _ Authorities say a pregnant woman was shot to death while walking with her toddler son in Athens, Georgia.

_ DROPPED BABY DIES _ A Georgia woman is accused of dropping and fatally injuring her 3-month-old baby during an altercation with another woman.

_ EARNS-PULTEGROUP _ PulteGroup Inc. (PHM) on Tuesday reported second-quarter net income of $241 million. The Atlanta-based company said it had net income of 86 cents per share.

IN SPORTS:

BBO--ROYALS-BRAVES

ATLANTA _ Dallas Keuchel takes the mound for the first-place Atlanta Braves, who hold a commanding 6 1/2-game lead in the NL East as they open a two-game interleague series against the woeful Kansas City Royals. By Paul Newberry. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts at 7:20 p.m. EDT.

FBN--FALCONS-INJURIES

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. _ Injuries already are mounting for an Atlanta Falcons' defense hoping to avoid a repeat of its 2018 health woes. Coach Dan Quinn confirmed Tuesday that safety J.J. Wilcox will miss the season with a right knee injury. Also, defensive tackle Michael Bennett has suffered a broken ankle and will miss the start of the season. Both were hurt on Monday's opening day of training camp. By Charles Odum. SENT: 440 words.

AP Photos GAJB117-0722191021, GAJB115-0723191227, GAJB111-0723191103.

FBN--FALCONS-BAILEY

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. _ The Atlanta Falcons and former Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Allen Bailey agreed to a two-year, $10.5 million contract. The 30-year-old Bailey had a career-high six sacks for the Chiefs in 2018. SENT: 111 words.

BKL--SPARKS-DREAM. Upcoming: 150 words. Game starts at 7 p.m.

GLF--ON THE FRINGE-MAJORS

PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland _ Winning the British Open didn't sink in right away for Shane Lowry. It apparently didn't take long. By Doug Ferguson. SENT: 920 words.

AP Photos XAG264-0721191804, XAG236-0721191825, XAG165-0721191408, XAG213-0719191439.

GLF--GOLF NOTES

PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland _ Andrew Landry hit the opening tee shot at the Masters. Shane Lowry hit the final shot at the British Open. All in 102 days. By Doug Ferguson. SENT: 1, 332 words.

AP Photos ILCN106-0714191258, XAG105-0721191150, XAG272-0721191441, XAG275-0720191701, XAG243-0721191840, XAG183-0720191510.

FBC--ACC-PRESEASON TEAM

GREENSBORO, N.C. _ Clemson is dominating the preseason all-Atlantic Coast Conference football team. The reigning national champions placed 13 players on the 27-player team released Tuesday by the league following a vote of 173 media members last week at the conference's media days. SENT: 146 words.

AP Photos NCCB128-0717191630.

SOUTH CAROLINA (All times Eastern)

TOP STORIES:

TRAIN CRASH

COLUMBIA, S.C. _ Federal safety officials ruled Tuesday yet another fatal train crash in the United States has been caused by easy-to-fix human errors. The National Transportation Safety Board determined the crash of an Amtrak train into a parked train on a side track near Columbia, South Carolina, in February 2018 was CSX's fault. The board blamed the company for failing to implement a safety plan during track upgrades and its engineer for not following specific steps including filling out paperwork to make sure he flipped a switch after parking the train to shift the tracks back to the main line. By Jeffrey Collins.

AP Photos NYPS202-0204181400.

PRISON RIOT-SOUTH CAROLINA

COLUMBIA, S.C. _ Two lawsuits filed Tuesday allege that South Carolina corrections officials violated prisoners' constitutional rights by failing to prevent a riot in which seven inmates were killed last year. In the lawsuits, advance copies of which were provided to The Associated Press before they were filed, representatives for the estates of two male inmates killed in the April 2018 insurrection at Lee Correctional Institution say security officers and agency personnel knew about dangerous problems at the prison but did nothing to fix them, violating the men's due process rights and subjecting them to cruel and unusual punishment. By Meg Kinnard. SENT: 815 words.

AP Photos AX101-0723191207, AX102-0723191206.

IN BRIEF:

_ DOCTOR-PAINKILLER ARREST _ The lawyer for a 60-year-old South Carolina doctor found guilty of trading painkillers and anti-anxiety drugs for money and sex says the physician wrote the prescriptions for legitimate medical purposes.

_ PROSECUTOR SPENDING _ A former South Carolina prosecutor jailed for wire fraud has launched a blog to document what he's calling his redshirt year in prison.

_ INTERN PASTOR CHARGED-DEATH _ A former youth pastor intern accused of sexually abusing children in the 1970s has died in a South Carolina jail.

_ DOCTOR-PEEP HOLES _ A South Carolina doctor has been accused of spying on an 18-year-old man while he showered at a beach rental house.

_ SETTLEMENT TEXTS _ A lawsuit says a member of a county council was texting advice to a fired administrator while the council was debating a settlement for the terminated employee.

IN SPORTS:

FBC--ACC-PRESEASON TEAM

GREENSBORO, N.C. _ Clemson is dominating the preseason all-Atlantic Coast Conference football team. The reigning national champions placed 13 players on the 27-player team released Tuesday by the league following a vote of 173 media members last week at the conference's media days. SENT: 146 words.

AP Photos NCCB128-0717191630.

ALABAMA (All times Central)

TOP STORIES:

JUDICIAL ELECTIONS

MONTGOMERY, Ala. _ In a Monday court filing, Alabama asked a federal judge to uphold the state's 150-year-old practice of electing appellate judges by statewide vote and reject a lawsuit's claims that it is racially discriminatory. A federal judge will hear arguments next month in a lawsuit that seeks to switch the judicial selections to elections by districts, or another method. The lawsuit contends the current method dilutes the voting power of black voters in Alabama and keeps them from electing their preferred candidates. SENT: 432 words.

EX-SHERIFF PLEADS

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. _ A former Alabama sheriff accused of scamming a food bank and church and pocketing leftover money meant for feeding inmates pleaded guilty Tuesday to two of nine federal charges lodged against him. Former Pickens County sheriff David Abston, in federal court in Birmingham, pleaded to committing one count of wire fraud and one count of filing a false tax return, The Tuscaloosa News reported. The remaining charges have been dropped. SENT: 356 words.

IN BRIEF:

_ AUTO SUPPLIER _ Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has announced that an Italian auto supplier plans to expand its operation in Auburn.

_ INTERN PASTOR CHARGED-DEATH _ A former youth pastor intern accused of sexually abusing children in the 1970s has died in a South Carolina jail.

_ DOUBLE KILLING _ Police in Alabama say a man who was found driving with his dead wife in the front seat of a stolen car is also being accused of killing someone else.

_ FREIGHTCAR AMERICA-CLOSING _ A Virginia manufacturing plant is closing in the fall, putting 200 people out of work.

_ HIGHWAY GRANT _ The federal government is giving $52.4 million to build a highway in Mississippi's northeast corner.

LOUISIANA (All times Central)

TOP STORIES:

LOUISIANA GOVERNOR

BATON ROUGE, La. _ One of the Republican candidates in the Louisiana governor's race, businessman Eddie Rispone, released his first TV ad Tuesday, touting his support of President Donald Trump as his introduction to voters, rather than a more traditional biographical spot. Rispone's 30-second ad is airing statewide, with his campaign saying it's spending $1 million to run the ad in every major Louisiana media market. By Melinda Deslatte. SENT: 398 words.

AP Photos NY110-0318192124.

ELECTION 2020-BIDEN-CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Joe Biden is proposing to reverse several key provisions of the 1994 crime bill he helped write in an acknowledgment that his tough-on-crime positions of the past are at odds with the views of the modern Democratic Party. The former vice president is calling for an end to the disparity that placed stricter sentencing terms on offenses involving crack versus powder cocaine as well as an end to the federal death penalty, which the legislation authorized as a potential punishment for an increasing number of crimes. By Thomas Beaumont and Elana Schor. SENT: 869 words.

AP Photos WX203-0720191916, NVJL110-0720191255, NVJL111-0720191214, NVJL106-0720191223, NVJL103-0720191210.

BILKED INVESTORS-MEGACHURCH PASTOR

SHREVEPORT, La. _ A Louisiana investment adviser pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in a $3.5 million case that also involves a minister who was once a spiritual adviser to former President George W. Bush. Gregory Alan Smith, 55, of Shreveport, is scheduled for sentencing Dec. 11, U.S. Attorney David Joseph said in a news release. SENT: 271 words.

AP Photos NYDD206-0731002004.

OFFICER-OCASIO-CORTEZ

GRETNA, La. _ Two members of a police department in a New Orleans suburb were fired Monday — one for a Facebook post calling U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez a "vile idiot" and suggesting that she be shot, the other for "liking" the post. Gretna Police Chief Arthur Lawson announced the terminations Monday. Officer Charlie Rispoli was fired for a post saying Ocasio-Cortez "needs a round" and not "the kind she used to serve" — an apparent reference to her having once been a bartender. SENT: 307 words.

SUPREME COURT DISTRICTS-LAWSUIT

BATON ROUGE, La. _ The maps used to elect Louisiana's seven state Supreme Court justices are discriminatory against African American voters, according to a civil rights group's lawsuit filed Tuesday. The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Baton Rouge seeks a declaration that the districts violate the federal Voting Rights Act, the 1965 law designed to ensure minorities were able to exercise the right to vote. It also seeks an order that the current districts not be used again and that the boundaries be redrawn. SENT: 209 words.

HIV CRIMES

ATLANTA _ As Sanjay Johnson describes it, his sexual encounter with James Booth on Oct. 2, 2015, was a one-night stand. But it would bind the men inextricably two years later, when Booth walked into an Arkansas police station and accused Johnson of exposing him to HIV. Little Rock prosecutors pursued a criminal charge against Johnson even though a doctor said he couldn't have transmitted HIV to Booth because he was on medication that suppressed his virus. By Sudhin Thanawala. SENT: 957 words.

AP Photos ARGP102-0720190522, ARGP101-0720190511

IN BRIEF:

_ ALCOHOL DELIVERY _ Retailers can now apply for a permit from the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control to deliver beer, wine and liquor.

_ LSU SOFTWARE LICENSING-AUDIT _ A former Louisiana State University employee blamed for ruining the commercialization of a medical software program says the real blame lies with school President F. King Alexander.

_ FRENCH QUARTER SYRUP SPILL _ Crews spent the night cleaning syrup from one block of a four-lane street along New Orleans' French Quarter.

_ HISTORIC HOME-SALE CANCELLED _ The scheduled sale of an antebellum Mississippi mansion and inn has fallen through.

IN SPORTS:

BKN--SUNS-DIALLO

PHOENIX _ The Phoenix Suns have signed big man Cheick Diallo to a multiyear contract. Terms of the deal announced Tuesday were not disclosed. SENT: 141 words.

MISSISSIPPI (All times Central)

TOP STORIES:

SLAIN OLE MISS STUDENT

OXFORD, Miss. _ Authorities have arrested a University of Mississippi student from Texas, saying he killed a female student whose body was found last weekend not far from the Ole Miss campus. Lafayette County Sheriff's Major Alan Wilburn said 22-year-old Brandon A. Theesfeld of Fort Worth has been charged with murder in the death of Alexandria "Ally" Kostial. The 21-year old woman from St. Louis was found dead Saturday night near a lake about 30 miles (50 kilometers) from the university grounds. SENT: 283 words.

AP Photos MSOXF201-0723190540, MSOXF202-0723190540, MSOXF203-0723190540, JX201-0723190241.

ELECTION 2019-MISSISSIPPI-GOVERNOR

JACKSON, Miss. _ Mississippi residents are getting a chance to hear a debate among the three Republicans running for governor. The one-hour program begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the WJTV television studio in Jackson. It is airing on statewide TV, radio and online. By Emily Wagster Pettus. SENT: 136 words. Will be updated after debate ends.

AP Photos.

IN BRIEF:

_ BOARD FUNDS CLINICS _ The Harrison County Board of Supervisors has agreed to work with the Mississippi Department of Mental Health to keep several mental health clinics open.

_ BURGLARY-SHOOTING DEATH _ The fourth and final suspect wanted in a Mississippi slaying and burglary has surrendered to authorities.

_ HISTORIC HOME-SALE CANCELLED _ The scheduled sale of an antebellum Mississippi mansion and inn has fallen through.

_ UNEMPLOYMENT-MISSISSIPPI _ Preliminary data show Mississippi's employers set another new record for payrolls in June.

_ HIGHWAY GRANT _ The federal government is giving $52.4 million to build a highway in Mississippi's northeast corner.

_ MAYOR-PAY CUT PROPOSAL _ An embattled Mississippi mayor has issued a veto proposal in response to the city's board of alderman, which voted to reduce his pay if he doesn't make reforms.

____

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