BC-South Member Exchanges

EDITORS, MANAGING EDITORS, WEEKEND EDITORS:

The Associated Press recommends the following stories of Southern interest for use over the weekend of March 30-April 1.

For repeats of AP copy, please call the Service Desk at 800-838-4616. AP stories, along with the photos that accompany them, also can be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com.

ALABAMA

For Saturday use:

HISTORIC NEW SANCTUARY

DECATUR, Ala. — The black feathers on Billie Phillips' hat fluttered as a gust of wind blew across the vacant field. Using all the strength her sub-5-foot frame could summon — and a little assistance from the Rev. Rod Stallworth — Phillips dumped a shovel of red clay on the consecrated land. A chorus of "amens" sounded from men in suits, women in high heels and choir members in pale yellow robes. The groundbreaking for King's Memorial United Methodist Church's sanctuary had officially begun. "I feel that we need a new sanctuary to grow so we can reach out to the community," Phillips said. On the land neighboring the church's current location, members will worship where former slaves, the visionaries of Decatur's oldest black congregations, once gathered, sang hymns and prayed. By Catherine Godbey. The Decatur Daily.

For Sunday use:

FEATURE FILM-TUSCALOOSA

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Tuscaloosa's feature filmmaking history isn't rich, but it will grow one sizeable movie larger if an IndieGoGo campaign launched recently grows as expected. "Song of Kwagala," based on a script by Chris Schroeder, could involve a month or more of shooting in Tuscaloosa, along with another 10 days to two weeks filming in Uganda. The story follows a burned-out rock star who discovers a meaningful goal for his life by participating in a water-born illnesses benefit concert in Africa. "Kwagala," pronounced "koo-gala," means "love" in Lunganda, one of the languages widely spoken in Uganda. The team gathering to make it happen — including songwriters, musicians, filmmakers and marketing professionals — had a couple of backing offers from more traditional sources, but decided to go the crowd-funding route, to keep "Song of Kwagala" closer to home, said Todd Murphy, a Tuscaloosa businessman who's helping pull the disparate elements together. The goal is more than just making a film; hopes are that proceeds from "Song of Kwagala" will help fund clean-water systems, potentially saving millions of lives. By Mark Hughes Cobb. The Tuscaloosa News.

For Monday use:

YOUNG AUTHOR

AUBURN, Ala. — Not every eighth-grader has pet guinea pigs, or has lived in and traveled across Europe. One Auburn student has both experiences — and she wrote a book about them. Thirteen-year-old Alexandra Walker-Jones tells the story of her guinea pigs and their time abroad in "The Adventures of Hobnob and Raisin," which Walker-Jones wrote when she was 10. By Kristen Oliver. Opelika-Auburn News.

HUNTSVILLE-REDEVELOPMENT

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Several of Huntsville's top business minds have formed a new nonprofit organization to assume most of the downtown revitalization duties previously handled by Big Spring Partners. And it's off to a flying start. Chairman Evans Quinlivan said Downtown Huntsville Inc. has already signed up more than 40 members and raised approximately $800,000. Next month, the group plans to launch a nationwide search for a chief executive with experience in downtown development. By Steve Doyle. al.com.

FLORIDA

For Saturday use:

SCULPTING TROOPS

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Tallahassee artist Michael Jernigan is honoring U.S. troops he met in Afghanistan and Iraq one bronze bust at a time. Jernigan, a sculptor whose works can be found at the Florida Capitol, traveled to the war zones in 2010 to chronicle the lives of 21 U.S. military personnel in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard and later immortalize them in bronze. He plans to donate all of the busts to the subjects who inspired him through his "Honoring the Troops" project. By Jeff Burlew, Tallahassee Democrat.

For Sunday use:

VETERANS K-9 TRAINING

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Greg Mosher, who is from Ocala, was in the Marine Corps for 10 years and at night in Iraq they would set claymore mines out around their camps. By William Browning, The Florida Times-Union.

KENTUCKY

For Sunday use:

DIFFICULT BATTLE

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — When Madison McIvor was beginning her battle with anorexia nervosa - an eating disorder characterized by an intense food restriction, fear of gaining weight and a distorted body image - she says there were no local treatment options. By Alyssa Harvey, The Daily News.

For Monday use:

SPARTAN RACER

MURRAY, Ky. — For the last few months, Murray resident Ryan Walker has been training for the physical challenge of a lifetime: The notorious Spartan Death Race. By Hawkins Teague, The Murray Ledger & Times.

LOUISIANA

For Saturday and Sunday use:

SHREVEPORT-CRAFT BREWERIES

SHREVEPORT, La. — It's been more than a century since a local brewery operated in Shreveport. But that could soon change. A few homebrewers and a local couple plan to open separate breweries in and near downtown this year. And upcoming changes to commercial zoning laws in certain areas of the city could open the door for more to follow. By Michele Marcotte.

LIQUOR LIABILITY COVERAGE

NEW ORLEANS — Beer tavern owners Chuck Brechtel and Eddie Dyer are the first to admit that plenty can go wrong when your main line of work is serving alcohol to thirsty crowds all night. For that reason, they say they err conservatively when buying insurance for their five-bar chain, The Bulldog and Lager. That includes paying roughly $25,000 extra per year on a special line of coverage to protect each location from liquor-related losses and damages. By Jennifer Larino.

For Monday use:

BATON ROUGE POLICE DIVERSITY

BATON ROUGE, La. — In January 2012, former Baton Rouge Police Chief Dewayne White received a memo from a recruiting officer outlining several concerns over the future makeup of the Police Department. The memo refers, in part, to a demographic imbalance that has long frustrated the department's recruiting division: In a city that has grown increasingly diverse, the Police Department's force of nearly 700 officers remains overwhelmingly white. By Jim Mustian.

OLD-TIMER

NEW IBERIA, La. — For something that's been worn regularly for more than a half-century, Ferris DeRouen's letterman jacket from New Iberia High School is in surprisingly good shape. Some of the colors are faded and the seams aren't as strong as they once were, but it still bears the patches of his accomplishments playing football, boxing and running track. "I got to go get me another one," DeRouen said. "I got to see if they can fix that one or just buy me another one and take everything I lettered in." By Zack Lasalle.

MID-ATLANTIC

For Sunday use:

SPANISH-LANGUAGE MASS

ADAMSTOWN, Md. — When Maria-Teresa D'Orazio began volunteering at St. Joseph-on-Carrollton Manor Catholic Church about 22 years ago, she noticed that none of her fellow Latinos attended Mass there. By Nicholas C. Stern, The News-post of Frederick.

BAKEOFF

MARION STATION, Md. — It's a long way from the salt marshes of Somerset County to the glitter of Las Vegas, yet not so far that a special recipe couldn't propel Brenda Jackson into the national spotlight and make her a million dollars richer. By Brice Stump, The Daily Times of Salisbury.

For Monday use:

PRESCRIBING MEDICATIONS

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — It's taken years for Dr. Ronald Sroka, a Crofton primary care physician, to hone his skill at prescribing what he considers the right medications. By Tina Reed, The Capital of Annapolis.

HEADED TO CAMBRIDGE

BERLIN, Md. — A local woman will fulfill a lifelong dream this fall when she crosses the Atlantic Ocean to begin studies at the University of Cambridge. By Charlene Sharpe, The Daily Times of Salisbury.

MISSISSIPPI

For Sunday use:

TRACE STATE PARK

TUPELO, Miss. — The fishing hasn't been as good as Jerry Massa would like this year, but it hasn't been all bad. "Yesterday, I caught a really nice crappie," the 70-year-old Belden resident said, while standing recently on the shores of Trace Lake. "I've had a lot of success out here in previous years. So far, not this year." By M. Scott Morris, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal.

JUNK COLLECTION

VICKSBURG, Miss. — If it is true that one man's trash is another man's treasure, then Cason Schaffer is the embodiment of that admonition. He's been collecting stuff since he was a kid — and he'll be 86 on July 10. By Gordon Cotton, Vicksburg Post.

For Monday use:

MISSISSIPPI RIVER BRIDGES

VICKSBURG, Miss. — Two concrete walls blasted into the Mississippi River bank below the old U.S. Highway 80 bridge are passing a tough test during a rainy start to 2013, bridge officials said, as the latest study on the Interstate 20 bridge shows piers moved at the same pace last year as its older neighbor. By Danny Barrett Jr., Vicksburg Post.

HIGH-HEELED HIPPIE

CLINTON, Miss. — Peyton Collins was horrified when a little girl told her she thought spaghetti grew on trees. The Clinton wife, mother and compulsive gardener said it's a sad irony that despite Mississippi's agrarian roots, it is losing its grip on good food and farming at the consumer level. By Stephen McDill, Mississippi Business Journal.

NORTH CAROLINA

For Saturday use:

LOVE RECALLED

WILMINGTON — Margarette Abrams was stunned in early January when her past came rushing back in a phone call from a stranger. "You have what?" she squealed upon hearing the news. Love letters found buried for nearly six decades beneath attic insulation in Wilmington stirred memories long forgotten. The words on the dusty, crumbling papers - penned by a beau named Roger - were mesmerizing. By F.T. Norton, StarNews of Wilmington.

For Sunday use:

RELATIVE SURPRISE

MORGANTON — Pioneer settler Theodosia Beasley McMullan Dula is a mystery to Mary Charlotte McMullan Safford and Leslie Dula McKesson.Safford and McKesson are both deans at Western Piedmont Community College and have been friends and colleagues for 23 years; they both have a passion for history and they share an interest in researching their respective family lineages. During a "rambling" conversation about what they were finding out about their family trees, they found a branch that intersected . at Theodosia Beasley. By Cheryl M. Shuffler, The News Herald of Morganton.

For Monday use:

AIDS ACTIVIST

FAYETTEVILLE — Sitting at a conference table inside the White House in December, AIDS and HIV activist Stephanie Brown could not have been happier. The fiery, opinionated 26-year-old was surrounded by celebrities and policymakers, the audience she believed would help her spread her message - to educate and empower young people to not only get routinely tested for HIV and AIDS but to realize that the virus is no longer a death sentence. She should know. Brown, a graduate of Seventy-First High School and Fayetteville State University, has been HIV-positive for six years, after contracting the virus at age 19. By Brian Dukes, The Fayetteville Observer.

SOUTH CAROLINA

For Saturday use:

DOG TRAINING

SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Clint, a 9-year-old black lab, happily wagged his tail after a gentle pat and a "good boy" from South Carolina School for the Deaf and the Blind student Nicky Weilacher. By Lee G. Healy, (Spartanburg) Herald Journal.

For Sunday use:

UNEXPECTED REUNION

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. — At 2:22 a.m. April 28, 1976, Kathy and Charles Sanders welcomed their daughter, Peggy Michelle, to the world. By Lauren Sausser, The Post and Courier of Charleston.

For Monday use:

ROOFTOP GARDEN

FLORENCE, S.C. — If agave, yucca and asparagus plants slowly waking up from winter atop the facilities building at the Moore Farms Botanical Gardens building in Lake City had faces — you know, like those pansies and roses in "Alice in Wonderland" — they'd doubtless be full of surprise and wonder. By Gavin Jackson, (Florence) Morning News.

TENNESSEE

For Sunday use:

TEACHER TOWN

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — There was a time not too long ago when teacher residency programs in Memphis were exercises in isolation. The new teaching recruits in and out of those programs often talked of being overwhelmed in their new school and career environments. But in the larger maelstrom of changes to the face of local public education, the residency programs are growing across all the different types of public schools emerging in advance of the August merger of city and county schools. By Bill Dries, Memphis Daily News.

For Monday use:

HIPPIE HILL

HIPPIE HILL, Tenn. — The folks who stay on top of this knob on the far southeast end of Rutherford County hope to rebuild the kitchen and dining hall they lost to a fire last year. By Scott Broden, Daily News Journal.

VIRGINIA

For Sunday use:

WAR MEDALS

LYNCHBURG, Va. — It took nearly seven decades, but on March 22, the family of Alonzo Haynes finally received the Purple Heart and Bronze Star he earned in World War II. By Steve Hardy, The News & Advance.

BANJO STUDENTS

ROANOKE, Va. — Molly Cardenas likes sports, has been an honor-roll student and is basically your typical 13-year-old kid — except for the fact that she asked for an unusual present last Christmas. By Ralph Berrier Jr., The Roanoke Times.

For Monday use:

FALCONRY

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — For falconers, it matters not at all that the love they feel toward their birds of prey is unrequited. It is enough for them to know their hawks or falcons are accepting of a symbiotic relationship that goes back more than a thousand years. For the birds, teaming up with a human to hunt is a practical matter of comfort and survival. By David A. Maurer, Daily Progress

TEEN TROUPE

STRATFORD, Va. — For 13-year-old Jenny Schmelia, the clothes make all the difference. By Lindley Estes, The Free Lance-Star.

WEST VIRGINIA

For Sunday use:

SKIN CANCER MISSION

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — Dr. Alex De Souza of Spencer is on a crusade to raise money and awareness about skin cancer. By Paul Lapann, Parkersburg News and Sentinel.

STARBASE FUNDING

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Starbase is in danger. It sounds like something from science fiction, but it's serious. The science, technology, engineering and math camp, administered by the United States Department of Defense on 76 military bases nationwide, is facing down threats to its federal funding. By Shay Maunz, Charleston Daily Mail.

For Monday use:

ATV LODGING

BRAMWELL, W.Va. — An old high school will soon become a refuge for ATV riders and their families. By Charles Owens, Bluefield Daily Telegraph.

STREAM RESTORATION

RICHWOOD, W.Va. — The swift waters of Laurel Creek ate quickly into the Volkswagen-sized mound of gray sand. By John McCoy, The Charleston Gazette.

The AP

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