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VIRUS OUTBREAK-GEORGIA

Steady rise of coronavirus cases, deaths in Georgia

ATLANTA (AP) — The number of coronavirus cases in Georgia continues to rise quickly and steadily. Georgia reported more than 2,650 cases of COVID-19 as of Sunday afternoon, with a quarter of them requiring patients to go to the hospital, and 80 deaths. President Donald Trump declared a federal disaster in the state on Sunday, clearing the way for federal aid. Fulton County continues to lead the state with more than 400 cases. But hard-hit Dougherty County in southwestern Georgia still leads in deaths, with 17. The county also has reported nearly 240 cases, despite a population 11 times smaller than Fulton County.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-PLANE PHOTO

Photo of health care workers flying to help NY gets love

A photo of health care professionals from Georgia on a Southwest plane on their way to help with the coronavirus outbreak in New York is getting lots of love online. The photo shows dozens of people, some wearing masks and gloves, holding their hands in the shape of a heart. A Southwest Airlines spokesman says an Atlanta ramp agent took the photo before the plane pushed back from the gate on Friday. There were about 30 health care professionals, all from Atlanta-area hospitals, who told the agent they were going to New York to assist in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

SEA TURTLES-VIRTUAL CLASSES

Georgia Sea Turtle Center puts lessons online amid closures

JEKYLL ISLAND, Ga. (AP) — Georgia's hospital for sick and injured sea turtles is holding online lessons for children. The Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island has been streaming live educational videos daily since March 19. The series aims to help children keep learning while schools are closed during the coronavirus pandemic. Lessons so far have included segments on the different sea turtle species found in coastal Georgia and a virtual field trip to the marshes of Jekyll Island. Called “Scute School” after the name for the bony plates that form turtle shells, the series is being streamed on the Facebook pages of the Georgia Sea Turtle Center and Jekyll Island. New installments are scheduled through at least April 10.

OBIT-JOSEPH LOWERY-A LIFE

Joseph Lowery, civil rights leader and MLK aide, dies at 98

ATLANTA (AP) — The Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, a civil rights leader who helped the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, has died at 98. A charismatic and fiery preacher with oratory skills on par with King, Lowery led the SCLC for two decades. He remained an active force in social issues such as war and poverty long after his retirement. Lowery was considered the dean of civil rights veterans and lived to celebrate a milestone that few of them thought they would ever witness _ the election of an African American president. President Barack Obama awarded Lowery the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. A family statement says Lowery died Friday.

MOTEL DEATH

Woman shot to death in front of toddler daughter

DECATUR, Ga. (AP) — Police in suburban Atlanta say a man is in custody for allegedly shooting a woman to death in front of her 3-year-old daughter. The woman, identified as 20-year-old Akiela Peters-Williams, was shot Friday inside a DeKalb County motel room. DeKalb County Police spokeswoman Michaela Vincent says police arrested 22-year-old Shadrac Nkrumah of Atlanta. Vincent tells local news outlets that when police arrived about 6 p.m., the child was still in the room. She has since been turned over to relatives.

NUCLEAR POWER-GEORGIA

Milestone reached on second new reactor at Plant Vogtle

WAYNESBORO, Ga. (AP) — Georgia Power says a milestone has been reached in the construction of a second new nuclear reactor at Plant Vogtle. The Augusta Chronicle reports the 750-ton top head for the reactor's containment vessel was lifted into place Friday. The giant cap measures 130 feet across and is 37 feet high. Georgia Power called it the final major lift for Plant Vogtle's Unit 4 reactor. The utility says the $17.1 billion expansion adding a pair of reactors to the nuclear plant in Burke County is now 84% complete. The first new reactor is scheduled to go online late next year, with the second one following about a year after that.

CURBSIDE RECYCLING

Georgia city to end curbside recycling

TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (AP) — Curbside recycling will soon end in Tybee Island in  Georgia. As of April 1, the city's contractor will end that pick-up method there, The Savannah Morning News reported.  As an alternative, the city is asking residents to participate in its drop-off program. The city accepts plastics, aluminum and tin cans, cardboard and mixed paper, such as newspaper and magazines. Residents are asked to separate recyclables before putting them into containers located in various spots throughout the city.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-LIFE OUTSIDE LOCKDOWN

Living outside lockdown: Barbers, beauty shops still open

ELGIN, S.C. (AP) — While much of the United States is living on lockdown to stop the spread of the coronavirus, several Southern states are resisting. Governors in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina have refused to issue stay-at-home orders even as leaders in the biggest city in each state passed ordinances closing everything but essential businesses like grocery stores. But even in those places, the rules cause confusion. In Charleston, South Carolina, dry cleaners and animal groomers are essential businesses while nail salons, barber shops and gyms are not. Small businesses considered nonessential say the governors are the only thing between them and financial ruin.