Associated Press

J. Scott Applewhite / 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.

John Minchillo / AP

A series of missteps at the nation’s top public health agency caused a critical shortage of reliable laboratory tests for the coronavirus, hobbling the federal response as the pandemic spread across the country like wildfire, an Associated Press review found.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., sold as much as $1.7 million in stocks just before the market dropped in February amid fears about the coronavirus epidemic.

But Georgia Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler also bought and sold stocks during the same time they were receiving briefings on the coronavirus outbreak, leading to questions about whether they used inside information to guide their financial dealings, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Andrew Harnik / AP

President Donald Trump will hold a press conference to address the spiraling coronavirus pandemic as he seeks to calm a panicked nation amid mixed messages and growing criticism of his administration's scattershot response.

Augusta National Golf Club, home of The Masters, one of the most important events in professional golf
Bret Lane / travelingmamas.com

The annual rite of spring for golf won't happen this year.

The Masters has been postponed until a later date. Augusta National did not indicate when the Masters would be played.

That means there will be no golf at least for the next month.

The Masters began in 1934 and only World War II has kept it from being played. This was the biggest shoe to drop for golf.

The PGA Tour already canceled the next three events leading up to the Masters.

Tiger Woods was to be going after his sixth green jacket.

GPB Lawmakers

Georgia lawmakers are allowing Gov. Brian Kemp to spend $100 million to combat COVID-19.

The House and Senate voted Thursday for midyear budget adjustments that shift the money from Georgia's $2.8 billion in reserves to Kemp's emergency fund.

Kerstin Joensson / AP

Health officials say a total of 17 people in the state have now tested positive, though some of the tests have yet to be confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Gov. Brian Kemp said late Sunday that the cases are from eight Georgia counties: Cherokee, Cobb, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Fayette, Floyd, Fulton and Polk. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough.

For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

Richard Drew / AP

Stocks plunged 7% on Wall Street Monday, triggering a trading halt for 15 minutes.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

Eleven Georgia residents have tested positive for the COVID-19, and five of those tests have been federally confirmed, the Georgia Department of Public Health said in a statement late Sunday.

The statement said the four new presumptive positive tests, in addition to two earlier, are awaiting confirmation by the Atlanta-based U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Later this week, tests done by private sector labs and the DPH lab will no longer require CDC confirmation, Cody Hall, a spokesman for the governor, said in an email.

Ted S. Warren / AP

President Donald Trump's trip Friday to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention turned into a scattershot defense of his administration's handling of the growing coronavirus crisis.

Trump, wearing his “Keep America Great" campaign hat while discussing the global worry, falsely declared that a test for the virus was available for anyone who wanted.

He called the Democratic governor of a state impacted by the virus “a snake." And he suggested that those exposed to the virus on a cruise ship be left aboard so they wouldn't count in the nation's total.

Courtney Pedroza/The Tennessean via AP

At least two tornadoes shred buildings across the city of Nashville and central Tennessee early Tuesday, killing at least seven people.

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency confirmed the preliminary death toll as first responders search the wreckage for injured people.

About 40 buildings collapsed around Nashville, including a concert venue that had just held an event for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders ahead of Super Tuesday voting.

Patrick Semansky / AP

Atlanta Congressman John Lewis made a surprise appearance Sunday in Selma, Alabama, to commemorate the 55th anniversary of the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

On March 7, 1965, Alabama state troopers beat and tear-gassed hundreds of voting-rights demonstrators trying to march from Selma to Montgomery.

Matt Rourke / AP

Democrat Pete Buttigieg is ending his campaign for president.

Canva

Iran's Health Ministry raised on Sunday the nationwide death toll from the new coronavirus to 54 as the number of infected cases jumped overnight to 978 people.

Elaine Thompson / AP

The governor of Washington state declared a state of emergency Saturday after a man died there of COVID-19, the first such reported death in the United States.

Health officials say the man who died was in his 50s, had underlying health conditions. 

More than 50 people in a nursing facility are sick and being tested for the virus. A woman in her 40s who works at the facility and a resident in her 70s have tested positive for the virus.

Andrew Harnik / AP

President Donald Trump says 22 people in the U.S. have been stricken by the new coronavirus and additional cases in the United States are “likely.” 

Anda Chu / AP

A person has died in Washington state of COVID-19, state health officials said Saturday, marking the first such reported death in the United States.

CANVA

With the viral outbreak spreading to more countries, the price of oil has dropped precipitously as global demand weakens even further. That has sent shares tumbling for oil giants like Exxon and Chevron while smaller producers with idling rigs continue to slash jobs.

Bill Sikes / AP

The new virus is taking a broader toll on airline travel.

Most airlines have already stopped flying to China. Now Delta Air Lines is sharply cutting back on flights between the U.S. and Seoul, South Korea, and Hawaiian Airlines is suspending all its flights to Seoul because of the outbreak.

Delta said Wednesday it will suspend flights between Minneapolis and Seoul beginning this weekend and lasting until at least April 30.

John Bazemore / AP

A Georgia Senate bill backed by Republicans aims to take on the tall task of limiting lawsuits in state courts, citing high legal costs faced by businesses. Senate Bill 415 is sponsored by state Sen. Steve Gooch of Dahlonega.

The bill would change the information that could be provided to jurors trying civil cases and limit the amount of time someone has to bring a product liability lawsuit, among many other provisions.

Neonbrand / Unsplash

Supporters of broadening a Georgia program that pays for special education students to attend private schools say changes would meet its original mission. But opponents say it's another attack on the state's public schools.

The Senate Education and Youth Committee heard testimony Wednesday on Senate Bill 386, but did not take a vote.

President Donald Trump
Alex Brandon / AP

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer has unveiled an $8.5 billion request to respond to the virus outbreak in the U.S., more than triple Trump's request.

The money would go toward efforts to contain the outbreak in the U.S., vaccine development and manufacture, and reimbursement to states for their costs in tackling the outbreak.

Schumer said Wednesday the money would be an emergency spending request. President Donald Trump has asked for $2.5 billion, but many in Congress say that's not enough.

St. Simons Sound Incident Response Unified Command Joint Information Center

A salvage company suing to halt removal of a capsized cargo ship along the Georgia coast appears to be backing off claims that sawing the vessel into huge chunks would threaten the environment.

Officials from the salvage firm Donjon-SMIT acknowledged Tuesday in U.S. District Court that they would be willing to dismantle the ship using the same method their lawsuit condemns.

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JACQUELYN MARTIN / AP

Georgia’s secretary of state has set the qualifying period for the special U.S. Senate election featuring Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler and GOP Rep. Doug Collins. Qualifying in the race will take place next week from March 2-6, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office announced Monday.

That’s the same window that candidates in other 2020 Georgia races must officially declare to get on the ballot. The move could limit the amount of opposition that Loeffler, who was sworn in Jan. 6, will face.

BOB ANDRES / ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION

Georgians could get a chance to vote on making it easier to sue state government.

Walmart

 A dead body was found inside the bathroom of a Walmart store in Georgia. Police were trying to determine Monday what happened. News outlets reported Walmart employees made the grisly discovery early Monday morning.

Investigators believe the body could have been in the store's bathroom all night. The cause of death wasn't immediately known, and the person's identity wasn't released Monday. Maj. Alexander Daniels with the Forsyth Police Department says the person isn't a Walmart employee, and officials don't know if a crime was involved.

Jay Reeves / AP

Forecasters say heavy rains are again expected in parts of the flood-ravaged South, prolonging the misery in neighborhoods surrounded by water. Hard-hit central Mississippi was under a flash flood watch Tuesday.

The National Weather Service said rainfall of up to 2 inches — with higher amounts possible in some spots — were expected to fall in a short amount of time in central Mississippi on Tuesday. Forecasters say that could cause flash flooding and worsen ongoing river flooding in the region.

Kathy Gannon / AP

The U.N. secretary general has told The Associated Press that the virus outbreak that began in China poses “a very dangerous situation” for the world but “is not out of control.”

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Hill Hall at Savannah State University
Savannah State University

Student complaints of being served moldy bread and finding bugs in mac and cheese at a campus food court led Savannah State University to close its student center.

The university said in a statement to news outlets that its student union, closed since Jan. 30, “is in the final stages of cleaning and maintenance” and could reopen within the week.

The Savannah Morning News reported that university officials decided to close the building the day before inspectors from the Georgia Department of Public Health arrived.

Gov. Brian Kemp
John Amis / AP

Members of the Georgia House of Representatives are rejecting some midyear budget cuts proposed by Gov. Brian Kemp.

They say the Republican governor wanted to cut too deeply on some items.

Kemp is proposing more than $200 million in midyear reductions in state spending, citing a shortfall in state revenues. House subcommittees on Thursday recommended putting back more than $2.8 million of Kemp's proposed reductions. 

The full Appropriations Committee is scheduled to vote Tuesday on amendments to the current spending plan.

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