Around the South: Weekly Top News Stories in the South (10/01/22)


by Xander Norris

Graphic by Zoe Keyes
The South is a big, complicated place. The irregular happens regularly, and many of the nation’s most important debates and happenings seem to either start or end somewhere within our borders. That’s why every Saturday morning, the Overby Center is committed to bringing you a rundown of this week’s most prominent southern news stories, all in one easily-digestible place. So grab a cup of coffee, settle into your most comfortable chair, and prepare to get caught up on what’s currently happening… Around the South.

People trapped, 2.7M without power as Ian drenches Florida

  • Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton fled his home in McKinney in a truck driven by his wife, state Sen. Angela Paxton, to avoid being served a subpoena Monday, according to an affidavit filed in federal court. Paxton is being sued by nonprofits that want to help Texans pay for abortions out of state.

Lumumba tells residents at town hall meeting not to trust the state on water system issues

  • On Tuesday night, Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba laid out his objections to allowing the water and sewer administration in Jackson, Miss., to be taken over by a state, regional, or private entity. Lumumba’s message to an engaged crowd of about 50 people gathered at New Jerusalem Church on Raymond Road in South Jackson was, in essence, “Don’t trust the state.” The meeting was called to provide updates on the city’s water crisis. Lumumba said that just because water pressure had been restored, the public shouldn’t assume the problem is over; many leaks in the water distribution system remain.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton fled his home to avoid being served with subpoena, court record says

  • Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton fled his home in McKinney in a truck driven by his wife, state Sen. Angela Paxton, to avoid being served a subpoena Monday, according to an affidavit filed in federal court. Paxton is being sued by nonprofits that want to help Texans pay for abortions out of state.

One of the nation’s largest homebuilders lowers home prices in Nashville as rates rise

  • With the Federal Reserve hiking rates again  Wednesday, the home price adjustments will likely continue. Lennar Corp., one of the nation’s largest homebuilders, has lowered home prices and boosted incentives in most of its markets across the country in response to the rise in interest rates. Nashville is one of 22 markets where the company has completed price adjustments successfully, and the lower prices have resulted in more sales and prevented buyers from canceling. Lennar Corp. is the fifth-largest homebuilder in the Nashville area, according to Business Journal research, with 647 local permits issued in 2021.

Flying into the eye of Ian: An experienced hurricane hunter takes a wild ride

  • A veteran of 22 storms, Nick Underwood has flown into the eye of a hurricane 76 times over the past six years as an aerospace engineer for the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration. His roughest flight so far? Early Wednesday, through the heart of Hurricane Ian. Underwood described an exceptionally turbulent experience punching through Ian’s thick eye wall. Even inside the eye, which is usually the calmest part of the storm, he and the flight crew, technicians, and scientists on the team were continually lashed around inside their Lockheed WP-3D Orion aircraft.

A controversial fossil fuels deal is paused thanks in part to West Virginia Senator, Joe Manchin

  • The Energy Independence and Security Act is a proposed bill that would make it easier for harmful fossil fuel projects to be carried out with little consideration for or input from the communities that those projects will impact. As part of negotiations to push the $485 billion bill through Congress, senior officials in the Democratic Party made a deal with West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin in exchange for his vote. Late Tuesday night, Sen. Manchin withdrew the bill because Republicans and Democrats showed little interest in the bill during recent budget negotiations. U.S. Representative Donald McEachin, a Democrat from Virginia, spoke to Reckon about the proposed legislation and what harm it could bring to Americans if it’s reintroduced in the future.

‘A lot of details to be worked out’ in curfew enforcement, Memphis mayor Jim Strickland says

  • Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said there are still details to be worked out and questions to be answered before the city can effectively enforce a 1996 law that sets a curfew for Memphians under 18-years-old. The Memphis City Council passed a resolution in committee Tuesday requesting the police department enforce the curfew more consistently. The law says people under 17-years-old are to be home between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Monday through Thursday and 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. Friday through Sunday. The ordinance allows 18-year-olds to stay out an hour later per the law.

South Carolina lawmakers won’t pass stricter abortion laws

  • For decades, South Carolina was at the forefront of more restrictive abortion laws that challenged Roe v. Wade even before the landmark case was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court this summer. But there is a slim chance of stricter abortion laws in South Carolina, after Republicans in the General Assembly could not agree on a total ban on the procedure during a special legislative session Tuesday.

Texas Bookmobiles to the rescue

  • The Bat Mobile, a mobile library and classroom inside a retrofitted bus, is run by Austin Bat Cave, a nonprofit that provides creative writing programs to students in the greater Austin, Texas, area. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the bus was a writing space for Del Valle Elementary School students in the Bat Cave’s after-school programs. Now, it’s an engaging bookmobile. Austin Bat Cave’s goal is to introduce young readers to new books to help them imagine what’s possible in their lives. In the state with the most book bans, Texas mobile librarians and booksellers are bridging the access gap. Texas leads the nation with 16 districts enacting 713 individual bans under the guise of protecting children from books that are “obscene” and “offensive.”

Could Shedeur Sanders be the first HBCU football player to win the Heisman?

  • The favorite to win the Heisman this year is Alabama sophomore quarterback Bryce Young, last year’s winner. But a new Heisman Trophy frontrunner has entered the conversation. Jackson State University quarterback Shedeur Sanders is on the Heisman watch list and is a Walter Payton candidate. In four games, Sanders has passed for nearly 1,400 yards with 14 touchdowns and one interception, and Jackson State (4-0) is ranked No. 8 in the FCS coaches poll and No. 1 among HBCU programs.