by Xander Norris
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.
- Loretta Lynn, the Kentucky coal miner’s daughter whose frank songs about life and love as a woman in Appalachia pulled her out of poverty and made her a pillar of country music, has died. She was 90. Lynn passed away on Tuesday at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee.
Bombshell abortion report involving Herschel Walker could have major ramifications for the Georgia GOP Senate candidate
- The first October surprise of the 2022 election landed late Monday, and it could have major implications for which party controls the Senate. Just weeks before the midterm election, The Daily Beast reported that Georgia Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker paid for a girlfriend’s abortion in 2009. Walker has campaigned on an antiabortion platform — with no exceptions — and has said that he always opposed abortion rights. The abortion report coupled with Walker’s adult son, Christian, speaking out against his father and attacking his candidacy, may pose the greatest threat yet to the Republican’s bid.
- Nearly a week after Hurricane Ian smashed into Florida and carved a path of destruction into the Carolinas, hundreds of thousands of people faced another warm day without electricity Tuesday as rescuers pressed on with their search for anyone trapped inside flooded and damaged homes. At least 79 people have been confirmed dead from the storm: 71 in Florida, five in North Carolina, and three in Cuba since Ian made landfall on the Caribbean island on Sept. 27, a day before it reached Florida.
- In June, following this year’s massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Gov. Greg Abbott directed the Texas Education Agency to create the position of chief of school safety and security. Gov. Abbott appointed John Scott, a Dallas-area U.S. Secret Service agent, to fill the position. Scott will serve as the agency’s resident expert on security and public safety issues and oversee Texas schools’ implementation of related policies.
- On Tuesday, The Supreme Court’s conservative majority appeared open to making it harder to create majority Black electoral districts in an Alabama case that could have far-reaching effects on minority voting power across the United States. The justices heard two hours of arguments in the latest showdown over the federal Voting Rights Act, with lawsuits seeking to force Alabama to create a second Black majority congressional district. About 27% of Alabamians are Black, but they form a majority in just one of the state’s seven congressional districts. A ruling for Alabama in the new case could weaken a powerful tool that civil rights groups and minority voters have used to challenge racial discrimination in redistricting.
In Florida’s race for governor ,DeSantis leads Crist by double digits according to new Mason-Dixon poll
- According to a new poll released Wednesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis has an 11-point lead over former U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist in Florida’s race for governor. The survey by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy shows Republican candidate DeSantis with 52% of the vote compared with Democratic candidate Crist’s 41%. Only about 6% remain undecided, meaning voters have largely made up their minds.
- Vidalia onions aren’t supposed to make you cry. For the eighth installment of the Bitter Southerner’s “Crop Cycle” series, Shane Mitchell peels back layers of historic abuse in the onion fields of southeast Georgia.
- Weeks before Loretta Lynn’s death, the country music legend made a request of Mississippi trio Chapel Hart. The trio is from Poplarville, Miss., and features vocalists Trea Swindle, Danica Hart, and Devynn Hart. After finishing fifth place on “America’s Got Talent,” Dolly Parton tweeted her support for the women, and Lynn — a country music rebel with numerous awards and hit songs under her belt, including “You Ain’t Woman Enough — chimed in a short time later. “I love it, ladies. Now I’m wondering what you might be able to do with one of my songs,” Lynn wrote on Facebook a few months before she died in her sleep Tuesday at her home near Nashville. Now, Chapel Hart is honoring Lynn by honoring one of her final requests: putting their own twist on Lynn’s classic “Fist City.”
- Baldwin Lee’s Extraordinary Pictures from the American South, is featured in a new book that showcases the Photographer’s first-ever collection of Lee’s work. One of the great overlooked luminaries of American picture-making, Lee’s photography captured the beauty and horror of life in African American communities throughout the South.
- Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel confirmed Wednesday that Tua Tagovailoa remains in concussion protocol but will stay around the squad “as long as it doesn’t adversely affect him.” On Monday, McDaniel announced that Tagovailoa would not play against the New York Jets this weekend. During Wednesday’s presser, McDaniel rejected the idea that optics played any role in announcing Tagovailoa’s status so early. McDaniel and the Dolphins franchise have faced increased scrutiny and outside noise following their starting quarterback’s recent bout of injuries.