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Subtropical Storm Alberto heads to the US Gulf

MIAMI (AP) - A storm moving slowly through the Gulf of Mexico is threatening to bring heavy rainfall, storm surges, high winds, and flash floods to the U.S. Gulf Coast this holiday weekend.

Subtropical Storm Alberto - the first named storm of the 2018 hurricane season - roiled parts of coastal Mexico and Cuba with rip currents and dangerous surf before plodding northward Saturday.

Cuba maintained its tropical storm watch for the province of Pinar del Rio, while Mexico cancelled its watch for the resort-dotted coast of the Yucatan peninsula, where the storm brought heavy rain. There were no immediate reports of emergencies. In Cancun, local newspapers showed scenes of some streets flooded to mid-hubcap level.

In the U.S., a storm surge watch - meaning the possibility of life-threatening inundations from rising coastal waters moving inland - was issued for a stretch of coastline between Horseshoe Beach, Florida, and the mouth of the Mississippi River.

"The combination of storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline," the National Hurricane Center in Miami said. Isolated tornadoes could erupt over the Florida Keys or southwestern Florida late Saturday.

Forecasters at the National Weather Service warned residents along coastal Alabama and Mississippi as well as the Florida Panhandle to brace for heavy rain and high winds. Isolated tornadoes were also possible. The NWS said a flash flood watch would be in effect from Saturday evening through Tuesday evening for southeastern Mississippi, much of southern Alabama, and the western Florida Panhandle.

"This system will bring excessive rainfall to the watch area beginning Saturday evening and continuing through Tuesday evening. Rainfall amounts of 5 to 8 inches, and possibly locally up to double these amounts are possible in this area with this event," the NWS said.

At 8 a.m. EDT, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said Alberto was centered about 70 miles (115 kilometers) south of the western tip of Cuba and moving north at 9 mph (15 kph). Its top sustained winds were 40 mph (65 kph). A gradual strengthening was expected as the storm moves north.

A subtropical storm has a less defined and cooler center than a tropical storm, and its strongest winds are found farther from its center. Subtropical storms can develop into tropical storms, which in turn can strengthen into hurricanes. Alberto comes ahead of schedule: the six-month hurricane season doesn't begin until June 1.

Parts of Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana have already seen heavy rain this week, and further deluges could leave those areas vulnerable to flash flooding and river flooding. Some beachfront and riverfront communities are already handing out sandbags.

The downpours could dampen Memorial Day, the unofficial start of the summer tourist season along Gulf beaches. Along with heavy rains and high winds come rough seas and a threat of rip currents from Florida to Louisiana that can sweep swimmers out to sea.

Several top Georgia primary contests headed to July runoff

ATLANTA (AP) - Some of the top Republican primary contests in Georgia - including one deciding who will face a Democrat vying to become the first black female governor in the U.S. - are still undecided after Tuesday's primaries. They will head to a runoff on July 24.

No GOP candidate for governor, lieutenant governor or secretary of state was able to secure more than 50 percent of the vote, triggering runoffs between the top two in each race.

The Democratic contest to challenge incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Karen Handel for her highly competitive Atlanta-area seat in Georgia's 6th District is also headed to a runoff.

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp are battling for the Republican gubernatorial nomination and a chance to face Democrat Stacey Abrams in November.

Single mom given 24 months to live hopes for lung transplant

SENOIA, Ga. (AP) - Amy Majors can only move 50 feet within the confines of her Senoia home.

Although if the 33-year-old single mother woman stretches far enough, she can reach the carport, where she wistfully watches her young son Michael play outdoors.

Majors is tethered to an oxygen tank 24 hours a day, connected by a tube that is a thin lifeline between her existence and an almost certain death.

The Senoia woman is living on borrowed time.

Doctors say she needs a double lung transplant within the next two years.

"If I don't get the transplant, the doctors give me 24 months," Majors said.

"I have a 6-year-old. I have too much to do. I've got to help him with his homework and go through school. I want to see him go to prom and to college. I want to live."

Majors has Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension, or PAH, a disease she inherited from her biological mother.

The Senoia native was adopted as a young girl and learned about the disease when she was 13 years old.

According to lung.org, PAH is high blood pressure within the lungs. The disease forms scar tissue in the blood vessels, causing them to narrow and making it harder for blood to flow through the lungs.

Patients with PAH may feel as if they're slowly suffocating.

Majors was horrified by what she learned, but admitted at that time in her life, she felt invincible.

"When I googled 'PAH,' I thought it was the worst thing someone could ever go through," she said. "But I played sports growing up, softball and volleyball. I thought, 'I don't have that.' I thought I was fine."

But in 2009, while Majors was 24 weeks pregnant with her first child, something went terribly wrong.

The then-25-year-old woman began fainting with little warning.

She was rushed to Piedmont Fayette hospital and then transferred to Piedmont Atlanta. After a series of tests, doctors delivered the devastating diagnosis: Majors had pulmonary arterial hypertension and was going into heart failure.

Specialists delivered another traumatic blow when they told Majors she would have to terminate her pregnancy.

"They told me I had seven days to live if I continued to move forward with pregnancy," she remembered. "There was a 75 percent chance I would die giving birth to the baby naturally. Those percentages went up to 90 percent if I had a c-section."

There was also no guarantee the baby, a little girl, would survive the birth either, Majors said.

Distraught by the news, she consulted other physicians and discussed the situation with her family.

Reluctantly, Majors decided to terminate her pregnancy to save her life.

The Senoia woman said it was one of the hardest decisions she's ever made.

"I could tell it was serious because there were so many specialists coming in and out of my hospital room and decisions had to be made within a few days," she said. "I never thought I would have to terminate a pregnancy. That was never an option for me. That decision was the first time I cried during my diagnosis."

Majors spent 16 days in the hospital before being released.

Before she left, doctors inserted a port in her chest, plus gave her equipment that would pump life-saving medication into her body every 45 seconds.

Majors had to learn how to properly mix the medications before she went home, she said.

Eventually, her health stabilized. She was able to maintain her PAH symptoms through oral medications for the next few years.

In January 2012, Majors and her then-husband found themselves back at Piedmont Atlanta hospital.

This time, it was a joyous occasion. The couple was in the hospital for the birth of their adopted son, Michael.

"We were back in the same place and in the same maternity ward receiving the best gift of our lives," Majors remembered. "We were there before and thought we had lost everything. But three years later, we felt like we gained everything back. It was an amazing feeling."

From 2012 until 2016, Majors raised her son while working seven days a week at two different jobs: one as a Rite Aid pharmacy tech; the other as a home caregiver for the elderly and infirm.

In order to keep up her energy levels, doctors placed a new port and catheter in Majors chest, and gave her another medicinal pump.

But beginning in June 2016, Major's health began to decline after a series of infections within her catheter, also known as a Hickman line, and in her intravenous line.

At one point, Majors said she almost bled to death after an open wound wouldn't stop bleeding. Fortunately, surgeons were able to repair the injury.

While Major's health deteriorated, so did her marriage, she said.

She and her husband divorced in 2017. Majors was given primary custody of Michael.

Infections continued to plague the now-single mother throughout 2017.

Once again, she found herself near death after having a bad reaction to an antibiotic.

"I slowly felt like I was suffocating," Majors said. "I was looking at the hospital lights, tears rolling down my cheeks and thinking, 'Is this how it's going to end? I'm going to suffocate to death?' Your breathing is cut off before your brain is, so you're aware of what's happening . you just can't breathe."

After recovering from the allergic reaction, she began coughing up blood.

Doctors rushed her into surgery and discovered some of the arterial vessels inside her lungs had burst, which is not uncommon for patients with PAH.

But they also noticed the disease and the recurring infections were taking a toll on Majors' lungs and heart.

During a follow up appointment in April 2018, doctors informed Majors her only chance at survival was a double lung transplant.

According to Majors, the doctors told her, "This is what we need to do. The way you're heading, we don't have a lot of time."

While time is not on her side, Majors is caught in a waiting game.

Majors said she needs to complete three days of physical and mental evaluations, plus prove she is financially stable before an Emory hospital committee will even consider placing her on the transplant list.

The transplant board will hold Majors' fate in their hands.

"My case is reduced to a balance sheet," she said. "The committee doesn't know everything I've conquered in the past nine years, but my life depends on these 11 people. If I'm denied a transplant, that means someone else has hit the 'game over' button, and that scares me more than anything else."

If approved, Majors may have to wait two or more years before a new set of lungs becomes available, according to emoryhealthcare.org.

While the transplant will give Majors a new lease on life, doctors also reportedly warned her that the surgery may only be temporary.

"I asked them, 'What is my life expectancy after this?' They said based off statistics, 10 to 12 years with the transplant," she said. "The organs will have to be replaced every 10 years. The doctors said they've done a double lung transplant on the same person twice, but not three times."

Despite the shocking revelation, Majors still plans to move forward with the transplant.

She said the decision is not just for her, but more as a gift to her 6-year-old son.

"I would rather give Michael the best 10 years of the best of my life, running around with him, chasing him, watching him playing football, getting his license, riding bicycles and traveling. Things I can't do right now," Majors said. "He's depending on me. He's my heart, my breath and my everything.

Majors hopes to head to Emory for testing in early June.

___

Information from: The Times-Herald, http://www.times-herald.com

Winning numbers drawn in 'Cash 3 Night' game

ATLANTA (AP) _ The winning numbers in Friday evening's drawing of the Georgia Lottery's "Cash 3 Night" game were:

7-3-5

(seven, three, five)

Winning numbers drawn in 'Cash 4 Night' game

ATLANTA (AP) _ The winning numbers in Friday evening's drawing of the Georgia Lottery's "Cash 4 Night" game were:

6-6-7-9

(six, six, seven, nine)

Winning numbers drawn in 'Fantasy 5' game

ATLANTA (AP) _ The winning numbers in Friday evening's drawing of the Georgia Lottery's "Fantasy 5" game were:

04-11-14-24-27

(four, eleven, fourteen, twenty-four, twenty-seven)

AP Top Georgia Headlines at 5:23 a.m. EDT

Rescuers recover vehicle from Selway river, no bodies inside

Savannah police officer killed while directing traffic

Couple sentenced for dealing thousands worth of heroin

Deportation protection restored in high-profile Georgia case

Subtropical Storm Alberto still chugging toward Gulf

Winning numbers drawn in 'Mega Millions' game

ATLANTA (AP) _ The winning numbers in Friday evening's drawing of the "Mega Millions" game were:

11-14-51-64-68, Mega Ball: 25, Megaplier: 4

(eleven, fourteen, fifty-one, sixty-four, sixty-eight; Mega Ball: twenty-five; Megaplier: four)

Red Sox 6, Braves 2

LOB_Atlanta 9, Boston 3. 2B_Markakis (12), Swanson (10). 3B_Bradley Jr. (1). HR_Betts (17), J.Martinez (16), Moreland (8), Bogaerts (7). SB_Betts (13), Holt (1). SF_Benintendi (4).

Umpires_Home, Jeff Nelson; First, Laz Diaz; Second, Manny Gonzalez; Third, Andy Fletcher.

T_3:13. A_37,008 (37,731).

Betts hits 17th HR, Red Sox beat Braves after cutting Hanley

BOSTON (AP) - Mookie Betts hit his major-league leading 17th home run, J.D. Martinez slugged his 16th homer and the Boston Red Sox beat the Atlanta Braves 6-2 on Friday night hours after a surprising roster shakeup.

Boston got its fifth win in six games shortly after announcing it had designated Hanley Ramirez for assignment. The move freed up a roster spot for Dustin Pedroia to be activated from the DL, and also created the chance for regular playing time at first base for Mitch Moreland, who had a solo homer in the eighth.

The Red Sox fared fine without Ramirez, the struggling slugger they signed to an $88 million, four-year deal before the 2015 season. Xander Bogaerts also had a solo homer as Boston converted big time on its seven hits.

Eduardo Rodriguez struggled early but managed to hold Atlanta to just a pair of runs on six hits with three walks in 5 2/3 innings. Rodriguez (5-1) struck out seven despite his early control issues and walked three.

Nick Markakis hit a two-run double for the Braves, who have lost three of four. Julio Teheran (4-2) pitched six innings, allowing three runs on four hits, walking three and striking out four.

Martinez pulled Boston within 2-1 with a leadoff homer in fourth on a line drive that clipped the top of the Green Monster. Bogaerts tied it two batters later on a solo shot that left the ballpark entirely.

Boston took its first lead in the fifth when Jackie Bradley Jr. tripled to center with one out and scored on Andrew Benintendi's sacrifice fly.

Rodriguez appeared headed for a short night when he allowed two or more baserunners in each of the first three innings. Atlanta scored twice in the third when Ronald Acuna Jr. and Freddie Freeman started the inning with back-to-back singles and Markakis drove in both with a double to left.

Betts' and Moreland's homers came off of reliever Matt Wisler.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Braves: Placed LHP Luiz Gohara on the bereavement list, allowing him to return to Brazil to spend time with his mother as she recovers from heart surgery. ... Atlanta recalled RHP Matt Wisler from Triple-A Gwinnett.

Red Sox: Activated second baseman Pedroia (offseason knee surgery), but did not start him. Dave Dombrowski, president of baseball operations, said the Red Sox are going to let the four-time All-Star and 2008 AL MVP ease back into the lineup, likely starting Saturday. "He feels good. He's not having any pain so we think that he'll be fine to go out there but we are going to be careful in that regard," Dombrowski said.

UP NEXT

Braves: A rookie who grew up in Massachusetts, Sean Newcomb (5-1, 1.29 ERA) is 4-0 with a 0.36 ERA in four starts this month and is making his first appearance against the Red Sox. The Middleboro High School alum had a stretch of 21 consecutive scoreless innings before the Miami Marlins scored one on him in the second last Saturday in Atlanta's 8-1 win.

Red Sox: LHP Drew Pomeranz (1-2, 5.97) lasted only four innings against Baltimore on May 18, allowing five runs - four earned - on seven hits while striking out a season-low two.

___

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

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