Phillip Lucas, a journalist who has helped The Associated Press coordinate and cover significant stories across the South and beyond, has been hired to work as a reporter for the news cooperative in Birmingham, Alabama.

The appointment was announced Thursday by South Region Editor Lisa Marie Pane and Deep South Editor Jim Van Anglen.

Lucas joins Statehouse reporter Kimberly Chandler, based in Montgomery, and Birmingham Correspondent Jay Reeves as part of AP's Alabama news team.

Lucas has been with the AP since 2012, covering breaking news in the evening hours in Georgia and Alabama. Among the coverage he's been involved in was the arrival of Ebola victims in Atlanta for treatment and the 50th anniversary of the "Bloody Sunday" voting rights march in Selma, Alabama. He also was among a team of reporters dispatched to Ferguson, Missouri, and North Charleston, South Carolina, covering police shootings of unarmed black men in those cities.

"I can't think of a better person than Phillip to tell the powerful and unique stories of Birmingham, north Alabama and the rest of the state," Van Anglen said. "He is a talented journalist who is not just an outstanding reporter but also someone who brings context, detail and national perspective to his stories."

Lucas, 27, previously worked at the Philadelphia Daily News, where he worked as a night crime and breaking news reporter, and The News Journal in Wilmington, Delaware.

Lucas graduated from Howard University in 2010 with a degree in print-online journalism.