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BC-AR--Arkansas News Preview,Advisory, AR

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News,Science and Technology

Good morning. Below is a preview of the AP's expected report for Arkansas for Wednesday AMs.

Information in this preview is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change. Expected stories may not develop, or late-breaking and more newsworthy events may take precedence. Advisories, digests and digest advisories will keep you up to date.

Please remember that the strength of your Arkansas AP report depends upon your story and photo contributions. Send stories by email to pebbles(at)ap.org. Send photos to the AP state photo center in New York, 888-273-6867.

The supervisor is Jill Bleed, followed by Chuck Bartels. The news editor is Kelly P. Kissel. They can be reached at 501-225-3668 or 405-525-2121.

For reruns of stories, photos or graphics, use: http://www.apexchange.com . Multimedia elements for the state report are available at ftp://ftp.ap.org .

WEDNESDAY AMs PREVIEW:

MEDICAID-ARKANSAS

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The state Department of Human Services is preparing to overhaul the way it investigates fraud and waste complaints within its Medicaid program. Starting July 1, a separate Office of Inspector General will review the state's Medicaid program. The new office was one of several Medicaid reform measures approved in conjunction with a plan to expand health insurance in the state. By Andrew DeMillo.

LITTLE ROCK MARRIOTT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — One of the centerpieces of downtown Little Rock is changing hands and will give the city a more well-known but less unique business as the anchor hotel for its convention center. The Peabody, which featured its signature ducks in a lobby fountain during its years as a downtown mainstay, is pulling out and will become a Marriott on Wednesday. By Chuck Bartels.

GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS-REFUGES

NEW ORLEANS — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will hold five public meetings around the South in June to hear what people think about using genetically modified crops on refuges to provide food for ducks, geese and other migrating waterfowl. Under cooperative agreements with the agency, farmers harvest part of the crops they grow on about 44,000 acres scattered in various refuges — about 1 percent of the land in 138 refuges in a district covering 10 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

ALREADY MOVED:

— SCHOOL BUS WRECK — Authorities say at least five students from the Batesville area were injured when two school buses collided in North Little Rock.

— PARKS DIRECTOR CHARGED — Prosecutors have filed two additional theft charges against a former parks director in De Queen accused of stealing money from a regional softball program.

— DYESS FIRES — State and federal investigators are looking into a string of fires that have destroyed homes in Johnny Cash's hometown of Dyess.

— NUCLEAR PLANT-INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT — Entergy Arkansas says a reactor at Arkansas Nuclear One in Russellville is back online and is producing electricity.

— FORT SMITH-POLICE SHOOTING — Prosecutors have cleared a Fort Smith police officer of any wrongdoing in a shooting that wounded a man.

— CHOCTAW CASINO-EXPANSION — The Choctaw Casino Hotel on the Oklahoma-Arkansas border has expanded to include a hotel with luxury suites, a new restaurant and live entertainment.

— ACADEMIC CHALLENGE-SCHOLARSHIPS — The Arkansas Higher Education Department has notified 10,000 high school students that they have been awarded Academic Challenge Scholarships.

— WIFE SLAIN-PINE BLUFF — Police in Pine Bluff say they are investigating a murder and an attempted suicide by an 83-year-old man.

— BEEBE-MICHIGAN FORUM — Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe is traveling to Michigan to speak at a forum on leadership.

The AP-Little Rock

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