Hello! Here's a look at how AP's general news coverage is shaping up in Iowa. Questions about coverage plans are welcome, and should be directed to the Des Moines Bureau at 515-243-3281 or apdesmoines@ap.org. Iowa News Editor Scott McFetridge can also be reached at 515-243-3281 or smcfetridge@ap.org.

A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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 and digests will keep you up to date. All times are Central.

Some TV and radio stations will receive shorter APNewsNow versions of the stories below, along with all updates.

AROUND THE STATE:

IOWA CAPITOL FOCUS

DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa Republicans have started wading through the hard realities of mid-year budget cuts, and some are expressing reservations about a proposal from Gov. Kim Reynolds to reduce $10 million from the state's health care program for the poor and disabled. The cut to Medicaid would be the largest of Reynolds' nearly $30 million in reductions to the current $7.2 billion budget that runs through June. Her staff claims it won't reduce services, but there isn't enough data to back up the argument and Reynolds will ultimately have to make her case to fellow Republicans who control the Legislature. Some already appear wary of removing money from a program under scrutiny for reports of reduced services under privatization. By Barbara Rodriguez. SENT: 800 words

EXCHANGES:

EXCHANGE-MYANMAR REFUGEE

OTTUMWA, Iowa — Maung Hlaing was a student activist in Rangoon, Myanmar, protesting a discriminatory government when he fled the country in fear of arrest. A member of one of several minority groups facing persecution, Hlaing is driven to help Myanmar refugees wherever he finds them. Right now he's finding them in Ottumwa. By Winona Whitaker, Ottumwa Courier. SENT IN ADVANCE: 749 words.

EXCHANGE-SCHOOL CHICKENS

ANDREW, Iowa — Middle school students in the Andrew Community School district brought chickens to campus this year as part of an ongoing initiative to help them better connect with their learning and solve real-world issues. Students rotate taking care of the chickens each week, letting the animals out of the coop, giving them food and water, collecting and washing eggs, and cleaning up, said math and Spanish teacher Elise Cullers. At the end of the week, the students who cared for the chickens split up and take home the eggs they collected. By Allie Hinga, Telegraph Herald. SENT IN ADVANCE: 588 words.

IN BRIEF:

— WINTER STORM — A winter storm has Nebraska and parts of Iowa and Kansas in its crosshairs.

— IOWA HOW THEY FARED — Iowa How They Fared.

SPORTS:

BKC--T25-TOP 25 REWIND

RALEIGH, N.C. — The losses piled up for some prominent teams in the AP Top 25 in the past week. The list includes three top-10 teams — No. 4 Oklahoma, No. 7 Wichita State and No. 8 Texas Tech — that lost twice. By Aaron Beard. UPCOMING: 650 words and photos by 5 p.m.

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