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MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota Prep Bowl will be played outdoors at TCF Bank Stadium on the University of Minnesota campus in 2014. In a break from tradition, all seven state high school football title games that year will be played a week before Thanksgiving. The dates and location were approved Monday at the Minnesota State High School League board meeting. The Star Tribune ( http://bit.ly/18Ju1HU ) reports the seven championship games in 2014 will be held Nov. 21-22.
MIAMI — Their season, their legacy, their reign atop the NBA was all at stake, and the Miami Heat responded to all of that in a manner befitting champions. With a blowout. It’s onto the NBA Finals for the Heat after they put away the Indiana Pacers, who saw their hopes of a storybook upset simply fall apart in a hurry. LeBron James scored 32 points and grabbed eight rebounds, ailing Dwyane Wade matched his postseason high with 21 points, and the Heat ran away from the Pacers 99-76 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals on Monday night.
EDEN PRAIRIE — An eventful, productive 10-year career with Minnesota for Kevin Williams has taken a sharp turn toward a final chapter. First, the Vikings forced him to take a pay cut. Then they drafted his probable replacement with one of their three first-round picks in April. Williams didn’t get to be a six-time Pro Bowl pick by being a pushover. The 6-foot-5, 310-pound defensive tackle doesn’t plan to meekly fade away. “If we can bring a young guy to help us win and he just so happens to play my position, so be it,” Williams said.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — When the Big Ten grows to 14 teams, the conference’s longtime football powers will literally be out of Minnesota’s half of the league. But the Gophers didn’t get any breaks on the upcoming schedules. In 2014 and 2015, when Maryland and Rutgers are added to the East, teams will only play two out-of-division opponents.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Spending on U.S. construction projects rose in April despite weakness in residential projects and government spending.
ST. PAUL — With just four months to go before Minnesota's new health insurance exchange goes live, it remains to be seen how many choices consumers will get. The names of companies that will offer competing plans via MNsure have not been announced. The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports three health insurance companies say they've decided not to compete in portions of the new Minnesota marketplace, at least for policies that cover 2014.
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- The next time a flight attendant reminds you there's no smoking or you witness a teenager getting carded at a liquor store, think of Frank Lautenberg. The Democratic senator from New Jersey left his mark on the everyday lives of millions of Americans, whether they know it or not. In the 1980s, he was a driving force behind the laws that banned smoking on most U.S.
OMAHA, Neb. — An Omaha-based ethanol company says it's buying an idle ethanol plant in north-central Nebraska. Green Plains Renewable Energy Inc. said Monday that it has signed an agreement with Choice Ethanol Holdings LLC to acquire the former Nedak Ethanol plant in Atkinson. The deal includes an ethanol storage and loading facility about 15 miles east of the plant. Terms were not disclosed. The Norfolk Daily News has reported that Choice Ethanol, of Fargo, was a company formed by Nedak Ethanol's lenders.
ST. PAUL — One possible Republican candidate for Michele Bachmann's congressional seat is taking herself out of the running while another gets ready to announce his plans. Bachmann's surprise decision not to seek reelection started a scramble among possible Republican successors in the right-leaning 6th Congressional District. But on Monday, state Sen. Michelle Benson of Ham Lake said she wouldn't run. In an email, Benson thanked supporters for encouraging her but says her still-young family needs her in Minnesota full-time. One likely candidate is revealing his intentions Wednesday.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A monthly survey of business leaders suggests the economy in nine Midwest and Plains states will continue growing steadily over the next few months. The overall economic index for the region declined slightly to 56.2 in May from April's 56.8, but any score above 50 suggests growth. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey.