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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The temporary resolution of the budget stalemate in Washington, D.C., has made business leaders more optimistic in nine Midwest and Plains states, but only modest economic growth is expected in the near future. The monthly survey’s overall economic index crept up to 51.2 in November.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) — The quarterback in use at the end of all three wins by the Minnesota Vikings this season has been Matt Cassel. For all of the sparks he has provided to the Vikings’ uneven offense, Cassel has begun another week without clarity on his place on the depth chart. Coach Leslie Frazier declined Monday to declare Cassel the new starter, despite a concussion for Christian Ponder the coach said he’s “concerned about.” That doesn’t mean Cassel won’t be back under center this weekend when the Vikings (3-8-1) play at Baltimore.
SEATTLE (AP) — Russell Wilson threw for 298 yards and three touchdowns, Michael Bennett returned Drew Brees’ fumble 22 yards for a touchdown and the Seattle Seahawks were routing the New Orleans Saints 34-7 late in the fourth quarter at press time. Seattle wrapped up a playoff berth with the victory, its 11th in 12 games, over the Saints, and the matchup between the top two teams in the NFC was anything but competitive. Seattle has a two-game lead over both the Saints and Carolina Panthers for home-field advantage in the NFC.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Steve Sarkisian was named the head coach at Southern California on Monday, leaving Washington to return to the Trojans’ storied football program for another run at national titles. Two days after USC’s regular season ended with a home loss to UCLA, Trojans athletic director Pat Haden replaced interim coach Ed Orgeron with yet another assistant coach from Pete Carroll’s championship-winning era at the school. The 39-year-old Sarkisian is a Los Angeles-area native who went 34-29 in five seasons at Washington, rebuilding a decimated program into a bowl contender.
DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Tigers traded right-hander Doug Fister to the Washington Nationals for three players Monday night, opening a spot in their rotation and perhaps saving some money to keep Max Scherzer beyond next season. Detroit received infielder Steve Lombardozzi, minor league lefty Robbie Ray and reliever Ian Krol for Fister, a 14-game winner for the AL Central champions. “We are excited to be adding three solid players to the organization,” Tigers president and general manager Dave Dombrowski said in a statement.
(AP) — San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis claims that St. Louis Rams safety T.J. McDonald went below the belt to make a tackle Sunday and wouldn’t let go. “I’m still thinking about it. I can feel it,” Davis said after the 49ers’ 23-13 victory, according to the team’s website. “It was a crossing route.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A woman charged with killing a fellow Alabama fan after the end of last weekend’s Iron Bowl football game was angry that the victim and others didn’t seem upset over the Crimson Tide’s loss to archrival Auburn, said the sister of the slain woman. Adrian Laroze Briskey, 28, was charged Monday with murder in the killing of 36-year-old Michelle Shepherd. Hoover police Capt. Jim Coker said both Birmingham women were Alabama fans and at the same party for the annual game between intrastate rivals.
BISMARCK — Residents in parts of the Dakotas began their workweek dealing with icy roads and sidewalks as a three-wave storm began sweeping over the northern Great Plains. The storm promised to bring significant snowfall to North Dakota and parts of South Dakota midweek and then usher in bitterly cold — and dangerous — temperatures late in the week. “The arctic has opened up, basically,” National Weather Service meteorologist Tony Merriman said. The weather service issued a winter storm warning for western and central North Dakota through Wednesday, as snow was expected to develop over the
BISMARCK (AP) — BNSF Railway says a rail line has reopened in North Dakota after a derailment just outside of western North Dakota’s Oil Patch. The railroad said nine empty oil tanker cars derailed after a train was hit by a pickup truck Sunday morning, about 60 miles southeast of Minot. BNSF spokeswoman Amy McBeth said the line reopened at about 2:30 p.m. on Monday. McBeth said there were no injuries to the pickup driver or to personnel on the train. She said the incident is under investigation.
BISMARCK (AP) — The state Health Department has awarded a statewide suicide prevention contract to the North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities in Minot. Officials said the goal is to start a training program for middle school personnel. The Health Department said the training meets new North Dakota requirements related to youth suicide-risk indicators. Project coordinator Christine Brigden said a 2011 survey found that almost 20 percent of middle school youth “seriously thought about killing themselves and 5 percent did try to kill themselves.”