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   SPRINGFIELD, IL (AP) - Doctors providing primary care in Illinois can get higher Medicaid reimbursement rates through the end of 2014.

   Illinois officials are reminding doctors to sign up online for the higher rates, which are expected to increase by an average of 93 percent. If doctors sign up by June 30 they can get reimbursed at the higher rate retroactively to the beginning of this year.

   Julie Hamos is director of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. She says the temporary raise should help increase doctors' participation in Medicaid.

   That's important because thousands of uninsured Illinois residents will be newly eligible for Medicaid in 2014.

   The pay increase for primary care was authorized by the Affordable Care Act.

 

Friday, 21 June 2013 03:15
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MIAMI (AP) -- LeBron James and the Miami Heat remain atop the NBA, and not even a proud push from the San Antonio Spurs could knock them down.

James led the Heat to their second straight NBA title, scoring 37 points and grabbing 12 rebounds in a 95-88 victory Thursday night in a tense Game 7 of the NBA Finals that lived up to its billing.

Winning the title they needed to validate the best season in franchise history - and perhaps the three-superstar system they used to build it - the Heat won the second straight thriller in the NBA's first championship series to go the distance since 2010.

Two nights after his Game 6 save when the Heat were almost eliminated, James continued his unparalleled run through the basketball world, with two titles and an Olympic gold medal in the last 12 months.

He made five 3-pointers, defended Tony Parker when he had to, and did everything else that could ever be expected from the best player in the game.

The Heat became the NBA's first repeat champions since the Lakers in 2009-10, and the first team to beat the Spurs in the NBA Finals.

Players and coaches hugged each other after the game, the respect between the franchises that was obvious when the series started becoming even more apparent after two straight classics.

Fans stood, clapped and danced across the final minutes, when every score was answered by another score, each stop followed by a better stop. The Heat pushed their lead to six points a few times midway through the fourth but the Spurs would never be deterred.

The Spurs, so close to a fifth title just two nights earlier, couldn't find a way to grab it in this one, perhaps the last shot Tim Duncan, Parker and Manu Ginobili will ever get together.

They were trying to become the first road team to win a Game 7 on the road since Washington beat Seattle in 1978, but those old guys ran out of gas just before the finish.

Duncan had 24 points and 12 rebounds for the Spurs, but missed a shot and follow attempt right under the basket with about 50 seconds left and the Spurs trailing by two.

James followed with a jumper - the shot the Spurs were daring him to take earlier in the series - to make it 92-88, sending San Antonio to a team a timeout as Glenn Frey's "The Heat is on" blared over the arena's sound system.

He then came up with a steal and made two free throws for a six-point lead, and after Ginobili missed, James stalked toward the sideline, knowing it was over and he was the last one standing again.

Dwyane Wade had 23 points and 10 rebounds for the Heat, who overcame a scoreless Chris Bosh by getting six 3-pointers and 18 points from Shane Battier.

Streamers fell from the arena ceiling onto the white-clad fans for the second year in a row, but this one meant so much more after how close the Heat were to losing it.

They were down 10 in the fourth quarter of Game 6 before James led the charge back, finishing with a triple-double in Miami's 103-100 overtime victory. This one was nearly as tight, neither team leading by more than seven and the game tied 11 times.

Kawhi Leonard had 19 points and 16 rebounds for the Spurs, who had been 4 for 4 in the championship round. Ginobili had 18 points but Parker managed just 10 points on 3-of-12 shooting.

The Heat collected the Larry O'Brien again from Commissioner David Stern, presiding over his final NBA Finals before retiring next February.

He couldn't have asked for a better way to go out.

James avenged his first finals loss, when his Cleveland Cavaliers were swept by the Spurs on 2007. That helped send James on his way to South Florida, realizing it would take more help to win titles that could never come alone.

He said he would appreciate this one more because of how tough it was. The Heat overpowered Oklahoma City in five games last year, a team of 20-something kids who weren't ready to be champions yet.

This came against a respected group of Spurs whose trio has combined for more than 100 playoff victories together.

Duncan is 37 and Ginobili will be a 36-year-old free agent next month, the core of a franchise whose best days may be behind them.

Meanwhile, it's a potential dynasty along Biscayne Bay, but also one with a potentially small window. Wade's latest knee problems are a reminder that though he came into the NBA at the same time as James and Bosh, he's a couple of years older at 31 with wheels that sometimes seem older.

James can become a free agent again next summer with another decision - though hopefully not another Decision - to make. He's comfortable in Miami and close with Wade, and the Heat have the leadership and commitment from owner Micky Arison and president Pat Riley to continue constructing a championship core around him.

Why would he want to leave here?

San Antonio's most recent title came at James' expense, a sweep of the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2007. The Spurs' exploited the weaknesses in James' game though knew someday they would be gone, Duncan telling him afterward that the league would someday belong to James.

And James simply isn't giving it back.

He came in averaging 33.8 points in Game 7s, already the best in NBA history, and was even better in this one.

Thursday, 20 June 2013 23:09
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ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Lance Lynn earned his 10th victory to tie for the NL lead, Matt Holliday homered and drove in two runs, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Chicago Cubs 6-1 on Thursday night.

Yadier Molina batted cleanup for the first time this season and walked twice with a double, raising his NL-leading average to .366. Allen Craig, the regular cleanup man, made his first pinch-hit appearance of the season and had a two-run double off Hector Rondon during a four-run sixth.

The Cardinals took three of four from the Cubs and lead the majors with a 47-26 record heading into a weekend interleague series against the Texas Rangers, the team they beat in the 2011 World Series.

Welington Castillo homered leading off the third for the Cubs, who left the bases loaded in the fifth when slumping Starlin Castro fouled out. They're 20-18 against NL teams outside their division, but just 9-24 against the Central.

Lynn (10-1) allowed a run on three hits in six innings with six strikeouts and has reached double digits in wins before the All-Star break both of his years in the rotation, going 11-4 last year and making the All-Star team. He joined teammate Adam Wainwright and Washington's Jordan Zimmermann for the league lead.

Lynn retired the side in order four times and is 5-1 against the Cubs, the lone loss coming last month at Wrigley Field. He's won nine in a row at Busch Stadium.

Molina was 8 for 13 in the series with a homer and is 11 for 21 overall this season against Chicago with a homer and five RBIs.

Castro was 0 for 4 with two strikeouts and is in an 11-for-85 slump that has dropped his average to .232.

Castillo's second homer of the season and first since April 8 briefly tied it at 1 after David Freese's run-scoring groundout off Scott Feldman (6-6) had given the Cardinals the lead. Matt Carpenter scored from second on Holliday's infield hit, a bouncer between third and short that Castro got his glove on but could not contain.

Feldman retired one of the four hitters he faced in the sixth, the lone out coming on center fielder Ryan Sweeney's leaping catch at the wall to rob Matt Adams of a homer two at-bats after Holliday hit his 11th also to straightaway center.

The Cardinals won consecutive games for the first time since June 6-7 after alternating wins and losses for nine games.

Notes: Rookie Tyler Lyons (2-3, 4.65) opposes the Rangers' Derek Holland (5-4, 3.30) Friday night. ... The Cubs' three-game series against the Astros is their lone home action in a stretch of 19 games with Matt Garza (1-1, 4.98) opposing Dallas Keuchel (4-3, 4.23). ... Cardinals starters lead the majors with 41 victories.

Thursday, 20 June 2013 23:06
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LOS ANGELES (AP) - Authorities say a Canadian woman whose body was discovered in a downtown Los Angeles hotel's rooftop water tank accidentally drowned.

 

   Coroner's Lt. Fred Corral says 21-year-old Elisa Lam's cause of death was ruled an accident on Thursday. Corral says the body had no sign of trauma indicating foul play. Lam also had bipolar disorder.

 

   Lam traveled alone to Los Angeles from Vancouver, British Columbia, on Jan. 26 and was last seen five days later by workers at the historic Cecil Hotel near Skid Row.

 

   Before she died, hotel surveillance footage showed Lam inside an elevator pushing buttons and sticking her head out the doors, looking in both directions.

   Lam's body was found on Feb. 19 in the water tank after hotel guests complained of low water pressure.

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