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Michigan State's Connor Cook, left, and Stanford's Jarek Lancaster celebrate wins that send their teams to the Rose Bowl. / AP photos by AJ Mast, left, and Ross D. Franklin

Welcome to 2014! Here's some news to start your morning:

Bowl games galore

College football fans, today is your day. Six bowl games take place across the country, including the Heart of Dallas, Gator, Outback, Capital One, Rose and Fiesta bowls. Georgia and Nebraska meet at the Gator Bowl. Last year the two met at the Capital One Bowl where Georgia prevailed 45-31. But it may be Michigan State fans that are most excited about their bowl destination. The Spartans haven't played in the Rose Bowl in 26 years, and fans are going to great lengths to acquire tickets. Stanford fans will be seeing a lot of green.

Hello, mayor. Goodbye, horses

Bill de Blasio was sworn in as New York City's 109th mayor at 12:01 a.m. The private ceremony was live-streamed from his Brooklyn home. But don't worry if you missed it. De Blasio will be sworn in publicly at noon by former President Bill Clinton on the steps of City Hall. One of the new mayor's first tasks might alter the scenery in Central Park. "We are going to get rid of the horse carriages, period," he said in a news conference.

Healthcare.gov coverage is in effect

Coverage begins today for more than 2 million Americans who bought insurance through state and federal marketplaces created as part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act. The coverage, which is the major provision of President Obama's signature legislative accomplishment, is the latest part of the law to take effect. Though technical problems plagued the marketplaces and left enrollment numbers lowered than desired, today marks a major milestone for the president, who made the health care law a major pillar for his presidency.

Justice Sotomayor delays health law's birth control mandate

Just before leading the New Year's Eve countdown in New York City's Times Square, and only hours before the law was to take effect, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor blocked implementation of portions of President Obama's health care law that would have forced some religion-affiliated organizations to provide health insurance for employees that includes birth control. Sotomayor acted on a request from an order of Catholic nuns in Colorado, whose request for a stay had been denied by the lower courts.

Winter classic

With snow forecast and a high of 17 degrees projected, there will be plenty of "winter" in the NHL's Winter Classic. And with a game featuring longtime rivals Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings, fans and players expect a game to remember at Michigan Stadium with a projected crowd of 107,000. And just in case that's not enough hockey, the U.S. men's and women's Olympic hockey teams also will be announced.



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: 5 things to know Wednesday

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