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POSTED August 14, 2014 8:41 p.m.

• MASSACHUSETTS TO USE MORE HUMOR ON HIGHWAY SIGNS: BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts Department of Transportation on Thursday announced the winners of a contest to come up with humorous yet important driver safety messages for electronic highway message boards.

The contest was inspired by a message posted on highways in May that encouraged drivers to “Use Yah Blinkah” — or turn signal — when changing lanes.

The winners were “Make yah Ma proud, wear yah seatbelt,” to encourage belt use, submitted by The Parent’s Supervised Driving Program team of Safe Roads Alliance; “Keep Calm and Drive On,” to prevent road rage, submitted by Patrick Casey of Boston; and “Put down the phone! Your LOLs and OMGs can wait,” to fight distracted driving, submitted by Justin Lovell of Whitman.

The winners get gift cards from gas stations and restaurants.

More than 500 entries were received.

 

• Rooftop owner sue to block Wrigley Field changes: CHICAGO (AP) — The owners of eight rooftop clubs overlooking Wrigley Field have filed a lawsuit to overturn Chicago’s approval of the Cubs’ plan to revamp the century-old ballpark.

The lawsuit filed Thursday in Cook County Circuit Court asks a judge to reverse the city’s action, saying it broke its own rules and deprived them of their property rights without due process. The lawsuit names the Commission on Chicago Landmarks and its members, as well as the city.

The commission in July approved seven electronic signs, including a left field Jumbotron, expansion of the bleachers and relocation of the bullpens.

Rooftop owners maintain the plan violates a revenue-sharing agreement that prevents the team from taking actions that block their views.

 

• GRAND JURY INDICTS COUPLE IN STRIPPER’S DEATH: GRETNA, La. (AP) — A grand jury has indicted a couple in the killing and dismemberment of a stripper in New Orleans’ French Quarter.

Margaret Sanchez, 30, of Metairie, and 41-year-old Terry Speaks, who is in a federal prison in New York, each was charged Thursday with second-degree murder, obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

They’re accused of inviting Jaren Lockhart to a private party on June 6, 2012. Police say Lockhart told co-workers at Temptations Gentlemen’s Club that she was leaving to “make rent.”

She died from a single stab wound to the chest. Her heads, legs and arms below the elbows were cut off.

The body parts were discarded along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

 

• WISCONSIN POLICE ARREST INTOXICATED DRIVER, 13: MANITOWOC, Wis. (AP) — Police say an officer making a traffic stop in eastern Wisconsin found an intoxicated driver behind the wheel — and she was just 13 years old.

They say five other juveniles, 14 and under, were along for the ride.

Authorities say the officer stopped the vehicle in Manitowoc shortly before midnight Wednesday because its headlights were off. Police Capt. Larry Zimney tells WOMT radio that the girl was arrested and later released to her mother.

 

• SANTA CLAUS AND ROCKETTES STOP TRAFFIC IN NYC: NEW YORK (AP) — The calendar says August, but that didn’t stop Santa Claus from visiting midtown Manhattan and snarling a section of Sixth Avenue, much to the bafflement of tourists and the frustration of drivers forced to idle their vehicles.

Father Christmas, along with 15 Rockettes costumed as rag dolls, stood on a Radio City Music Hall porch on Thursday as 12 Rockettes dressed as toy soldiers marched on the street below to perform the “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers.”

It was a 6-minute promotional event — complete with a belching snow machine — for “The Radio City Christmas Spectacular,” which starts Nov. 7.

“Merry Christmas!” said Santa. “And I want to see you all at the show this year.”

For the record, there are 132 days until Christmas.

 

• WHITE MAN MUST VISIT BLACK MUSEUM FOR WAVING NOOSE: NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A white construction superintendent must visit the African-American Museum in Philadelphia as part of his sentence for waving a noose at a black man.

The Intelligencer of Doylestown reports 59-year-old James Staab will also spend the next four weekends behind bars.

Authorities say the victim was a subcontractor who transported appliances to the Fort Washington construction company where Staab worked.

Police say Staab held a noose over the victim’s head on May 9, 2013, while his truck was being loaded. The victim told police that Staab asked him, “Why don’t black people like the noose?”

Authorities say Staab also showed the noose to another black worker.

 

• TRUCK SPILLS CRANBERRY SLUDGE ON BOSTON-AREA ROAD: WOBURN, Mass. (AP) — A truck has spilled its load of what was described as “cranberry sludge” on a Boston-area highway, painting the roadway red and slowing traffic during the morning commute.

The state Transportation Department tweeted that the truck shed its load on Interstate 95 north in Woburn at about dawn on Thursday, forcing the closure of the one lane and an off-ramp.

According to broadcast traffic reports, cleanup crews used shovels and hoses to clean up the slippery mess, and then sanded the area, but the highway retained a distinct reddish hue.

 

• SAN DIEGO SEAL-PROTECTION PLAN APPROVED: SAN DIEGO (AP) — The California Coastal Commission has approved San Diego’s plan to close a children’s beach for five months each year to protect seals that come ashore to care for their pups.

The commission on Thursday unanimously approved closing Children’s Pool in La Jolla between Dec. 15 and May 15. Violators could face misdemeanor penalties of up to $1,000 in fines or six months in jail.

The Children’s Pool is an artificial cove that was used as a swimming hole for youngsters until seals began moving in during the 1990s — spurring a feud between supporters of the animals and those who want beach access.

The city put up a rope barrier and closed the beach at night but officials say some people still harass the seals.

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