BOSTON TUNNEL CLOSURE
Boston's Tip O'Neill Tunnel to close overnight
BOSTON (AP) - Massachusetts transportation officials are warning drivers that the Interstate 93 Tip O'Neill Tunnel will close in the southbound direction through Boston from late Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.
MassDOT is urging motorists to plan ahead for the closure by avoiding the area and seeking alternate routes. I-93 southbound traffic will be diverted to the Mystic Avenue offramp at Exit 28 for the detour route.
The closure will begin at 11 p.m. Tuesday and continue overnight into Wednesday. Motorists should expect delays and reduce speed along the detour routes.
Work to be performed includes power washing signs, ceilings and walls.
Low-level tornado comes down briefly in Worcester
WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) - The National Weather Service has confirmed a tornado touched down briefly in Worcester.
Forecasters said it was the lowest rating on the tornado scale, with winds at about 85 mph in a storm that swept through on Sunday night.
The tornado began at about 8:10 p.m. and ended four minutes later. It brought down trees and damaged cars, but no one was hurt.
The Telegram reports that the tornado downed 10 utility poles and left about 400 electric customers without power.
Most Massachusetts voters register as independent
BOSTON (AP) - The most recent party enrollment numbers show that despite Massachusetts' reputation as a Democratic state, the majority of voters have opted against either major party.
According to numbers released by the state secretary's office, more than 53 percent of voters in Massachusetts have registered as independent.
A little more than 35 percent of voters are registered as Democrats while fewer than 11 percent are registered Republicans.
There are more than 4.2 million registered voters in the state.
Suffolk County, which includes Boston, is one of the most heavily Democratic counties, with more than 53 percent of voters who are registered Democrats.
Barnstable County has the highest concentration of Republicans, who make up nearly 16 percent of registered voters.
The primary election is scheduled for Sept. 9. The general election is Nov. 4.
Duo behind fake golf cart ads fight harassment law
BOSTON (AP) - Massachusetts' highest court is set to hear arguments this week in an appeal filed by a couple convicted of harassing their Andover neighbors through fake Craigslist ads for free golf carts and a false report of child abuse.
William and Gail Johnson were convicted of criminal harassment for targeting their neighbors, Jim Lyons and his wife. The trouble began after the Lyonses objected to a proposal by William Johnson to develop land behind their house.
Prosecutors said William Johnson enlisted a friend to place an ad offering free golf carts with the Lyonses' address and phone number. The couple was also subjected to other hoaxes.
The Johnsons say Massachusetts' criminal harassment law violated their right to free speech.
The Supreme Judicial Court will hear arguments in the case Wednesday.
Springfield's new bishop ventures to Berkshires
(Information in the following story is from: The Berkshire (Mass.) Eagle, http://www.berkshireeagle.com )
PITTSFIELD, Mass. (AP) - The new bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield has made his first trip to the Berkshires and promises he'll return.
Ther Berkshire Eagle News reports that the Rev. Mitchell Rozanski said he had to browse maps on the Internet to become familiar with western Massachusetts.
The 55-year-old Rozanski was auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Baltimore when Pope Francis appointed him bishop in June to lead Catholics in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire counties.
After celebrating mass at St. Joseph's Church in Pittsfield o Sunday, Rozanski met with parishioners and members of other area Catholic churches at a reception.
He was installed as bishop Aug. 12, succeeding the Rev. Timothy McDonnell, who had been bishop since April 2004.
McDonnell announced his resignation as bishop on his 75th birthday in December 2012.
HUMOROUS SAFETY MESSAGES
Massachusetts tells drivers their LOLs can wait
BOSTON (AP) - State transportation officials first got the attention of drivers in June when they posted electronic highway signs that implored Bostonians to "use yah blinkah."
The latest effort to combine a serious safety message with a touch of humor is taking place over the Labor Day weekend.
This time the target is distracted drivers. It reads: "Put down the phone! Your LOLs and OMGs can wait."
The state received hundreds of entries in a social media contest that sought creative ways of encouraging safe driving on highways.
The winning entry in the distracted driving category was submitted by Justin Lovell of Whitman.
Seatbelt use will be the subject on the electronic signs over Columbus Day weekend. "Make yah Ma proud, wear yah seatbelt," was submitted by a parents group.
US eating habits improve a bit - except among poor
CHICAGO (AP) - A new study says Americans' eating habits have improved - except among the poor.
Those results show a widening wealth gap when it comes to diet. Yet even among wealthier adults, food choices remain far from ideal.
The 12-year study used an index of healthy eating where a perfect score is 110. U.S. adults averaged just 40 points in 1999, and that climbed to 47 points in 2010. Scores for low-income adults were lower than the average and barely budged during the years studied.
Higher scores mean greater intake of heart-healthy foods including vegetables, fruits, whole grains and healthy fats. Low scores mean less of those foods and a greater chance for diet-related illnesses including diabetes, heart problems and obesity.
The study was published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine.
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