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WELL, HUSH MY MOUTH

The men's basketball team at University of Massachusetts was a bit shorthanded when it took the floor last Thursday night against Boston University. It seems head coach Bruiser Flynt's rule against the use of profanity was violated in a radio interview after the Minutemen lost to Marshall, 65-55. As Flynt put it, "I always tell my players that when they do something wrong, there's a price to pay." So he decreed a one-game suspension for the offender: himself. An assistant led the team while Flynt carried out his own sentence.

IT'S TIME TO WRAP THINGS UP

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The US Postal Service doesn't want to rush you, but it expects the busiest day for the mailing of greeting cards for the coming holidays to be ... next Monday. Packages via regular parcel post, however, already should be on their way, a spokesman said. But priority mail remains a viable option until Dec. 20. After that - if it's important that a package arrive by Christmas - you're pretty much reduced to Express Mail.

Air-quality plans are found wanting in nine US cities

The Environmental Protection Agency said last week it had analyzed pollution-reduction blueprints for 10 US urban areas with severe or serious smog problems and found that only one of them - a plan for the western Massachusetts - met standards set by the 1990 Clean Air Act. The law singled out the 10 urban areas and requires them to meet US health standards for ozone, a precursor of smog. EPA officials said the proposals of some of the nine might be acceptable after they submit final pollution-control programs for transportation later this year. The urban areas whose plans were found wanting:

Atlanta

Baltimore

Chicago

Hartford, Conn.

Houston

Milwaukee

New York Cityand northern New Jersey

Philadelphia

Washington

- Associated Press

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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