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Wendy's ad spurs Violent dispute Fast food can be more than merely harmful to your health; it apparently poses risks to your reputation as well.

Fresh from a recent tour, 1980s band the Violent Femmes is in turmoil after the band's bassist, Brian Ritchie, filed a lawsuit last week in New York federal court against lead singer Gordon Gano.

One of Mr. Ritchie's chief grievances in the suit—which seeks past and present royalties as well as damages—is Mr. Gano's move to allow the band's hit song "Blister in the Sun" to be used by Wendy's International.

The song is featured in a television commercial for the fast-food chain, allegedly to the dismay of longtime fans and the humiliation of other band members, who thought the decision was a sellout.

Ontario snuffs tax to help smokers kick habit

Quitting just got a lot cheaper for smokers living in Ontario, Canada.

The provincial government recently introduced a retail sales tax exemption on smoking-cessation aids such as nicotine patches and gums.

The exemption, which took effect Aug. 13 and will last one year, is the Ontario government's way of encouraging residents to quit smoking while reducing its own health care expenditures.

Smoking kills an average of 16,000 people in Ontario each year, government officials say. Tobacco-related diseases cost the Ontario health care system about $1.6 billion Canadian ($1.52 billion) each year and result in more than $4.4 billion Canadian ($4.17 billion) in productivity losses.

The tax exemption is expected to save Ontario residents attempting to quit smoking about $5 million Canadian ($4.7 million) in the full year.

A spokesman for the Minister of Health Promotion said the government plans to make the tax exemption permanent once the Ontario legislature comes back into session.

These boots aren't made for driving, cop learns

A police officer in a small Florida town hit the gas and blamed the slick soles of his dress-style cowboy boots for crashing his patrol car into a convenience store.

Officer Michael Herko, 62, said his foot slipped off the brake onto the accelerator as he pulled into the Smokers Express convenience store in Trenton, Fla., on Aug. 5.

The 1997 Crown Victoria jumped the curb and smashed the glass and aluminum entrance, causing an estimated $3,500 in damage, Police Chief Billy Smith said.

The patrol car had nary a scratch, though.

Chief Smith wanted to set the record straight on reports that he had banned cowboy boots entirely for the two-man police force. "I never told him he couldn't wear cowboy boots," the chief said. But an officer's footwear must have some traction or grip on the soles.

Mr. Herko received a $115.50 fine for careless driving. He also will attend a driver improvement class to lower the fine by 17% and keep points off of his record, the police chief said.

Longtime cowboy boot maker Justin Boot Co., a Fort Worth, Texas, company owned by Berkshire Hathaway Inc., offered to send the Florida town's police complimentary boots with nonskid, nonslick soles, the police chief said.

Judge turns defendant in insurance fraud case

Pennsylvania Superior Court Judge Michael Thomas Joyce may face his own judgment if federal prosecutors prove that he fraudulently obtained $440,000 from insurers after being involved in a fender bender six years ago.

According to an indictment, the case began when the judge's car was rear-ended at a very low speed by another vehicle in 2001.

Judge Joyce claimed that the accident left him in constant pain and, ultimately, he received $390,000 from his own insurer—Erie Insurance Group—and $50,000 from the other driver's insurer, State Farm Insurance, according to court papers.

But federal prosecutors charge that even while the judge was claiming disabling pain, he was playing golf, going scuba diving and even obtained his pilot's license.

A federal grand jury in Erie, Pa., indicted Judge Joyce on mail fraud and money laundering charges last week.

He faces up to 120 years in prison and a fine of up to $2.25 million if convicted on all counts.

The judge, who maintains he's innocent, has no plans to drop his campaign for re-election to another 10-year term on the Superior Court.

Contributing: Gloria Gonzalez,Mark A. Hofmann, Beth Murtagh,Rupal Parekh