HOUSTON (AP) _ It may be a cockroach, but is it art?

Linda Miller hopes so. Confronted with Houston's hot, humid climate - a perfect breeding ground for the household pests - she wants to elevate the critters to an art form.

Ms. Miller's crafts business, The Classic Cockroach, uses cockroaches as the theme for T-shirts, mugs, cards and even offers display boxes of real, preserved roaches in miniature scenes.

''I hated them so bad, but I figured they must be good for something,'' she says.

Her creations range from scenes in glass boxes to doll houses that sell for $175 to thousands of dollars.

She sometimes captures her own subjects, scouring vacant buildings for crawling candidates. She also has a deal with an exterminator, who supplies her with roaches at 10 cents a head.

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MILWAUKEE (AP) - The family dog is staying, but the insurance company is getting the boot at the Daggett residence.

''We're keeping her. There is no question about it,'' Sara Daggett said Monday. ''We are getting a new insurance company.''

The family's current insurance carrier, Badger Mutual Insurance Co., refused to renew their policy effective May 5 unless they got rid of the dog.

Without insurance, the Daggetts said, they would lose their mortgage.

Token, a black Labrador-setter who turns 9 in June, bit a mail carrier on Sept. 13, and the post office sent the insurance company a bill for $45, Mrs. Daggett said.

After Badger got the bill, they handed the Daggetts the ultimatim: get rid of Token or switch companies. The Daggetts decided they'd rather switch.

James Graeber, vice president of claims for Badger, said that if the dog bit someone a second time, the case would be subject to double damages.

The alternatives include insurance that covers the dog, excluding the dog from insurance coverage or fencing in the yard, which was planned for this year anyway, Mrs. Daggett said.

If the dog is not covered by the homeowner's insurance policy, the family would bear responsibility for the pet, she said.

The mail carrier was bitten while he was handing letters to Mrs. Daggett, who was holding their 1-month-old baby, and she said the dog might have been protecting them.

''We are not questioning his claim, just the insurance company's handling of it,'' she said.

It's not as if Token wasn't used to deliveries. Packages for the Daggetts' computer store are delivered to the home at least four times a week. When that happens, Token barks, but doesn't bite, Mrs. Daggett said.