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State DPU allows utilities to sign long-term contracts with gas pipeline companies

Monday, October 5, 2015

To help reduce winter electricity price increases, the state’s utility regulators will allow power generators to sign long-term contracts with gas pipeline companies. But what seems like good news for consumers is being criticized by some as a potential backdoor benefit for those arguing for construction of new pipelines such as the one proposed through western Massachusetts. Six months after being asked by the Baker administration to review whether electric …

Judge won’t stop planned Florida bear hunt

Friday, October 2, 2015

By Gray Rohrer Orlando Sentinel (TNS) TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Licensed Floridians will still be able to bag a bear in Florida later this month after a state judge Thursday refused to stop the planned hunt. “The methodology that (Florida Fish and Wildlife officials) used in coming up with a rule is rational. It bears a relationship to the constitutional mandate,” Leon Circuit Judge …

Joaquin batters Bahamas

Thursday, October 1, 2015

ELEUTHERA, Bahamas (AP) — Hurricane Joaquin unleased heavy flooding as it roared through sparsely populated islands in the eastern Bahamas on Thursday as a Category 4 storm, with forecasters warning it could grow even stronger before carving a path that would take it near the U.S. East Coast. The storm battered trees and …

Corals off South Florida hit with severe bleaching

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

By David Fleshler Sun Sentinel (TNS) FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Corals are turning chalk white and dying on reefs stretching from the Florida Keys to Palm Beach County, in what experts call one of the worst episodes in two decades of coral bleaching. Under stress from unusually warm …

Emu on loose for week in NH returns to Vt. in back of a Prius

Monday, September 28, 2015

BOW, N.H. — An emu famous for running wild through New Hampshire for more than a week has been reunited with its owner and returned home safely to Vermont in the back of a Toyota Prius. The Concord …

Fishermen worry as black sea bass move in

Monday, September 28, 2015

PORTLAND, Maine — As waters warm off the coast of New England, black sea bass are moving north and, fishermen say, threatening the region’s most valuable aquatic species: the lobster. The influx of sea bass — among a number of species that are appearing in greater numbers off …

Cider tasting room opens in Shelburne

Sunday, September 27, 2015

SHELBURNE CENTER — West County Cider is now offering weekend tastings and sales of its ciders, plus breads, cheeses and other fare at 106 Bardwells Ferry Road, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday through …

EPA: Clean water’s real cost coming due soon

Sunday, September 27, 2015

BOSTON — In Massachusetts, where some water and sewer systems in older cities date back to the 1800s, experts predict billions of dollars will be needed in the coming years to ensure that clean drinking water continues to …

Tires pulled from Deerfield River bank in annual cleanup

Sunday, September 27, 2015

GREENFIELD — Greenfield resident Allan Keyes stood on the rocky road above the site of the tire dump and shook his head as he watched volunteers load tires into an excavator. “It’s quite ridiculous,” he said. Two years …

Earth Matters: ‘The Outermost House: A Year on the Great Dune of Cape Cod,” is an eloquent account of life on the beach at Cape Cod

Friday, September 25, 2015

Once in a while a book speaks to me in a certain way, and I read it and reread it, gleaning something new each time. One of those is “The Outermost House: A Year on the Great Dune …

Valley Views: The Heifer and the Bull

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Heifer and the Bull Center Cemetery, College Highway/ Route 10, Southampton Photograph and text by Robert Floyd, Southampton My good friend knocked on my door Sept. 16 to alert me of cows in the cemetery…again! Last time …

Third annual Audrey’s Day Fundraiser in Amherst to raise money for research on disease affecting bats

Thursday, September 24, 2015

AMHERST — An 11-year-old Amherst girl will hold an event at a downtown barbershop Saturday to raise awareness about and money for research on an illness that has killed millions of bats in the past decade. Audrey Davis-Brand will be at Matt’s Barber Shop, Boltwood Walk, between 8 …

Feds say efforts to save sage grouse successful

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

BILLINGS, Mont. — A cooperative effort to save a ground-dwelling bird has diverted it from possible extinction, federal officials declared Tuesday, as they sought to safeguard the habitat of a declining species while maintaining key pieces of the …