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Steve Daletas, center, of Pleasant Hill, Ore. poses for photos with his his pumpkin, which weighed in at 1969 pounds to win the Annual Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off Monday, Oct. 12, 2015, in Half Moon Bay, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Calif. contest taps plumpest pumpkin

Monday, October 12, 2015

HALF MOON BAY, Calif. (AP) — A rippled white whopper weighing in at 1,969 pounds took the title Monday for plumpest pumpkin at an annual San Francisco Bay Area contest. Growers gathered with their gargantuan offerings to try to break the world record of 2,323 pounds, which was set by a Swiss grower during a competition in Germany last year. …

National park proposal controversial in northern Maine woods

Monday, October 12, 2015

TOWNSHIP 3, RANGE 8, Maine — The rolling forests where Henry David Thoreau once paddled a river in the shadow of Mount Katahdin are at the center of a fight over a $100 million offer by the founder of Burt’s Bees to create the nation’s next national park. Roxanne Quimby wants to donate …

Zimbabwe not seeking US dentist’s extradition

Monday, October 12, 2015

HARARE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe is no longer pressing for the extradition of James Walter Palmer, an American dentist who killed a well-known lion called Cecil, a Cabinet minister said Monday. Palmer can now safely return to Zimbabwe as a “tourist” because he had not broken the southern African country’s hunting laws, Environment, Water …

El Nino signs promise drought relief for Calif.

Monday, October 12, 2015

LOS ANGELES — Evidence is mounting that the El Nino ocean-warming phenomenon in the Pacific will spawn a rainy winter in California, potentially easing the state’s punishing drought but also bringing the risk of chaotic storms like those …

More women finding appeal in lure of hunting

Sunday, October 11, 2015

MONTPELIER, Vt. — More women are taking up the largely male-dominated sport of hunting to stock their freezers with local foods and as cultural influences, including movie heroines and marketers, make it more socially acceptable. Many of the …

Earth Matters: Plant changes brought by climate changes will force us to change, too

Friday, October 9, 2015

From the Vatican to the White House we are hearing increased acceptance of and concern about climate change. Even the U. S. military has finally acknowledged that sea level rise is a threat to national security, such as …

Valley Views: Barred Owls

Friday, October 9, 2015

Barred Owls DAR State Forest, Goshen Andrew Brodeur, Southampton While on a family camping trip in July at the DAR state forest in Goshen, we had been hearing barred owls whooing all week. My 10- year-old son loves …

Bird sightings

Friday, October 9, 2015

The Audubon Society has reported a variety of recent bird sightings in western Massachusetts. Two red-headed woodpeckers continue to be seen on the West Road trail on the Longmeadow Flats. A blue grosbeak and two orange-crowned warblers were …

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission seeks additional details about Tennessee Gas Pipeline

Friday, October 9, 2015

Federal regulators have sent the proponents of a roughly 420-mile natural gas pipeline planned to cross western Massachusetts a 32-page list of issues they want addressed in the report filed with the formal application for the project later this month. The comments on draft resource reports for the …

Sleeping Idaho hunter wakes up to black bear biting his head

Thursday, October 8, 2015

BOISE, Idaho — A hunter asleep in the remote Idaho wilderness woke up when he felt something tugging on his hair. Then he heard the black bear breathing. Stephen Vouch, 29, reached behind his head and felt it …

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 …

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 …

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 …