Friday, August 3, 2012

Drowning bear rescue caught on iPhone

KENAI, Alaska (AP) — Three Alaska men are being credited with saving a brown bear from drowning.

The Peninsula Clarion reports that Dustin Klepacki was floating the Kenai River with his father and their friend last weekend when they came upon the bear cub drowning in a whirlpool.

They tried to bump the bear out of the whirlpool, but the water caught their boat and they turned in circles as the bear became more frantic.

Finally, the current brought the boat up against the bear, and Dustin's father, Mike Polocz, was able to nudge the bear to slower-moving water. The bear swam to shore.

Another friend, Charlie Mettille, filmed the rescue on his iPhone which has been posted to YouTube, complete with the bear's cries. I have put it down below so you don't have to go searching for it.

AG issues comsumer alert for New Hampshire property owners

Press release

Attorney General Michael A. Delaney issued the following consumer alert to all New Hampshire property owners:

Consumers should be aware of mailings being sent to property owners throughout the state from companies using the names:


The mailings appear to be official government notices recommending, "that all United States [or New Hampshire] homeowners obtain a copy of their current grant deed" and further indicate that, for a fee of $86.00 or $87.00, these companies will provide the property owner with a copy of their Grant Deed and a Property Profile.

The Attorney General advises that these companies are providing a service of questionable value and the information advertised in these solicitations can be obtained from any of the State's Registers of Deeds for significantly less money. With deeds so easily and inexpensively attainable, the existence of these companies depends greatly on the public's unfamiliarity with the county registers of deeds offices.

Attorney General Delaney stated, “The real lesson for an educated consumer is to know what you are paying for, which in the case of these deed retrieval companies is virtually nothing more than a homeowner can acquire for far less cost. Don't be fooled by a company whose name sounds 'official' or by an 'official' looking notice designed to confuse and mislead you. If you would like a copy of your deed, you can obtain it yourself for nominal cost and time, or contact your county's Register of Deeds, who would be glad to assist you.”

Under New Hampshire's Consumer Protection Act, N.H. RSA 358-A, it is unlawful for any person to use any unfair or deceptive act or practice in the conduct of any trade or commerce within this state. Anyone who feels they have been the victim of any unfair or deceptive act should call the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Bureau hotline at (603) 271-3641 or 1-888-468-4454. For more information on consumer fraud you can also visit the Bureau's website at

Make a Wish Rafters Forced to Abandon Ship

Jason Perry and Jason Tremblay were determined to stay in their raft to help the NH Make-A-Wish-Foundation raise $36,000, but they had to abandon ship on Wednesday night after their raft sprung a leak.

Donna Parker, the Make-A-Wish-Foundation's director of development, said the campaign that began on Tuesday morning raised $28,000 before Perry and Tremblay were forced to come ashore at 8 p.m. for their safety.

She said the threat of thunderstorms and torrential downpours may have also kept some people from coming down to Chandler's Loft where the campaign was waiting to accept their donations. But Parker said the non-profit group is still optimistic that some pledges will turn into more donations and they will reach their goal.

"We're hopeful," she said Thursday afternoon. "We'd love to see that $36,000 so we have not closed the event."

She said people can still make donations via the Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Hampshire's web site.

Parker said Tuesday the group hopes to grant five wishes with the money raised for children who are suffering from life threatening illnesses. She said wishes range from going to Walt Disney World to digging for dinosaur fossils in their backyards to even building a castle in one child's backyard, which Parker said said the 1,000 wish granted.

Parker said their goal for 2012 is to grant 100 wishes and there are 60 children who have applied for the program and are on a waiting list.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Hampshire is celebrating its 25th anniversary and the foundation, to mark the major milestone, surpassed its 1,000th wish in January.

Pats Peak to Celebrate 50 Years with New Ski Trail and More Upgrades

The new arrival area at Pats Peak nears completion (photo: Pats Peak) 
Henniker, NH - New Hampshire’s Pats Peak ski area in Henniker will commemorate its 50th consecutive ski and snowboard season under the same local family ownership this winter with a new ski trail, a new arrival area, expanded snowmaking, a bag jump and more.

“We are excited to enter into our 50th consecutive ski and snowboard season. We are fortunate that ownership is committed to improving the operation on a yearly basis, even after a less than stellar season, due to lack of natural snowfall,” says Kris Blomback, General Manager of Pats Peak. “We pride ourselves on providing excellent snow conditions. This season we will continue to fine tune one of the most powerful snowmaking systems in New England by adding additional snow guns to our already impressive arsenal. For the past few plus seasons we have been the first to open 100 percent of our trails and slopes. This investment will help us to honor that commitment to bring our skiers and riders the best conditions.”

The arrival area at Pats Peak has received a major makeover this summer. The new post and beam pavilion is compliments of the craftsmanship by Bensonwood Timber Frames of Walpole, N.H. This new entryway between the lodges is complete with a warming area, brick walkway, stone walls and granite steps. It is finished off with a copper roof and a clock tower.

“We are obsessed with offering the best guest experience,” asserts Blomback. “One of our major improvements this season is for both the winter and summer banquet season. Our arrival area has been re-designed to include a beautiful timber structure, warming area and clock tower. We feel that this will ‘set the stage’ for a welcoming entrance.”

For freeriders, Pats Peak will add a new Air Bag to its F5 terrain park. The Air Bag is an inflatable cushion similar to those used in the world of professional stunts. By placing the Air Bag behind a jump it is designed to offer a safe opportunity to practice all kind of freestyle jumps providing a soft, cushy landing. It is used for training and entertainment for both professional and amateur skiers and riders. Electrical blowers are placed in the sides of the bag to keep it afloat while it is being used.

A new ski run off the summit was added on the “backside” of the mountain this summer. This trail will feed into the middle part of the Breeze trail for a second novice run off the top of the mountain. The new trail, the name of which will be determined via a Facebook contest, is the first step in a long term expansion project that includes several trails and a lift off the mountain’s backside, pending environmental permit approval.

Snowmaking efforts at Pats Peak get another boost this year with the addition of six new fan guns from Snow Machines Inc and HKD Turbo that require 20 to 25 percent less compressed air than other technologies, while putting out more snow in marginal temperature conditions.

“We will be able to open more terrain faster and sustain it longer through stretches with marginal temperatures,” says Blomback. “Also, using this type of snowmaking technology provides us with substantial savings in energy costs,” who adds that some of the ski area’s snowmaking pipe has been upgraded as well.

New this year, Pats Peak has earned the distinction of becoming the first Burton Women’s Learn to Ride Center in New Hampshire. Burton’s specialized women’s rental equipment and snowboard lessons will be offered for women every day, but female snowboarders are guaranteed a 100% Women’s Only lesson, at 11:30 a.m. every Saturday. Pats Peak is already a Burton Learn To Ride Center (LTR) for Adults and Kids with LTR Boards designed to accelerate learning by utilizing beginner-specific equipment.

This season 100 pairs of Dalbello adult ski boots, 100 Elan 140cm skis, 200 Elan junior skis and 125 Burton snowboards, bindings and snowboard boots have been added to the Pats Peak rental fleet, and the ski area’s mountain operations team has slapped a new coat of paint on the exterior of the resort’s base lodges. New carpet has been laid in the Valley Lodge and main entrance area, and a new backup generator has been installed to service the base area.

Seal deaths along New England coast linked to new bird flu strain

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. & WASHINGTON — A new kind of bird flu has been causing deadly pneumonia in baby seals off the northeastern US coast and could pose a risk to humans, according to US research released Tuesday.

The new strain has been named avian H3N8, and is blamed for the deaths of 162 seals along the US coastlines last year, said the study in mBio, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Most of the dead seals were younger than six months of age.

While there have been no known human cases to date, scientists at Columbia University in New York urged caution, given the history of bird flu and its ability to evolve into forms that can infect people, like H5N1.

"Our findings reinforce the importance of wildlife surveillance in predicting and preventing pandemics," said W. Ian Lipkin, professor of epidemiology at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

"HIV/AIDS, SARS, West Nile, Nipah and influenza are all examples of emerging infectious diseases that originated in animals," Lipkin added.

"Any outbreak of disease in domestic animals or wildlife, while an immediate threat to wildlife conservation, must also be considered potentially hazardous to humans."
Scientists sequenced the full genome of the new strain and found it originated from a bird flu virus that had been circulating in North American waterfowl since 2002.

Over time, the virus gained the ability to infect mammals by latching on to receptors in their respiratory tracts.

Wildlife experts first grew alarmed in September 2011 when an increasing number of seals from the coasts of Maine to Massachusetts began developing pneumonia and skin lesions.

A total of 162 dead or dying seals were recovered over the next three months, the researchers said.

Early research on the mutations in the strain "suggest enhanced virulence and transmission in mammals," though further study is needed, the authors said.

The bird flu that most people know about, H5N1, remains relatively rare but has killed about half of the people it has infected since the first outbreak in Hong Kong in 1997.

The World Health Organization has tallied 606 human cases of bird flu since 2003 and 357 deaths, according to a June report.

The so-called swine flu, or H1N1, broke out in Mexico in 2009. The H1N1 virus spread into a global pandemic that claimed the lives of 17,000 people.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Sights: Love Joy Covered Bridge in Andover ME

"Love Joy"
Covered Bridge
Covered Bridge Rd, Andover ME
Erected in 1867

©Dave Peatfield 2012

Sights: Babbs Covered Bridge, Gorham, ME


Just a few shots of  "Babb's" covered bridge in Gorham Maine on Hurricane Road.  These shots were taken while on one of our many road trips in Maine.  These were shots were taken on July 26th at 2pm.

©Dave Peatfield 2012

Olympics Spoiler Alert: Phelps VS Lochte USA final of 200 IM

Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte compete in final of 200 IM

Phelps (GOLD) VS Lochte (SILVER)

Flume Gorge closed because of a power outage (UPDATE)

Power restored at NH's Flume Gorge

FRANCONIA, N.H.—The New Hampshire State Parks agency says the Flume Gorge and Visitor Center are back in business following a power outage.

The attraction at Franconia Notch State Park is a natural granite gorge extending 800 feet at the base of Mount Liberty.

The visitor center explains the history of the park.

The attraction was without power early Thursday, but was restored later in the day.

FRANCONIA, N.H. - The New Hampshire State Parks agency said the Flume Gorge and Visitor Center was closed for the day Thursday because of a power outage.

The attraction at Franconia Notch State Park is a natural granite gorge extending 800 feet at the base of Mount Liberty.

The visitor center explains the history of the park.

The attraction is expected to reopen Friday.

Read more:

Pittsfield Mass. Woman finds rattlesnake on porch

A Berkshire County woman got quite a surprise when she went out to enjoy her porch one day last week.

Elizabeth Hayes McGraw says as she was greeted by the family dog out of the corner of her eye she saw a 4-foot long timber rattlesnake.

McGraw tells The Berkshire Eagle she screamed, grabbed the dog, jumped inside and called police.

She sent a picture to the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife district office in Dalton, which confirmed it was a poisonous rattlesnake.

The snakes are classified as endangered in Massachusetts and sightings are extremely rare.

Tom Tyning, a professor at Berkshire Community College, who's been studying rattlesnakes in the Berkshires for more than 20 years, returned the snake the wild.


Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

Woman lifts car off her father and saves his life

Lauren Kornacki learned CPR several times. For years she's worked as a lifeguard.

The 22-year-old just graduated from Mary Washington with a physics degree, but while looking for work, she decided to return to something familiar to earn a little money.

Two days ago, her supervisor held a review session on CPR skills. On Saturday Lauren used what she learned to save her father's life.

"I opened up his airway to make sure he could breathe and everything and at that point I'm just telling him, talking to him," said Lauren.

"You can't leave me. Just stay with me. Keep breathing." Lauren's father, Alec, was working on his car, a BMW 525i. The jack slipped and the car fell on top of him.

Lauren was on her way out the door when she came upon him, unconscious and crushed. "As I go to open the garage door I hear a primal scream, like...dial 911!" said Lauren's mother, Liz.

That scream was Lauren discovering her father. "There was no tire," said Lauren. Seconds later, she did what most would consider unthinkable, she moved a car weighing a ton and a half off her father's body.

 "I just lifted up kind of right here and just kind of threw it, shoved my body as hard as I could then I came back and dragged him out and started CPR," Lauren said.

"It flashed like, I'm going to lose my dad. His eyes were open, he wasn't responding to me. I knew I had to get his heart beating again and I had to get him breathing."

And in that moment, with those skills and strength, she was the only person keeping her Daddy alive. "I'm just telling him, talking to him. You can't leave me," said Lauren. "Just stay with me. Keep breathing."

 Her father is still in the ICU, but walking and finally getting the chance to thank Lauren. "I told him what happened," said Liz. "He just, the tears just come to his eyes. He said thank you for saving my life and she just smiled her blue eyed smile and that was it."

 "Just seeing him move and breathing I literally just sat there and was watching his chest rise and that's when I lost it," said Lauren. "I just couldn't handle it." Liz says Lauren is the reason Alec is alive.

She says he was without oxygen and a heart beat for less than five minutes. "She got his heart beating again and got him breathing again," said Liz. "So, she's it. He gave her life and then he gave her life. I am in awe of her.

She is the day. She saved the day. I can't even tell you how proud I am of her."

Alec's doctors didn't want him to speak to the press just yet, because he's still in the ICU.

 He has several broken ribs, some numbness, and other fractures, but nothing that appears to be permanent damage.

 He also asked us to share this statement: "I'm just so lucky and proud that I have daughters that can perform CPR and have the knowledge to save lives. I think it's an important skill for everyone to know and if it weren't for Lauren I would not be alive today."

Alec has three daughters. All three know CPR.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

84-year-old Ohio Hiker rescued in NH mountains

CONCORD,N.H. (AP) - New Hampshire fish and game officials say they have safely rescued an 84-year-old man who became lost while hiking in the Ossipee Mountains.

State Conservation Officer Dale Gargac said New Hampshire Fish and Game authorities got a 911 call Wednesday afternoon from Victor Hobden of Bellbrook, Ohio, saying he had lost his way in the vicinity of Mt Shaw (2,989 ft).

Gargac said he was found about a mile from a logging road, and safely brought out on an all-terrain vehicle.

Gargac said the man wasn't familiar with the area and was hiking alone without a map, GPS or compass.

65th Annual lobster festival held in Rockland, Maine

Some 60000 people are expected to descend on Rockland Maine over the next five days for the 62 annual Maine lobster festival this year in particular lobster dinner hoping that love affair with lobster. Last long after the party is over there's anything insane racing Claire.

Individual home run a mile long high tonight.

Kenya tunes arrival in Rockland arbor signals the start of the -- but the real king of this festival of course is lobster. And -- wow. I thought that by the way is three lobsters with more -- then you should tell your doctor about. And that I said I'm not a big -- who had -- real big. It's not pretty but it is pretty good. Each comment. The festival will Shell out more than 20000 monsters between now and Sunday all prepared right in front of -- lobster and loving public.

We have the world's greatest lobster cut there which can cut. 16100 pounds of lobster every fifteen minutes so that is -- shown itself that it must say. Lucky season pretty industries so there are a lot of their retailing kind of -- dollars a pound in many places and -- of -- on the market. -- and say they'll take all the help they can dad. Most of men working with festivals say while they may not profit directly from the event. It's great promotion for an industry that employs some 6000 maniacs.

General Admission Wednesday, the first day of the Maine Lobster Festival opens at noon and closing at 10pm. Admission is reduced to $5/adults, $2/children (ages 6-12 yrs). This is new for the 2012 festival. Our free day has been moved to Sunday.

Thursday through Saturday admission is $8/adults, $2/children (ages 6 to 12 yrs). Children age 5 and under are free. Sunday, our Hometown Day is our NEW "Family Fun Day" and admission is free for all ages.Discounted 4-pack of 1-day tickets are now available for this year.

The price for the 4-pack of tickets is $25 for adults (a $29 value) and $8 for children 6 to 12 yrs old. These passes will be available for sale at the Main Gate on Wednesday and Thursday of the Festival and online.

The Festival site, at Rockland's Harbor Park, is easy to find. Rockland is four hours by car from Boston and less than two hours from Portland. You can also take the train from Brunswick to Rockland with Maine Eastern Railroad.

You can use our Map to find your way around town, and get specific directions from your location by visiting Google Maps or Travel and Directions from the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce.

The Crowded Mind - Store - Backpacker (1-year auto-renewal) $12

Product Details
Backpacker (1-year auto-renewal)

Backpacker (1-year auto-renewal)

List Price:$44.91
Price:$12.00 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25. Details
Issues:9 issues / 1202490 months

Availability: Your first issue should arrive in 6-10 weeks.
Average customer review: 
(95 customer reviews)

Product Description

Magazine of wilderness travel offering practical "you can do it--here's how" advice to enjoy every trip. Filled with the best places, gear and information for all kinds of hiking and camping trips with fold-out maps and stunning color photography.

Product Details

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #31 in Magazine Subscriptions
  • Formats: Magazine Subscription, Print

Editorial Reviews Review 

Who Reads Backpacker?
Backpacker is written for readers who love outdoor adventure. Backpackerreaders are serious about their passion for the outdoors, whether it be a simple day hike or an all out backpacking trek. Published 9 times a year,Backpacker provides expert information on the best trails in America, including GPS coordinates to get readers to the most remote and beautiful places nature has to offer.

In 2008, Backpacker teamed up with San Francisco based firm Cooler to calculate their carbon footprint. Realizing that they were putting 5 million pounds of CO2 into the air each year, Backpacker took measures to reduce their carbon footprint, and combined with investment in renewable energy, has efficiently become a carbon neutral publication. 

What You Can Expect in Each Issue:
Readers can look forward to reading Basecamp, which stuffs exactly what readers need without an extra ounce of verbiage. The Basecamp section includes:
  • Tripfinder: Match three different destinations with three different timeframes to determine your best adventure trip.
  • 5 Minute Meals: Taste-tested recipes to make backcountry cooking easier.
  • Life List: A concise, inspiring description of everything you need to pull off a once in a lifetime trip.
  • Start Smart: Where new hikers come to learn essential camping skills.
  • The Next Level: More experienced readers can learn advanced, multi-sport skills.
  • Features: Ranging from Backpacker's stories of adventures on America's trails to gear reviews. The annual Gear Guide with over 250 reviews is always popular with readers. Other recent features have been a Life List of 47 must-do trips and 15 amazing flora a fauna spectacles.
Past Issues:

Magazine Layout:
The editors strive to pack as much information as possible into each issue. The layout offers beautiful landscape photography related to articles. Readers will also find the illustrated diagrams helpful and intuitive to follow. 

Comparisons to Other Magazines:
Backpacker is for the ultimate adventurers. Other magazines in its class tend to focus more on camping and casual outdoor activity, while Backpackercovers everything from the simple day hike to the most extreme mountain treks. 

Readers can expect to find the advertising specific to the outdoor and recreation industry. Most ads relate to either backpacking gear or foods, with the occasional automobile or travel ad geared towards the adventurous consumer. 

In 2006, Backpacker won a prestigious National Magazine Award.Backpacker's Basecamp department was honored as the best magazine section within the industry. In 2007, Backpacker was named a National Magazine Award Finalist in the Single-Topic Issue category, which honored the ambition, comprehensiveness and imagination of the recent "Survival" issue.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
223 of 229 people found the following review helpful.
5Good For Hikers
By trailmaster2
I'm new to Backpacker [1-year], but so far find it to be a great magazine. Here's a little of what to expect:

-info about lots of places to go hiking around the world
-hiking and camping equipment reviews
-hiking skills and tips (i.e. recipes, survival skills...)

Some people may get irritated with the ads, but for me, they keep me on top of the latest useful hiking products.

With great pictures and human interest articles to boot, its one of the best hiking magazines I know of. Also recommend The 5-Minute Plantar Fasciitis Solution if this annoying foot condition interferes with your hiking. Happy trails!

83 of 86 people found the following review helpful.
3This magazine has lost a bit in the past couple years....
By secoulte
This magazine used to be a great resource for hard core bakcpackers with articles about transcendent survival stories and epic backpacking opportunities all over the world. In the past couple years they have changed their format drastically and have focused on "regional" editions and over the top gadget and gear coverage for total gear-wonks.

Don't get me started on the useless monthly section entitled "Social Climber" where people write into to ask what's socially acceptable on the trail with regard to fashion and things of that nature. You are backpacking for crying out loud...who cares?

It seems to have lost some of its humanity and original vision. I have subscribed to this mag for about 10 years and I used to be able to read it cover to cover, now I am lucky if there is one or article worth reading.

69 of 71 people found the following review helpful.
By van-cab
Like other reviewers have said, the content has gone downhill from informative articles on gear and places to go, to garbage that has nothing to do with backpacking. They sell out to gear companies, endorse shady gear companies ie: Big Sky, and the writing style almost requires you to have a.d.d. to read it ( tons of very short blurbs and "tips" thrown all over ).

To top it off, they have been sending me threatening letters to pay for issues they sent me after my subsription ended and I didn't renew it.

See all 95 customer reviews...

Salem NH victims names released

Salem victims names were released this afternoon.
Barbara Kaznecki, 51,
Shirley Leary, 85, fatally shot
by Jeff Kaznecki, 50, who committed suicide.

Hundreds Celebrate Rare White Bison At Conn. Farm

GOSHEN, Conn. — Dozens of Native Americans wore the traditional garb of their ancestors, sang songs and beat drums on a western Connecticut farm Saturday in celebration of the birth of one of the world's rarest animals — a white bison.

The miracle calf was officially named Yellow Medicine Dancing Boy at the elaborate ceremony at the Mohawk Bison farm in Goshen in the state's northwestern hills. It was born June 16 at the farm of fourth-generation farmer Peter Fay.

Many Native Americans consider white bison a symbol of hope and unity; some consider their births sacred events. Experts say white bison are as rare as one in 10 million.

Yellow Medicine Dancing Boy is not an albino, and Fay said DNA testing confirmed the animal's bloodlines are pure and there was no intermingling with cattle.

Lakota tribe members from South Dakota were among the hundreds of people who gathered at the celebration. Other tribal elders from the Mohawk, Seneca and Cayuga tribes participated.

Yellow Medicine Dancing Boy
Crowds patiently waited by the roadside before slowly marching into the pasture and lining up alongside a fence as the ceremony began. Children squeezed up against their parents and peered through the fence.

Some women were dressed in colorful tunics and other items indigenous to Native American culture, including bracelets, feathers and boots. Men also wore traditional costumes. Those leading the ceremony wore plain and small headdresses.

Fay, 53, runs the farm below Mohawk Mountain and invited Native Americans to the event, which also included a feast and talks by tribe elders.

"I'm almost like the calf to them because I'm the caregiver. They've been here almost every day, teaching me," said Fay, who has a herd of bison tattooed on his right shoulder.

Fay attended a sweat lodge ceremony with the elders on Friday night in Cornwall. The nearly two-hour ceremony was a way to repair damage done to their spirits, minds and bodies. It acted as a prayer for a name for the calf to come to them through the spirits.

Saturday's ceremony was held under an arbor next to a large fire, amid thunder and large dark rain clouds. Marian and Chubb White Mouse, members of the Oglala Lakota tribe in South Dakota, traveled to Goshen from Wanblee, S.D., to lead the ceremony.

Marian White Mouse told the crowd the birth of a white bison is a sign from a prophet, the White Buffalo Calf Woman, who helped them endure times of strife and famine.

"We come with one prayer, one heart and one mind," she said tearfully. "This is truly a miracle. I hope that this one prayer will keep my people together, keep all of us together."

Barbara Threecrow, an elder from the Naticoke tribe who lives in Hudson Valley, N.Y., sat holding a sacred Canupa of beaver skin containing a pipe.

"I believe this is an awakening," Threecrow said. "This is a way of telling people to remember the sacredness of all of life."

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


UPDATE: 8/02/2012 3:30PM EST
OLYMPICS SPOILER ALERT > GOLD: Michael Phelps, SILVER: Ryan Lochte final of 200 IM

LONDON - Michael Phelps added to his medal collection with his first individual gold of the London Games, and handed Ryan Lochte a double disappointment on his rival's final night in the pool.

Phelps set the tone right from the start Thursday to become the first male swimmer to win the same individual event at three straight Olympics, capturing the 200-meter individual medley for his 20th career medal - and 16th gold. He touched in 1 minute, 54.27 seconds, just off his winning time in Beijing, but still good enough for gold.

Lochte settled for silver and Hungary's Laszlo Cseh took the bronze.

So a farewell games that started as a bit of a disappointment for Phelps is definitely looking up. He's now won two golds and two silvers in five races - not up to his standards when he went 8-for-8 in China four years ago, but a fitting capper to a brilliant career that still has two more events to go.

Olympics - Michael Phelps becomes 1st male swimmer to win same event (200m ind. medley) 3 successive Olympics

Michael Phelps earns his 20th (16 of those GOLD) Olympic medal this afternoon by winning the Gold Medal in the 200m Independent Medley!


Sports broadcast networks are lining up to sign on Phelps for future sports announcing and the next Olympics as he says this will be his last Olympic competing year.

Previous Article:

Michael Phelps has officially won more Olympic medals than ANY OLYMPIAN IN HISTORY -- winning his 19TH MEDAL moments ago during the 4x200m relay.

Phelps and his team -- Ryan Lochte, Ricky Berens, and Conor Dwyer -- picked up gold for the United States, with Phelps beating out France in the final stretch by almost a body length. China took bronze.

In addition to the all-time Olympic medal record, Phelps also holds the all-time record for most gold Olympic medals (15), and the record for most gold medals in individual events (9).

The previous all-time Olympic medal count was held by Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina, who won 18 total medals over 3 Olympics.

USA USA!   USA!   USA!   USA!   USA!  USA!

76 year old Texas hiker on Appalachian Trail in NH rescued

SHELBURNE, N.H. (AP) - A Texas man who became ill while hiking the Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire has been rescued by a Black Hawk helicopter crew sent by the National Guard.

New Hampshire wildlife officials said 76-year-old William Kimer of Livingston, Texas, began hiking on Saturday with two other people but began suffering from an undisclosed illness the next day. Officials said the three tried to hike out over the next couple of days to get medical treatment for Kimer but could not make it because his condition worsened.

They called for help Tuesday. Rescuers did not have enough people to carry Kimer the three miles remaining so the Guard sent the helicopter, and it hoisted him off the trail near Shelburne about 2:30 p.m.

Kimer was flown to a hospital in Berlin.

Information from: WMWV-FM,

Previous UPDATE:






Police are at the scene of a "death investigation" at 33 Wheeler Ave. Salem NH (UPDATE)

SALEM, N.H. — Police are at the scene of a "death investigation" at 33 Wheeler Ave.

Deputy police Chief Shawn Patten said there is no danger to the public.
New Hampshire State Police Major Crimes Unit and the Attorney General's Office are en route to the scene, he said, and any more information would have to come from them.
Wheeler Avenue has been closed for about an hour. There were reports of multiple shootings, but police are not releasing details at this time.

Updates can be found at:

Radio transmissions initially identified 3 people at the scene (details have not posted on this blog).


Salem Patch

Fc4433a5e1a86d3b912a475486c77edcThree Dead in Apparent Murder-Suicide
One man and two women were found dead of gunshot wounds....
By Marc Fortier
Article from the Salem Patch.
Visit for more local news, reviews, and info.
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Copyright © 2012 Patch. All Rights Reserved.

Man injured off Truro beach shore on Cape Cod; authorities suspect shark bite

A man who suffered lacerations to his legs while in the water at a Massachusetts beach Monday apparently was bitten by a shark, authorities said.

"It looked like a shark bite to me," Truro, Massachusetts, Fire Chief Brian Davis said of the incident at nearby Ballston Beach. "Witnesses said they saw (a) fin. They saw him go under water. He was hollering for help."

The man suffered non-life-threatening injuries on the lower part of both legs, Davis said. The man was conscious and able to speak to first-responders before being taken to a Cape Cod hospital.

Davis said the man was less than 25 yards from shore when he was injured.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

States receive grants to monitor bats

Little Brown Bat with White Nose Syndrome
Vermont has received a grant for $22,000 to monitor bat populations left nearly destroyed by White-Nose Syndrome.

Bat biologist Scott Darling, of the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife, said the state will use the money to continue monitoring known colonies of northern long eared bats and little brown bats in an effort to learn what led some bats to survive .

The grant is from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which awarded funds to 29 others states, which included many in New England, and places as far south as Alabama and as far west as Hawaii. Altogether the grants total $962,981.

White-Nose Syndrome is believed to be caused by a fungus, which appears as a white substance on the bats' noses. Scientists think it affects how well the animals hibernate, causing them to burn energy in a time when the should be conserving it. Bat populations have declined by 90 percent in some places, and Vermont has placed the most affected species on its endangered list.

In April, the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife launched its "Got Bats," campaign, which encouraged people to go to the department's Website,, and report the locations of bat colonies of all sorts, from ones that live in attics, to caves.

Northern Long Eared Bat
"Grants like these provide essential support to our state partners in responding to white-nose syndrome," said Dr. Jeremy Coleman, national WNS coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service . "Responding to the rapid spread and severity of this disease has been difficult for state agencies and other partners. Providing funds directly to states helps to improve capacity for response within those states, but also provides support for critical research projects and strengthens our national response effort overall."

According to the service, White-Nose Syndrome was first detected in New York in 2006 and has spread across North America killing upwards of 5.5 million bats. In Bennington, bat caves in Dorset and Pownal were noted to have suffered massive loss of bats that hibernated there.

The grant was funded through the Endangered Species Recovery fund. It total, states asked for $1,183,480. Requests ranged from $14,646 to $50,000.

Others states in the Northeast received the following:

* Maine, $24,099.

* New Hampshire, $14,646

* Rhode Island, $22,819

Maine blueberries producing biggest crop in a decade

Maine’s wild blueberry growers are expecting their biggest crop in more than a decade. 115,000 pounds more than the 2010 crop, which the USDA estimated at 95 million pounds.

This year’s crop is projected to come in between 90 million to 95 million pounds, with the monthlong harvest kicking into gear the first week of August. If the yield reaches 90 million pounds, it would be the largest harvest since 2000, when production reached a record 110 million pounds.

Maine’s blueberry crop has averaged from 80 million to 85 million pounds a year the past five years, said David Yarborough, blueberry specialist for the University of Maine Cooperative Extension.

“This year we’re maybe looking at another 10 million pounds, perhaps 90 to 95 million,” he said. “It’s contingent upon weather conditions between now and the end of August. If we have a drought it won’t hold true, but if we have a lot of rain it could exceed that.”

August typically marks the beginning of the blueberry harvest in Maine, which is the No. 1 wild blueberry state by far, with 60,000 acres of fields.

Wild blueberries grow naturally in Maine and eastern Canada and are different from cultivated berries, which are larger and grow on high bushes. Cultivated blueberries are commercially grown in about 10 states.

A small amount of Maine’s crop is sold fresh, but 99 percent is processed, making its way into blueberry muffins, cereal, yogurt and other food products.

Growers in 2011 averaged nearly 91 cents a pound for their harvest, up from 61 cents in 2010 and 36 cents in 2009, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Last year’s harvest was worth $75 million.

The price is holding up for wild blueberries because of what’s happening with cultivated berries.

The crop in Midwest has been hurt by hot, dry weather, said Ed Flanagan, president and CEO of Jasper Wyman & Son, a wild blueberry company based in Milbridge. There’s also been strong demand for fresh cultivated blueberries, meaning the supply going to the processed market isn’t as large as anticipated, thereby creating more demand among processors for wild blueberries.

Prices in Maine should remain strong, but probably won’t be as high as last year, Flanagan said.

“Depending on what side of the buyer-seller desk you’re on, it looks like it’ll probably be another pretty good year for blueberry sellers,” he said.

The higher prices for growers could result in higher prices for food manufacturers and consumers.

If prices go too high, food processing companies could turn to other ingredients for their end products, said Yarborough. It wouldn’t be unheard of for jam makers in Japan to stop making blueberry jam altogether if the price is too high, he said.

Food manufacturers might absorb the costs if the higher prices are short-term, but eventually they’ll have to pass them on to consumers, he said.

“If the berries are higher and that’s a significant part of the product, then consumers will pay more for it,” he said.

Growers don’t want the prices to go too high, Flanagan said.

“If the price of blueberries gets too high, then the product development departments, let’s say it’s a muffin baker, they’ll start putting more chocolate chip muffins on the shelf rather than blueberry muffins,” he said. “We really need to be mindful of that.”

Woman falls 60ft off Champlain Mountain in Maine (UPDATE)

ACADIA NATIONAL PARK, Maine --- Members of the University of Maine community were in mourning on Monday following a student's tragic death over the weekend.

Shirley Ladd of Barnstead, New Hampshire died from injures she received after falling at Acadia National Park. Ladd was hiking the Precipice trail on Champlain Mountain at the park with a friend. She was somewhere near the top of the trail when she fell about 60 feet.

Park rangers responded to the scene and called in about 30 people to help, including members of the Bar Harbor Fire Department as well as Mount Desert Island Search and Rescue. Ladd was taken by Life Flight to Eastern Maine Medical Center where she died Saturday evening.

She is remembered as a hard working senior at U. Maine. The 22-year-old worked for campus recreation for a number of years. Her directors say she always did her job with passion. "She had a wide effect on all of it {the tragedy} came as a real shock," said Jeff Hunt, who is the university's director of campus recreation, "and we're all very sad about his and trying to support each other and trying to work through it."

Park rangers at Acadia are still trying to figure out what caused Ladd to fall. Anybody who was on the Precipice Trail last Saturday and might have witnessed the fall is asked to contact park headquarters at (207)-288-8791.

Previous story:

Rangers say a New Hampshire woman fell 60 feet while hiking a difficult trail in Acadia National Park and later died of her injuries.

Ranger Ed Pontbriand tells WCSH-TV ( that the 22-year-old woman fell Saturday while climbing a precipice trail up Champlain Mountain. The ranger tells the station that the trail requires hikers to climb up ladder-like iron rungs.

After she fell, her fellow hikers called 911 and a nearby nurse began treating her. Emergency personnel lifted the woman up a 250-foot rock wall and carried her a mile across the top of the mountain. She was flown to a hospital, where she died of her injuries.

Pontbriand tells the station that the rescue took 5 ½ hours and included 31 people. Park officials haven’t released the woman’s name. –– Information from: WCSH-TV,