Saturday November 24, 2012

Mass. AG backs shorter window
for nuke plant renewals

BOSTON (AP) -- Attorney General Martha Coakley is urging Congress to tighten the license renewal period for nuclear power plants.

Coakley is taking aim at current rules that allow the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to relicense a plant that has as many as 20 years left on its initial 40-year license.

In a letter sent this week to a House committee, Coakley called for passage of a bill that would prevent nuclear plants from seeking relicensing more than ten years before their current licenses expire.

She says the change would allow the NRC to better evaluate how a facility has been affected by age. Coakley points to Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant in New Hampshire, which applied for renewal in 2010 with 20 years left on its initial license. She says the application failed to address degradation in its concrete structure.

Mass. Christmas tree customers urged to buy local

MENDON, Mass. (AP) -- State officials are urging residents to keep it local when they buy their Christmas tree this season.

Agriculture commissioner Gregory Watson says buying a Massachusetts grown tree from a local farm is good for the local economy. Watson attended an annual Christmas Tree cutting ceremony on Friday at the Vandervalk Farm in Mendon.

Christmas trees are considered a crop and nearly 98 percent of all trees are grown on farms.

Recent figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show there are 284 farms in Massachusetts that produce Christmas trees.

N.H. man admits to throwing
spaghetti can at wife

LITTLETON, N.H. (AP) -- A New Hampshire man has pleaded guilty to throwing a can of spaghetti at his wife and hitting her in the face and arms. Michael Rothney of Littleton was arrested recently on a simple assault charge. He pleaded guilty Monday. He was given a $200 fine and a 30-day jail sentence, both of which were suspended on condition of one year of good behavior, participation in substance abuse counseling.

N.H. police help rescue
bald eagle from animal trap

SALEM, N.H. (AP) -- A bald eagle found in an animal trap on Thanksgiving Day was freed by police who watched it fly away apparently unharmed beyond a small cut on its leg, Salem police said Friday. On Thursday afternoon James Ransom of Metheun, Mass., who was scouting hunting locations, called police to report he’d found the eagle next to the recently skinned remains of a beaver. Police said it appeared the eagle was attempting to feed on the beaver and got caught in the trap.

Officer John O’Donnell covered the eagle with a blanket while Ransom worked to untangle the bird’s wing from around a small tree and to release the jaws of the trap. They determined there was just a minor cut on one of the eagle’s talons, where the trap had snapped shut.

Sgt. Mike Wagner attempted to pick him up with the blanket, but the eagle was fine and flew right out of his hands. The group watched as the eagle flew several hundred yards away and landed on top of a large pine tree.