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Writing and Reporting by Jenna Duncan

Posts Tagged ‘weird news

Attleboro neighbors agog as bear hangs out in backyard tree

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Published June 21, 2011 in The Boston Globe, page B2

A young black bear was spotted several times in Attleboro last weekend, causing a scene when it clung to a tree in a residential area Sunday evening for about two hours.

The bear was in a tree behind a home on Lamb Street, onlookers said, where several police officers and a Capron Park Zoo official tried to control the animal as neighbors gathered to watch.

“There were easily over 100 people on the street, maybe 50 to 75 feet away from the bear,” said Bill Jones, who owns the house next door. “That in itself was very scary to me and my wife because” there were very young children in the crowd.

Around 9:30 p.m., Massachusetts Environmental Police were called to the area, spokesman Reginald Zimmerman said yesterday. The environmental police officers ordered the crowd to back away and had local police turn off their lights – and the bear left soon after through Jones’s yard.

“No more than five minutes after that happened, we could hear branches cracking and we could see the shadow of the bear coming down the tree,” Jones said. The bear then climbed over Jones’s fence and ran across the street into a wooded area.

The bear had been spotted several times over the weekend, Zimmerman said, but did not cause any problems. The appearance follows a string of black bear sightings over the past month in areas including Wayland, Framingham, and Weston, but this is not unusual, he said.

“Basically, what happens is around this time [of year] moms kick [the cubs] out of the dens, and they go out in search for food and wander until they can find their own territory,” Zimmerman said.


Written by jdunccc

June 21, 2011 at 10:17 am

Posted in The Boston Globe

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Mass. 7th-grader competes in National Geographic Bee

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Published May 25, 2011 in The Boston Globe MetroDesk Blog

Plainville seventh-grader Karthik Karnik competed in the final round of the National Geographic Bee today against nine other geography whizzes from across the country.

While he didn’t finish in the top three, Karnik, 13, was among the seven other finalists who won $500 in the contest, which was held in Washington, D.C., and moderated by “Jeopardy” host Alex Trebek.

The top three won college scholarships of $25,000, $15,000, and $10,000. The top finisher was Tine Valencic, 13, of Texas, who will also get a lifetime subscription to National Geographic magazine and a trip to the Galapagos Islands.

Karnik had won the title of 2011 Massachusetts National Geographic Bee Champion earlier this year.

The contest is scheduled to air over four nights beginning June 13 at 6:30 p.m. on the National Geographic Channel, the company said in a statement.

Written by jdunccc

May 25, 2011 at 11:05 am

Haverhill candlepin bowler ties world record

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Published on May 19, 2011 in The Boston Globe, page B3

Chris Sargent has been a professional candlepin bowler for 20 years, and his average score hovers around 125 points.

But on one string Friday night, the Haverhill resident nearly doubled his average score, and his 245 tied the world record for a single-string score.

“If you hit over 200 in candlepin, that’s really big,” said Sargent, a Groveland police officer,who was playing at Metro Bowl in Peabody.

Said teammate Joe Tavernese: “That string Friday night was unbelievable. I was just in awe. To watch something like that was unbelievable.”

Candlepin, a New England tradition, uses smaller pins and smaller balls than traditional bowling, making the game lower-scoring and more difficult. Further complicating the game, once pins are knocked down they are not cleared away.

Sargent is part of the Friday Night Pro League. When he tied the record, it was the second-to-last week of the season. His team is in first place, but the second-place team was only a few points behind for the entire season, so it was a big night.

His high-scoring string came when his team was down 52 points after two games, said Tavernese. Sargent started the round with a spare and went on to throw six consecutive strikes.

“He throws strikes together like no one I’ve never known,” said Tavernese, who has been the manager of Metro Bowl for 42 years.

People began to gather around the lane as his score kept growing, Tavernese said, and at the end of the game everyone was in awe.

His score ties that of Ralph Semb, president of the International Candlepin Bowling Association.

It is the second candlepin bowling world record set by Sargent, who holds the highest score for three strings in a five-game match, 530 points.

Written by jdunccc

May 19, 2011 at 9:53 am

5 students on whale watch boat hurt by wave

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Published on May 17, 2011 in The Boston Globe, page B2

Five Barnstable High students sustained minor injuries when a rogue wave struck their whale watch tour boat yesterday, officials said.

At 10:23 a.m., about an hour into the students’ tour, the Coast Guard received a notification from the Barnstable-based vessel Whale Watcher that a wave between 5 and 7 feet had hit the boat, according to Petty Officer Connie Terrell, a Coast Guard spokeswoman.

The injured students were taken to Cape Cod Hospital, Terrell said. Patrick Clark, the Barnstable High School principal, said two of the students were released from the hospital yesterday afternoon, and that the rest were expected to go home some time yesterday.

The episode began when the boat was about 5 miles away from Race Point in Provincetown, and the captain noticed a wave much larger than the rest heading toward the vessel, said Jack Hill, managing partner of Hyannis Whale Watcher Cruises.

The captain told the 47 students on board to hang on or go inside, but 15 to 20 were still on the bow when the wave hit, Hill said.

“This wave was a surprise, and caught everybody by surprise, but those hanging on were fine,” he said.

The five injured students sustained minor injuries, with one student injuring her knee and another requiring stitches on her chin or lip, Clark said.

“All things being equal, I think we’re kind of counting our blessings that these injuries, while difficult for the kids and their families, aren’t anything life threatening,” he said.

The tour was part of the students’ marine biology and ecology class.

Provincetown authorities were alerted at 10:36 a.m. and met the 106-foot boat when it arrived at MacMillan Pier, taking the injured students to the hospital. Coast Guard officials boarded the boat, where they interviewed the captain and crew, and traveled back with the remaining students to Barnstable.

Since Whale Watcher began about 30 years ago, Hill said this was the most severe accident that has occurred on a boat.

“I knock on wood when I say this, but this is the first time we’ve had more than one person hurt at one particular time,” he said. “In the past, there has been an elderly person that might fall or something like that, but the incidents are isolated, and there haven’t been that many either. We try to be vigilant and keep our passengers safe.”

The Coast Guard reported the seas at about 6 feet, and winds ranged from 31 to 35 miles per hour. Several other whale watch companies canceled some or all of their tours yesterday.

Written by jdunccc

May 17, 2011 at 9:48 am

Posted in The Boston Globe

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911 call from an unoccupied Marblehead home leads police to pipe leak, flooding

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Published on April 30, 2011 in The Boston Globe, Page B2

The Brave Little Toaster. The Little Engine That Could. Now you may be able to add to that list The House That Called Police.

Emergency officials in Marblehead say they received a call from an empty house and responded to find that a pipe had flooded the cellar.

Police Chief Robert Picariello said department officials are unsure how the call from 31 Rockaway Ave. was placed at 7:58 a.m. Wednesday. The house appeared to have been empty since the leak began.

The call lasted about two seconds, he estimated, enough to obtain the address. When the department called back, there was only static.

The Salem News reported the 911 call went to police from the house after water short-circuited the phone system and apparently sparked the emergency call.

Officers who arrived on the scene saw water in the home and summoned the fire department.

Firefighters gained entry and found a pipe leaking on the second floor and the cellar flooded.

“It was pretty bad; black mold was everywhere,” said Fire Captain Mike Porter.

Firefighters called a company to pump out the water, and all utilities were shut down, he said.

The town health director and building commissioner will continue looking into the home’s safety, but Porter said he did not think it was safe for people to enter because of the extensive mold growth.

Records show the homeowner is James Cowin, but his listed number for the address is no longer in service.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Written by jdunccc

April 30, 2011 at 9:36 am

Posted in The Boston Globe

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Hingham police searching for robber who brandished syringe

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Published April 25, 2011 in The Boston Globe MetroDesk Blog

Hingham police are still searching today for a man who robbed a Dunkin Donuts on Sunday, while brandishing a syringe, officials said.

A white male in his 20s entered the store at 187 Whiting St., showed a syringe, and demanded money from the cash register, police said in a statement.

He obtained an undetermined amount of cash and fled on foot to an older, “beat up” white sedan and drove away on Gardner Street, police said.

At the time of the incident, the 5-foot-5 suspect was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, white T-shirt, and white sneakers.

Written by jdunccc

April 25, 2011 at 10:47 am

Examination determines that bones found on riverbank were human

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Published on April 13, 2011 in The Boston Globe MetroDesk Blog

The state medical examiner has determined that bones found in a shoe on the bank of the Merrimack River on Tuesday were human, Essex County prosecutors said today.

Authorities are continuing to investigate the find, Essex district attorney’s spokesman Steve O’Connell said.

The remains were found in a woman’s brown shoe on the riverbanks off of River Road in West Newbury, where workers were removing sewage treatment disks that had floated into the area from a New Hampshire treatment plant.

Written by jdunccc

April 13, 2011 at 9:52 am

Posted in MetroDesk Blog, The Boston Globe

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