December 17, 2012

Local & State Dispatches

BIDDEFORD

UNE professor takes part in study of skates' mortality

Three researchers are taking part in a study looking at the mortality rates of skates that are caught in scallop dredges and then thrown overboard in waters off New England.

The University of New England in Biddeford says one of its professors, marine biologist James Sulikowski, is one of three co-investigators who have received a $1.1 million federal fishery grant to evaluate the mortality rates of skates inadvertently caught by scallop boats fishing on the Georges Bank fishing grounds east of Cape Cod.

Joining Sulikowski on the two-year project are David Rudders of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, and John Mandelman, from the New England Aquarium.

BOSTON

College teams win awards in sustainable design contest

Teams from three New England colleges have won about $15,000 each in a student competition to design sustainable technologies that help protect public health and the environment.

The technologies also aim to promote economic development.

Teams from Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., University of Massachusetts in Lowell and the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine, were among 45 teams nationwide to win awards in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's annual competition.

Dartmouth designed a hydropower generation and distribution system to bring electricity to rural areas of Rwanda.

College of the Atlantic students designed a process to pre-treat food waste to produce liquid fuel and biogas.

At UMass-Lowell, students are designing a new class of non-toxic wetting agents used in soap and other items.

Closure of scallop area supported by industry

The federal fisheries service has closed an important scallop area to fishing at the request of New England regulators and with the support of the scallop industry.

The closure of the so-called Elephant Trunk Area aims to protect growing scallops there.

The area off the coasts of Delaware and New Jersey is used by scallopers throughout the Northeast. It was closed for 180 days starting Dec. 12. The fisheries service says it's likely to be closed an additional two years after that.

Officials say a survey of the Elephant Trunk Area this year found the third-highest observed abundance of small scallops there since 1979.

Regulators say the scallops must be protected as part of a program that rotates fishing between different areas to give scallops time to rebound in places that aren't in use.

AUGUSTA

Five veterans of WWII honored with Eagle Canes

Hand-carved Eagle Canes were to be presented to five special World War II veterans from Maine.

The canes were to be presented Sunday by Maine first lady Ann LePage, retired Lt. Col. Peter Ogden and Andy Rice, a member of the Maine Wood Carvers Association. The presentation were scheduled at the home of Elmer and Alice Inman in Westbrook.

On June 30, 1943, 107 volunteer 17-year-olds from Maine were sworn into the U.S. Navy. The group became known as the Maine Victory Platoon.

Five members of the platoon were to receive Eagle Canes. They are Elmer "Tug" Inman, Daniel Deroch, Daniel Lorello, John "Jack" Coady and Clayton "Clayt" Manson.

Their company commander was a young man named John Reed, who later became the governor of Maine.

Sales of state park passes set record pace this year

Maine's state parks division says it sold more park passes in 2012 than any year in the history of the 77-year-old state park system.

For the year, the Division of Parks and Public Lands says it sold 10,763 vehicle passes and 1,354 individual passes good for day use at most of the state's parks and historical sites.

Officials say 2013 park passes are now available for purchase online.

They cost $35 for an individual pass, which allows access only to the pass holder, or $70 for a vehicle pass, which allows entry to the parks for all people in a vehicle.

-- From news service reports

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