Forest Service OKs wind farm construction in national forest

The U.S. Forest Service has approved the construction of 15 wind turbines in the Green Mountain National Forest in southern Vermont.

The project planned for Searsburg and Readsboro was placed on a list of 14 infrastructure projects around the country to be given what federal officials are calling expedited environmental reviews and permitting.

Deerfield Wind, LLC, which is owned by a company called Iberdrola Renewables, had proposed building 17 turbines. The Forest Service on Tuesday approved the construction of 15 turbines.

Central Vermont Public Service Corp. plans to take two-thirds of the power generated by it.

Officials say the project will produce enough electricity to power 13,000 homes a year.

The project is adjacent to another wind farm operated by Green Mountain Power Corp.


Rare case of human rabies blamed on brown bat bite

The state public health department has confirmed that a bat was responsible for the first case of human rabies in more than 75 years in Massachusetts.

The victim, a man in his 60s from Cape Cod, was likely bitten by the bat in his home.

Officials said last week that the man, whose name hasn’t been released, was in critical condition. Department of Public Health spokesman John Jacobs said Tuesday that agency didn’t expect to release further updates on the man’s condition.

Jacobs said that tests conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that the disease was transmitted by one of two species of brown bat.

The last recorded human case of rabies contracted in the state was in 1935.


Public transit riders could face fare hikes, service cuts

Public transit riders would face fare hikes up to 43 percent, along with service cuts, under proposals made Tuesday by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority as it tries to close a projected $161 million budget gap.

State transportation officials unveiled two possible scenarios at a finance committee meeting of the MBTA Board of Directors. The T has not had a fare hike in five years.

Under one scenario, a bus ride could jump from $1.25 to $1.75 while a subway ride could jump from $1.70 to $2.40 for passengers holding automated CharlieCards.

Under a second scenario, fare increases would rise by a more modest 35 percent — $1.50 for a bus ride and $2.25 for subway — but service cuts would be more extensive.


Young moose loses footing, rescued from frozen pond

An exhausted young moose had to be rescued after losing its footing on a frozen pond in New Hampshire.

Police say the moose had spent more than 24 hours on the ice on Butterfield Pond in Pillsbury State Park in Washington but could not stand up on the slippery surface because of a lack of snow.

Fish and Game Department officials placed a sling attached to a rope around the moose and pulled the animal to shore with help from firefighters Tuesday.

WMUR-TV reported that the animal was able to stand on its own once off the ice and returned to the woods.