Caution urged as seal pups begin arriving early this year

Federal scientists say the Northeast’s harbor seal pupping season is starting two months early and they’re urging people to be cautious when they see the young animals.

Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say harbor seals tend to give birth in May and June on rocky islands, ledges or sandy beaches along the coast. But this year, seal pup sightings were reported in March.

Researchers can’t explain why the season is early this year.

But they say people encountering the animals should stay away. They say the animals may look cute, but they’re still wild and could bite or spread disease. They also might abandon their pups to flee an approaching dog or human.

It’s against the law to handle or interact with the seals.


Governor says he will veto medical marijuana bill

On the eve of Wednesday’s House vote, Gov. John Lynch says he will veto a bill to legalize home cultivation of marijuana for medical purposes in New Hampshire.

The Senate-passed bill would allow patients with debilitating medical conditions or the patient’s designated caretaker to cultivate and possess up to six ounces of marijuana, four mature plants and 12 seedlings at a registered location.

Lynch spokesman James Richardson said Tuesday that Lynch will veto the bill if it reaches his desk. Richardson said Lynch has compassion for people who believe in marijuana’s benefits but is concerned about a lack of control over its distribution.


Exploding beer keg kills brewery worker on dock

A worker died of injuries suffered when a beer keg exploded at the Redhook Brewery in Portsmouth, N.H.

Nancy Notis of Portsmouth Regional Hospital confirmed the worker died Tuesday.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death.

Assistant Fire Chief Steve Achilles said the worker, whose name has not been released, was found unresponsive in the loading dock area shortly after 7 a.m. He said the man had been filling kegs with air as part of a cleaning process that removes residual beer from them when one exploded. Achilles said the worker suffered chest and head injuries.

Company President Andy Thomas said Redhook is doing everything in its power to understand the circumstances surrounding the accident.


Funeral announced for police officer killed in crash

Funeral arrangements have been set for a Providence police officer who died last week in a cruiser crash.

Calling hours for Maxwell Dorley are set for Thursday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Nardolillo Funeral Home in Cranston. Deputy Chief Cmdr. Thomas Oates III says a walk through for law enforcement is set for 3 p.m.

A celebration of Dorley’s life is scheduled for Friday at 10 a.m. at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Providence.

The 41-year-old Dorley died after his cruiser crashed while he was responding to a request for backup at the scene of a reported disturbance. He was posthumously promoted to the rank of sergeant.

Dorley leaves a wife and two children.