Taser death criticized
LEBANON, N.H. (AP) -- The head of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center neurology department says a Vermont man who died after being shot with a stun gun might not have been able to understand a trooper's command before he was shot.
Dr. Gregory Holmes said 39-year-old Macadam Mason had suffered a brain seizure the night before and was possibly unable to heed the trooper's command. Mason was an epilepsy patient at the hospital.
Mason died June 20 after he was struck in the chest with a 50,000-volt Taser barb. Police say Mason, who was unarmed, was acting aggressively and refusing to lie on the ground when he was shot.
Holmes told the Valley News (http://bit.ly/Nh3DuU ) that the feeling at the hospital was that police should not have used a Taser.
Fish & Wildlife has course for teachers
MONTPELIER (AP) -- The Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife says there are still openings for educators who want to take a summer course on the outdoors taught by natural resource experts.
The hands-on field course from July 15-20 at the Buck Lake Conservation Camp in Woodbury gets educators into Vermont's streams, forests and wetlands
The three-credit graduate course taught through Johnson State College.
Marchers to raise $$$ to honor murder victim
BURLINGTON (AP) -- Organizers are planning a charity walk and run in Burlington to help prevent violence against women in memory of a Vermont woman who was abducted and killed in 2005.
The 6th annual Laura's March, in memory of Laura Winterbottom, will be held on Sept. 15 starting at Oakledge Park.
The primary beneficiaries of this year's march will be Women Helping Battered Women and the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program. There is no entry fee to participate in the march.
Upstate NY man dies when using homemade zip line
WILTON, N.Y. (AP) -- A 28-year-old Saratoga County man is dead after a tree fell on him while he was using a homemade zip line.
The Saratoga County Sheriff's Office says Justin Morris of Wilton had rigged a zip line between two trees and was standing on a platform on one of them when the tree started falling Saturday.
Deputies say the tree was dead and was rotted at the base. Morris fell and the tree landed on top of him.
Nearly 400-year-old Maine tree topples
LEEDS, Maine (AP) -- A tree thought to be nearly 400 years old has toppled to the ground in Maine.
A silver maple that measured more than 26 feet around its trunk was found fallen along the Androscoggin River in Leeds on June 30.
Leeds dairy farmer John Nutting told the Sun Journal (http://bit.ly/RDEbkJ ) he was stunned when he discovered the tree on its side.
State foresters dated the tree to between 1620 and 1650 after Nutting's stepfather discovered it in 1980.
The Maine Register of Trees says it had a base circumference of 26 1/3 feet when last measured in 1999, giving it a wider girth than any other tree on the register.
Nutting said he suspects heavy rains this spring saturated the soil around the tree, causing it to fall.
NY cooling off -- down to the 80s
NEW YORK (AP) -- New York City cooled down Sunday from a heat wave that made temperatures in the 80s feel comfortable -- at least, for some.
The top temperature in Central Park was expected to be 91, according to the National Weather Service. That's down several degrees from Saturday, when it came close to hitting 100 degrees, capping several days of heat hovering around triple digits that drew warnings from the weather service.
Sunday was likely to be the last day in the 90s for now. Relief was on the way, with the weather service forecasting a week of daytime temperatures in the low 80s.
Weather service meteorologist John Cristantello said the extreme heat was due to what was happening thousands of feet up in the atmosphere. He said high pressure building up there "translates to the surface, warming it up."
The quick shift to a week of temperatures plummeting by almost 20 degrees is nothing unusual, he said.
"It's just back to normal, that's all -- it's summer," he said.
A cold front from Canada moving south will likely break the heat, according to the weather service.
Hiker in distress helped in NH mountains
FRANCONIA, N.H. (AP) -- New Hampshire wildlife officials say a hiker on Franconia Ridge suffered a medical emergency but managed to make it out on her own after rescuers hiked up the trail to assist.
The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department said an officer received a report of a medical emergency about 4 p.m. Saturday. After advising the hikers to drink liquids, the officer organized a rescue party that climbed up the 3.3-mile trail.
When rescuers reached the hiking group, the woman who was in distress was able to make it out on her power, thus avoiding having to be carried out by others.
The rescue team and the hikers made it to the bottom at about 9:20 p.m.