11 peregrine falcon nesting cliffs reopened
ST. JOHNSBURY (AP) -- The Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife has reopened 11 cliff areas across the state to hikers now that peregrine falcons have finished their nesting period.
Fish and Wildlife Biologist John Buck says the young peregrines have developed, and nesting data suggest the species had a very good year. The nesting sites are monitored from March to the end of July. The cliff areas were closed to hiking in May.
At least 40 pairs of peregrines occupied Vermont's cliffs in early spring and summer. Preliminary results indicate at least 39 of them nested, with 28 pairs successfully producing at least 60. That's a 44 percent increase in nesting pairs a 55 percent in pairs producing young birds compared to last year's season.
Bike path nearly complete
ST. JOHNSBURY (AP) -- Construction of a $3.5 million bike path in St. Johnsbury is nearly finished.
Work is tentatively scheduled to conclude by Aug. 15 on the Three Rivers Transportation Path. It will be open to bikers, hikers, horseback riders, cross-country skiers, snowmobilers and walkers.
The Caledonian-Record reports the 1.5-mile unpaved path will someday connect to the planned Lamoille Valley Rail Trail form St. Johnsbury to Swanton.
AG candidates approve prosecution of Jacques
SOUTH BURLINGTON (AP) -- Both Democrats running for Vermont attorney general say they oppose capital punishment. But neither is objecting to handing a notorious Vermont case over for federal prosecution, where the defendant could face death.
Attorney General William Sorrell and Chittenden County State's Attorney T.J. Donovan both said in a debate taped for a WCAX-TV weekend broadcast that they oppose the death penalty.
But both also said they were OK with the federal government taking over the prosecution of Michael Jacques, who is charged in the 2008 rape and murder of his 12-year-old niece Brooke Bennett in Randolph. Federal prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Jacques, who has pleaded not guilty.
The two-part debate will be aired on the WCAX show "You Can Quote Me" the next two Sundays.