State & Region Briefs

Wednesday, December 20, 2017
Irruption brings large number of snowy owls to N.E.

WESTERLY, R.I. — New England is seeing a large number of snowy owls arrive in the region this winter due to an irregular phenomenon called an irruption.

Avian officials in Rhode Island say there are approximately 18 of the large white owls currently in Rhode Island, with a number seen on Westerly’s shore. The birds are from a far-north region of Quebec and the current irruption is one of the largest in years.

The reason for the irruption is due to a previous boom in lemming populations — snowy owls’ primary food source — that leads to more owls being hatched, causing owls to fly south in search of more food in subsequent years.

The owls are expected to head back north in March.

Stolen Amazon packages found during police probe

BOSTON — Law enforcement officials in Massachusetts say they have recovered dozens of stolen Amazon packages and hope to get them to their rightful recipients in time for Christmas.

Attorney General Maura Healey’s office said Wednesday the packages were discovered in the Boston home of 33-year-old Dharol Joyner during a separate investigation into a spate of break-ins at restaurants in Taunton and Quincy.

Joyner pleaded not guilty to several charges related to a break-in at a Wendy’s restaurant and was ordered held on $7,500 bail.

Police believe Joyner allegedly stole the Amazon packages while working part-time as a delivery contractor.

The packages are being returned to Amazon in the hopes they can be delivered by the holiday.

Police say three other men have been charged in connection with the restaurant thefts.

Large-scale offshore wind farms proposed

BOSTON — Offshore wind farm developers are submitting proposals for large-scale operations off Massachusetts.

Deepwater Wind CEO Jeff Grybowski says his company will submit two proposals by Wednesday’s deadline for firms seeking to supply at least 400 megawatts of offshore wind energy to Massachusetts power companies.

One plan calls for about 25 turbines generating 200 megawatts of power; the other is a 50-turbine operation generating 400 megawatts.

Vineyard Wind Chief Development Officer Erich Stephens says his firm also will propose two farms: a roughly 50-turbine farm generating 400 megawatts and a 100-turbine farm producing 800 megawatts of power.

Another company, Bay State Wind, also is expected to vie for the lucrative contracts. All three firms have secured federal water development rights off Martha’s Vineyard.

A decision is expected next year.

From Associated Press