Off the wire


Blast on gulf oil rig injures 1 worker
An offshore oil rig exploded Thursday in the Gulf of Mexico, injuring at least one worker, the U.S. Coast Guard said. All 13 people on board the Vermilion Oil Rig 380 have been accounted for, and the one who was injured is being transported to a hospital, Coast Guard Petty Officer Bill Colclough said.
Read the complete story from The Washington Post.

Risks remain with Gulf well cap coming off
NEW ORLEANS -- The cap that ended BP's three-month oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico was set to come off Thursday as a prelude to raising a massive, failed piece of equipment and preparing for a final seal on the broken seafloor well. Engineers and the government were not expecting crude to break out again when the cap is lifted, but the government wasn't offering any guarantees and oil collection vessels were set to be on standby on the surface just in case.
Read the complete story from Associated Press.

Angler caught in net of charges for alleged tournament cheating
A Chiefland man faces numerous charges in connection with alleged cheating at weekly bass tournaments in Dixie County on the Suwannee River. Cedric Jerome Perry, who was arrested Monday night, reportedly confessed to catching fish in other lakes and then bringing them to the weigh-in at the Joe Anderson Boat Ramp in Old Town, according to reports released Wednesday by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Read the complete story from LakeCityReporter.com.

B.C. devises plan to get grow-op bears to return to the wild
After years of chowing down on generous helpings of dog food, a group of bears that make their home near Christina Lake, B.C., are about to get their kibble kiboshed. Ordered by the provincial government, the change in diet will take place in stages between now and mid-November in an attempt to save the bears, who faced relocation or worse after they were discovered in July hanging around a rural site that was also home to more than 1,000 marijuana plants.
Read the complete story from The Globe And Mail.

11-foot python crashes family kayak trip
LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Dave Neal and three family members were fishing peacefully in their kayaks Sunday on the Wildcat Creek when Neal noticed something strange on the bank. There, a snake was coiled in the roots of a tree. Neal didn't think much of the animal, until it began slithering up a hill.
Read the complete story from WISHTV.com.

Florida black bears surge out of forests, into suburbs
In the 1950s, pounded by wide-open hunting and the loss of habitat to farms and cities, Florida's black bears had become ghosts of the forests, elusive and rarely seen. Today, they're all too visible. A black bear showed up in Weston, prowling gated communities and city streets before wildlife officials hit it with a dart at a busy intersection. Another visited Universal Orlando and hung out at the Hard Rock Hotel's pool until it was captured. Road kills and complaints of bears in garbage have soared, particularly north of Orlando where a booming bear population is bursting out of the Ocala National Forest.
Read the complete story from Sun Sentinel.

Record salmon run keeps cannery workers employed
Hundreds of workers in fish plants and canneries are reaping the benefits of this year's record sockeye salmon run on the Fraser River. As millions of sockeye are being scooped from B.C.'s waters, the Canadian Fishing Company (Canfisco) is so swamped that it's sending Fraser River salmon to its Prince Rupert cannery, which otherwise would be virtually shut down with many of its workers unemployed or on welfare due to a poor northern fish run.
Read the complete story from The Province.

Shoot Dove season kicks off as first footballs fly high
A change of seasons is upon the Big Country. Summer is winding down into fall with the promise that cooler weather is on the way. Baseball is giving way to footbal. And dove season opens Wednesday. Although about twice as many Texans hunt deer than dove, the opening of dove season and the renewing of licenses, cleaning guns, checking deer feeders and making other preparations mark the kickoff of hunting season.
Read the complete story from Reporternews.com.

Did hunter's infrared camera capture images of UFO?
Fort Worth area resident Lisa Brock-Piekarski is a little freaked out by images she discovered on an infrared camera mounted at her family's favorite hunting spot. That's not because of the deer in the foreground but because of the mysterious lights in the background to the left of the animal. "What I see looks almost like a Frisbee," Brock-Piekarski told Dallas-Fort Worth NBC affiliate KXAS-TV. "You see a several lights going around, and they're all symmetrical and lit up, and it just looks like an object in the sky."
Read the complete story from Latimes.com.

Greece: Fur farms raided, 50,000 minks set loose
THESSALONIKI, Greece -- Police say break-ins at two fur farms have set more than 50,000 minks on the loose in northern Greece. A statement from local police says the break-ins occurred Friday and Saturday near the city of Kastoria, which is the center of Greece's fur industry.

Read the complete story from Associated Press.

Activists will stop paying for wolf kills in Idaho and 5 other states
The Defenders of Wildlife will end its ground-breaking program to compensate ranchers for livestock losses on Sept. 10. The private program has paid out more than $1.4 million for losses from wolves and grizzly bears since it was started in 1987. Defenders said then it would continue the program until the predators were no longer protected as threatened or endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act.
Read the complete story from The Bellingham Herald.

EPA denies bid to ban lead in hunting ammunition
WASHINGTON -- The Environmental Protection Agency has denied a petition by five environmental groups to ban lead in hunting ammunition, saying the issue is not within the agency's jurisdiction. The EPA said Friday it did not have the authority to enact the ban, aimed at protecting wildlife, under the Toxic Substances Control Act, as the groups had requested.
Read the complete story from Associated Press.

Outdoor Channel to launch in Asia, Europe
TEMECULA, Calif. -- Outdoor Channel Holdings, which produces shows on hunting, fishing, shooting and other outdoor activities, said Thursday that it inked deals to distribute its content in Asia and Europe. Financial terms of the deals were not disclosed.
Read the complete story from The Associated Press.