Forced to improvise COVID policies, school nurses are reaching a ‘breaking point’

A portrait of Brighton High School nurse Lauren O'Malley-Singh, standing outside on her front lawn.

Every morning before school, Lauren O’Malley-Singh’s heart races as she straps on an N95 mask. “I feel like I’m drowning,” said O’Malley-Singh, a nurse at Brighton High School in Boston. She’s drowning in coronavirus tests. She gives upwards of 40 rapid tests a day, isolating the students who test positive, calling their parents and finding…

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Far from home, a big, rare sea eagle finds devoted fans on Maine’s coast

A photo of the rare Steller's sea eagle along the coast of Maine on Dec. 31, 2021.

Since late December, a rare, wayward eagle native to Russia and Japan has taken up residence along Maine’s Midcoast near Boothbay Harbor. The Steller’s sea eagle is one of the largest raptors in the world, weighing up to 20 pounds with an eight-foot wingspan. There are only about 4,000 of them left, and the chance…

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Early data suggest 2021 was one of the hottest years on record in Gulf of Maine

Maine's Wells Beach at low tide after a nor'easter in October 2021.

Surface water temperatures in the Gulf of Maine this fall hit new seasonal highs, and it looks like 2021 overall will be one of the hottest ever in the gulf. Researchers at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute said that this fall, temperatures in the gulf ran more than four degrees Fahrenheit above the historical norm. “It…

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Citing housing shortage, New Hampshire’s Afghan resettlement groups say they’ve hit capacity

An Afghan family recently resettled in Massachusetts with help of the International Institute of New England.

New Hampshire’s housing shortage has slowed the process of resettling Afghan evacuees, according to two local organizations. Of the 150 Afghan evacuees who have arrived to New Hampshire since November, about half of them remain in hotels. “The housing market in New Hampshire has made it very difficult to find affordable and safe housing,” said Donna…

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Arctic air brings extreme cold temps, subzero wind chill to region

Dry air from the barren reaches of the north will be here for just about 24 hours, but will certainly make an impression for those of us that need to be outside for any extended amount of time. You may think of air as all the same, but Arctic air is heavy and dense and…

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Mass. is monitoring white-tailed deer for COVID. Here’s why

Mass Wildlife Deer & Moose Biologist Martin Feehan prepares to insert a cotton swab into the nose of a dead 140-pound deer buck, found in Needham, to test it for the presence of the COVID-19 virus. Deer across the country have been found to carry COVID-19.

On a recent evening at the MassWildlife field headquarters in Westborough, Mass., Martin Feehan stood face-to-face with a 160-pound dead buck, splayed out on the loading dock. The deer died of a broken leg, after it was apparently hit by a car in Needham. Feehan, a deer and moose biologist, had brought it to headquarters to…

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New England forests at risk after discovery of southern pine beetle in Maine

Characteristic "pitch tubes" of a recently attacked pine tree. Blobs of resin are where the tree tried to expunge the boring insects.

One of the most destructive forest pests in the Southeast has made its way to Maine. The southern pine beetle, which has destroyed millions of acres of pine forests in its native South, was discovered in Waterboro last fall. Scientists say the ecosystem of Maine’s pitch pine barrens is at risk. Its Latin genus name…

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