Off the wire

New microbe discovered eating oil spill in Gulf
WASHINGTON -- A newly discovered type of oil-eating microbe is suddenly flourishing in the Gulf of Mexico. Scientists discovered the new microbe while studying the underwater dispersion of millions of gallons of oil spilled into the Gulf following the explosion of BP's Deepwater Horizon drilling rig.

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Govt. says Gulf seafood safe, now consumers decide
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Shawn Mattiuz, manager of the Hapuku Fish Shop in Market Hall, a collection of upscale food purveyors in Oakland's bustling Rockridge district, has been watching the Gulf seafood saga play out in the ice-cooled trays of his display cases.
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Attorney: Great Lakes waterways a 'carp highway'
CHICAGO -- Five states are asking a federal judge in Chicago to take emergency action to close two shipping locks and install barriers to prevent Asian carp from overrunning the Great Lakes via a "carp highway."
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Reptile experts hunt stray 'gator in Chicago River
CHICAGO -- The next time you feel like dipping your toes in the Chicago River - beware. A second alligator has been spotted - but not yet captured - in the waterway that winds through downtown Chicago. Children, parents and dog walkers gathered Monday to catch a peek of the 3-foot-long reptile in the river on the city's North Side.
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Officials: Oil probably didn't cause fish kill
CHALMETTE, La. -- Louisiana officials say thousands of dead fish floating at the mouth of a shipping channel likely died from a seasonal lack of oxygen - not the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Between 5,000 and 15,000 dead fish were found Sunday, collected in pockets of spill boom near the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet.

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Mid-Atlantic $500,000 concludes with record white marlin fishing
The 19th Mid-Atlantic $500,000 Tournament concluded Friday night after anglers enjoyed canyon trolling in generally good conditions with record numbers of white marlin to provide action. There were 134 boats fishing out of Canyon Club Resort Marina in Cape May or the satellite port of Ocean City, Md. as they competed for a purse of $1,781,550 while fishing three out of five days during the week.

Read the complete story from NJ.com.

Japanese mayor defends dolphin hunts
TAIJI, Japan -- As children in inner tubes bob on the calm waters of this small ocean cove, a 550-pound (250-kilogram) dolphin zips through the crowd in pursuit of raw squid tossed out by a trainer.
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Group wants to end setting dogs on chained bears
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- A declawed, defanged bear is chained to a stake as hunting dogs bark and snap, trying to force the bear to stand on its hind legs. The training exercise called bear baying is intended to make the bears easier to shoot in the wild and it's only allowed in South Carolina.
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Researchers monitoring Hawaii coral for bleaching
PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii -- Scientists plan to monitor corals in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands next month for signs of bleaching that could harm the reefs. Corals become stressed and expel the algae that live inside them when temperatures are warmer than normal. This causes corals to lose their color and appear white.
Read the complete story from The Associated Press.

Austin man punished for smuggling deer to Texas from Okla.
An Austin, Texas, man has been fined $15,000 for smuggling deer from Oklahoma into Texas. Lance Clawson, 41, a licensed deer breeder, pleaded guilty April 14 to the felony offense of smuggling whitetail deer from Oklahoma into Texas in violation of state and federal laws. Clawson previously lived in Killeen.

Read the complete story from Examiner.com.

Watch out for Yellowstone bears -- they're hungry
BILLINGS, Mont. -- Yellowstone's grizzlies are going to be particularly hungry this fall, and that means more dangerous meetings with humans in a year that is already the area's deadliest on record. Scientists report that a favorite food of many bears, nuts from whitebark pine cones, is scarce. So as grizzlies look to put on some major pounds in preparation for the long winter ahead, scientists say, they will be looking for another source of protein - meat - and running into trouble along the way.
Read the complete story from Associated Press.

For Gulf tourism, problem is perception, not oil
BILOXI, Miss. -- On the great yawning porch that once belonged to Confederate president Jefferson Davis, two women sit in rockers listening to the cicadas and looking out over Mississippi Sound as they wait for their tour to begin.

Read the complete story from Associated Press.