Man, 53, accused of illegal logging
A man accused of cutting down trees near a protected wetlands in Easton has been charged with illegal logging, a misdemeanor.
Charles Peterson is accused of violating the state's nontidal wetlands and sediment control laws last summer. It was not immediately clear whether the 53-year-old owned the land where he cut the trees.
The charge was announced yesterday by Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, who campaigned on a pledge to prosecute more environmental cases.
Rare virus found in mosquitoes
The state Department of Agriculture says a rare mosquito-borne virus has been found in Maryland for the first time in three years.
Mosquitoes collected in a Pocomoke River swamp in northern Worcester County were found to have Eastern equine encephalitis. The virus is found most commonly in horses and birds, but in rare cases people can become sick, too.
The virus has been present on the Lower Eastern Shore for years, said Cyrus Lesser, head of mosquito control at the Maryland Department of Agriculture. The virus is less common, but more fatal, than West Nile virus, which is also carried by mosquitoes.
The department warns people near swampy areas to wear insect repellent or long pants and long sleeves while outdoors.