North Carolina women charged with helping children smoke

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina police have charged two women with helping three children smoke an apparently drug-laced cigar on social media video.

A Winston-Salem Police Department news release says officers arrested the women Tuesday after numerous reports about the Facebook video. Police seized drug paraphernalia.

Jail records show Michaela Pearson and Candice Little were held on charges of child abuse and contributing to delinquency of minors.

The children were treated at a hospital and remain there for observation.

Video obtained by WXII-TV shows an adult handing three young children a cigarillo that they puff on. Police said the cigar contained an illegal substance but didn't elaborate.

Phone listings for the women couldn't be found. The public defender's office said it won't know if the women have lawyers until an upcoming court appearance.


Humpback whales spotted feeding in Boston Harbor

BOSTON (AP) — People taking whale watch cruises out of Boston usually have to travel miles out to sea to spot whales.

But several humpback whales have been spotted in the harbor in the last few days, providing thrills just a quarter mile from downtown Boston.

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation posted a video on Twitter of a whale breaching, calling it a "beautiful and rare sight to see."

The presence of whales in the busy harbor also comes with a warning. The Coast Guard is urging mariners to use "extreme caution" and keep a safe distance from whales.

A spokeswoman for Boston Harbor Cruises, which offers whale-watching cruises, said company naturalists have identified five to six individual whales.

Experts say they will stick around as long as there is food.


Crews rescue 2 distressed pygmy killer whales in Florida

SAND KEY, Fla. (AP) — Biologists are working to help two pygmy killer whales that had been found distressed in shallow waters on Florida's Gulf Coast.

Mote Marine Laboratory spokeswoman Stephannie Kettle says the whales are receiving 24-hour critical care at Mote's Sarasota facility, but veterinarians weren't immediately sure what was wrong with them.

With scores of beachgoers watching Wednesday morning, teams from Clearwater Marine Aquarium and Clearwater Fire & Rescue Department used large blue bags to move the whales from the water off Sand Key to a large truck, which transported them to Mote.

Pygmy killer whales look much like dolphins and typically thrive in deeper water.

Red tide, which is a naturally-occurring algae that poisons fish, has been blamed for killing marine life, including turtles, dolphins and manatees. But officials say only low levels of red tide have been detected in the waters off Clearwater.


Rare translucent lobster caught off Maine coast, thrown back

STONINGTON, Maine (AP) — A Maine fisherman says he caught a rare, nearly see-through "ghost lobster," then threw the crustacean back into the ocean because it was too small to keep.

Mike Billings hauled in the lobster Tuesday morning off the coast of Stonington. The Portland Press Herald reports the lobster's unique coloration is likely caused by a genetic condition that results in the partial loss of pigmentation.

Billings says he took pictures of the lobster, and then threw it back into the ocean.

This is not Billings' first encounter with odd lobsters, as he previously caught a rare calico lobster in 2014, the same year he caught one with one blue claw.


Charges possible after sea turtle nest in Alabama disturbed

GULF SHORES, Ala. (AP) — Police say a group of Georgia tourists could face federal charges for removing sea turtle eggs on an Alabama beach.

Local news outlets report that the Gulf Shores Police Department said one person from the group confessed to disturbing the nest. Two broken egg shells were recovered nearby.

Police said the case has been forwarded to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Police did not release the names of the individuals.

FOX-10 reports police believe the eggs were already broken open when they were taken. However, it is a federal crime to disturb a nest.

Mike Reynolds of the turtle-protection group Share the Beach tells WKRG-TV that 99 turtles had hatched from the nest.

Police had earlier released a video of a group of people seen near the nest.


Bomb technicians detonate mine in Puget Sound

BROWNSVILLE, Wash. (AP) — Coast Guard and Navy bomb technicians have detonated what they said appeared to be an unidentified mine floating in Puget Sound between Brownsville Marina and Bainbridge Island.

The object was reported at about 2 p.m. Tuesday.

The Navy says initial inspection of the moored mine showed it had decades of marine growth. At about 5 p.m., Navy divers secured a long line to the device and began towing it with a small boat.

KIRO-TV video showed it was detonated without incident by 8:15 p.m.

Authorities had asked residents along the waterfront to stay inside and away from beaches as a precaution.

Brownsville is a few miles south of Naval Base Kitsap — Keyport's torpedo testing range.