Environmentalist plans to leave tree in January

A man who has been sitting in a 400-year-old oak for nearly two months in an attempt to save it from a developer said he will leave his perch in January.

But John Quigley said environmentalists already have plans to replace him when he comes down.

Quigley, 42, has been sitting in the tree since Nov. 1 in Santa Clarita, Calif. He has taken few breaks, coming down only to vote on Election Day. He said Tuesday he would leave next month, but did not specify a date. He will return to his job as a teacher with the Malibu Foundation for Environmental Education.

Quigley has been living in the tree to keep John Laing Homes from moving it to make room for a wider road.

The developer has agreed to transplant the oak to another location but environmentalists say the move would kill the tree and cost more than $250,000.

New York

Quake shakes upstate

A mild earthquake shook upstate New York on Wednesday and was believed to be an aftershock of the April tremor that jolted the Northeast.

No injuries or damage were immediately reported.

The quake, with a preliminary magnitude of 3.0, was reported at 1:25 p.m. and was centered in the Adirondack foothills 20 miles southwest of Plattsburgh, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

“It was a shallow earthquake,” survey spokesman Butch Kinerney said.

He said it was most likely an aftershock of the 5.1 magnitude earthquake that struck on April 20. That quake collapsed roads in New York and rattled homes from Maine to Maryland.


Police arrest three in slaying of family

Police arrested three suspects in the execution-style slayings of five family members during an apparent robbery at their suburban Detroit home.

Wayne County Prosecutor Mike Duggan was expected to decide today what charges to bring following the arrests, announced late Tuesday. He said he was “very confident that the Livonia police have the people that are responsible for these murders in custody.”

Suburban Detroit jeweler Marco Pesce, 38; his mother, Maria Vergati, 68; and Pesce’s three children, Melissa, 6, Sabrina, 9, and Carlo, 12, were gunned down in Pesce’s home Saturday. Vergati was visiting from Italy.

Police said the slayings took place between 4 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. Saturday.