“Said” is better than “According to.”
“Environmental experts” is better than “Department of Environmental Conservation.”
“Beetle” is better than “Southern Pine Beetle.”
p.s. Here’s to honing in on colloquial language, and getting to the news right in the first few words of the first sentence! The 2nd part of each of my sentences can be provided later in the article. Thanks to my Professor, I am still learning.