New England briefs

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Gas prices starting to rise in northern New England

Gas prices are starting to rise in parts of northern New England.

The price-tracking website GasBuddy.com says the price in Maine has risen about 3.2 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $1.81 a gallon. It's also gone up 2.5 cents a gallon in New Hampshire, to $1.70. In Vermont, the price is up 1.5 cents per gallon from last week, to $1.83.

The national average is $1.81, which increased 6.8 cents per gallon in the last week. The national average has increased 7.6 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 64.4 cents per gallon lower than a year ago.

7 hospitalized after horse-drawn sleigh overturns in Vermont

Authorities say a horse-drawn sleigh overturned at a Vermont resort over the weekend, sending seven people to the hospital.

No serious injuries were reported Sunday at the Mountain Top Inn and Resort in Chittenden. Seven people were taken to Rutland Regional Medical Center for observation.

Fire officials say eight people were aboard the sleigh when it tipped over. The wheel sunk through the ice and the two horses turned, causing everyone to be thrown off the sleigh. The animals fled but were found uninjured.

Authorities didn't immediately identify the occupants.

Vermont lawmakers to hear about bridge safety and suicides

The bridge over the Quechee Gorge along Vermont's U.S. Route 4 offers spectacular views and is a draw for tourists, but also lures those intent on suicide.

Two Vermont House committees are planning a joint hearing this week on whether there are safety measures that can be installed on the bridge to discourage those seeking to take their own lives.

Local public safety officials say retrieving bodies from the gorge presents significant safety risks to their personnel. Suggestions have ranged from glass panels along the edges of the bridge to nets below.

The House committees on transportation and on human services hearing will meet in Room 11 of the State House on Tuesday from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

New Hampshire man charged in ranch standoff seeks release

A judge is deciding whether a New Hampshire man facing charges in an armed standoff in Nevada by ranchers opposed to federal control of public lands should remain jailed.

Rochester resident Gerald DeLemus is accused of being a "mid-level leader" and organizer of a conspiracy to recruit, organize, train and provide support to armed men and other followers of rancher Cliven Bundy. DeLemus was arrested last week.

Bundy was arrested last month on charges stemming from the April 2014 standoff with federal officials in Nevada over hundreds of seized cattle.

At a detention hearing Monday, a federal prosecutor called DeLemus dangerous based on the weapons he took to the ranch and comments he made. But his supporters called him a law-abiding peacemaker.

The judge didn't indicate when she would rule.

Maine lawmakers consider switching to presidential primaries

Maine Senate leaders want to change how Maine chooses nominees for president.

Senate minority leader Justin Alfond, a Democrat, and Senate President Michael Thibodeau, a Republican, say they want to scrap the parties' inefficient caucuses and replace them with presidential primary elections.

Alfond said Monday he's confident the Legislative Council will allow him to submit a bill this session. He said it's not right that Democrats in Portland Sunday faced long lines to vote. Some people waited more than four hours. Thibodeau said some Republican caucuses on Saturday were also overcrowded.

Maine has traditionally used party-run caucuses to choose delegates for national political conventions. Maine switched to primaries for the 1996 and 2000 election, and then went back to the caucus system.

– The Associated Press


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