New England news in brief

1 injured in pipe bomb explosion in Vermont

BURLINGTON >> Burlington police say a young man has suffered injuries to his hand after a pipe bomb he was holding exploded.

Police said the young man and two other adolescents were in a car headed to the beach Wednesday when the pipe bomb detonated. The driver pulled into a shopping center and police were called.

The victim, who was not identified, was taken to a hospital for treatment. Police Chief Brandon del Pozo says his injuries were not life-threatening but at least one of his fingers was blown off.

Police are investigating why the three had a pipe bomb.

Vermont animal cruelty case delayed over mental evaluation

HYDE PARK >> The case of a woman accused of keeping dozens of dogs and cats in deplorable conditions in her Vermont home has been delayed.

Carol Merchant was expected to reach a plea deal Wednesday but the agreement didn't happen.

Instead, the defense asked for another mental evaluation of the Eden woman to determine her current competency to stand trial. The judge granted the request and scheduled a status hearing for the end of August.

Merchant previously pleaded not guilty to eight counts of animal cruelty. Police say Merchant was keeping at least 63 malnourished dogs and cats in her Eden home. The animals were seized in February 2015.

Her attorney had asked for an extension last year pending the results from an earlier mental evaluation.

Coast Guard rescues 3 from capsized boat in Vermont

BURLINGTON >> The Coast Guard says three people have been rescued from a catamaran that capsized on Lake Champlain in Vermont.

The 14-foot boat overturned in Appletree Bay about a mile northwest from shore on Wednesday. The Coast Guard says it found three people sitting on the boat's hull around 2:45 p.m. One person reported suffering a minor cut.

The occupants say heavy winds caused their craft to capsize.

They were evaluated by medical personnel and later released.

New Hampshire waterpark reopening under new owners

CANDIA, N.H. >> A waterpark that was sold at auction after its owner chained himself to a slide tower is preparing to re-open for the season under new ownership.

Liquid Planet in Candia was sold for $950,000 in December to the owners of another New Hampshire waterpark, Whale's Tale. The company, which renamed the park Candia Springs, says it spent several hundred thousand dollars on improvements and expansion, including an adventure course with zip lines. The park also includes a spray area for younger children and a natural pond and beach for swimming.

Last summer, the state temporarily shut down part of the park due to high levels of bacteria, and said that previous owner, Kevin Dumont, had built two slides without a required review. Dumont later spent 17 days atop the waterslide trying to attract attention and investors to save the financially struggling business. He ended his quest Nov. 25, saying there were no takers and that a doctor believed he was developing pneumonia.

The new owners, NLI LLC, say two of the park's four slides are opening this season. Opening day is June 15.

Investor proposes using shuttered plant for gasification

CLAREMONT, N.H. >> A recycling firm with an option to purchase a decommissioned waste-to-energy plant in New Hampshire is proposing a pilot business turning trash into electricity using a gasification process.

D.B. Kazee, one of the four investors involved in the purchase of the Claremont Wheelabrator plant, on Wednesday outlined a five-year pilot recycling business.

Recycling Technologies Solutions of Lexington, Kentucky, placed a $575,000 winning bid on the former waste-to-energy incinerator earlier this year.

Kazee says investors are involved in business in several states recycling waste and repairing distressed equipment from decommissioned plants.

He says the Claremont facility would be run in a similar fashion, receiving and disposing waste through gasification. That process involves a set of reactions that uses limited oxygen to convert materials into synthetic gas.

Island estate with Asian, nautical influence set for auction

ISLESBORO, MAINE >> A sprawling 8,000-square-foot Maine island home loaded with original Asian artwork is going up for auction at the end of the month.

There will be no reserve price when the bidding kicks off on June 25 for "The Froggery," a "special house" that sits on more than 15 acres of protected mountainside land overlooking Penobscot Bay.

Chad Boykin, market development director for Florida-based DeCaro Luxury Auctions, says he's never seen anything quite like the three-bedroom, three-bath Islesboro estate.

The grounds of the compound include an authentic Japanese stroll garden, complete with koi ponds, reflection pools and Zen gardens. Nautical and Asian design influences highlight the interior of the home, completed in 2010.

The estate was previously listed for $10.9 million but did not sell.

French partner joins UMaine offshore wind project

PORTLAND, MAINE >> A French company is joining a University of Maine-led consortium that's developing an offshore wind farm.

DCNS announced that it's joining Maine Aqua Ventus, which intends to install a two-turbine, 12-megawatt project off the coast of Monhegan Island. The project shows enough promise that it's in the running for a $40 million federal grant.

DCNS is a defense contractor that's expanding into marine energy technology with work in tidal energy, ocean thermal energy and offshore wind. It says it has roughly 13,000 employees in 10 countries.

DCNS' role in the Maine project is unclear. A UMaine official says the company's expertise is welcome, and that it could become an equity partner down the road.

– The Associated Press


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