New England news in brief

Body of man recovered after Lake Champlain boat collision

COLCHESTER >> The body of a missing boater has been recovered from Lake Champlain following a boat collision in Vermont.

Rescue crews found the body of 60-year-old Rodney Dion of Milton, Vermont, on Thursday morning, after two power boats collided Wednesday evening in Colchester.

One of the boats sank; the other sustained heavy damage. Officials say a total of six people were aboard the boats at the time. Local responders rescued five and brought them to shore. Police say one person was injured and taken to the hospital.

Rescue crews used sonar and divers in their search for Dion's body. A Coast Guard helicopter also was used.

The investigation into what caused the collision is ongoing.

Phish frontman returns to drug court to encourage new grads

FORT EDWARD, N.Y. >> The frontman for the rock band Phish has returned to a New York drug court to offer encouragement to those afflicted with the same addictions he has battled.

Trey Anastasio spoke for nearly 30 minutes Wednesday in Washington County Felony Drug Court. He was sentenced to the drug court program in 2008. Two years earlier, police found heroin and prescription painkillers in his vehicle near the Vermont border.

Anastasio told drug court graduates and a packed courtroom that the program put him on the road to nearly a decade of sobriety and likely saved his life.

Anastasio also said he still attends Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in New York City and serves as a sponsor for those trying to get sober.

Vermont pipeline protester pleads not guilty to charges

MONKTON >> A Montpelier man has denied charges stemming from when he spent six days up a tree in protest of the construction of a Vermont Gas Systems pipeline.

Thirty-one-year-old Samuel Jessup pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Addison County to misdemeanor charges of trespassing and resisting arrest.

Police say Jessup lived for nearly a week on a platform in a tree about 50 feet above ground that was tied to VGS equipment by ropes. He was attempting to halt the progress of the pipeline in Monkton.

Jessup said he ended his protest after police disconnected his phone on Monday evening, cutting off his communication with activist group Rising Tide Vermont.

The pipeline, approved by the Public Service Board in 2013 and now under construction, will extend 41 miles between Colchester and Addison County.

Former N.H. state rep arraigned on charges related to voter fraud

ROCHESTER, N.H. >> A former Republican state representative who was arrested in connection with alleged voter fraud during New Hampshire's presidential primary has been arraigned on witness tampering and bribery charges.

Don Leeman of Rochester appeared in Strafford County Superior Court on Wednesday. He remains out on bail.

The attorney general's office says Leeman, who resigned in May, was representing and voted in a district in which he was no longer domiciled during the February primary.

Authorities say Leeman was living in a Rochester Housing Authority building outside of his district. He allegedly asked a housing authority employee to provide a letter falsely saying his move was temporary and offered a donation in exchange for a transfer to a building within his district.

Leeman has said the charges are without merit.

Autistic teen receives more than 10,000 cards after plea

BANGOR, MAINE >> A Massachusetts woman's plea for people to send cards to her autistic cousin has resulted in a flood of more than 10,000 greetings from strangers.

Rebecca Guildford, of Oxford, posted a picture to Facebook of her cousin, 18-year-old Hallee Sorenson of Bangor, Maine, sitting alone in a bowling alley last year for a birthday party that she said no one attended.

Guildford posted on Facebook asking for people to make Sorenson's 19th birthday memorable by sending her cards. The post was shared more than 200,000 times. Guildford says the response has been uplifting and overwhelming.

Sorenson turns 19 next month. Her family is planning a private gathering.

President Bush: 'Being 92 doesn't hurt one bit'

KENNEBUNKPORT, MAINE >> Fresh from his 92nd birthday, former President George H.W. Bush is enjoying himself in Maine after recovering from a fall at his home nearly a year ago.

Bush led a group of 40 wounded warriors on a fishing trip at the helm of his speedboat Wednesday, three days after a low-key birthday celebration.

Bush's personal aide, Evan Sisley, says the former president is fully healed and tells others "being 92 doesn't hurt one bit."

The oldest living president took a tumble last July 15 at his Kennebunkport home. Doctors let a fractured vertebra heal on its own.

– The Associated Press


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