This Hour: Latest Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont news, sports, business and entertainment - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

This Hour: Latest Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont news, sports, business and entertainment

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Man guilty of cliff push faces August sentencing

ROCKLAND, Maine (AP) - Prosecutors and a defense attorney for a man convicted of bashing his wife's head with a rock and pushing her off a cliff say the man's sentencing will likely take place next month.

A Maine jury convicted 71-year-old Charles Black of six felonies on Monday. The top charge of attempted murder carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. Defense attorney Walter McKee says he expects sentencing sometime in late August.

Prosecutors say Black hit his then-wife Lisa Zahn on the head with a rock before pushing her off 800-foot Maiden Cliff in April 2011. Investigators say the couple had been arguing about Black spending some of Zahn's inheritance money and an affair he had.

Both tumbled down the mountainside and were hospitalized for more than a week


Balloon fest rescinds invitation to pilot in crash

CLINTON, Mass. (AP) - A popular Maine balloon festival is rescinding its invitation to a pilot whose hot air balloon crashed into power lines in Massachusetts, injuring several people.

The balloon, dubbed the Raspberry Ripple, was scheduled to participate in the Great Falls Balloon Festival in Lewiston-Auburn next month. It's registered to Derald Young, who operates Damn Yankee Balloons in Dixfield, Maine. The business didn't immediately return a call.

The Portland Press Herald reports Young had participated in the festival for years.

The Federal Aviation Administration says four of the seven passengers suffered injuries over the weekend when the balloon crashed Saturday night into power lines while trying to land in the town of Clinton.

The FAA said it's still investigating the crash.


Maine woman gets 133 months for embezzlement

BANGOR, Maine (AP) - A Bucksport, Maine, woman will serve a sentence of more than 11 years for stealing nearly $3 million from a bank where she worked for eight years.

WABI-TV reports Lynn Bowden will serve a 133-month sentence and must pay more than $3 million in restitution to Merrill Merchants Bank. Bowden pleaded guilty in February in U.S. District Court in Bangor to embezzlement and tax charges.

Prosecutors say Bowden made 108 deposits and transfers of customer funds into her accounts, which she then used for personal expenses. She was working as a wealth management officer for the bank, which became People's United Bank in Bangor.

She then failed to report the income on tax returns.


Maine high court: Man who shot friend is guilty

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Maine Supreme Judicial Court is reaffirming the manslaughter conviction of a Belfast man found guilty of shooting his best friend.

A judge in October 2012 sentenced then-21-year-old Luke Bryant to 15 years in prison with nine to serve and four years' probation. The judge also ordered Bryant to pay more than $3,000 in restitution and forfeit the gun used to kill 19-year-old Tyler Seaney.

Prosecutors say Bryant shot Seaney in the neck with a shotgun in 2011. Bryant told police he didn't know the shotgun was loaded when he aimed it and pulled the trigger.

The Maine high court's ruling says Bryant felt the court erred by denying his motion to suppress statements he made to police. The ruling states Bryant's statements were "not a product of coercive police conduct."


Lawsuit expected after vote to ban tar sands oil

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - The president of the Maine Energy Marketers Association says zoning changes intended to keep tar sands oil out of South Portland will likely be challenged in court.

The City Council voted 6-1 Monday night on a series of changes that effectively prevent any attempt to bring the oil from western Canada through a pipeline into the city.

Tom Hardison from the Portland Pipe Line said councilors bowed to "extremists" and described the zoning changes as a "job-killing ordinance." Jamie Py, president of the energy group, said Tuesday that a lawsuit is the most likely way to challenge the action.

Ivy Frignoca (frinn-YO'-kuh) from the Conservation Law Foundation says the ordinance was carefully crafted to withstand legal scrutiny but that the group is ready to face any legal challenges.


Controversial Maine park sale unlikely for ballot

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - The controversial sale of a tiny park in Portland, Maine, looks unlikely to appear on the November ballot.

The Portland Press Herald reports the City Council showed no urgency about moving forward with the sale of Congress Square Plaza at its Monday night meeting. A June referendum blocked a proposed sale of two-thirds of the park and made it more difficult for the city to sell public parks in the future.

The Press Herald reports it is unlikely that work on crafting a sale of Congress Square Plaza would be finished in time to put the issue before voters. The council will discuss the issue again next month.


Maine heating prices drop as summer heats up

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - A Maine government survey says the average price of heating oil in the state has dropped 5 cents from earlier this month to $3.46 per gallon.

The Governor's Energy Office said Tuesday that the average statewide price for a gallon of heating oil ranged from $3.15 to $3.87. It also found the average price of kerosene dropped to $3.93 per gallon. The average propane price is now $2.82.

The average heating oil price was highest in northern Maine. Propane was most expensive in the southwest part of the state and kerosene in central and northern Maine.

Gov. Paul LePage says he is working on developing energy policy recommendations in the state's energy plan.



Town hopes for answers after missing teen returns

CONWAY, N.H. (AP) - Residents of a New Hampshire town who searched, prayed and held vigils for a 15-year-old girl who disappeared while on her way home from school nine months ago are relieved she's home, but they want to know what happened to her.

Attorney General Joseph Foster said Abigail Hernandez was reunited with her family Sunday, just as mysteriously as her Oct. 9 disappearance after leaving Kennett High School in Conway.

At the school on Tuesday, Principal Neal Moylan pulled summer school students together to see how they were handling the news. He says "everybody wonders what's going on."

Moylan says the community will let law enforcement do its job investigating the circumstances surrounding Abigail's disappearance.

Jane Young of the attorney general's office says Abigail "did not have the ability to survive on her own."


Ex-New Hampshire hockey coach charged with assault

DURHAM, N.H. (AP) - Former University of New Hampshire women's hockey coach Brian McCloskey has been charged with assault in an encounter during a game last year.

The Strafford County Superior Court Clerk's office says McCloskey is charged with putting "his body on top" of a player's body and threatening her.

The 59-year-old McCloskey has said that during a Nov. 30 loss to Ohio State, he grabbed the back of a player's jersey and helmet and reprimanded her for talking back. UNH fired McCloskey over it.

All the charges are misdemeanors punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine.

McCloskey has been out on bail since June 6. He has denied wrongdoing and wants his job back.

A message seeking comment was left at a phone listed in McCloskey's name.


Police: Man robs bank, flees with 6-year-old

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) - Police in Manchester, New Hampshire, have accused a man of robbing a bank at gunpoint before fleeing with a 6-year-old child in his car.

Police said 31-year-old Jose Falero entered the Citizens Bank on Monday, allegedly waving a gun and telling everyone to get on the floor before leaving with some cash. Bank employees said he wore dark clothing and a mask.

A witness saw the car's license plate number. Police caught up with the vehicle and stopped it.

Police said the child was unharmed.

It wasn't immediately known if Falero had a lawyer.


Former firefighter sentenced on home arson charges

LEE, N.H. (AP) - A former firefighter has pleaded guilty to two charges of arson following a fire at his New Hampshire home and has been sentenced to five to 10 years in prison, with part of that time suspended.

Firefighters say the fire at the garage at Donald Dubbs' rental home in Lee did extensive damage in July 2013. They said an elderly woman who owned the home narrowly escaped. Dubbs was later arrested by U.S. marshals in Pennsylvania.

Foster's Daily Democrat reports police records say the 59-year-old Dubbs was upset when the woman decided to move into an assisted living facility.

Dubbs had been a firefighter in Newmarket.



Cabot man turns self in in St. Johnsbury shooting

ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. (AP) - Police say a Cabot man wanted on a charge of attempted murder in a drive-by shooting in St. Johnsbury has turned himself in.

Forty-six-year-old-old Juan Rodriguez is being held without bail after pleading not guilty to shooting 26-year-old Rafeal Rodriguez in St. Johnsbury a week ago. Police say the two men are not related.

Authorities say the shooting happened after a dispute over a $300 debt.

The Caledonia Record reports Juan Rodriguez's has felony convictions for heroin delivery, sale of narcotics, and possession of heroin. He turned himself in to the Caledonia County courthouse on Monday.


Body found behind cemetery identified

HARTFORD, Vt. (AP) - Police have identified the body ay the body of a 51-year-old man found in a wooded area in Hartford, Vermont.

Police found the body of 51-year-old David Woodward of South Royalton on Sunday. Officers found it in the woods behind Mount Olivet Cemetery.

Police are waiting for an autopsy to be completed. They say there were no signs of trauma.

The Valley News reports Woodward's sister-in-law, Marie Woodward, said he had epilepsy. She said she thought it had been more than a year since he last had an episode.


3 arrested in burglary-shop-drug scheme

BRADFORD, Vt. (AP) - Vermont State Police have charged three people in connection with burglaries at several homes in which the stolen items were swapped for drugs at a consignment shop.

Police have accused Troy Perry, the owner of Seasons Consignment Shop in Bradford, of trading methadone and marijuana in place of cash for the stolen items, which include a rifle and ammunition. They found about 100 marijuana plants in his home.

Perry was issued a citation to appear in Orange County Court in September on multiple drug charges, possession of stolen property, and use of a firearm during the sale of a drug.

Also arrested were Kevin Fuller and Jennifer Burke of Vershire on charges of burglary, grand larceny and possession of stolen property.

It wasn't immediately known if any of them had lawyers.


1 arrested after dorm fire, 2nd person sought

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - Authorities have arrested one person in connection with a fire set at Champlain College in Burlington, and are seeking a second suspect.

The fire happened at a dormitory on July 10. The building was vacant and was undergoing renovations. Damage was estimated at $25,000. Firefighters say it was a case of arson.

The Burlington Free Press reports 26-year-old Theodore Bowen of Essex Junction pleaded not guilty Monday on charges of burglary, violating conditions of release and resisting arrest. Bowen said he was in the dormitory at the time, but said he was looking a bathroom.

Police said the investigation into identifying the second suspect is ongoing.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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