January 25

New England Dispatches

MANCHESTER, N.H.

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Carson, a female harbor seal pup rehabilitated by staff at Mystic Aquarium, swims off Blue Shutters Beach in Charlestown, R.I., after being released into the ocean Friday. Carson, estimated to be 7 to 8 months old, was rescued in Kennebunkport, Maine, last June and brought to the aquarium two days later. The aquarium says she has fully recovered and adjusted from a formula to a fish diet.

The Associated Press/The Day/Sean D. Elliot

Fire officials identify man killed in apartment blaze

New Hampshire fire officials have identified the man who died in an apartment building fire in Manchester.

Officials say Charles Sullivan, 31, of Manchester was found on the third floor of the five-unit building.

State Fire Marshal William Degnan said smoke detectors alerted the other seven residents of the early Friday morning fire and they escaped safely.

Degnan said investigators are focusing on the third floor of the building, where the fire was first reported. Firefighters say the third floor was engulfed in flames when they arrived.

BOSTON

Murder trial set for woman accused of removing fetus

A Massachusetts woman accused of beating and strangling her pregnant friend, then cutting the fetus from her womb, is set to face a jury almost five years after the gruesome crime.

Prosecutors say Julie Corey of Worcester faked a pregnancy, then killed Darlene Haynes, who was eight months pregnant, took the baby and tried to pass the infant off as her daughter.

Corey’s lawyers and prosecutors are expected to make opening statements to the jury Monday in Worcester.

Prosecutors say Corey was the last person seen with Haynes. Two days after Haynes’ body was found, Corey and her boyfriend were found in a New Hampshire homeless shelter with a newborn girl. DNA testing showed she was Haynes’ child.

Corey has pleaded not guilty to kidnapping and murder charges.

PORTSMOUTH, N.H.

Judge rejects challenge to plan for outdoor rink

A plan to build an outdoor skating rink at New Hampshire’s Strawbery Banke Museum has been upheld by a judge after neighbors challenged it.

The project calls for building a pond-like structure that would be open for three months in the winter. The rink would offer skating lessons, family and community skate times and pickup hockey games.

Last fall, 11 neighbors challenged the Portsmouth zoning board’s decision to grant variances that would allow construction of the rink. They said they were concerned about noise and light pollution, and that the rink would bring more traffic to an already congested area. Museum officials said a cooling machine would be in a sound-proof building.

Rockingham County Superior Court Judge Kenneth McHugh said he couldn’t find that the board’s decision was either unlawful or unreasonable.

The project still needs approval of the city Planning Board.

– From news service reports

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