New England in brief

Copter makes emergency landing in water

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June 22, 2008

Martha's Vineyard
A helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing yesterday afternoon in the water north of Martha's Vineyard after the craft's engine failed, said Holly Baker, a Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman. Four people and two dogs were aboard the helicopter. They were safely transported to shore by a good Samaritan, a Coast Guard spokeswoman said. State Police said the occupants were Thomas and William O'Connell of Quincy and Michelle Mussaw, 21, and Melanie Smith, 23, of Nashua. No injuries were reported. The FAA will investigate the incident, Baker said.

'Hulk' statue stolen from cinema
Police in Lowell are seeking an 8-foot tall green man wearing ripped purple pants last seen standing in front of a city cinema. Police say the promotional statue for "The Incredible Hulk" movie disappeared from in front of the theater early Tuesday. The statue is also missing its feet, because it was bolted to a plywood platform and whoever took it snapped it off at the ankles. Police Captain James McPadden believes more than one person was involved and a car or pickup truck was needed to whisk the statue away. McPadden says the theater has video surveillance cameras and is hoping the theft was captured on film. (AP)

Scallop haul may lead to fines
Three New England-based scallop boat owners could face penalties after US officials allegedly found more than the legal limit of scallops on board. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found violations on the three scallopers following an operation last week that involved the boarding of 20 boats catching scallops off Nantucket. Andrew Cohen, special agent in charge for the Northeast division of the agency's Office of Law Enforcement, said the Charlotte Jean II of New Bedford carried 900 pounds of scallop meat, more than double the 400-pound maximum allowed per trip. Black Bear and Caroline I, two Maine boats, each allegedly had 600 pounds of scallops on board. (AP)

Not-guilty plea in crime boss slaying
A suspect in the 2003 shooting death of a Springfield organized crime boss has pleaded not guilty. Fotios Geas, charged with murder in aid of racketeering in connection with the death of Adolfo Bruno, entered the plea Friday in US District Court. A federal indictment alleges that Geas, 41, a onetime mob enforcer, paid another man to kill Bruno. Frankie Roche, the admitted triggerman in the case, told prosecutors that Geas paid him $8,000 on behalf of unnamed mobsters to kill Bruno. Roche pleaded guilty to murder in federal court last month in a plea deal. (AP)

Pilot killed in crash near regional airport
A pilot was killed when her light plane crashed yesterday in shallow coastal waters as she was preparing to practice approaches and landings at Knox County Regional Airport. The crash occurred about 11 a.m. shortly after the single-engine Piper Cherokee took off from the airport in Rockland. The pilot was identified as a woman but her name was being withheld until Maine State Police could notify relatives, said Jeff Northgraves, airport manager. The pilot, who was the plane's lone occupant, was operating under visual flight rules and air traffic control was not involved, said Holly Baker, spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration. (AP)

5-day sting results in nearly 200 arrests
US marshals and local police arrested nearly 200 suspected sex offenders and violent criminals in a five-day operation. Among those arrested in the operation that ended Friday was a suspect wanted in connection with a killing and six others who are accused of failing to register as sex offenders. One suspected arsonist and two people wanted on sexual assault charges were arrested and several others were wanted on drug, assault, robbery, and other charges. Details of the case involving the killing were not immediately available. Police officers from Hamden, Milford, New Haven, Old Lyme, and West Haven were among those who became special deputy US marshals for the operation. (AP)

Jobless rate called highest in 14 years
The state Department of Labor says the unemployment rate for May was 4.9 percent, the highest it's been in 14 years. State Labor Commissioner Patricia Moulton Powden says Vermont's job growth isn't enough to hold down the rate, which is to be expected in tough economic times like these. (AP)

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