Minnesota man buys tower in ocean off NC

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The U.S. government's trash is a Minnesota man's treasure.

When federal officials decided to sell a light tower off the North Carolina coast that hadn't been used in years, 56-year-old entrepreneur Dave Schneider of Richfield, Minn., decided to plunk down $20,000 for the platform, the Associated Press reports.

The structure resembles a small oil rig, and he envisions it as a lab for research into wind power and other technologies. He plans to take a helicopter out to his investment for a visit on Wednesday to shoot video and get measurements. The living quarters below the landing pad include five bedrooms, a galley, a recreation room, and a bathroom, according to the Government Services Administration page on the platform.

Diamond Shoals Light Tower was first used in 1966 to help guide ships in dangerous waters sometimes called the Graveyard of the Atlantic, the AP says. But the aging structure needed more than $2 million in repair and the government decided it wasn't worth it. Schneider was the only bidder.

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