SANFORD

N.H. man arrested in pharmacy robbery

Sanford Police have arrested a New Hampshire man in connection with a drug robbery from a Hannaford pharmacy on Sunday.
Police in Westbrook and Portland are investigating whether the suspect was involved in similar crimes that occurred the same day in those communities.

Sanford Police Chief Thomas Connolly Jr. said Jed D. Cameron, 31, of Friar Tuck Road in Wolfeboro, N.H., was arrested Sunday by Detective Sarah Roberts in connection with the Hannaford robbery.

Hannaford’s loss-prevention officer followed a suspect out of the Main Street store following the 5:30 p.m. robbery, Connolly said in a Monday news release. The Hannaford employee was able to provide Roberts with information that led her to identify Cameron in a booking photo taken in February, Connolly said.

The news release noted that Cameron is a suspect in a Westbrook robbery that occurred at about9 a.m. Sunday at a Rite Aid, but Westbrook police had no comment.

Portland Lt. James Sweatt said that department is looking into a possible connection to a robbery at the Shaw’s pharmacy at the Northgate Shopping Center in Portland that occurred around 3:30 p.m. “We’re going to see if the evidence matches,” said Sweatt.
 

SANFORD

Police identify drowned child as boy from N.H.

Police say a young boy who drowned after falling into the Mousam River in southern Maine was a 4-year-old from New Hampshire.

Sanford Police on Monday identified the boy as Aiden Finch of Dover, N.H.

Finch drowned Saturday after falling into the river while walking with his parents on a popular hiking trail.

The Sanford Fire Department told the Portland Press Herald the boy slipped and fell into the water and was swept down the fast-moving river, swollen from recent rains and melting snow.

The boy’s mother jumped in to save him and brought him to shore, but officials said he could not be revived.

DENVER

South Portland High alumna victim of hit-and-run

A South Portland High School graduate is recovering in a hospital after being hit by a car while crossing a road in Denver.

Lindsey Howland, 24, a standout softball player who was captain of the team at St. Michael’s College in Vermont, is now studying for her master’s degree in Colorado.

She was crossing a road at 1:48 a.m. Saturday when she was hit by a fast-moving car. The 22-year-old driver drove off but later turned himself in to police, accompanied by his parents. He was charged with hit-and-run and is being investigated for drunken driving, according to Denver police.

Howland was in critical condition after the crash but was later upgraded to stable condition, her father said.

SACO

Indictment charges man with sexual contact with child under 12

A York County grand jury has indicted a Saco man on charges of having sexual contact with a child younger than 12.

The indictment, released Monday, says John W. Lane, 68, of Park Road committed unlawful sexual contact from June to September in 2004. He also was charged with offenses against a second victim, including sexual abuse of a minor, sexual exploitation of a minor, possession of sexually explicit materials and furnishing drugs to a child.

Lane is in federal custody on separate charges of conspiracy to distribute 1,000 or more kilograms of marijuana, according to court records.

PORTLAND

Special election planned for Peaks Island Council

The city plans a special election June 8 on Peaks Island to fill a vacancy on the Peaks Island Council. The deadline for submitting nomination papers is March 29. No one has submitted nomination papers yet.

Ruth Heller, who was elected to the seat in November, moved off the island. Heller notified the city before the election that she was moving, but the ballots had already been printed. Heller never took the oath of office.

The City Council changed the city’s election ordinance so the Peaks Island Council could appoint someone in the interim. The Peaks Island Council appointed Judy Piawlock to fill the seat until June. 8.

The winner of the election will serve for two and a half years.

 

Seniors at three city schools to receive principal’s award

Seniors at Casco Bay, Deering and Portland high schools have been selected to receive the 2010 Principal’s Award from the Maine Principals’ Association.

The awards recognizing academic achievement and citizenship will go to Molly Monaghan at Portland High, Mohdis Delijani at Deering and Katie Cole at Casco Bay.

“Molly is a wonderful young lady who is always giving of herself for her school and others,” said Portland High Principal Michael Johnson. “She is involved in many facets of the school and is an outstanding scholar.”

“Throughout her years at Deering, Mohdis has been a quiet inspiration in the classroom, on the playing field, on the stage and as a leader in the school and the community,” said Deering Principal Kenneth Kunin.

“Katie Cole is an excellent student and an even more excellent human being,” said Casco Bay Principal Derek Pierce, noting that Cole embodies the school’s core values of seeking knowledge, being accountable and being compassionate.

For her senior project, Cole is organizing a fund-raiser to benefit two organizations that support orphans in Romania, Cambodia and Sudan. The event, featuring traditional food and entertainment, will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Maine Film Studio, at 235 Presumpscot St.

 

Franklin Arterial lanes will be closed today

The city plans to close the inbound lanes of Franklin Arterial from Congress Street to Middle Street from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. today.

Traffic will be detoured from Congress Street to Pearl Street to Middle Street. Commuters may want to seek other routes.

 

Student work on display at Portland museum, City Hall

The artwork of students, city employees and others is being featured in exhibits at the Portland Museum of Art and City Hall this month.

The museum is hosting the 2010 Youth Art Month exhibition through April 4. The show includes several pieces by students in the city’s public schools.

The artwork of nearly 100 city employees and their family members is on display at City Hall through March 19. Exhibitors include public library and school district employees.

Sponsored by the National Arts Program, awards will be given in amateur, intermediate, professional and youth categories. The exhibit is open to the public Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

AUGUSTA

PUC hearing to focus on Casco Bay Lines ferry prices

The Maine Public Utilities Commission will hold a hearing today on whether to uphold a fare increase that took effect last year for Casco Bay Lines.

The Casco Bay Island Transit District raised rates last year to offset declining ridership and create a reserve fund. Islanders complained to the PUC, which asked its staff to look into the matter. The staff concluded that the increase was reasonable, but the commission decided that the intense interest among islanders warranted a hearing.

The two-hour session is set for 10 a.m. at the PUC’s headquarters, at 101 Second St. in Hallowell. Although the public can testify, the three-member panel won’t decide the case today.

The session can be heard on the Internet. Go to www.maine.gov/mpuc and click on the audio button (or click on the calendar item there and do the same).

 

Compromise reached on surveillance-camera bill

A compromise has been reached on a bill that would have prohibited the use of traffic surveillance cameras that identify license plates. The bill was supported by civil libertarians, who were concerned about a loss of privacy because of the cameras.

The Legislature’s Transportation Committee endorsed a compromise Friday that puts safeguards on the deployment of automated license plate recognition systems.

The Maine Civil Liberties Union says it restricts use of the systems to police, the state Department of Transportation and the Maine Turnpike Authority. Data about law-abiding citizens will be purged every 21 days, and databases will be confidential.

Twelve of the 13 committee members voted for the compromise, enhancing its chances of passage. One member supports the total ban.

 

Roller-skiers must abide laws governing bicyclists

Roller-skiers will have to follow the same rules of the road as bicyclists to protect their safety.

Gov. John Baldacci signed a bill last week sponsored by Rep. Michael Carey, D-Lewiston. His sister, Eileen, is vice president at the Maine Winter Sports Center in Caribou, where a roller-skier was killed last year during training.

The new law will establish safety rules for the warm-weather ski training. For example, it says roller-skiers must travel with the flow of traffic and bars roller skis from divided highways.

The law, which will take effect three months after this legislative session ends, also says that roller-skiers younger than 16 must wear helmets.

 

UMaine runner honored by lawmakers for mile time

A University of Maine runner who joined the exclusive club of sub-four-minute milers is being honored by the Legislature.

Riley Masters of Bangor accomplished the feat on Feb. 13 with a time of 3 minutes, 59.97 seconds, provisionally qualifying him for the NCAA championships and breaking the school record. Masters, a sophomore, is a member of the Black Bear track and cross-country teams.

Masters was at the State House on Thursday, when the House of Representatives formally recognized his feat. The Senate’s expected to do the same after it returns today.

RANGELEY

Wardens investigate three snowmobile accidents

The Maine Warden Service is investigating three snowmobile accidents that seriously injured four people.

Two Massachusetts men were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries after two accidents at 2:30 a.m. Sunday in Rangeley. Wardens say one of the men’s machines hit a parked camper trailer, and the other crashed into a clump of trees when he swerved to avoid the first machine.

In Greenville, a Lyman man suffered a serious leg injury Saturday afternoon when his snowmobile hit a 2-foot-high patch of packed ice on Moosehead Lake, launched into the air and flipped.

And in Bradstreet Township, near Jackman, a Winslow man suffered a broken arm after crashing into another snowmobiler at 11 a.m. Sunday.

GRAY

February one of warmest, driest on record, experts say

The National Weather Service says last month has gone into the books as one of Maine’s warmest, least-snowy Februarys on record.

Bangor had only 2.7 inches of snow for the month — a record low for February.

Caribou had 9.8 inches, which was the ninth-lowest total on record. And in Portland, the 3.2 inches of snow was the seventh-lowest total since records began in 1871.

The average temperature for the month in Bangor was the third-highest on record, at 7.5 degrees above normal. Caribou was nearly 11 degrees above normal — the second-warmest February on record.

Portland had the fourth-warmest February on record, coming in 6 degrees above normal.

FORT KENT

N.H. man wins Can-Am dog sled race a third time

Despite warm weather, Matt Carstens, a musher from New Hampshire, set a blazing pace to win Maine’s 250-mile Can-Am Crown dog sled race for the third time.

Carstens crossed the finish line in Fort Kent around 3:15 a.m. Monday, 15 minutes ahead of Ryan Anderson of Ray, Minn. Nathan Schroeder of Chisholm, Minn., took third.

The race takes the dog sled teams across the wilderness of northern Maine. The mushers kept a swift pace despite less-than-ideal weather, with temperatures reaching the mid-40s.

Race officials said trail conditions held up. Carstens finished the final 43.7-mile leg from Allagash in less than five hours. His race time was 26 hours, 3 minutes, 30 seconds.