YORK

Police say drunken driver was concealing a machete

York police have charged a man with drunken driving and carrying a concealed weapon after he was found disoriented near his crashed car with a machete hidden against his back, the handle protruding from his collar.

Police said they received a report of a suspicious man at Route 1 and Mountain Road at 8:23 a.m. Monday. When they arrived they found Mark E. Pothier, 35, of Pepperell, Mass., who had crashed a 1997 Toyota into a stand of trees, resulting in $5,000 in damage to the car.

Pothier resisted efforts to take him into custody, police said, but was eventually handcuffed. That’s when an officer found the 17-inch machete, police said.

Pothier is scheduled to appear in York District Court on Aug. 5.

PORTLAND

Robbery attempts thwarted at Rite Aid, CVS pharmacies

Portland police are investigating a pair of attempted pharmacy robberies on Monday night.

Police said a man telephoned staff at the Rite Aid pharmacy at 290 Congress St. at 7 p.m., made threats and demanded drugs. Police responded before the person could get the drugs.

A similar attempt was made at the CVS store at 449 Forest Ave.

Police said they were not releasing additional details because the investigation is in its early stages.

FOREST CITY

Federal agency drops plan to build larger border facility

The federal agency that oversees people entering the United States from Canada is scrapping plans to build a new, larger port of entry in the Maine border town of Forest City.

Instead, U.S. Customs and Border Protection plans to build a smaller facility on federal land across the border from the New Brunswick community that is also called Forest City.

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and landowners in the area are praising the decision.

Locals say the plan to demolish and replace the entry facility with a larger and more expensive building wasn’t necessary. The facility is open less than 24 hours a day and is not open on Sundays and holidays.

MONMOUTH

Police seek help in search for missing 16-year-old girls

Police are asking for help in finding two 16-year-old girls, one from Monmouth and one from Sabattus.

Kourtney Francoeur of Monmouth left her Bonin Road home about 3 p.m. April 9, according to Monmouth police Officer Dana Wessling. He said the girl has run away before, but never for this long. Francoeur is 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighs 103 pounds. She has blonde hair, brown eyes, a pierced tongue and a piercing on the upper left side of her lip.

Francoeur’s father reported he last saw her April 9, and she said she was going to the mall.

Francoeur is believed to be with Kayla Marin of Sabattus. Marin is 5 feet 2 inches tall, weighs 120 pounds, and has light-brown to sandy hair and brown eyes. She was last seen April 13 in Augusta and Lewiston, Wessling said.

Anyone with information should call Monmouth police at 933-9089 or Sabattus police at 375-6952.

ORONO

UMaine officials investigate fraternity pledge lost in woods

University of Maine officials are trying to determine what caused a student to spend eight hours lost in the woods during a fraternity initiation.

Joshua Gilmore, 19 of Levant walked out of the woods at about 2:25 p.m. Saturday after wandering along the Stillwater River.

The Bangor Daily News said Gilmore and other fraternity pledges wearing dress shirts, suit jackets and ties were sent in search of an artifact about 6 a.m. Saturday.

Members of the Sigma Chi fraternity called for help at 8 a.m. when Gilmore didn’t return. He was later treated for hypothermia.

Robert Dana, UMaine vice president for student affairs, said the university doesn’t tolerate hazing.

AUGUSTA

Electric customers who owe could face shut-off this week

The so-called winter disconnection period ends this week, meaning electric consumers who are behind in their bills could face shut-offs.

During the winter heating season, electric and gas utilities may not disconnect service without permission from the Maine Public Utilities Commission’s Consumer Assistance Division. The disconnection protection ends on Wednesday.

Chairwoman Sharon Reishus said the PUC has rules and services to help consumers avoid disconnection as long as they make good-faith efforts to pay their bills.

The next winter disconnection period begins Nov. 15.

STATEWIDE

Gasoline prices edge lower, stay below national average

A price-watching Web site says average retail gasoline prices in Maine are down slightly this week.

MaineGasPrices.com said prices for unleaded fuel averaged $2.85 per gallon Monday, down 1.7 cents from a week ago. The national average is 2 cents per gallon higher than Maine’s.

However, Maine’s average price is 76.7 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago.