WINDHAM

Two student athletes face criminal mischief charges

Two Windham High School athletes, including Maine’s top senior high school football player, have been charged with criminal mischief by Windham police.

Sgt. William Andrew said Jack Mallis, 18, and Adam Szklany, 18, were charged early Tuesday morning.

Andrew said Mallis, a running back who won the Fitzpatrick Trophy in January, and Szklany, a varsity basketball player, jammed open valve stems on school bus tires, deflating tires on four to six buses. The buses were parked at Regional School Unit 14’s bus garage on Windham Center Road.

Andrew, his police dog and five officers tracked the two from the bus garage to a home on Pope Road. The students were found hiding in a ditch around 1:30 a.m.

Mallis and Szklany were charged before being released on personal recognizance from the Windham police station.

Mechanics were called in to re-inflate the tires before classes started on Tuesday.

SKOWHEGAN

Man pleads guilty in 2007 beating death of woman

State police say a man charged with murder in the June 2007 beating death of a New Portland woman has pleaded guilty in Somerset County Superior Court.

Jeffrey Lagasse, who was indicted last September, entered his plea on the murder charge Wednesday. He was charged with killing 50-year-old Louise Brochu, whose body was found at her home-and-flooring business along Route 27.

Lagasse, a neighbor and former employee of Brochu’s, will be sentenced June 11.

PRENTISS

Murder-suicide determined in death of couple at home

Maine State Police investigators are ruling the deaths of two people in Prentiss a murder-suicide.

Spokesman Steve McCausland said Wednesday the bodies of Dean and Debra Meitzler, both 51, were found Tuesday morning by their 29-year-old son Jason, who heard gunshots from another room in the house.

Police say Dean Meitzler shot his wife in a bedroom of the home and then shot himself.

The Meitzlers moved to Maine last year from Pennsylvania.

Police say no suicide note was found and they are continuing to investigate what sparked the violence.

Debra Meitzler’s death was the seventh homicide in Maine this year and the fifth involving domestic violence.

AUGUSTA

Plum Creek fined $38,675on timber-cutting charges

The Maine Conservation Department says it has fined Plum Creek $38,675 for timber-cutting violations.

The department said Wednesday that Plum Creek Maine Timberlands agreed to pay the penalty for conducting three clearcuts that were not properly separated or that did not have plans prepared by a licensed forester.

In addition to the fine, Plum Creek Maine Timberlands agreed to adjust its policy for handling certain types of harvests, and to undergo training.

Plum Creek has proposed a major residential development near Moosehead Lake. The state last year approved the company’s concept plan.

ORONO

Students and teachers will face facts and fight hunger

More than 1,000 Maine students and teachers will fight hunger by correctly answering vocabulary, math and other questions on their state-issued laptops.

Today’s event at the University of Maine in Orono is part of the largest Maine Learning Technology Initiative student conference ever.

The conferences are held annually.

This year’s conference is partnering with the United Nations’ World Food Programme to host the seventh-through-12th-grade students and teachers on a specially developed version of the website FreeRice.com.

Correct answers to core curriculum questions around vocabulary, mathematics, geography, science and other subjects trigger donations of rice. Sponsors pay for the food donations.

PORTLAND

Gunman sought in robbery at Bank of America branch

Portland police are searching for a man who robbed the Bank of America branch at 446 Forest Ave. at 1 p.m. today.

Police say a man approached a teller, showed a handgun and demanded money.

He fled with an undisclosed amount of money. There were no injuries.

The man is described as white, 35 to 40 years old, 6 feet 2 inches, 225 pounds, with brown hair and a beard. He was wearing a white T-shirt, sunglasses and a two-tone ball cap with a logo on the front, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to call 874-8575.

SOUTH PORTLAND

Tesh to perform concert at South Portland Auditorium

Pianist, composer, and radio host John Tesh will be performing a concert at 7:30 p.m. July 22 at the South Portland Auditorium.

Tickets are $39 and go on sale at noon June 4. Tickets will be available at the Merrill Auditorium box office, 20 Myrtle St., Portland, online at www.porttix.com, or by calling 842-0800.

The South Portland Auditorium is located at South Portland High School, 637 Highland Ave.

WESTBROOK

Driver remains critical after single-car crash on Friday

Derek Miller, who was seriously injured in a single-car crash Friday in Westbrook, remained in critical condition Wednesday at Maine Medical Center in Portland.

Miller, 23, of Naples, was driving westbound on Route 302 near Corsetti’s market when his 2004 Honda Civic left the roadway and struck a tree around 1 a.m. on Friday morning.

Police Chief William Baker said alcohol and speed may have been factors in the accident. He said the investigation is ongoing and the department is waiting for a speed analysis and Miller’s blood-alcohol test.

Westbrook police continue investigating fatal accident

Westbrook police are still investigating an accident Friday that killed one person and injured another.

Jana L. Pooler, 22. Injured in the crash was a 24-year-old passenger, Danielle Duguay, of Windham.

Police say Pooler was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the car. Police Chief William Baker believes Duguay was wearing a seatbelt and said she has been released from Maine Medical Center. Alcohol and speed are likely factors in the accident, he said. Baker said he believes Pooler was driving.

CAPE ELIZABETH

Cape council approves $20.7 million school budget

The Town Council on Tuesday approved a $20.7 million school budget that will go before voters June 8.

The budget passed with a vote of 6-2, with Chairwoman Anne Swift-Kayatta and Councilor Jessica Sullivan opposed. The two councilors said they were concerned about increasing spending in the current economic climate and when enrollment is declining.

The budget for next school year is 3.4 percent higher than the current budget of $20 million. The property tax rate for school services would increase 3.4 percent, or 34 cents, to $12.54 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.

The school spending plan was part of the Cape Elizabeth’s $31.4 million overall municipal budget.