Gray man pleads not guilty in Monument Square death

A 20-year-old man from Gray pleaded not guilty Monday to charges in the fatal attack on Eric Benson in Portland’s Monument Square.

William Googins appeared briefly in Cumberland County Superior Court and pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and aggravated assault.

Police say Googins exchanged words with Benson, who was walking with a female friend in the early morning of May 23. Googins allegedly punched Benson once in the face.

Benson, 24, of Westbrook, fell and hit his head on the bricks of Monument Square. Doctors at Maine Medical Center were not able to save Benson.

Googins is being held on $100,000 bail in the Cumberland County Jail.


Rollover closes northbound entrance ramp on turnpike

The northbound entrance ramp of Exit 47 on the Maine Turnpike was shut down for three hours Monday after a flatbed trailer that was being hauled by a dump truck rolled over.

Maine State Police charged Dana Scott, 61, of Cumberland with not securing the load properly. The dump truck didn’t roll but the trailer, and the man-lift it was hauling, did. Both were destroyed, causing about $60,000 in damage, state police said.

Nobody was hurt. One lane on the turnpike northbound was shut down for about two hours while the scene was cleaned up.


Council OKs zoning change for houses on Peaks Island


The City Council unanimously approved a zoning change Monday to allow three houses on a single lot at 18 Luther St. on Peaks Island.

Home Start, a nonprofit that’s based on the island, plans to provide three affordable houses on the lot. It would be the first affordable housing built for families on the island.

The council’s action allows Home Start to divide the lot into three lots of 5,300 square feet — about the same size as the other lots on the street, which is in the island’s densely populated Downfront area.


Postal Service issuing stamp featuring Homer painting

The U.S. Postal Service is issuing a new stamp featuring a painting by the renowned artist Winslow Homer, who produced some of his most notable work while living in Maine.

The Postal Service said the stamp features Homer’s “Boys in a Pasture,” an 1874 painting that shows two boys sitting at peace in a field.

The Postal Service will unveil the stamp on its first day of issue, Aug. 12, at the Portland Museum of Art, which has an exhibit of more than 250 of Homer’s illustrations.

Homer produced some of his best-known works while living at a studio in Scarborough from 1883 until his death in 1910.


Police investigate robberies committed at knifepoint

Police are investigating two robberies that they believe may have been committed by the same man who robbed three Portland businesses in the last week.

Chief William Baker said the Good Things Store at 113 Saco St. and the Dunkin’ Donuts on Route 302 were robbed at knifepoint within an hour Monday night. No injuries were reported.

The suspect is described as a tall, thin, white man in his 20s. He has been threatening store clerks with a 12-inch kitchen knife.

Early Monday, a man with a large knife threatened workers at the Domino’s pizza shop at 788 Forest Ave. in Portland. The man was described as in his early 30s, white, 6-foot-1, and wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt with the hood up.

At 3:25 p.m. Sunday, a man used a large butcher’s knife to threaten a clerk at the Dollar Store at the 449 Forest Ave. plaza. The man was described as in his early 20s, white, thin, and wearing a red hooded sweatshirt with the hood up.

Nobody was hurt in either incident.

Police say there are similarities between the three robberies and one on July 13 at the ScrubaDub auto wash at 1185 Forest Ave. in Portland.

Police ask that anyone with information call 874-8533.


Four teenagers, counselor injured when boat capsizes

Four teenage boys and their camp counselor were injured when the motorboat they were riding in Monday capsized in Lake Cobbossee.

The four campers and the counselor were from Camp All-Star, an overnight sports camp at Kents Hill School in Readfield.

One of the four teenagers was on the lap of counselor Mark Cloutier, 20, learning to operate the 2004 Mastercraft ski boat, said Deborah Turcotte, spokeswoman for the Maine Warden Service. “The teen pulled the power lever down too fast and it sent the boat into a nosedive” around 10 a.m., she said.

The windshield shattered and one of the three passengers in the back was ejected, she said. Then, the boat capsized. Turcotte said the boat was going about 40 mph.

The Maine Warden Service and the Winthrop Fire and Police departments pulled the five to safety and turned the boat upright.

One of the five was wearing a life preserver, Turcotte said, and the boat had other life jackets on board.

The campers — two 14-year-olds, a 15-year-old and an 18-year-old — suffered cuts on their arms and legs that appeared to require stitches, Turcotte said. Cloutier, Camp All-Star’s wakeboarding director, suffered bruises.


Family of missing woman hands out fliers, posters

The family of a missing Scarborough woman was in New York this weekend to distribute missing-person posters.

Megan Waterman, 22, was last seen on the weekend of June 6 at the Holiday Inn Express in Hauppauge, N.Y. Police believe she advertised as an escort on Craigslist, which may have been the reason she was on Long Island.

Waterman’s family and supporters put up fliers around shopping areas in Hauppauge. They also asked shoppers to release balloons with miniature posters attached to them.

The event was put together by LostNMissing, a New Hampshire-based nonprofit organization that works with families of missing people.

Anyone with information that could help locate Waterman is asked to call Scarborough police at 883-6361 or their anonymous crime tip hotline at 730-4200, extension 3093.

Photos of Waterman and more information are at www.meganwaterman.com and the Help Find Megan Waterman Facebook page


Community reels from loss of town police chief Sunday

The town was reeling Monday from the loss of Police Chief Richard Caton, who was being treated for leukemia and died Sunday from pneumonia.

“We’re all just trying to sort through the shock of what happened,” said Lt. Jack Peck, the town’s acting police chief.

Caton, 52, was diagnosed with leukemia in 2008 and had a stem cell transplant in April, when he went on leave from the department, Peck said. He came down with pneumonia Friday and an ambulance took him to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, where he died about 5 a.m. Sunday.