PORTLAND

Admitted ‘time bomb’ charged with indecency

A Portland man who gained notoriety for telling a judge he was a “time bomb” was arrested again this week on charges of indecent conduct and refusal to submit to arrest.

Portland police arrested Norman Dickinson, 42, after he allegedly exposed himself on the Western Promenade at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday. Police responded to the report and when they arrived, Dickinson ran, police said. They arrested him at his home on Gilman Street.

He was arrested in 2009 on similar charges.

He is being held on the Cumberland County Jail where he is also accused of violating his probation stemming from an earlier burglary conviction.

Police say they have received other reports of indecent exposure in that park in the morning and asked that anyone with information contact police at 874-8539.

In 1989, Dickinson pleaded guilty to threatening three women with a realistic-looking toy gun, kidnapping a woman and stealing a car from another woman. His struggles to re-enter society after spending much of his life in state institutions have made headlines since 1997 when he told a judge he was a “time bomb” and may commit new violent crimes.

Portland man charged with theft of jewelry store

A Portland man was charged with burglary and theft after he allegedly smashed a jewelry store window at 10 Exchange St. and grabbed $2,500 in merchandise.

Police said a passerby saw Todd Lay, 52, smash the front window of Namaste Alternative Lifestyles Emporium at 3:24 a.m. and called police.

An officer spotted Lay nearby and arrested him. Lay had in his possession a box containing jewelry that still had the price tags on it, police said.

Downeaster train service posts best performance yet

Amtrak’s Downeaster, which runs between Portland and Boston, bounced back from a dip last summer and fall to finish the fiscal year with its best performance yet. The Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority says 474,058 passengers rode the train during the fiscal year that ended last month. Ridership rebounded after losing ground in the first five months of the fiscal year to finish 1 percent ahead of the previous year.

Executive Director Patricia Quinn says revenue for the service hit an all-time high as well, at $6.7 million.

AUGUSTA

Baldacci nominates judges for Superior, District courts

Gov. John Baldacci announced a number of judicial nominations to the state’s Superior and District courts Friday.

Baldacci nominated three district court judges to become superior court justices: MaryGay Kennedy of Brunswick, Robert Murray of Bangor, and Ann Murray of Bangor, who has been the chief judge of the district court since 2007.

District court nominations included Patrick Ende of Hallowell, Bruce Jordan of Veazie and Susan Oram of Auburn.

The nominations are subject to Senate confirmation and a confirmation session has been set for Aug. 25.

Wayne man, 78, sentenced for molesting 9-year-old

An elderly man described repeatedly in court as “compassionate and kind” will spend the next 20 months in prison for repeatedly molesting a 9-year-old girl.

Joseph A. Tripp, 78, of Wayne was sentenced in Kennebec County Superior Court to eight years in prison, with all but 20 months suspended and six years’ probation.

He had pleaded guilty May 25 to a charge of unlawful sexual contact. The offenses occurred in Wayne between Jan. 1 and Nov. 16, 2009.

The prosecutor, Assistant District Attorney James Mitchell Jr., had sought two years of jail time for Tripp.

“Multiple times on multiple occasions, he violated this child,” Mitchell told Justice Nancy Mills. “He told her, ‘It’s our secret.’ “

Mills said she recognized Tripp’s acceptance of responsibility by his confessing to Maine State Police investigators and sparing the child from having to testify in front of the grand jury and at trial.

The judge said she hoped therapy for the victim — funded by Tripp — would help the girl deal with the anxiety, stress disorder issues and temper tantrums reported by the girl’s mother.

Tripp apologized to the girl’s family in court.

“I’m sorry for what I’ve done,” he said. “I still love my family even though they’ve disowned me. They trusted me … I feel terrible. I not only sinned against then, I sinned against God, my church. I sinned against by friends and neighbors.”

Beetle preying on Hemlock trees spreading in Maine

Maine forestry officials say an invasive pest that preys on hemlock trees is continuing to spread in the state.

Allison Kanoti of the Maine Forest Service says the warm winter may have helped the spread of the hemlock wooly adelgid, a tiny beetle brought to North America from Japan.

Kanoti told the Bangor Daily News the adelgids have been found since May in 13 towns in Cumberland, Sagadahoc and Lincoln counties. She says she expects the list to grow.

Kanoti says adelgids can cause hemlock declines that are “quite shocking.”

The adelgids cause their host trees to lose needles and also cause the crowns to thin.

Forestry officials fear the adelgids could devastate Maine’s hemlock trees.

WESTBROOK

Two people charged with drug trafficking in park

Westbrook police charged two people with dealing drugs at Riverbank Park on Thursday night.Police working with the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency arrested Branly Mateo, 21, and Phila Kien, 19, both of Portland at 7 p.m.Police say they seized seven grams of cocaine and some marijuana. Police said several families and children were in the park at the time of the arrest. Each suspect was being held on $3,000 bail at Cumberland County Jail, police said.

YORK

Three wrecks in 20 minutes slow turnpike traffic

Three motor vehicle accidents in a 20-minute span slowed already-heavy northbound traffic Friday on the Maine Turnpike, with one person taken to the hospital.

According to state police, a three-car collision occurred around mile marker 6 in York just before 3 p.m. An elderly woman sustained minor injuries and was taken to York Hospital. Police did not have the name of the woman Friday night.

Ten minutes later there was another accident involving “two or more vehicles” at mile marker 5, state police said, and 10 minutes after that there was a two-car collision at mile marker 3.

The second and third accidents did not involve injuries.