Ruling could end lawsuit over Hannaford data theft

A lawsuit filed against Hannaford Bros. Co. by customers over a security breach is expected to end.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court said Tuesday that the customers’ time and effort to avoid or remedy possible future harm from the breach doesn’t constitute an injury under state law.

A federal judge in Portland had asked the state’s highest court for an opinion on the subject in response to a federal lawsuit. Judge D. Brock Hornby is expected to apply the state court’s answer supporting his earlier decision to dismiss the case.

The customers who brought the complaint could do nothing, or they could appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston.

In late 2007 and early 2008, thieves stole as many as 4.2 million debit and credit card numbers and other information from customers who used Hannaford’s electronic payment services at supermarkets.

In October 2008, 21 customers sued in U.S. District Court in Portland. One had outstanding fraudulent charges on her account. The others had been reimbursed by their banks or credit card companies, but sought compensation for “the expenditure of time and effort necessary to remedy the disruption of their financial affairs and for various fees, charges and lost reward points.”

Hannaford filed a motion to dismiss the complaint, arguing there was no actual claim for their lawsuit that was recognized by law.

Crash involving pickup trucks sends one driver to hospital

One person had to be transported by ambulance to Maine Medical Center after two pickup trucks collided on Hutchins Drive in Portland on Tuesday.

Sgt. Joe Ezepek said one of the drivers was taken to the hospital with nonlife-threatening injuries while the second driver refused medical attention.

The cause of the 5:30 p.m. accident is under investigation, Ezepek said.

Town councilor who resigned expresses her displeasure

A town councilor who resigned last week said in a letter that she was unhappy with how the council sometimes conducted its business.

Councilor Carol Waig announced her resignation during a council meeting Sept. 14. She said at the time that she was resigning for personal reasons.

Waig’s resignation letter cited other reasons.

“I find myself in an ethical dilemma with decisions being made on this council, as well as the way some people are treated or spoken to,” Waig said in her letter.

Town Manager Tony Plante said he believes Waig resigned over a communications policy that establishes boundaries for communication between the council and town employees. The policy was approved by a 6-1 vote with Waig dissenting.

“Councilors resign for a variety of reasons, but this is different,” Plante said. “This is apparently over dissatisfaction over how things are going with the council. She is clearly unhappy.”

Three people are vying for the seat vacated by Waig, who had one year left as a councilor-at-large.

Thomas Gleason, Robert Muir, and Lawrence H. MacDonald filed nomination papers with the town on Monday and will appear on the November ballot.

Former firefighter indicted for possession of firearm

A former firefighter in Westbrook was indicted recently on a charge of possession of a firearm by a felon.

A Cumberland County grand jury indicted James Gammon, who lost his job with the Westbrook Fire and Rescue Department in July.

Gammon was arrested June 25 after Westbrook police learned that he had firearms. State records show that Gammon has a 1983 felony conviction for robbery. He was  placed on leave after his arrest.

Gammon is scheduled to be arraigned on Nov. 18.

Dan Walsh, business agent for Teamsters Local 340, which represents firefighters and rescue workers, said Gammon has appealed the city’s decision to fire him. Walsh said the Maine State Labor Board hasn’t scheduled Gammon’s arbitration hearing.

Barney’s Seafood Market hit by fire Tuesday night

A fire Tuesday night damaged a Raymond seafood market.

A dispatcher for the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department said smoke was pouring through the roof of Barney’s Seafood Market on Route 302 when firefighters arrived around 6:30 p.m.

Deputies from the Sheriff’s Department were brought in to direct traffic around the fire scene.

The extent of damage and cause of the fire were not known Tuesday. Crews from Raymond, Windham and Casco responded.

Connecticut man charged with selling crack cocaine

A Connecticut man is free on $50,000 bail after being charged with selling crack cocaine in Old Orchard Beach.

The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency arrested Geoffrey Sikorski, 22, who recently moved to Old Orchard Beach from Norwich, Conn., according to the MDEA.

He was arrested last Wednesday, the agency said in a written statement.

A search of Sikorski’s apartment and car yielded small amounts of cocaine, crack cocaine, marijuana and $620, police said.

Coast Guard recommends waterways for natural gas

The Coast Guard said Tuesday it is recommending to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that Passamaquoddy Bay and the St. Croix River be found suitable for liquefied natural gas vessels that would travel to Calais LNG’s proposed $1 billion facility in Calais.

Calais LNG hopes to develop a 330-acre site, but has yet to submit a completed application to the Maine Bureau of Environmental Protection.

Police charge 17-year-old in school vandalism case

Bath police have charged a 17-year-old with aggravated criminal mischief and burglary in connection with vandalism at a local elementary school.

Police say a worker arrived at school at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday to find glass doors and windows broken, many computers smashed and a trophy case destroyed. They estimate the damage at more than $10,000.

Police found the youth late Tuesday morning and said his parents cooperated with the investigation.

The teenager, whose name was not released, will be held at the Long Creek Youth Development Center until an initial court appearance.

Human rights commission rules against middle school

The Maine Human Rights Commission has ruled that a middle school discriminated against a sixth-grader by not letting the male-to-female transgender student use the girls’ bathroom.

The parents of the child, who no longer attends school in the district, wrote to the commission that she experienced anxiety and depression during the 2008-2009 year after Orono Middle School officials forced her to use a gender-neutral bathroom and her peers picked on her.

The school stated the district trained the staff, educated students, gave the transgender student her own bathroom and locker, and met with her parents.

The Bangor Daily News reported the district is fighting a lawsuit filed by the child’s family in Penobscot County Superior Court.

Truck kills man, 87, crossing road in front of his house

Police say an 87-year-old man was killed in western Maine when he was struck by a pickup truck while walking across the road in front of his house.

Maine State Police said Glen Fitch was killed instantly at about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday on Route 134 in New Sharon when he was hit by a truck driven by 43-year-old Walter Fails of New Sharon.

Police said troopers are looking at whether glare from the morning sun played a role in the accident.

OSHA issues citations at site where worker died in March

Federal workplace safety officials have cited a Maine plant that makes wood veneer for 15 safety violations following the death of a worker in March.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says the worker became caught in moving parts of equipment that was undergoing maintenance at Columbia Forest Products Inc. in Presque Isle. OSHA said today that the machine had not been turned off, and its power source had not been locked out.

A call to the company’s headquarters today was not immediately returned.

Natural gas line break forces South Street closure

A ruptured natural gas line forced the town of Gorham to close a section of South Street, nearBramblewood Road, around4:15 p.m. Tuesday.

A dispatcher for the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department said a contractor working near an apartment building in the area of 156 South St. may have caused the break.

No injuries were reported.

The road was reopened a short time after.