BRUNSWICK

Driver injured when car crashes into Walmart

A Colorado woman was transported by ambulance to Maine Medical Center in Portland this afternoon after the Nissan Versa she was driving crashed into the Walmart on Tibbetts Drive, police said in a written news release.

Andrea Kreitman, 47, of Longmont, Colo., received non-life-threatening injuries in the crash, which happened around 3:30 p.m., police said.

The car and a concrete exterior wall were seriously damaged.�

SOUTH PARIS

Family escapes house fire after alerted by hunter

With a hunter’s help, a family in South Paris has escaped an intense fire that destroyed their home.

WCSH-TV reports that the fire broke out around 6:30 Thanksgiving morning while Nick Merrill, his girlfriend and seven-month-old daughter were all sleeping.

A hunter who was driving by saw the flames. He pulled into their driveway and honked his horn before he banged on the front door to wake them up. The family escaped, but fear three puppies died in the blaze.

There was no word yet on the cause.

HOULTON

Third arrest in meth lab discovery; more expected

Authorities say a third person has been arrested in connection with a methamphetamine laboratory that was discovered last week in northern Maine.

The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency and Bangor police arrested 33-year-old Kenneth Moore on Wednesday and charged him with trafficking in methamphetamine. Moore had been sought by drug agents for his involvement in a meth lab seizure in Houlton on Nov. 15

It’s the third arrest in the investigation. Police say 41-year-old Kenneth Williams of Lakeland, Fla., and 28-year-old Melissa Tidd of Houlton, have already been arrested. Both are charged with trafficking in methamphetamine.

Police anticipate additional arrests.

AUGUSTA

Unemployment staff will be available this morning

Maine’s labor commissioner says unemployment representatives will be available on the Friday after Thanksgiving to assist workers with questions about their benefits.

Commissioner Laura Fortman says the claims centers will be open from 8 to 11:30 a.m. on Friday to respond to those inquiries.

Changes in federal unemployment programs are prompting questions to the Department of Labor’s three claims centers. In addition, federal changes have resulted in benefit payment delays for some people. 

Timber harvest numbers are down from last year

The Maine Forest Service says timber harvesting activities in the state in 2009 were much lower than in previous years, and reflect the depressed economic conditions of the time.

That and other trends and statistics in Maine’s timber harvesting industry can be found in the Forest Service’s 2009 Silvicultural Activities and Stumpage Price reports.

The first report says the 394,100 total acres harvested last year was down 15 percent from the 2008 total of 463,200 acres. Acres clear-cut increased from 10,075 acres in 2008 to 14,866 in 2009. Clearcutting still amounts to less than 4 percent of the total harvested acres.

The second report reflects a downward trend in stumpage prices paid to landowners.