CUMBERLAND COUNTY

Two teenagers arrested after high-speed chase

Two male teenagers led police on a high-speed chase through four Cumberland County communities early Sunday before spike mats punctured all four tires.

Windham police arrested the 17-year-old operator — who had no driver’s license — and his passenger after a black 2007 Ford Focus that reached speeds in excess of 100 mph finally came to rest in Gorham at 2:30 a.m. Sunday.

The driver was taken to Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland. The passenger was released to the custody of his parents.

The only charge is eluding a police officer. Others are likely to be added, according to Sgt. Peter Fulton of the Windham Police Department, who said the operator had been consuming alcohol.

The chase began in Portland shortly after 1:30 a.m. on outer Forest Avenue and continued through Westbrook and Windham, where the first spike mat was successfully deployed.

The car does not belong to either teenager, Fulton said, but may have been borrowed from a friend.

A 2009 Windham police cruiser had to be towed from the scene because of a blown transmission.

STANDISH

Land trust gets $10,000, seeks another $16,500

The Presumpscot Regional Land Trust has received $10,000 from the Davis Conservation Fund to help protect the 100-acre Randall Orchard in Standish and surrounding 400 acres in Standish and Gorham.

The land trust is seeking more money for the project from the Land for Maine’s Future grant program and other sources. The land trust is now trying to raise $16,500 to cover transaction costs.

More information on the project and how to get involved is available by contacting Will Plumley, co-chairman of the Randall Orchard Protection Campaign Steering Committee, at [email protected] or 595-2134.

LEWISTON

CMCC will close its clinic at beginning of new year

A Lewiston hospital says it will close its acute-care clinic at the beginning of the new year.

Central Maine Medical Center is closing a clinic that provides emergency care for minor illnesses and injuries and primary care for adults and children. It’s staffed by one doctor.

The Sun Journal of Lewiston reported that some patients are not happy with the decision. Ginger Pearl of Mechanic Falls said she and her husband have chronic health issues. Pearl said that when she received a letter last week saying that the clinic is closing, she cried.

Hospital spokesman Chuck Gill said that Central Maine Healthcare has added more primary care doctors and patients are going to the doctor less often. He said patients still have the option of going to the emergency room.

SKOWHEGAN

Sappi completes projects totaling $49 million at mill

Sappi Fine Paper North America says it has completed capital improvement projects totaling $49 million at its mill in central Maine.

Sappi said that the projects at its Somerset Mill in Skowhegan included an upgrade of recovery cycle equipment and 17 other projects that increased the mill’s manufacturing capabilities.

Sappi officials said the improvements have led to increased pulp production, improved energy efficiency and a reduction in carbon emissions.

The mill employs about 800 workers.

PORTLAND

Eight Maine ski areas will offer free lessons

Maine ski areas are offering free ski and snowboard lessons to encourage new skiers to take to the slopes.

The Ski Maine Association said that Maine is among 34 states participating in January’s learn-to-ski promotions.

Between Jan. 3 and 9, eight Maine ski areas — Bigrock, Camden Snow Bowl, Lost Valley, Mount Abram, Saddleback, Shawnee Peak, Sugarloaf and Sunday River — are offering a limited number of free packages that include lift tickets, ski or snowboard rentals and first-time lessons with an instructor.

Those interested can sign up on the www.skimaine.com website.