Icy spots on Interstate 295 foul up morning commute

Icy roads contributed to a series of car crashes in southern Maine Thursday morning, sending at least one person to the hospital.

The driver of a Dodge Durango was taken to a hospital with injuries that were not liife-threatening after the sport utility vehicle rolled over while going north on the Interstate 295 connector in Scarborough at 8:15 a.m.

A series of crashes near Tukey’s Bridge on Interstate 295 in Portland about 7 a.m. caused property damage but no injuries.

One car spun into the guardrail in the northbound lanes. Moments later, there was a four-vehicle crash in the southbound lanes, state police said.

A sport utility vehicle driven by Kaitlyn Millette, 21, of Yarmouth rear-ended a Chrysler PT Cruiser driven by Brenda Jewett, 52, of Freeport. Jewett’s car then hit the back of a van driven by James Saucier, 57, of Unity and then a pickup driven by Timothy Drake, 34, of Brunswick.

AUGUSTA

Bills aimed at road safety killed as support wanes

Lawmakers have killed bills that would have required daytime use of headlights and mandated that drivers clear ice and snow from their vehicles.

There was no support on the Transportation Committee for either of Rep. Jane Knapp’s bills. The House accepted the committee’s recommendation Thursday that the Gorham Republican’s bills not pass.

One would have imposed a $25 fine for failing to turn on headlights during daytime hours.

The other would have required vehicles traveling more than 40 mph be clear of ice or frozen snow. It called for $250 fines for a first offense, $500 for a second or subsequent offense. 

LePage won’t let crisis influence nuclear decision

Despite the crisis in Japan, Gov. Paul LePage regards nuclear power as a potential option for Maine’s future energy mix.

Spokesman Dan Demeritt told the Bangor Daily News that what’s happening in Japan is tragic but LePage is not changing his position that Maine must consider all energy options for the future. That would include any option that would safely reduce energy costs for Maine businesses and families.

Demeritt said that, to his knowledge, the administration has had no conversations with any potential nuclear developers.

Officials with the decommissioned Maine Yankee nuclear power plant say the events in Japan could not happen at the Wiscasset site, where the only things left are 64 canisters that hold spent nuclear fuel rods and other radioactive materials.

BATH

Drug robbery at Walgreens nets 15 months in prison

A 19-year-old Bath man will serve 15 months in prison for his role in a robbery last year at the Walgreens Pharmacy in Bath.

District Attorney Geoffrey Rushlau said Anthony Creamer pleaded guilty to robbery and stealing drugs in September. He was sentenced last week in Sagadahoc County Superior Court by Justice Andrew Horton.

Horton ordered Creamer to serve 15 months of a five-year sentence, with the remaining 45 months suspended, though he will be on probation for three years.

Rushlau said Creamer entered Walgreens on Feb. 15, told employees he had a gun, then demanded OxyContin. His brother, Michael Creamer, drove the getaway car.

Michael Creamer, 21, was later arrested in connection with a separate OxyContin robbery at a Hannaford pharmacy in York County. He was sentenced in December. 

PORTLAND

Two-day book sale benefits Big Bothers Big Sisters

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Maine will hold a book sale this weekend at the Woodfords Club, at 179 Woodford St.

The fundraiser, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, will offer more than 15,000 used books for sale. The books were donated by several benefactors around southern Maine.

Hardcover and large trade paperback books will be sold for $1; mass market paperbacks will cost 50 cents. There will be a small section of specially priced books. On Sunday, all books will be half-price after 11 a.m. and will be sold for $1 per bag after 2 p.m.

For more information, call 773-5437. 

Bluefin tuna fishing rules to be aired soon in Portland

U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree says the federal government will hold a hearing in Portland about plans for new bluefin tuna fishing regulations that she feels could put fishermen out of business.

Pingree, a Maine Democrat, says the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will probably hold the hearing in mid-April.

NOAA has scheduled a series of hearings on the proposed regulations. One was scheduled for next week in Gloucester, Mass., but it was postponed until April 1.

The National Marine Fisheries Service is considering Atlantic bluefin tuna quotas and other management measures. Pingree has criticized the administration of President Obama for considering an endangered species listing for the bluefin. 

More children in poverty, according to Kids Count

A new report presents a mixed picture about the well-being of children in Maine.

The Kids Count report, released Thursday, says Maine’s child poverty rate was 17.5 percent in 2009, the latest year for which figures are available. That was 1 percentage point higher than the rate the previous year for children younger than 18.

The report also says the median income for families with children slipped in the same two years, from $54,800 to $52,700.

The Kids Count report says, on the positive side, the percentage of 4-year-olds in pre-kindergarten programs rose from under 20 percent in 2009 to 25 percent in 2010.

The research is funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a private charitable organization.

BIDDEFORD

UNE grad, seal researcher seeks grant with your help

A seal researcher at the University of New England has a 50/50 chance of winning $10,000 to fund a research trip to Hawaii.

But Dashiell Masland needs your help.

Masland, who got her graduate degree from UNE in 2009, is competing in an online contest called “National Geographic Channel Expedition Granted.”

The contest began March 13 as a lead-in to the cable channel’s upcoming “Expedition Week” lineup of programming.

In the online contest, Masland is facing Trevor Frost, whose proposed expedition involves protecting wildlife in Indonesia. Masland’s proposed expedition involves studying monk seals, to understand how they continue to thrive, and use that information to help seals elsewhere.

People can go to National Geographic Channel’s website — www.natgeotv.com — and click “Expedition Granted” for more information on each contestant and vote. Voting will continue until April 7.

While the winner will get $10,000, the other contestant will get $2,500.

CARIBOU

Fatal ATV towing accident brings manslaughter charge

A man from northern Maine faces charges that he was drunk when he was involved in an ATV crash that killed a friend.

Aroostook County prosecutors say Timmy Soucy, 26, of St. Agatha was indicted Wednesday by a grand jury on manslaughter and other charges.

Police said Soucy was on an ATV that was towing another ATV driven by Robert Tardif, 24, of Frenchville on Oct. 31 last year when both machines rolled over in the road. Neither man was wearing a helmet.

Tardif later died in a hospital.

The Bangor Daily News said Soucy was indicted on charges of manslaughter, aggravated driving after license revocation, aggravated drunken driving and reckless conduct.

BANGOR

Embezzlement conviction sends woman to prison

An Old Town woman has been sentenced to more than a year in prison after pleading guilty to theft by a bank employee.

Federal prosecutors say Karen Lebreton, 44, was sentenced to 15 months in prison on Thursday and must pay $35,000 in restitution and a fine of $1,000.

Court records say Lebreton, who was a customer service representative for a Bangor bank, embezzled funds from the accounts of seven customers from December 2008 to November 2009.

Lebreton pleaded guilty to the charges last year. 

Canadian pleads guilty to immigration charge

A Canadian woman who is accused of trying to bring a Brazilian woman into Maine has pleaded guilty to bringing an illegal immigrant into the U.S.

No sentencing date has been set for Lynne Boutot, 43, of Saint Basil, New Brunswick, who entered her plea Thursday in U.S. District Court in Bangor.

Prosecutors say she accepted $1,500 to bring the Brazilian into the U.S. in her trunk in January. She told officials at the border at Madawaska that she was entering the U.S. to buy gas. Her trunk was opened during a secondary inspection.

The Brazilian stowaway, who has two children who are U.S. citizens, was sentenced to 12 days in jail. Boutot faces as much as 10 years in prison.

BRUNSWICK

Catholic school principal among nation’s top 12

Andree Tostevin, principal of St. John’s Catholic School, will receive a 2011 Distinguished Principal Award at the National Catholic Educational Association’s annual convention April 26-28 in New Orleans.

Tostevin is one of 12 principals nationwide who will receive the association’s top award for principals this year.

When Tostevin joined St. John’s, she made changes that unified the teaching staff, revived morale and renewed commitment to the school’s Catholic identity, said Brother Robert Bimonte, an association staff member.

Tostevin said Catholic schools are successful when they promote demanding academics, provide a strong community of faith and give each student personal, positive attention.

“Everything we do is evaluated against our Catholic teachings,” Tostevin said. “I am blessed to have people around me who show me every day what it means to be Catholic.”

BOSTON

Missing Level 3 sex offender arrested while in Maine

A convicted sex offender from Massachusetts who was wanted for cutting off his monitoring device has been arrested in Maine.

Massachusetts State Police say Brian Addeo, 32, was traced to a rooming house in Augusta, where he was arrested Wednesday night by law enforcement from both states.

Authorities say Addeo, with a last known address in Upton, Mass., has been classified by the state as a Level 3 offender, considered the most likely to re-offend.

Police say Addeo cut off his GPS monitoring bracelet last week and threw it in the back of a pickup truck in Tewksbury, Mass., a violation of his parole conditions.

Police say Addeo has been convicted of charges, including aggravated rape and unnatural rape of a child under 16, involving six victims.