BIDDEFORD

Bogus inspection stickers showing up on old vehicles

Police in Biddeford say they’ve been seeing a rash of fraudulent inspection stickers on older vehicles in the city.

Chief Roger Beaupre said police have come across 31 bogus inspection stickers in April alone.

He says the stickers appear to have been made on high-end copy machines. He says he has heard they’ve been selling for $50 to $100 each.

Most of the vehicles with the fake stickers have been at least a decade old, leading police to believe that the car owners are trying to avoid costly repairs needed to pass the state’s vehicle inspection test.

ACTON

Suspect being evaluated following string of fires

Authorities have a suspect in a string of fires that were reported overnight in the same area of town.

The suspect is being medically evaluated, according to Steve McCausland, spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety. No charges have been filed.

The case is being reviewed by the District Attorney’s Office.

The fires destroyed two houses, a pontoon boat, an SUV and a shed. A third house was damaged. Fire investigators believe two woods fires may be connected.

Fire Chief Ed Walsh told WMTW-TV that the first fire was reported shortly after 10 p.m. Wednesday. It was followed by fires that burned the boat, a car and three homes nearby.

He said about 75 firefighters from 10 departments in Maine and New Hampshire responded.

The state Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating.

One property owner was taken to Goodall Hospital in Sanford with cuts.

LEBANON

Man, 80, flown to hospital with gunshot wound

An 80-year-old man from Lebanon was taken by helicopter to a hospital in New Hampshire late Thursday night after suffering a gunshot wound.

Maine State Police are investigating the incident, which was reported around 9 p.m. at a home on Lower Barley Street.

Jason Cole, Lebanon’s assistant rescue chief, said a town ambulance took the man to Skyhaven Airport in Rochester, N.H., where he was flown by helicopter to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H.

The helicopter could not land at Maine Medical Center in Portland because of heavy fog, Cole said, adding that the man’s injuries were life-threatening. He would not disclose the man’s name.

The cause of the shooting remains under investigation.

GLOUCESTER, Mass.

NOAA recommends hike in limit on sea scallops

Federal fisheries managers have proposed raising the limit on the lucrative sea scallop catch.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration proposal would raise the limit from 47 million to 51 million pounds this fishing year, then 55 million pounds in 2012.

The NOAA proposal would also limit fishing in certain areas from June to October to protect sea turtles.

WASHINGTON, D.C.

Maine’s poetry champ fails to make it to finals

The competition was tough Thursday for Maine’s representative to the National Poetry Out Loud Contest at the historic Lincoln Theatre.

Lulu Hawkes, a junior at Catherine McAuley High School in Portland, said three students from other Northeastern states were chosen to compete in the finals.

“There was a lot of competition,” she said in a telephone interview. “It was really tough. But the students who were chosen were really good. I’m proud of them.”

Hawkes said she lost points for using too much body language in the poetry-reciting competition.

“They were looking for something more formal and rigid,” she said.

Hawkes, who lives in Gorham, said she plans to watch the final competition.

SACO

Medical issue suspected in crash on Buxton Road

A woman had to be extricated from her car Thursday morning after she lost control of the vehicle on Buxton Road.

Kathryn Dydowicz, 44, of Saco had a medical issue just before losing control of her Honda Civic around 9 a.m., according to police. Police say she appeared to have broken her right leg in the crash. She was taken to Southern Maine Medical Center in Biddeford for treatment.

Police said Dydowicz was heading east when she crossed into the westbound lane. The driver of a Dayton Sand and Gravel truck swerved but was not able to completely avoid the car. The civic came to rest in a ditch.

The truck driver, 63-year-old Guy Poirier of Saco, was treated at the scene.

No charges are anticipated in connection with the accident.

AUGUSTA

Sebago among state parks opening for the season

Several Maine state parks and historic sites are open for the season, including Sebago Lake State Park in Casco.

Sebago Park Manager Andy Haskell said all sites at Witch Cove will be open, as will shower buildings.

Campers can choose a site and self-register, Haskell said. Formal campground reservations for Sebago don’t start until May 23.

Lake St. George State Park in Liberty also has opened for camping, according to Park Manager Leland Griffin. Ferry Beach State Park in Saco is also open.

Floats will be back in the water today at Warren Island State Park, off Lincolnville and Islesboro in Penobscot Bay. Floats will be installed at Holbrook Island Sanctuary in Brooksville on May 3.

For more information on Maine state parks and historic sites, go to www.parksandlands.com.

SOUTH PORTLAND

SMCC launches institute to improve fire training

Southern Maine Community College has started an institute to increase professional firefighter training and safety across the state.

College officials and fire chiefs from across Maine will announce the creation of the Maine Fire Service Institute today in Augusta.

The institute, formerly the college’s Maine Fire Training and Education Program, will work with the chiefs to develop, assist and support local instructor training programs.

The institute also will develop an online academy training system, based at the college’s midcoast campus in Brunswick, with as many as five regional sites delivering first-responder training.