PHIPPSBURG

Man’s body discovered in clam flat, identity withheld

The body of a middle-aged man found in a clam flat Saturday morning is at the state Medical Examiner’s Officer, police said.

Phippsburg Police Chief John Skroski said an autopsy will likely take place this morning. Until the cause of death is determined, he said, he will not disclose other details about the man.

A clam digger found the man’s body about 10:45 a.m. Saturday near Mill Dam off Basin Road, Skroski said. Phippsburg rescue workers and police responded, as well as state police and the Maine Marine Patrol.

JAY

Woman charged with arson after fire at mobile home

A 27-year-old woman has been charged with arson for allegedly setting fire to her mobile home a day after it was heavily damaged by another fire.

State fire investigators arrested Amanda Morey on Friday.

Firefighters first put out a fire in the living room of Morey’s home in Jay on Thursday afternoon.

The Sun Journal of Lewiston reported that firefighters were called back to the mobile home shortly after 9 a.m. Friday and found the bedroom on fire and flames spreading though the living room and out the front door.

AUGUSTA

State’s highway deaths down; fourth year in a row

Highway deaths in Maine are down for the fourth year in a row.

According to the Bureau of Public Safety, 61 people have died on Maine roads so far this year. That’s down from 88 deaths at this time last year. Thirteen motorists were killed in July, compared to 25 who were killed in July 2010.

Ex-town official pleads not guilty in overbilling

A former selectwoman in Chelsea has pleaded not guilty to charges that include trying to convince a contracted plow driver to overbill the town so she could be given some of the money.

Carole Swan, 53, pleaded not guilty Friday to aggravated forgery, attempted theft, and two counts of improper compensation for services. She was arrested in February.

The Kennebec Journal reported that the driver told police he had paid Swan $3,000 and $7,000 on separate occasions in 2010 and was being asked to inflate a bill for road sand to pay her more.

The Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office set up a recorded sting in which the driver paid Swan an undisclosed sum.

LePage: Credit downgrade hurts ‘economic credibility’

Gov. Paul LePage is chiding Congress and the White House for the U.S. credit rating downgrade by Standard & Poor’s.

The credit rating agency Friday downgraded the U.S. government’s debt rating for the first time ever, from AAA down one notch to AA+.

LePage said the downgrade is a major setback for the future and “economic credibility” of the country. He said Congress and the White House used the possibility of debt default as a political bargaining chip rather than putting the nation’s “fiscal house back in order.”

— From staff and news services