PORTLAND

Man injured in 35-foot fall from rope swing onto rocks

A man was injured Friday when he fell off a rope swing onto rocks on the shore of Great Diamond Island, a fire official said.

Deputy Fire Chief Scott Thomes said the city sent two boats to the island after receiving the call that the man had fallen about 1:30 p.m.

Thomes said the man fell about 35 feet from a rope swing. Thomes said he didn’t have the man’s name or age and wasn’t sure if the swing was intended to be used at high tide or if the man had fallen off before swinging out farther away from the rocks.

Thomes also said he didn’t have specific information on the extent of the injuries to the man, who was complaining of back pain.

A small fireboat was used to pick up the man, Thomes said, and he was then transferred to the larger fire boat, Marine I, where emergency medical technicians from an ambulance were waiting and began to treat the man.

Riverton, East End will get additional Head Start slots

Portland Public Schools will expand the Head Start preschool programs at Riverton Elementary School and East End Community School.

The district will double the number of slots for 4-year-olds at the Riverton program to 36. It will also have 18 slots available at East End. Head Start is a federally funded preschool initiative, which partners with Portland Public Schools.

Although students from the East End and Riverton districts will get preference in enrollment, all 4-year-olds in Portland are eligible. Ten slots at Riverton and five slots at East End will be decided through a lottery, and in a change from last year, not all students have to meet income requirements to be eligible.

The deadline to apply is Sept. 1. For applications, rules and other information, contact Linda Goyet at Head Start ([email protected] or 553-5816); Ginny Lofman at Riverton ([email protected] or 874-8210); or Deborah Wiley at East End ([email protected] or 874-8228).

Narrow gauge railroad gets $3,000 to restore engine

The Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad has been awarded a $3,000 grant for the restoration of a nearly century-old engine. The grant is from the Amherst Railway Society, an organization of rail enthusiasts in Massachusetts.

The money will help with the restoration of the railroad’s steam locomotive Engine No. 7, which was built in 1913 and operated on the Bridgton and Saco River Railroad until that service ceased in 1941. The engine also operated at the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. & Museum until it had to be put out of service in 2004 because of federal railway regulations.

The restoration began three years ago and is expected to be completed in 2013.

The Maine Narrow Gauge runs on a track along Portland’s East End daily until the end of October.

HARRISON

Motorcyclist seriously hurt when he crashes into tree

A 43-year-old motorcyclist was seriously injured when he ran into a tree on Maple Ridge Road on Thursday night, police said.

The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office said the accident occurred around 9:25 p.m. and Jody Scott was found unconscious on the front lawn of 866 Maple Ridge Road with serious injuries to his head and body.

Scott was taken to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston on a Life Flight helicopter.

The sheriff’s office said Scott was not wearing a helmet. It appeared that his motorcycle went off the road on a slight curve and hit a tree, and that speed and alcohol may have been factors, the sheriff’s office said.

Officials said they don’t have a current address for Scott, but he is believed to be from the Harrison area. The accident reconstruction team is investigating the cause of the crash.

Unfinished $1 million home of convict will be auctioned

The unfinished $1 million home of an imprisoned Maine woman is going on the auction block, and would-be bidders are getting a look.

The three-level lakeside home in Harrison, which will be sold Aug. 30, was owned by Dawn and Harvey Solomon.

Dawn Solomon is serving a 42-month prison sentence for stealing $4 million from MaineCare through Living Independence Network Corp., which provided services for children with mental disabilities but was found to have overcharged the state.

On Thursday, Tranzon Auction Properties Vice President Michael Carey welcomed prospective bidders to the home, which has five-plus bedrooms, five bathrooms, five fireplaces, a three-car garage and deck overlooking Long Lake.

Carey told the Lewiston Sun Journal that the property, which is being repossessed by the bank, is being sold as is.

FARMINGTON

State trooper totals cruiser, suffers only minor injuries

Police say a state trooper was hurt when his cruiser rolled over.

Trooper Jedediah Malcore of Wilton was responding to an accident and driving on Route 43 in Farmington on Thursday when he swerved to avoid a car turning in front of him and lost control.

Malcore was treated for minor injuries and released from Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington.

Steve McCausland, a spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, told the Lewiston Sun Journal that the 2008 cruiser — which came to rest on its wheels after rolling — was totaled.

The accident occurred at 11:15 a.m.

AUGUSTA

Maine seeking exemption from federal No Child law

Maine is seeking an exemption to the federal No Child Left Behind law that will include a different way to measure students’ progress.

The Kennebec Journal reported that the state Department of Education will submit a waiver request to the U.S. Department of Education once a different framework can be developed.

Government officials at all levels say the federal education law mandating how students’ academic ability is measured should be improved. Congress didn’t rewrite the law before the coming school year, so some states are requesting exemptions from certain provisions of it.

Maine Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen said the state and school leaders plan to put together “a more flexible system that uses multiple indicators of student achievement.”

Moose statue attracting attention at service plaza

It didn’t take long: Travelers are mugging it up for photos in front of a life-sized plastic moose at a service plaza along Interstate 295.

The 9-foot-tall statue went up Thursday in West Gardiner, not far from a smaller black bear statue.

The Kennebec Journal said the statues are on loan from Adrian Brochu of Madison, who offered them to the Maine Turnpike Authority after interim Executive Director Peter Mills, a friend, admired them.

Mills gladly accepted. He wants moose at rest plazas to show travelers they’re in Maine.

Mills said the master plan is to turn the service plazas into welcoming centers for the state. A moose has also been set up at Kennebunk.

BANGOR

Overrun with cats, shelter offers special adoption rate

A Bangor animal shelter is suddenly swamped with cats.

In a 48-hour period this week, more than 50 were surrendered at the Bangor Humane Society. The organization now has 250 cats in its care — 100 of them are in foster care, not at the shelter.

Stacey Coventry, Humane Society spokeswoman, told the Bangor Daily News that summer is always busy for shelters because many cats have litters. And the tough economy has made it hard for owners to care for their pets or pay for spaying.

Hoping to thin the herd, the shelter is urging people to adopt some of the cats, offering a “name your adoption fee” for cats 6 months and older. Cats younger than 6 months can be adopted for $100.

— From staff and news services