Falmouth man dies in crash blamed on speed, alcohol

Police said a Maine man was killed and a Massachusetts man was hurt in a crash in which speed and alcohol were factors.

The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department said a woman out walking her dog came across the single-vehicle crash on Thompson Point Road around 4:30 a.m. Friday.

Investigators said a passenger, William Schneider, 22, of Falmouth, was pronounced dead at the scene and that the driver was taken away by LifeFlight helicopter. The sheriff’s department identified the driver as Richard Griffin, 51, of Peabody, Mass.

Investigators said speed and alcohol were factors in the crash in which the men’s sport utility vehicle left the road and struck a tree, crushing the vehicle.


Biddeford man is charged in accident that hurt two

Two people were injured and another was charged with a felony after an accident around 9:30 a.m. Friday on Limerick Road.

Police said Florien Turcotte, 63, an employee of Ray’s Small Engine Repair in Biddeford, was picking up a riding mower for repair near the Mildred Day School when the accident occurred.

Turcotte was loading the mower onto a trailer with help from Annette LaCourse, 67, who owns the mower, when they were hit from behind by a 1998 Chevrolet pickup truck.

Police said the impact pushed the mower forward, pinning Turcotte against the trailer and throwing LaCourse off the trailer. Both were taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland, where they underwent surgery.

Both were in fair condition Friday night.

The driver of the pickup was identified as Michael Whitmore, 27, of Biddeford, whom police said was driving with a suspended license.

He was charged with causing serious bodily harm while operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license. He was not injured in the crash.


Group petitions Teen Vogue to stop airbrushing photos

A group is targeting another magazine that’s popular with teenage girls after a 14-year-old from Waterville convinced Seventeen Magazine not to alter photos of models.

Two other members of SPARK, which is committed to ending sexualization of girls in the media, have launched an online petition asking Teen Vogue to make the same to commitment not to airbrush photos to make models appear thinner and blemish-free.

Julia Bluhm of Waterville originally asked Seventeen Magazine’s editor in early May to run at least one unaltered photo spread a month. Her online petition received more than 85,000 signatures.

Seventeen’s Editor-in-Chief Ann Shoket responded in the August issue by vowing never to alter girls’ bodies or faces, giving Bluhm more than she’d asked for.


Complaints about bears more than double this year

Maine wildlife officials said the number of complaints about bears has more than doubled so far this year.

Officials said that from Jan. 1 through July 3, the Maine Warden Service received 542 complaints from the public about bears. That was up from 252 complaints in the same period last year, and 292 complaints in 2010.

Bear biologist Jennifer Vashon said homeowners can avoid most encounters with bears by removing common backyard attractants, such as birdseed and trash, from their properties.

Wildlife officials said people should make loud noises if they encounter a bear to scare it off and then back away to give it an escape route.

Uncle of Ayla Reynolds convicted of assault

The uncle of Ayla Reynolds has been convicted of assaulting another one of the missing girl’s relatives in a dispute sparked in part by her disappearance.

Lance DiPietro pleaded no contest Thursday and was automatically found guilty by a judge in Kennebec County Superior Court. DiPietro was fined $300 as part of a plea deal.

DiPietro is the brother of Justin DiPietro, the father of Ayla, who was 20 months old when she was reported missing from her Waterville home Dec. 17.

Lance DiPietro was accused of assaulting Justin Linnell in February. Linnell has a child with the DiPietros’ sister.

Linnell said the dispute was sparked by comments he made about Ayla’s disappearance as well as his relationship with the DiPietros’ sister.


Local woman is charged with selling child’s Ritalin

A Brunswick woman is charged with selling the medication prescribed for her 8-year-old child.

Police said Amanda Holmes, 29, sold Ritalin to an undercover drug officer in June within 1,000 feet of the Maine Region 10 Technical High School.

She was charged with aggravated trafficking in scheduled drugs.

Police told The Times Record that agents also allegedly recovered $60 they said were profits from previous drug sales and 44 Ritalin tablets.

Holmes allegedly sold part of the prescription medication Ritalin, a stimulant used to treat attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, prescribed to her child.

Holmes was released from the Brunswick police station on $10,000 unsecured bail.


Coach’s sex assault case heading to grand jury

Sexual assault allegations against a longtime youth baseball and hockey coach from New Hampshire are headed to a grand jury.

New England Cable News reported that Robert Joubert waived a hearing Friday to determine whether there was enough evidence to send his case to a grand jury. He is accused of sexually assaulting two boys in Concord between 1995 and 2004.

According to court documents, both victims were younger than 13 at the time.

Joubert runs Seacoast Baseball Academy out of the York Sports Center in York, Maine, where the investigation began in March.

He also faces a misdemeanor sexual assault charge and is due back in Concord District Court on July 26 on that charge.


Three males suspected in three firebombings

The state Fire Marshal’s Office has identified three suspects in connection with a string of firebombings this week.

Ken Grimes, a supervisor with the state Fire Marshal’s Office, said the three suspects are a mix of juvenile and young-adult males, but wouldn’t provide names or further details. The suspects were found during a door-to-door request for information Thursday by police.

For three consecutive mornings beginning Tuesday, homemade firebombs were ignited near the Winslow schools on the north side of town.

Investigators are still trying to determine the suspects’ intent, but Grimes said no specific person or property was targeted.

Grimes said each firebomb was similar in construction. The device from Thursday’s incident was made from an aerosol can and a carbon-dioxide canister. The devices were stationary, not projectiles.

The state Fire Marshal’s Office is consulting with the Kennebec County District Attorney’s office to determine the appropriate charges, which could be filed within a week, Grimes said.


Body of kayaker recovered from Connecticut River

The body of a missing New Hampshire kayaker has been recovered from the Connecticut River.

Officials say 57-year-old Thomas Howell of Hinsdale was not wearing a life jacket when he went kayaking on Thursday.

He was last seen around 12:30 p.m. swimming alongside his kayak in an area known to have a strong current. Witnesses say within minutes he disappeared.

Divers from fire departments in Brattleboro, Vt., Northfield, Mass., searched for Howell, along with state conservation officers and the state marine patrol on Thursday. The Valley News reports that New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s dive team returned to the river on Friday and found the body in about 15 feet of water.

Walsh said it appeared that alcohol was a factor in Howell’s death.

– From staff and news service