ELIOT

Suspect in attempted murder, rape to appear in court Friday

An Eliot man is scheduled to make his initial court appearance at 1 p.m. Friday in Biddeford District Court on charges of attempted murder, kidnapping, burglary and rape.

Paul Olsen, 31, is accused of breaking into his former girlfriend’s house on Goodwin Road at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday and attacking her while two young children, the oldest of whom was 6, were at home. Police said it appears Olsen is the children’s father.

Olsen choked the woman until she lost consciousness, hit her and raped her, said Police Chief Theodor Short. The assault lasted through the night, he said.

Olsen finally left the house at 6 a.m. He was arrested by Knox County sheriff’s deputies at his grandmother’s house in Waldoboro, Short said. Eliot police retrieved him on Thursday. Police thought Olsen might be armed but they did not recover a gun when they arrested him, Short said.

The woman was taken to a hospital, where she was treated and eventually released.

YORK COUNTY

Police charge pair of men with attacking their wives

Two York County men were arrested this week on charges of committing violent assaults against their wives.

Maj. William King Jr. of the York County Sheriff’s Office said Johannes Kotze, 23, of Lebanon was arrested Tuesday morning and charged with criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon.

Police said that Kotze hit his wife with his hands and feet, pushed her down, then held his hand over her mouth to stifle her screams. When she tried to flee, he slapped her in the face and threatened to kill her with a knife, police said.

The victim, who was allowed to go to work provided she promise not to call police, suffered multiple bruises and a bloody nose.

On Wednesday, Matthew Nickerson, 29, of Hollis, was charged with slapping his wife in the face. The couple were driving home from a medical appointment when they started arguing.

When the victim pulled over to the side of the road to call police, Nickerson threw her cellphone out the window before driving off with their 4-year-old son in the back seat, police said. Nickerson was arrested in Waterboro.

ST. GEORGE

After freed from lobster gear, sea turtle swims away unhurt

A leatherback sea turtle was rescued Thursday after it got entangled in lobster gear near Eastern Egg Rock in Muscongus Bay.

Kenneth Stewart, a spokesman for the Coast Guard station in South Portland, said the Maine Marine Patrol was contacted around 2 p.m. by the operator of a pleasure boat. The Coast Guard also was notified and sent a 25-foot boat out of Boothbay Harbor to the remote island between St. George and Bristol.

Stewart said officers from the Coast Guard and the marine patrol freed the turtle — an endangered species — and saw it swim away unharmed. The turtle was about 5 feet in diameter.

Leatherbacks, the largest sea turtles, can dive to depths of 4,200 feet. They have been known to stay under water for as long as 85 minutes.

FALMOUTH

Auto road rally aims to draw attention to missing children

Two pairs of Mainers are participating in an eight-day, cross-country car rally to draw attention to a missing toddler, Ayla Reynolds, and a missing teenager, Aydriana Tetu.

Bill and Valerie Sowles of the Morong Falmouth car dealership, and Maine tourism director Carolann Ouellette and Tina Scheer from TV’s “Survivor Panama” left Maine on Wednesday for Independence, Ohio, for the start of a northeastern Fireball Run, a 15-city event that will end in Bangor. Each team has been assigned a missing child, with a large decal featuring that child affixed to the team vehicle.

Officials said Aydriana Tetu of Lewiston is believed to have run away from home and has not had contact with family or friends since March. Toddler Ayla Reynolds disappeared from her father’s home in Waterville in December.

BELFAST

Teen killed in crash identified as Bangor high school junior

The victim of a traffic crash in Prospect has been identified as a 16-year-old junior from John Bapst Memorial High School in Bangor.

The Waldo County Sheriff’s Department said a car driven by Owen Krause of Stockton Springs collided head-on with a dump truck about 7 a.m. Wednesday. Witnesses told investigators that Krause’s car veered into the opposite lane.

Krause was the only occupant of his vehicle. The truck driver was treated at a hospital and released.

PORTLAND

Anti-Cutler website case to be argued before judge

The parties in the case of an anonymous website criticizing 2010 gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler will go before a federal judge Friday.

Political consultant Dennis Bailey is suing the state Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices. The panel fined Bailey $200 for failing to comply with disclosure requirements of election law.

Bailey, whose legal team includes the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine, maintains “The Cutler Files” website was a form of political speech protected under the First Amendment. District Judge Nancy Torresen will hear oral arguments on the parties’ motions for summary judgment Friday.

The now-defunct website was created in August 2010 during the gubernatorial campaign. After denying any involvement for weeks, Bailey admitted being a co-creator of the website.

Bailey was a political adviser to Democratic candidate Rosa Scarcelli before she lost her bid for the party’s nomination. Scarcelli’s husband, Thom Rhoads, has since also confirmed that he was involved in the website.

 

Paving project overrun costs city an additional $412,000

The city underestimated how much it would cost to resurface sections of St. John Street and Park Avenue, an oversight that at least one city councilor is worried may delay other street improvement projects.

Councilors voted 9-0 Wednesday night to pay an additional $412,000, mostly for additional paving material, to cover its local share of the state-funded project, bringing the city’s total cost to $546,000.

But councilors also instructed City Manager Mark Rees to come up with a plan for funding the cost overrun — possibly through the use of city surplus funds — that would avoid having to postpone other street improvement projects.

Earlier this year, the Maine Department of Transportation announced it was going to repave St. John Street and Park Avenue, better define their crosswalks, and reduce travel lanes on the roads that carry thousands of cars past the Portland Expo and Hadlock Field.

 

Thompson’s Point project awarded $1.5 million grant

The $105 million hotel and arena project planned for Thompson’s Point in Portland will benefit from a $1.5 million grant from the Economic Development Administration.

The federal grant was announced Thursday by U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, whose district includes Portland.

The mixed-use project called the Forefront at Thompson’s Point, approved by the Planning Board in June, includes a 3,500- to 4,800-seat event center, a hotel, a sports medicine facility, a parking garage, a restaurant and two office buildings on about 30 acres adjacent to the Portland Transportation Center.

The event center would host the Maine Red Claws basketball team, concerts and other sporting events.

BANGOR

Suit over transgender child’s treatment is argued in court

A judge will decide whether a lawsuit filed by an Orono family over the school district’s treatment of their transgender child will go forward.

The Bangor Daily News reported that Justice William Anderson heard oral arguments on motions for summary judgments Wednesday.

The family and the Maine Human Rights Commission sued the district in November 2009. They are seeking damages, claiming the mother and identical twin boys were forced to move to Portland to find a more supportive school environment. The father remained in Orono.

Last year, Anderson dismissed a portion of the most controversial claim that administrators at Asa Adams School were obligated under the Maine Human Rights Act to allow the fifth-grade transgender child to use the girls bathroom.

A school district lawyer has denied all the allegations.

EDDINGTON

Unidentified man, woman die in single-vehicle crash

A man and a woman were killed in a single-vehicle accident in the small town of Eddington.

Maine State Police said their sport utility vehicle veered off of Route 9 east of Bangor about 12:30 a.m. Thursday. The vehicle struck some small trees and rocks before going airborne and striking a large tree.

Police said they have yet to positively identify the victims.

BATH

Church bell, silent for years, repaired and ringing again

The bell in the city-owned clock in Bath’s First Baptist Church is ringing again after more than two years of silence.

The City Council had approved funds for repairs to the 157-year-old clock just this summer. Balzer Family Clock Works of Freeport promptly took care of matters, repairing it in one month.

The Rev. Steve Rowe, pastor at the church, said the sound of the bell across town is “kind of cool” and serves as a call to God’s house.

AUGUSTA

Fall foliage in northern Maine one-third of the way to peak

State forestry officials said fall foliage in northernmost Maine is now one-third of the way to peak color.

The second 2012 fall foliage report, which came out Wednesday, said overall leaf color is 30-50 percent toward peak, with low leaf drop in all of Aroostook County and northern Piscataquis and Somerset counties.

Rangers at Baxter State Park and Aroostook State Park in Presque Isle are observing foliage color at 35-40 percent toward peak. Rangers in the northwestern zone covering Greenville, Jackman and The Forks observe low leaf color, or 10-30 percent toward peak.

The official foliage website is MaineFoliage.com.