Funeral services are Sunday for victims of Orrington fire

A 30-year-old man and his three children are being laid to rest a week after they were killed in a pre-dawn house fire in Orrington.

Funeral services for Benjamin Johnson III and his three children, ages 4, 8 and 9, are Sunday afternoon at the Brookings-Smith Funeral Home in Bangor. Calling hours were Saturday afternoon.

Last Saturday’s fire was started by empty cardboard boxes placed too close to a wood stove. Johnson’s wife, who is the children’s mother, survived the fire.

Hollywood Casino in Bangor, where Johnson worked as a card dealer, held a gathering for family and friends Saturday.

A spaghetti dinner to benefit the family took place Saturday at Center Drive School in Orrington.


Gov. LePage praises Mainers who helped with food drive

Gov. Paul LePage says Mainers were true to their tradition of helping those in need by donating hundreds of pounds of nonperishable goods during the Blaine House food drive.

In his weekly radio address, Le-Page said the hundreds of donors included a group of Girl Scouts from Washington County. The governor said it was a privilege for his family to help those who have fallen on tough times.

LePage said his thoughts and prayers this Thanksgiving holiday period are also with families whose homes were devastated by Superstorm Sandy.

In the Democratic response, House Majority Leader Seth Berry of Bowdoinham said the governor’s food drive is something to be proud of.

But Berry said lawmakers must work together to deliver lower health care costs, stronger schools and policies that create jobs.


New England police join efforts to reduce fatalities

Police across New England are combining their efforts to reduce accidents and fatalities through the holiday season.

The effort is focusing on aggressive, distracted and impaired drivers.

The New England State Police Administrators Conference will hold a news conference on traffic safety efforts Monday.

It will be at the Massachusetts State Police headquarters in Framingham at 10 a.m. Law enforcement officers from the six-state region plan to attend.


Jurors award $5 million in medical misdiagnosis

A New Hampshire jury has awarded $5 million to an Epping woman in a medical misdiagnosis case.

The Portsmouth Herald reported that a Rockingham County jury issued a verdict Thursday in favor of Noel and Adam Jodoin in a medical negligence case against Dr. Ellen Johnson.

A former radiologist from Advanced Diagnostic Imaging in Exeter, Johnson was ruled at fault for the misdiagnosis in a case involving Noel Jodoin in August 2007. The verdict came after a two-week trial and three hours of jury deliberation.

The suit said that after Jodoin had a CT scan following a long and severe headache, Johnson failed to find abnormalities of clinical significance.

Jodoin was flown to a Boston hospital, where intracranial hemorrhages were detected, requiring brain surgery.


Car strikes pair trying to move deer, killing teen 

Police say two people trying to move a deer that had been struck off a highway were hit by another car, and one of them has died.

Officials say 17-year-old Adam Pysz, of Newport, died Friday from injuries he sustained when he was hit by a car driven by 24-year-old Benjamin Watkins of Springfield, Vt.

Police say Watkins swerved on Route 12 to avoid a van that was stopped in the northbound lane.

— From news service reports