Parents of transgender child lose lawsuit against district

A judge has ruled in favor of the Orono school district and against the parents of a transgender child who was barred from using the girls’ bathroom at school.

The district was sued in 2009 after a fifth-grade boy who identifies as a girl was denied access to the girls’ bathroom at the elementary school. The family also claimed the school failed to stop other students from harassing the transgender student.

The Bangor Daily News said Justice William Anderson ruled Tuesday that the school acted within its authority in barring the child from the girls’ restroom, didn’t harass the child and wasn’t deliberately indifferent to the harassment subjected by others.

The Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, which is representing the student, said it will appeal.


Wardens, police probe death in ‘hunting-related incident’

A deer hunter was killed Tuesday afternoon when he was shot by another hunter in the Androscoggin County town of Wales.

The shooting took place on East Road, which is also known as Old Route 126. Wardens at the scene Tuesday night told WGME-TV that a 41-year-old man from Wales shot and killed a 49-year-old man from Wales. The two men were not hunting together.

The victim’s name was not released because authorities had been unable to contact family members.

Wardens said there is no evidence that the shooting was intentional, and the investigation will focus on whether there was negligence involved. The Maine State Police crime lab also was at the scene.


Cruiser, van destroyed when trooper loses control on ice

A Maine State Police cruiser and a minivan were destroyed Tuesday morning when a trooper lost control of his car on black ice.

Trooper Fernand Cloutier was driving a 2009 Crown Victoria on the Falmouth Spur at Exit 53 when he hit a patch of black ice around 9 a.m. and collided with a 2001 Dodge van carrying a couple from Michigan. Cloutier then overcorrected, sending his cruiser into a guardrail, said state police Sgt. James Urquhart.

The van was driven by Nels Nyblad, who was with his wife, Luanne. No one was injured.

The road was treated with salt and no other accidents were reported.


Murderer returned to prison for threatening to kill official

A convicted murderer from Lewiston has been sent back to prison for more than two years for threatening to kill a federal official.

Harold Rowe was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Portland to two years and three months behind bars, followed by three years of probation.

Rowe, 55, pleaded guilty in August to a charge of mailing threatening communications to the deputy commissioner for Budget, Finance and Management of the Social Security Administration in Baltimore in September 2011.

The Bangor Daily News reported that Rowe threatened in a rambling letter full of spelling errors to kill the federal employee if his Social Security checks were stopped.

Rowe spent 27 years in prison for a 1982 drug-related shooting death.


Salvation Army unit starts annual holiday kettle drive

The Salvation Army of Greater Portland kicked off its annual Christmas Kettle campaign Tuesday to fund services for needy families through the holiday season.

The nonprofit organization said in a release that it anticipates a greater demand for services this year and is hoping to raise $160,000 in donations for the holidays and into 2013.

Last year, the Salvation Army offered Thanksgiving and Christmas assistance to at least 3,500 families.

Portland Mayor Michael Brennan joined Maj. Steve Ditmer of the Portland Corps of the Salvation Army to start the Christmas fundraising effort.

Maine Adaptive group gives winter jackets to storm relief

Maine Adaptive Sports & Recreation is donating 300 winter uniform jackets to Superstorm Sandy relief efforts in New York. The van will be loaded and sent from Monument Square at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Maine Adaptive, formerly Maine Handicapped Skiing, replaced the winter jackets used by its volunteers this winter as part of a rebranding effort. The roughly 300 old jackets will be delivered to Material For The Arts in New York City to have the old MHS logo patched over and the jackets redistributed to aid agencies serving the New York metro area.


Police say man sold cocaine in middle school parking lot

A man has been charged with selling cocaine from a school parking lot.

Police said Reynard Eugene Carroll, 29, was a passenger in the car parked at Lewiston Middle School. They said he admitted to police that he had cocaine and turned over to agents about $700 worth of the drug Tuesday. He was charged with two counts of aggravated trafficking in cocaine in a school zone.

Agents searched Carroll’s house and found more cocaine, for a total street value of about $5,500. Carroll’s girlfriend, Shelby Viles, 19, was charged with one count of aggravated trafficking in cocaine.


Democrats remain winners after two district recounts

Maine election officials say Democratic state Sen. Christopher Johnson of Somerville remains the winner in his re-election race after a recount in Senate District 20.

Johnson’s Republican challenger, state Rep. Leslie Fossel of Alna, requested the recount after unofficial results from Election Day indicated he had lost. The recount determined that 10,943 votes were cast for Johnson and 10,772 for Fossel.

Meanwhile, Democrat Catherine Nadeau of Winslow remained the winner after a recount of ballots in House District 54.

The Election Day results remained the same after the recount in the race between Nadeau and Republican Susan Morissette of Winslow.

The Secretary of State’s Office said 10 recounts have now been completed and four remain to be done.


Police arrest two after man is assaulted, robbed in car

Police say two men were arrested Tuesday for punching a 26-year-old Portland man in the face and stealing his wallet and cellphone.

Benjamin A. Hamilton, 28, of Portland and Patrick J. Ridley, 26, of Bath were charged with robbery.

The victim, who was not identified by police, said he was riding in a car with two men he knew only by their first names when the robbery occurred around 11:55 p.m. Monday.

The victim told police that one of the men punched him, pulled out a knife and demanded the victim’s wallet and cellphone. The victim then fled the vehicle and called police.

A short time later, Officer Michael Lever found the suspects’ vehicle parked in front of an Office Drive home. Ridley and Hamilton were both found in the home, as was the victim’s cellphone, police said.

Ridley was released on $1,000 bail and is expected to appear in court on Jan. 15. Hamilton was not able to meet $2,500 bail and is being held at Two Bridges Regional Jail.


Tip texted to police leads to underage-drinking charges

An anonymous tip line that allows the public to contact authorities through text messages led police to an underage-drinking party Monday.

Bath Police Chief Michael Field said officers got an “eTip” about a party at an apartment on Oak Grove Avenue involving teenagers. The legal drinking age in Maine is 21.

Officers went to the home and found several teenagers drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana. Four minors, ranging in age from 15 to 19, were charged with alcohol- and drug-related offenses.

Field said a 17-year-old boy hosted the party while his mother was out of town. He was charged with furnishing a place for minors to consume alcohol and with possessing marijuana.