PORTLAND

February leaves snowy legacies in Maine cities

February has gone down as a snowy month across Maine.

Nearly 50 inches of snow fell in Portland during the month, making it the third-snowiest February on record, behind only 1969 — when more than 61 inches fell — and 1893.

Last month’s total was more than four times the average February snowfall of 12 inches.

Bangor got about 34 inches of snow during the month, which the National Weather Service says was among the city’s five snowiest Februarys. The average February snowfall in Bangor is a little less than 15 inches.

 

Team’s bus driver moved to hospital with burn center

The driver of the University of Maine women’s basketball team bus that crashed Tuesday, who was burned in the wreckage, has been transferred to Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where he remained in fair condition.

Jeffrey Hamlin, 55, was driving a Cyr Bus Lines motor coach when he slumped over the steering wheel as the team headed south on Interstate 95 about 8:30 p.m. for a game against Boston University the next night. Police suspect a medical condition may have precipitated the crash.

The bus swerved across the road, through the median and across three lanes of northbound traffic before landing in a stand of trees off the highway.

The team and staff escaped with minor injuries. Hamlin was the most seriously hurt and was flown to Boston Medical Center. Family members told a spokesman for Cyr Bus Lines that Hamlin would eventually be transferred to a burn unit at another hospital for specialized treatment.

Hamlin was transferred from Boston Medical Center to Brigham and Women’s Hospital on Wednesday afternoon. Thursday morning, he was listed in fair condition at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, which has a burn center.

LEWISTON

Dylan to play the Colisee in April; tickets on sale Monday

Music legend Bob Dylan will play at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee on April 10, managers there confirmed Thursday afternoon.

Details of the show, including ticket prices, will be announced Friday. Tickets will go on sale Monday at the Colisee and online at thecolisee.com.

Dylan’s website, bobdylan.com, listed the show as “new” Thursday morning before Colisee officials could confirm it.

It’s listed as part of a New England tour that includes shows in Amherst, Mass., Kingston, R.I., and Lowell, Mass. The opening act for those shows will be Dawes, according to the website.

BIDDEFORD

High school chief resigns as of school year’s end

Biddeford High School Principal Britt Wolfe has resigned, as of the end of the school year.

Wolfe, who has been principal for six years, resigned last week for personal reasons, said Superintendent Jeremy Ray. Ray notified the school board this week.

Wolfe is the third high school principal in southern Maine to resign in the past month.

South Portland High School Principal James Holland resigned earlier this month, effective at the end of the school year.

Scarborough High Principal Dean Auriemma resigned in early February, but will work in the district in a different capacity until June. A four-member team has taken over the day-to-day management of the school.

In Biddeford, Wolfe oversaw a $34 million building renovation and led the school through the reaccreditation process. The school had been in danger of losing its accreditation because of the condition of the building.

Wolfe was out of the office Thursday afternoon and could not be reached for comment.

Ray said he expects the search for a new principal to begin soon, with the aim of naming a final candidate by April or May.

HARPSWELL

Local man faces 32 counts of sexual assaulting minor

A Harpswell man is facing charges that he sexually assaulted a girl who’s now 13.

The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department alleges that Amos Johnson, 37, began abusing the girl when she was 11 and it continued for two years.

Deputies say Johnson is charged with 32 counts of gross sexual assault. He is being held on $50,000 cash bail.

The investigation began Monday. Johnson was arrested Tuesday.

It’s unclear if Johnson is being represented by a lawyer.

RANGELEY

Third snowmobile found in lake; bodies still missing

Game wardens say they have found all three snowmobiles that went through the ice of Rangeley Lake, but not the bodies of three missing snowmobilers.

The Maine Warden Service says the machines were found using a remotely operated, underwater vehicle to search the depths of the ice-covered lake.

Two of the missing snowmobiles were found earlier this week. The third was found Wednesday.

The men are believed to have driven their machines into open waters in late December on the same night a Yarmouth woman was killed when she accidentally rode her snowmobile into the lake.

The search was delayed until this week because of cold and ice.

Cpl. John MacDonald said if the bodies aren’t found this week, recovery operations will be postponed until spring.

OXFORD

Man missing after crash is found 150 miles away

A man who had been missing since crashing his car last weekend was found about 150 miles away in Massachusetts.

Police say Gene Stanley Burns Jr., 24, of Oxford was last seen Saturday night walking shortly after the crash.

Lt. Michael Ward says police sent him a text message asking his whereabouts, and he responded Tuesday to tell them he was in Abington, Mass., about 20 miles south of Boston, although he was unsure how he got there.

Police told the Sun Journal that Burns’ mother drove to Massachusetts to bring him home.

Ward says police mounted an expensive and time-consuming search for Burns involving more than a dozen law enforcement officials, dogs and a plane, fearing he was hurt.

The accident remains under investigation, but Burns could face charges.

WESTBROOK

Indecent conduct charged, man barred from library

A Gray man was arrested Wednesday after children at Walker Memorial Library reported seeing him masturbating in a room in the adult services area.

Gregory S. Tarling, 45, was charged with indecent conduct and issued a summons for the misdemeanor. Police also issued a criminal trespass notice barring him from the library, said Westbrook police.

The children reported the incident around 3:30 p.m. to a library volunteer, who brought it to the attention of the library director, according to a statement from the city.

Police were called to investigate, and parents were called to pick up their children.

After interviewing the children, police removed Tarling from the library around 5 p.m., the statement said.

ORRINGTON

Speed, alcohol suspected in fatal snowmobile accident

Law enforcement officials say alcohol and speed appear to be factors in the death of an Orrington man who was killed while snowmobiling.

The Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department says a plow truck driver found David Hall, 42, on Long Hill Road in Orrington around 2:30 a.m. Thursday. Hall was brought to Eastern Maine Medical Center and later pronounced dead.

Deputy Mark Lloyd said Hall was driving his snowmobile down the snow-covered road when he apparently lost control and struck a telephone pole.

OAKLAND

Man charged with trespass after visits to two schools

A man who showed up uninvited at two elementary schools in Oakland has been charged with criminal trespassing.

Police say Ronald Morin, 47, of Oakland was asked by administrators to leave Atwood Primary School early Tuesday morning; he then turned up at Williams Elementary School a short time later.

He does not have a child at either school.

Police say he was also charged with littering when he crumpled up the written trespass warning he had been given and threw it on the ground.

Superintendent Gary Smith told the Kennebec Journal the district is much more wary of trespassers since the shooting at a Connecticut elementary school in December.

Morin could not be reached.

PORTSMOUTH, N.H.

Coast Guard blames sinking of tugboat on human error

The U.S. Coast Guard says the sinking of a tugboat working on a new bridge between Portsmouth, N.H., and Kittery, Maine, was due to human error.

The Coast Guard is considering an enforcement action against the operator of the tugboat Benjamin Bailey, which sank on Oct. 24 while moored to a barge at the construction site of the Memorial Bridge.

Ken Anderson, co-owner of Riverside and Pickering Marine Construction — which operates the tugboat — said he couldn’t comment because he has yet to see the report.

No one was injured, but the tug spilled an estimated 225 gallons of diesel fuel into the Piscataqua River.

The Coast Guard’s report on the sinking was obtained by Foster’s Daily Democrat. The report said a lack of attention to the mooring position of the boat as the tide dropped was a primary factor in the sinking.

The captain of the tugboat did not change its mooring position as the tide dropped and currents changed in the river. The currents pushed the tugboat and it listed to its starboard side and began to take on water. Efforts by the crew of two to take corrective action and shift the tugboat’s position failed. The pair jumped free of the boat as it submerged.

The tug was later raised and taken to a Maine shipyard for salvage.