FALMOUTH

Fire destroys Falmouth Country Club home

The State Fire Marshall’s Office is investigating the cause of a fire that destroyed a home at Falmouth Country Club.

There was no one at home at 18 Birkdale Road when the fire was reported shortly after 4 p.m., an emergency dispatcher said.

Firefighters said they encountered heavy smoke and flames coming from the two-story wood structure when they arrived. Details about the damage were not released and the Falmouth fire chief didn’t immediately return a phone message.

No injuries were reported.

ALFRED

Man who caused car crash found guilty on 3 charges

A Kittery man who was accused of causing a high-speed car crash in Kennebunkport that injured a couple from Massachusetts was found guilty of three felony charges and not guilty of a fourth after a five-day trial in York County Superior Court.

David Van Blaricom, 30, who lived in Kennebunkport at the time of the crash and has since moved to Kittery, was driving about 80 mph in a 30 mph zone on Route 9 in Kennebunkport on June 28, 2011, when he lost control of the vehicle and slid sideways into the car driven by the couple, said the York County District Attorney’s Office.

Last week, a jury found Van Blaricom guilty of aggravated assault, driving to endanger and reckless conduct. He was found not guilty of a felony drunken-driving charge.

Assistant District Attorney John Connelly said a witness in the trial described the crash as being so violent that it sent metal and glass raining down on the roadway.

Robert and Eleanor McCarrick of Stoneham, Mass., both in their 70s, were injured. The McCarricks have been spending part of the summers in Maine for the past 20 years, said the DA’s office.

No sentencing date has been set. Van Blaricom faces as much as 10 years in prison.

NEW GLOUCESTER

High-speed E-ZPass lanes open for Turnpike drivers

The Maine Turnpike opened its first high-speed toll plaza Monday when drivers who use E-ZPass started paying tolls electronically while driving at highway speeds at the plaza in New Gloucester.

The Maine Turnpike Authority says there’s one high-speed lane in each direction and three other lanes that can be used by cash or E-ZPass drivers traveling at slow speeds. The system works with overhead equipment detecting a vehicle’s E-ZPass tag and automatically deducting the correct amount from the driver’s account.

Turnpike officials say the system will add convenience for motorists, cut operating costs and reduce vehicle emissions. About 80 percent of the turnpike’s commercial traffic and 60 percent of passenger vehicles pay tolls electronically.

POLAND

Fisherman rescued after fall into Thompson Lake

A man who was fishing on a lake in Poland was rescued after falling through the ice.

Fire Chief Mark Bosse says the man walked about 1,500 feet out onto the ice of Thompson Lake on Sunday night to go ice fishing. While he was walking back to shore in the dark, he tripped on a ridge in the ice and fell.

The caretaker of a nearby camp found the man in the water at about 8 p.m.

Bosse says 20 to 25 people from area fire departments, the Warden Service and the sheriff’s department used an airboat to reach the man. The man was taken to Central Maine Medical Center.

His name was not made public and his condition was unclear.

AUBURN

Man cleaning his handgun accidentally shoots his hand

Police said a 22-year-old Auburn man accidentally shot himself in the hand while cleaning his handgun.

Sgt. Laurie Woodhead said the man was in his Newbury Street apartment about 7:20 p.m. Sunday trying to remove a bullet from the chamber of his .40 Glock.

Woodhead told the Lewiston Sun Journal the man was unaware his finger was positioned on the trigger and the gun fired.

The bullet entered his left palm and exited the side of his hand. The man’s name was not disclosed by police.

He was taken to Central Maine Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. No charges will be filed.

AUGUSTA

Advocate named to face Public Utilities Commission

Gov. Paul LePage announced Monday he has named Timothy Schneider of Portland to the position of public advocate.

Schneider, an attorney at Pierce Atwood, will represent the interests of Maine ratepayers in proceedings before the Public Utilities Commission.

Those proceedings will include issues covering electricity and natural gas prices.

The public advocate also supports Maine residents on matters related to telecommunications, including access to broadband Internet.

“Today, Mainers are burdened with some of the highest energy prices in the nation, and the cost of doing business in Maine is a huge jobs killer,” LePage said in a press release.“

We must have a strong advocate who is working toward opportunities that will enable Maine to compete in the global market.”

PITTSTON

22-year-old suffers serious injuries in dirt bike accident

Authorities say a 22-year-old man suffered serious injuries in a dirt bike accident in Pittston.

The Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office said the accident occurred about 6:45 p.m. Sunday.

The victim was flown to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston with unspecified injuries.

The man’s name was not made public.

No other people or vehicles were involved and police did not disclose what caused the accident.

The Pittston Fire Department, Gardiner Rescue and Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office responded.