PORTLAND

Man dies after hospital stay from falling off golf cart

A Sanford man who fell off a moving golf cart in Casco and hit his head was pronounced dead Monday night at Maine Medical Center.

John MacKay, 52, had been in critical condition since Saturday night with a brain injury.

The driver of the golf cart, Gary Belinsky, 59, of Westford, Mass., is free on $300 bail, facing a drunken-driving charge.

The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office said the accident was not the result of reckless driving but Belinsky was charged because police believe his blood-alcohol content was higher than 0.08 percent and a golf cart is considered a motor vehicle under state law.

Belinsky and MacKay drank at a barbecue with their spouses Saturday evening at the Point Sebago resort in Casco, police said. They were riding in the cart back to their residence when MacKay fell onto the paved road in the complex.

Belinsky was driving the cart with his wife in the passenger seat. The other couple were seated on the back of the cart, police said. MacKay apparently stood up, wearing flip-flops, slipped and fell from the moving cart, hitting his head, police said.

 

Supreme court denies claims from ex-state trooper

Maine’s highest court has upheld a former state trooper’s convictions for sexually touching a young girl.

Gregory Vrooman of Nobleboro was convicted last summer of 12 counts of counts of unlawful sexual contact, unlawful sexual touching and assault involving a 12-year-old girl. He was later sentenced to 21 months in prison.

In his appeal, Vrooman argued that jurors shouldn’t have been told that he watched pornography because it was unrelated to the charges. He also challenged the judge’s denial of his motion seeking to suppress evidence.

In a unanimous decision issued Tuesday, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court rejected Vrooman’s arguments.

 

Convicted killer’s appeal of 40-year sentence rejected

Maine’s supreme court has rejected a Turner man’s appeal claiming his 40-year sentence for killing his wife is excessive.

Justices on Tuesday affirmed the sentence of Brian Nichols, 48, who pleaded guilty to murder for shooting Jane Tetreault in their home in May 2010. Nichols told police he shot his wife in the head because he erroneously suspected her of cheating.

Nichols’ attorney appealed the 40-year sentence, claiming it was excessive based on comparable cases.

In a unanimous decision, the justices rejected Nichols’ claim and commended the lower-court judge for conducting an exemplary sentencing hearing and demonstrating thoughtful consideration before imposing the sentence.

SANFORD

Group inspects sites for possible theme park

The nonprofit organization that is exploring the possibility of bringing a theme park to Sanford will brief the media on its plans Thursday.

Bill Underwood, a member of York Pines, said the organization and its California-based consultants toured Sanford by air Tuesday morning, looking for sites for a theme park. Members will meet privately Wednesday morning with Gov. Paul LePage.

The consultants, Fred Cochrane of Cochrane Consulting in Anaheim and Larry Wyatt of Wyatt Design in Pasadena, have been retained by the group to assist in developing plans and finding a site.

Wyatt, according to his website, has consulted on projects for Universal Studios, Warner Bros., Six Flags Entertainment and Daytona Speedway.

In a recent interview, Underwood said the theme park might include a year-round indoor water park – an attraction that is missing from Maine’s resort and entertainment industry.

BANGOR

Man pleads guilty to overseeing marijuana site

A native of Mexico who is accused of overseeing a large marijuana-growing operation in Washington County has pleaded guilty to conspiracy and harboring illegal aliens.

Moises Soto, who entered the pleas Tuesday in federal court, was one of five Maine men and a timber company indicted in September on charges stemming from a 2009 raid in which drug agents uprooted nearly 3,000 marijuana plants.

The others have denied the charges.

Soto, from Nuevo Leon, Mexico, has been detained since his arrest at the Texas border in March. He retains his right to appeal his sentence if it exceeds four years in prison.

Defense lawyer Hunter Tzovarras said his client pleaded guilty to put the matter behind him. The other defendants are due to stand trial in January.

BIDDEFORD

Group says pre-orders slow for motorcycle cancer plate

The former state lawmaker who was the driving force behind the popular pink ribbon breast cancer awareness license plate says the response to creating a motorcycle version has been lukewarm.

The Maine Cancer Foundation says nearly 70 people have committed to the motorcycle license plate. But 500 pre-orders are required for the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to begin production.

Former Rep. Meredith Strang Burgess told the York County Journal Tribune that she’s setting a deadline of year’s end for collecting pre-orders. If the pre-registrations are gathered, it will take three months for the state to produce the plates before the first ones will be seen on Maine motorcycles.