FALMOUTH

Gubernatorial rivals Michaud, Woods to appear together

U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, a Democratic candidate for governor, plans a joint appearance Wednesday with his Democratic opponent Steve Woods.

The event will begin at 11 a.m. at Tidesmart Global in Falmouth, the marketing firm owned by Woods.

Michaud’s campaign spokesman, David Farmer, said he could not reveal what the press conference would be about. Woods did not return a call for comment.

Woods, who chairs the Yarmouth Town Council, announced his intent to run for governor in February, long before Michaud did.

As a six-term U.S. representative, Michaud has strong name recognition and an ability to raise money. Most political observers considered Woods a long shot even before Michaud entered the race.

YORK

Biden scheduled to attend fundraiser for N.H. governor

Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to attend a private fundraiser in Maine for New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, a Democrat who is set to run for re-election next year.

Biden is scheduled to attend the event Thursday at the York home of New Hampshire Democratic lobbyist James Demers. However, he now is in Houston with his son, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, where the younger Biden is undergoing medical tests. It’s not clear how long the vice president will stay with him.

The Maine fundraiser is being hosted by Demers, former Maine Gov. John Baldacci and Maine lobbyist Severin Beliveau.

BINGHAM

Pilot, passenger uninjured when plane crashes into river

Two men escaped injury Tuesday when the plane they were in crashed into the Kennebec River in Bingham during takeoff from a nearby airstrip, police said.

Police said pilot and plane owner Ray Ayer, 59, of Monmouth and passenger Paul Householder, 54, of Wayne took off from the Gadabout Gaddis Airport, a private airstrip behind North Country Rivers resort area off Route 201 in Bingham.

The cause of the crash has not been determined.

WATERBORO

State officials investigating cause of mobile home fire

The state Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the cause of a fire that damaged a mobile home in Waterboro on Tuesday afternoon.

Fire Marshal Joseph Thomas said two investigators from his office will try to determine what started the fire at 75 Sand Crossing Road.

Thomas said a woman who lives in the home called emergency responders around 4:30 p.m. and said she was trapped in the house.

Thomas said the woman got out of the home but was taken by ambulance to a hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation.

VASSALBORO

Two men killed in collision of pickup trucks identified

Police have identified the two men who died in a head-on crash in Vassalboro.

Police say it appears a pickup truck driven by Kenneth Lee, 63, drifted into the wrong lane, where it collided with a pickup truck driven by Shawn Greenleaf, 32, on Route 201 about 3 p.m. Monday.

Greenleaf suffered abdominal injuries and was declared dead at the scene.

Lee also suffered extensive abdominal injuries and a leg wound. He was taken to MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta, where he was pronounced dead.

Both men were from Vassalboro.

The accident remains under investigation. Police say it does not appear that speed or alcohol were factors.

MEDWAY

One-car crash on I-95 kills 85-year-old Arizona man

Police say an Arizona man died in a single-car crash on a rural highway in eastern Maine.

Police say Paul Benn, 85, of Phoenix was driving north on Interstate 95 in Medway about 10:30 a.m. Monday when a driver behind him saw his car drift onto the rumble strip.

Benn overcorrected and the car ended up in trees on the side of the road, police said.

He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police think Benn either fell asleep at the wheel or may have had a medical issue. The crash is under investigation.

PASSADUMKEAG

Bicyclist hit by saw blade identified; leg is amputated

Authorities have identified the bicyclist who was severely injured Sunday when he was hit in the left leg by an 8-foot-long saw as Nathan Godfried, who has taught history at the University of Maine for the past 17 years.

Margaret Nagle, spokeswoman for the university, said Godfried’s leg had to be amputated after the accident.

The Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department said Godfried was riding his bicycle along Route 2 in Passadumkeag on Sunday afternoon when a truck towing a trailer with a John Deere tractor on it started to pass him.

Police said the truck’s driver was unaware that the mowing attachment had become dislodged and, instead of being in an upright position, was sticking out toward the side of the road. The saw hit Godfried in the leg.

A nurse who was driving past the accident scene pulled over and stopped the bleeding until an ambulance crew arrived. Police said she probably saved Godfried’s life.

Godfried, who is a scholar in 20th-century American pop culture, is married to Elizabeth McKillen, a professor of history at UMaine.

Deputy Ryan Fitch, who investigated the accident, said he does not plan to charge the driver of the truck, calling it “a freak accident.”

PORTLAND

Company settles MaineCare billing case for $125,000

Federal authorities say a company that provides services to physically and mentally challenged adults has agreed to pay $125,000 to settle allegations that it improperly billed Maine’s Medicaid program.

Prosecutors say Employment Specialists of Maine Inc. violated the federal false claims act from early 2006 through June 2007 by billing MaineCare for services given by a registered nurse who had previously been excluded from participation in all federal health care programs.

Employment Specialists has offices in Auburn, Augusta and Bangor.

Prosecutors say the names of people excluded from the programs are readily available.

The complaint sought damages for all of the false claims, along with statutory penalties. Employment Specialists cooperated in the investigation.

AUGUSTA

Ozone expected to reach unhealthy levels along coast

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection is predicting unhealthy levels of ozone Wednesday for coastal regions of the state.

The air quality alert, posted on the department’s website, said the unhealthy levels on the coast will continue into Thursday. Pollution levels for the rest of the state are expected to be moderate.

High ozone levels can adversely affect children, people who exercise and people who suffer from respiratory diseases such as asthma or bronchitis.

The DEP advises people to avoid strenuous outdoor activities and use of aerosol products.

 

State to unveil touch-screen license test for motorists

The Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles says the written portion of driver’s license exams aren’t going to be written for long.

Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap is holding a news conference on Tuesday to introduce an electronic testing system for new motorists. They’ll soon be available for motorcycle riders, as well.

The testing system with touch-screen monitors was made possible by a federal grant.

Dunlap says the new system is easier to use and is offered in different languages. He says the system also randomly generates each test, ensuring that no two exams are the same.

WILTON

Police say Lyman man went 111 mph in 40-mph zone

Police say a Lyman man who drove 111 mph in a 40-mph zone Sunday was also caught with marijuana and illegal knives.

Jeremy Doucette, 38, was arrested Sunday morning after he was pulled over on Burgess Hill Road, said Wilton police Officer Derek Dailey. Doucette was charged with criminal speeding.

Daley said Doucette was also charged with class D possession of dangerous knives and possession of marijuana, a civil infraction, after a police officer found both in Doucette’s car.

Doucette was taken to the Franklin County Jail, where he posted $300 cash bail.