AUGUSTA

Rural hospitals fare well in nationwide survey

A survey is giving Maine’s rural hospitals high marks.

Nine of 22 hospitals on the Leapfrog Group’s 2013 Top Rural Hospitals list released this week were in Maine. All told, more than 200 rural hospitals nationwide were part of the survey.

The Top Hospitals designation recognizes hospitals that prevent medical errors, reduce mortality for high-risk procedures like heart bypass surgery, and reduce hospital readmissions.

The nine Maine hospitals are Blue Hill Memorial Hospital; Calais Regional Hospital; Houlton Regional Hospital; Charles A. Dean Memorial Hospital, Greenville; Down East Community Hospital, Machias; Inland Hospital, Waterville; LincolnHealth’s Miles Campus, Damariscotta; Sebasticook Valley Health, Pittsfield; and Stephens Memorial Hospital, Norway.

AUBURN

Auburn man, 77, dies after being hit by pickup truck

Police say a 77-year-old Auburn man died after getting hit by a pickup truck while crossing a city street.

George Cole was struck while crossing Minot Avenue about 5:20 p.m. Wednesday and died at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.

The pickup was driven by a 55-year-old Gardiner man, who was not injured.

Cole was struck near a retirement community, but it was not immediately clear if he lived there. The crash remains under investigation and there was no word on whether charges will be filed.

WATERVILLE

Colby gets $10 million gift to build science building

Colby College has received a $10 million gift to help build a new science center.

College president William Adams says the gift – from the Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund – is one of the largest in the school’s 200-year history.

The 36,400-square-foot science building will house a robotics laboratory, behavioral neuroscience research center and computer laboratories. It will be named the Davis Science Center.

A trustee of the charitable fund – Andrew Davis – graduated from Colby in 1985 and served on the college’s board of trustees from 1999 to 2006.

GARDINER

State advises consumers to avoid former accountant

The state issued a consumer warning this week about a woman in the midcoast who it says has been misrepresenting herself as a certified public accountant.

Valerie Alex of Rockport has not had a license to practice as a CPA for more than a year, said Anne Head, commissioner of Maine’s Department of Professional and Financial Regulation, in a news release Wednesday. Her certificate was revoked in September 2012 by the Maine Board of Accountancy, which ordered her to remove her office sign in Warren and shut down her website.

Head said in a press release, “Her certificate has been revoked because of a history and pattern of misconduct and failure to comply with orders of the Maine Board of Accountancy. Although she has continued to advertise herself as a CPA, consumers should not hire her to perform work as a CPA.”

Head said the Board of Accountancy has referred the matter to the Attorney General’s Office.

BOSTON

State official calls on court to stop fishing regulations

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley is urging a court to stop new federal fishing regulations which she called an “existential threat” to New England’s 400-year-old fishing industry.

Coakley said her office’s motion for summary judgment, filed in the United States District Court in Boston, reinforced the arguments made in the state’s lawsuit filed against the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on May 30.

Coakley has also sent a letter to Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski asking the Maryland Democrat to include $150 million in fisheries disaster funding in the final Fiscal Year 2014 federal budget.

The complaint alleges NOAA ignored the economic impact of the regulations and using flawed science to drastically reduce the annual catch limits for cod and other species.

The suit aims to block the new rules.