HARRISON

Raymond woman, 28, dies when vehicle goes off road

A Raymond woman was killed in a car crash in Harrison when her speeding vehicle hit a frost heave on a curve, sending it flying off the road, according to police.

The wreckage was not discovered until Wednesday morning but the accident most likely happened at about 9 p.m. Tuesday. A passing motorist notified the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office that there was a car off the road at 510 Naples Road just after 6:30 a.m.

Emergency workers responded and pronounced Sabrina B. Titus, 28, dead at the scene.

The sheriff’s office is still investigating, but it appears that Titus was driving a 1999 Chevrolet S-10 Blazer north on Naples Road when it hit a frost heave just north of the Carsley Road intersection, causing her to lose control. The SUV hit a snowbank, went airborne, then hit a rock wall before rolling into a tree. The car was demolished, the sheriff’s office said.

It took firefighters two hours to remove Titus from the car. When rescue workers discovered two car seats in the vehicle, they worried that children might have been inside, but authorities contacted the father of the children, who said they were with him.

The residents of 510 Naples Road told deputies they heard a loud crash Tuesday at 9 p.m. but didn’t see anything when they went outside to investigate, said Capt. Don Goulet. The area is rural and the car was in trees at the edge of a large, unlit yard about 70 feet from the house.

The force of the crash killed the woman instantly, Goulet said.

The car was going significantly faster than the posted 40 mph speed limit, but the accident reconstruction is not complete and a final speed has not been determined, he said.

WINDHAM

Police seek public’s help in March 9 crash on Route 302

Windham police are asking for the public’s help as they continue their investigation into a car crash that claimed the life of a Portland man.

Lt. David DeGruchy said investigators would like to speak with anyone who may have witnessed the March 9 crash or who may have stopped to offer assistance.

“We’re trying to gather as much information as possible. We want this to be a thorough investigation,” DeGruchy said Wednesday. “We’re trying to look back into time and piece together what happened as best we can.”

Police said a 2008 Dodge Caliber operated by 26-year-old Craig D. McPherson was heading west on Route 302 when a 2014 Subaru Forester driven by 25-year-old Brittney Hersom of Sanford crossed the center line and struck McPherson’s vehicle head-on at about 8:25 a.m. McPherson, an assistant customer service manager at Hannaford supermarket in Windham, was taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland, where he died later that day. Hersom was treated at the hospital and released.

Hersom was driving home from work when the crash took place, according to DeGruchy.

DeGruchy said that, in addition to the police department’s investigation, the District Attorney’s Office is also reviewing the case. No charges have been filed. Anyone with information should contact Detective Paul Cox at 892-1919, extension 4417.

SACO

Man fined for groping officer at Cascade Falls Park

An Old Orchard Beach man accused of groping an undercover Saco police officer at a popular park last year has pleaded no contest to assault and been fined.

Saco’s Deputy Police Chief Jeffrey C. Holland issued a news release Wednesday about 64-year-old Allen Hahn partly to send a message that the city will not tolerate such behavior at Cascade Falls Park, he said.

Holland said police will step up their presence at the park this spring and will conduct more undercover enforcement details.

On May 3, Hahn approached an undercover detective on a trail overlooking the waterfall. After a brief conversation, Hahn stepped toward the officer and grabbed his genitals through his clothing asking, “Are we doing this?” according to police.

Holland said Hahn was fined $370 after pleading no contest to assault in York County Superior Court. A charge of unlawful sexual contact was dismissed as part of his plea agreement.

Hahn’s case was the last of five investigations to be resolved with convictions or plea agreements stemming from similar incidents that took place last year at Cascade Falls Park.

AUGUSTA

Maine Senate rejects energy bill backed by LePage

The Maine Senate has rejected a bill backed by Republican Gov. Paul LePage that supporters say would reduce consumers’ energy costs.

The Senate voted 26-9 on Wednesday to kill the bill that would remove a 100-megawatt cap for qualifying renewable power generation, such as hydropower.

Supporters say that change would open the door to long-term contracts with generators, specifically hydropower, at discounted prices.

But Democratic Sen. John Cleveland of Auburn said there’s no indication the proposal would cut energy costs. He says the change would threaten to price other renewable energy sources out of the market.

LePage has made the proposal a major priority for his administration.

The bill faces further consideration in the House.

Senate approves measure to cancel consultant contract

The Maine Senate has approved a measure to cancel Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s administration’s contract with a consultant examining its Medicaid program.

The Senate backed the bill with a 21-14 vote on Wednesday. The bill to eliminate the contract with the Alexander Group, led by the former welfare chief of Rhode Island and Pennsylvania, was endorsed by the House on Tuesday. It requires final votes in both chambers.

Democrats say the contract is a waste of taxpayer dollars and that hiring the group to study whether Maine should expand Medicaid was politically motivated.

But others say the group is well-qualified to help the state improve its Medicaid program and that it’s inappropriate for the Legislature to reject a contract approved by the executive branch.

Panel votes against LePage plan for heating investment

A Maine legislative panel has voted against Gov. Paul LePage’s proposal to use revenue generated from increased logging on public lands to fund a program to help residents invest in modern heating equipment to lower their energy costs.

The Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee voted 8-3 Wednesday to recommend to the full Legislature that the bill not pass. The measure would put $1 million from the timber harvest revenue into a fund to help residents pay for things like heat pumps or new insulation.

The Democratic-led House advanced a separate bill on Thursday to re-establish a rebate program for people who install solar power systems. The amended bill would also establish a fund helping low-income Mainers buy things like heat pumps to reduce energy costs.

House gives initial OK on bill aimed at call centers

Maine’s House of Representatives has given initial approval to a bill that would penalize businesses that relocate their call centers overseas.

The Democratic-led House voted 78-63 on Wednesday in favor of the bill supporters say seeks to encourage businesses to keep call centers in the state.

But the measure failed in the Democratic-controlled Senate earlier this week.

The bill directs the state to compile a list of Maine employers who have relocated call centers outside of the country. Those employers wouldn’t be able to get state grants, loans or tax benefits for five years.

Supporters say the bill will protect Maine jobs.

But opponents say the measure sends a dangerous message and will discourage new companies from coming to Maine.

It faces further consideration in both chambers.

BANGOR

Man, 25, now charged with murder in babysitting death

A Maine man charged with manslaughter in the death of a 5-month-old child he was babysitting is now facing a murder charge.

Twenty-five-year-old Samuel Moore of Bangor was indicted Wednesday by a grand jury in Bangor. He was also indicated on the original manslaughter charge.

Police say Moore had been babysitting the victim, Korbyn Antworth, before she died March 5 at Eastern Maine Medical Center.

The cause of death has not been released. But a prosecutor said the baby had numerous injuries that were consistent with shaken baby syndrome.

Moore is being held at the Penobscot County Jail on $100,000 bond.

PORTLAND

Storm forces Coast Guard to delay ice-breaking efforts

A powerful storm that churned up the ocean forced the Coast Guard to delay ice-breaking operations in Maine for a day.

The Coast Guard said the annual spring operation on the Kennebec River was postponed from Wednesday until Thursday because of the storm, which packed hurricane-force winds off the coast.

The operation aims to break up winter ice in the main channel of the Kennebec River from Merrymeeting Bay to the town of Gardiner.

Four ice-breaking tugs will cut through the ice over several days. The Coast Guard says clearing the thick ice gives the water a direct path to the ocean.

PARIS

Two cleared in probe of hit-and-run death of teenager

Two people identified by police as persons of interest in a hit-and-run in Paris that took the life of a Turner teenager have been cleared of involvement in the case.

Police Chief Michael Madden says one person came to the police to report an unrelated accident that happened in the area the same evening.

Police were led to another through a tip, but that person’s vehicle had no damage and they had a strong alibi for the time of the crash.

Sixteen-year-old Xavier Fuentes was killed on an unlit stretch of Route 117 sometime before 8:30 p.m. on March 15.

Madden told the Sun Journal the department has received tips about the crash every day but none have led to a break.

KITTERY

Lawsuit over bridge crash is settled for $1.3 million

A federal lawsuit filed by the states of Maine and New Hampshire against owners of an oil tanker that crashed into a bridge connecting the two states has been settled for $1.3 million, the Maine Department of Transportation announced Wednesday.

The 473-foot ship MV Harbour Feature struck the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge last April 1 after breaking away from a pier. The impact caused an estimated $2.4 million in damages to the bridge, which is owned by both states, and forced its closure for several weeks for repairs.