March 10, 2010

Dispatches

— PORTLAND

Woman charged with theft of construction-site copper

A Portland woman faces charges of theft after she was found with a shopping cart full of copper wire.

Police received a report that two people were stealing copper from a construction site at Deering and Avon streets at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

When officers arrived, they found Karen Dedomenico, 33, who does not have a current address, with a shopping cart loaded with about 75 pounds of copper wire, police said. Police did not find a second suspect.

Dedomenico was charged with theft, and the wire was returned to its owner, police said.

Large cruise ship docking in city Saturday morning

One of the largest cruise ships of the 2009 sailing season is scheduled to arrive in Portland early Saturday morning.

According to the city's Web site, Grandeur of the Seas, which can carry up to 1,950 passengers, will dock at the Maine State Pier at 8 a.m. The ship will depart Saturday night for Bar Harbor.

''We are very excited'' to have the first large ship of the season arrive in port, said Jan Beitzer, executive director of Portland's Downtown District.

The city expects to host 45 cruise ships carrying about 70,000 passengers this season.

Explorer of The Seas -- the largest cruise ship docking in Portland this year -- carries more than 3,000 passengers and will visit the city on Sept. 5, Sept. 19, Oct. 3 and Oct. 17.

Parkside neighborhood holding block party Sunday

The Parkside neighborhood will hold a block party for residents Sunday night.

Supper Bowl Sunday, to be held on Grant Street, is billed as a celebration of community.

A potluck dinner will be held in the street from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Neighbors are invited to bring something to eat.

The neighborhood has had its share of tragedy this year. Angelo Okot, a Sudanese leader who lived on Grant Street, was killed while visiting his homeland. David Okot, a Sudanese immigrant, was shot and killed by city police at the corner of Weymouth and Grant streets.

Sunday's event will feature live music and face painting. Supper Bowl Sunday is sponsored by the Parkside Neighborhood Center, SPIRAL Arts and three churches in the neighborhood.

WESTBROOK

Police seeking public's help in search for 5-year-old boy

Westbrook police are asking for the public's help in locating a 5-year-old boy they believe is being criminally restrained by his father.

Police Chief Bill Baker said the child, Devon Carter, was supposed to have been returned to his mother on Saturday, but never was. His father, who has limited visitation rights under terms of a court order, was seen last weekend in Tewksbury, Mass.

''Our concerns have heightened based on his failure to respond to our efforts to reach him,'' Baker said.

Baker identified the boy's father as 51-year-old Gene A. Carter of Gorham. Carter is 6 feet tall and weighs 200 pounds. He is black.

Baker said police have left messages on Carter's cell phone and home phone. They also have left messages with family members.

The boy's mother does not want to be identified, Baker said.

Anyone with information about the boy's whereabouts is asked to call the Westbrook Police Department at 854-2531.

BAR HARBOR

Acadia among U.S. parks to waive weekend admission

National parks across the United States, including Acadia National Park in Maine, will be offering free admission this weekend.

Entrance fees will be waived Saturday and Sunday at parks that normally charge them, saving visitors from $3 to $25.

At Acadia, the usual entrance fee would be $20 per vehicle to enter the park for seven days.

Though the cost for activities such as camping, tours or concessions are not affected by the entrance fee waiver, many park partners, including area hotels and restaurants, will offer discounts and special promotions.

''Most Americans live within a few hours' drive of a national park,'' said Dan Wenk, acting director of the National Park Service.

''Free entrance weekends offer the perfect chance to visit an old favorite or to discover and explore a new place.''

KENNEBUNKPORT

Local property tax relief program starts for qualified

The town's new local property tax relief program is under way.

Under the program, qualified low- to moderate-income residents receive refunds of no more than $500. The program is limited to residents who have lived in town for at least 10 years.

Eligibility is tied to the Maine Residents Property Tax Program.

The purpose of the program is to aid residents who are having trouble paying their property taxes due to their incomes and the rapid increase of their property values. Voters approved the program in November.

The local program provides credits of $500 or 50 percent of the resident's state refund, whichever is less.

The credit is applied to the resident's property tax bill in March.

The deadline for the local program is Nov. 16. Applicants are advised to apply now to the state program in order to receive a response before the town deadline.

More information about the town program is available at www.kennebunkportme.gov or at Town Hall.

NAPLES

Man, 26, held in connection with Lake Region burglaries

A Naples man is being held on $25,000 cash bail in connection with a series of burglaries in the Lakes Region.

Cumberland County sheriff's deputies last week charged Christopher McCue, 26, of Lake House Road, with driving to endanger, driving without a license and violating bail conditions.

Added later were seven counts of burglary, seven counts of theft and one count of criminal mischief in connection with a series of summer break-ins in Naples, Casco, Raymond and Sebago, according to the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office.

AUGUSTA

Volunteers to survey trees for signs of Asian beetle

Maine's agriculture department has lined up dozens of volunteers from conservation and other nature-based groups to look for signs of the Asian longhorned beetle, an invasive pest that eats trees from the inside.

Department entomologist Karen Coluzzi says surveys are scheduled for Aug. 27 in Portland and Sept. 3 in Bangor.

The department also plans an outreach program to raise the awareness of people in the rest of the state about the insect, which had long antennae, grows up to 1.5 inches in length and is a shiny black with white blotches.

The insects are most active from July to October.

BANGOR

Suspect arrested in case of woman found dead at river

A man has been taken into custody in connection with the death of a 19-year-old woman found in a shack along the Penobscot River.

Thirty-four-year-old Colin Koehler of Bangor was taken after police used tear gas to drive him from his apartment Tuesday.

Police said Koehler refused to open his door when sought for questioning about the homicide of Holly Boutilier of Old Town, who was found dead in a shack hidden among trees along the river near a bridge Sunday.

Koehler was taken to the Bangor police station, where he was questioned for more than four hours before being arrested in Boutilier's killing.

He was then taken to Penobscot County Jail and is scheduled to appear in court today.

Carpenter gets 30 years for death of his best friend

A Maine carpenter who admitted to police that he shot his best friend in the back of the head has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Joseph Dumas, 50, could have faced up to life in prison for killing 70-year-old Mario ''Sony'' Litterio near a camp where Dumas was working. But Justice Michaela Murphy says Dumas was ''extraordinarily cooperative'' with authorities, had close ties with his community and was under the influence of cocaine at the time.

Dumas, jailed since his November 2007 arrest, wept throughout much of the sentencing.

-- From staff and news services

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