March 16, 2010

Local Dispatches


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John Patriquin/ Staff Photographer: Tuesday., July 22, 2008. A single car accident resulted in a utility pole severed and the vehicle to roll over along outer Congress St. today. The driver escaped with minor injuries.

Driver suffers minor injuries when car severs utility pole

A car struck a utility pole on outer Congress Street about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, causing an electrical outage in the immediate neighborhood and a traffic jam that lasted into the evening commuting hours as crews worked to replace the pole.

The car severed the utility pole and then flipped over. The driver was able to crawl out a window and escaped with only minor injuries.

The single-car accident occurred about 200 yards west of the entrance to the Portland International Jetport, police said. The driver's name was not released.

Officials to welcome group from sister city in Japan

City officials have scheduled a welcome ceremony today for a delegation of 16 teenagers and two adult chaperones visiting from Japan.

The visit continues an official partnership between Portland and its sister city, Shinagawa, that dates to 1984. The two cities have sent delegations back and forth -- to sample each other's cultures, compete in sporting events and experience college life in a different country -- since then.

This year's visitors are staying with host families and plan to take in a Portland Sea Dogs game over the next two weeks.

Mayor Edward Suslovic is scheduled to welcome the group and host a tour of City Hall beginning at 10 a.m.


Both suspects in slaying held in Maine without bail

Both of the men charged in the brutal murder of an Old Orchard Beach man last month are now being held without bail in Maine.

Jeffrey Williams, 44, had his initial appearance in York County Superior Court on Monday. Williams entered no plea, and state prosecutors have asked that he be held without bail until trial.

Williams and Rennie Cassimy, 47, both of New York, are charged in the killing of Winston George, 45, on June 20. Williams is the brother of George's wife, and Cassimy was renting a New York property from the couple.

Cassimy was arrested in New York six days after the killing and has already had his initial appearance. Hearings on whether the men can continue to be held without bail have not been scheduled.

Williams turned himself in to his parole officer in New York on June 30 after learning that police were searching for him based on a Maine murder warrant.


Standoff with police ends in domestic-assault charge

A Cape Elizabeth man was arrested and charged with domestic assault and criminal restraint after he allegedly threatened his girlfriend and held police at bay for about an hour Tuesday night.

Police Chief Neil Williams said 24-year-old Andrew Ettinger surrendered peacefully after authorities were forced to shut down the intersection in front of Ettinger's apartment at Shore, Scott Dyer and Ocean House roads.

Construction workers, who were installing a sidewalk in front of a convenience store called Jonesy's, alerted police after they noticed a woman crying and complaining that her boyfriend had threatened her.

Williams said the couple lives in a third-floor apartment above the Coastal Wellness Family Chiropractic Center. When they called Ettinger at the apartment, he did not answer. Police said he had several weapons inside the apartment.

Police evacuated several nearby businesses, and a joint South Portland-Cape Elizabeth tactical team was called in. No shots were fired.

Ettinger was being held at the Cumberland County Jail. His bail had not been set Tuesday night.


Former policeman 'critical' after his motorcycle hits car

Eric Marston, 60, of Bridgton, was in critical condition Tuesday with head injuries sustained when his motorcycle collided with a car Monday on Route 117 in Bridgton. He was airlifted to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.

Bridgton Police Chief Davd Lyons said Marston, a former officer with the Bridgton Police Department and a retired Cumberland County deputy sheriff, was in an induced coma.

Lyons said the accident took place around 12:15 p.m. Marston, who was driving a motorcycle with a sidecar, struck a sedan driven by Kara Thurlow, 34, of Harrison. He said Harrison had stopped in traffic to make a left-hand turn when the collision occurred.

Marston, who was not wearing a helmet, was ejected and struck the sedan. There was no passenger in the sidecar.


Animal control officer builds new nest for rescued osprey

A pair of juvenile osprey are settling in to a new nest along the Fore River after being rescued by South Portland animal control officer Corey Hamilton.

Hamilton collected the pair from their waterlogged nest in the surf off Thomas Knight Park near the Casco Bay Bridge on Saturday. The nest had apparently been blown into the water off a piling in the river.

The birds are about one month old, according to a release from the South Portland Police Department.

Hamilton took the birds home and tended to them overnight. He also built a replacement nest. The Coast Guard helped Hamilton affix the nest to a piling and return the birds to it Sunday.

Within minutes, the pair's mother was seen circling the nest and landing in it to tend to the young birds, police said.


Man gets 50 years in prison for slaying in drug dispute

A 35-year-old Bangor man has been handed a 50-year prison sentence for a drug-related murder last summer in the eastern Maine town of Amherst.

John Turner was found guilty in May in the fatal shooting of 26-year-old Tad Howard of Ellsworth. Turner was sentenced Tuesday in Hancock County Superior Court.

Turner faced a minimum of 25 years and a maximum of life. The sentence was imposed by Justice Kevin Cuddy.

During the three-day trial, jurors were told that Howard's death was an execution sparked by drugs and money. Assistant Attorney General Andrew Benson said Howard was a drug dealer and Turner was a client who had built a significant drug debt.


State seizes 46 caged dogs, turns them over to shelters

Maine animal welfare officials say nearly four dozen dogs have been seized from two homes in New Portland, where they were caged.

The 46 dogs, mostly medium-sized and mixed breeds, were discovered following an anonymous complaint last week. They were malnourished, matted with feces and affected by fleas, mange and worms. They have been turned over to shelters.

The dogs' former owner moved last fall and left them to a caretaker. But Director Norma Worley of the state Animal Welfare Program says the animals were probably living in poor conditions before the caretaker became responsible for them.


Discovery of a 9-foot python gives rattled man nightmares

A Wilton man has been having trouble sleeping since he found a python about 9 feet long under the engine of his pickup truck.

The shocking discovery Saturday by Harley Burgess was the second of its kind in less than a week in Maine. Last Wednesday, a Gorham woman found a snake -- also identified as a reticulated python -- in her washing machine.

Burgess says he still shakes when he thinks of the python found under his truck. He's had nightmares about the snake getting his grandson, who was with him the day the python was discovered.

Reticulated pythons are illegal to possess in Maine without a permit.

-- From staff and news services

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