December 5, 2013

Local & State Dispatches

From staff and news services


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The U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels will perform at the 2015 air show in Brunswick, if the authority that governs activities at the former Navy base authorizes an air show, an event that costs about $750,000 to host. The show would be held Labor Day weekend, Sept. 5-6, of 2015.

Pat Wellenbach/2007 Associated Press file

Police release image of man in series of armed robberies

Police have released a surveillance image of a man wanted for questioning in connection with a series of robberies over the past week, including another one Tuesday night.

The D’Angelo’s Sandwich Shop at 352 Alfred St. was robbed just before 9 p.m. Tuesday. Biddeford police also are investigating robberies at the Family Dollar Store at 321 Elm St., the Super Sub Shop on Jefferson Street, the Red Rocket Smoke Shop at 80 Birch St., Tim Horton’s at 426 Alfred St. and the Yummy House Chinese Restaurant at 20 Alfred St., as well as a similar robbery at the Arundel Market at 1144 Portland Road.

In most of the incidents, a man described as 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet tall, who partially disguised his face, entered the business, showed a weapon and demanded money. He left on foot with a small amount of cash.

The blurry surveillance image released Wednesday is from the robbery at the Red Rocket Smoke Shop.

Police say Tuesday night’s holdup followed the same pattern. Police ask that anyone with information call 282-5127.


Tractor-trailer full of fliers burns, closing turnpike lanes

A tractor-trailer truck loaded with shopping fliers caught fire and burned early Wednesday morning on the Maine Turnpike, shutting down several lanes at the New Gloucester toll barrier.

A toll collector reported that a tractor-trailer had caught fire at 2 a.m. in the southbound lanes just south of the toll booth, said turnpike spokesman Dan Morin.

The burning truck and responding New Gloucester firefighters occupied an area where vehicles merge after the multiple lanes of the toll barrier. Traffic was rerouted to the barrier’s high-speed lanes, Morin said.

The trailer was engulfed in flames and destroyed, along with its full load of fliers, Morin said. The authority brought in a cleanup crew with an excavator to remove the burned materials from the pavement, he said.

All lanes of the toll barrier had reopened by 10 a.m., he said.


Massachusetts man gets year in drunk driving death

A Massachusetts man has been sentenced to serve a year in prison for a drunken driving crash in Naples last year that killed his passenger.

Richard Griffin, 52, of Topsfield, Mass., pleaded guilty in Cumberland County Unified Criminal Court on Tuesday to manslaughter and operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol resulting in death.

Griffin was driving a 2003 Chevrolet Blazer on Thompson Point Road on July 6, 2012, when it went off the road and hit a large pine tree. His passenger, William Schneider, 22, was killed, and Griffin suffered what police described at the time as life-threatening injuries.

Police said that Griffin was speeding and had been drinking before the crash.

Justice Roland Cole gave Griffin a six-year sentence, with all but one year suspended. The judge ordered him to serve a four-year probation term after completing his prison sentence.

Griffin is scheduled to report on Jan. 2 to begin serving his sentence.


Blue Angels will perform if 2015 air show goes on

The U.S. Navy’s precision flight demonstration team announced this week that it will perform at the 2015 air show in Brunswick.

However, the Blue Angels’ appearance is contingent on the authority that governs activities at the former Navy base authorizing an air show, an event that costs about $750,000 to host.

Steve Levesque, executive director of the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority, said he was informed Tuesday that the Blue Angels would be available to perform in Brunswick on Labor Day weekend, Sept. 5-6, of 2015. The authority made a request last July to have the elite flight squadron perform.

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