January 7

Local & State Dispatches

From staff and news services


Police dismiss weather as factor in fatal rollover

The Maine State Police are investigating the circumstances behind the death of a Hampden man whose car left Interstate 95 in Hermon on Monday afternoon and rolled over several times.

State police said the victim, Thomas Ellingwood, 47, was driving south on I-95 when his 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser left the highway, went down an embankment and rolled over several times before coming to rest in a ditch.

State police said the weather was not a factor and that no other vehicle contributed to the crash. Ellingwood was alone in the vehicle at the time.

The crash took place around 2:43 p.m. Traffic had to be reduced to one lane for about 90 minutes.


Woman steals cellphone in strip-club fight, police say

A woman entered a Portland strip club Sunday night, got into a fight with a female employee there and then fled the club with the employee’s cellphone, police said.

Lt. Robert Martin said the employee, who complained of head pain, did not appear to be seriously injured but went to a local hospital as a precautionary measure.

Martin said the fight started around 9 p.m. after the unnamed woman entered PT’s Showclub at 200 Riverside St. and started arguing with the female employee. Martin said the two women knew each other. He was not certain if the employee was a dancer or worked in some other capacity at the club.

“It was more of a dispute that had been ongoing than anything else,” Martin said.

He said the argument escalated and the two women started fighting. Club employees broke up the skirmish, which he described as short-lived, but during the fight the female employee’s cellphone was knocked to the floor.

The other woman grabbed the cellphone and fled the building, which Martin said constitutes a robbery.

No arrest had been made as of late Monday night.

Man injured, pet cat killed in blaze on Brighton Avenue

A man was injured and a pet cat killed in a fire that heavily damaged a Portland house early Monday morning.

Shortly after 1 a.m. Monday the fire department received a call that a man at 716 Brighton Ave. was screaming that his house was on fire. Firefighters were able to quickly knock down a fire in the first-floor living area, said Tim Nangle of the Portland Fire Department.

The man was taken to Maine Medical Center for evaluation of injuries that are not believed to be life-threatening. His cat died in the fire.

Nangle said the single-family house is uninhabitable and the injured man will stay with friends.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Group to launch free legal clinic for Portland’s homeless

A group of judges and lawyers on Thursday will launch a free legal clinic to help homeless people in Portland.

The Maine Homeless Legal Clinic will be a partnership of the American Bar Association, the Volunteer Lawyers Project, Pine Tree Legal Assistance and Preble Street, the group said in a news release Monday afternoon.

The group will use local law firms, in-house counsel and other attorneys to staff weekly clinics at Preble Street, which operates a day shelter and soup kitchen in Portland, for people with legal issues related to homelessness, such as tenancy, driver’s licenses, child support and re-establishing acceptable identification.


Man faces charges after alleged three-town chase

A New York state man was charged with passing a roadblock after allegedly leading Wells police on a low-speed chase through three towns Sunday night.

Robert Sherwood, 50, of Ronkonkoma, N.Y., was arrested following what police described as a struggle.

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