January 16, 2013

Dispatches

From staff and news services

JAY

Teenager dies from injuries sustained in single-car crash

Police say a Livermore Falls teenager who was injured Sunday in a car crash in Jay has died.

Chief Larry White Sr. said Megan Baril, 17, died about 11 a.m. Monday at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston from injuries sustained in Sunday’s crash.

Police said Baril was a front-seat passenger in a car driven by Alyssa Lamontagne, 17, that struck a utility pole. White said Baril was not wearing a seat belt.

Lamontagne, and a second passenger, Sheila Jordan, 16, were taken to the hospital with what were described as non-life threatening injuries.

All three teenagers are from Livermore Falls.

White told the Sun Journal that speed appears to be a factor, but the crash remains under investigation and no charges have been filed.

PORTLAND

USM finds $1.3 million more for first-time students in fall

The University of Southern Maine will award an additional $1.3 million in scholarships for students who enroll in college for the first time this fall.

The scholarships, which will be for $1,500 to $12,000 per year for as long as four years, will be awarded to students who are in the top 30 percent of their high school class, meet minimums on the SAT or ACT tests and need financial aid, USM said in a news release.

Last year, USM gave $1 million to first-time students – on top of $7 million it awarded in financial aid – which translated to 356 scholarships, USM said.

“Anything we can do to help make college more affordable is a great use of university resources,” USM President Theodora Kalikow said in a prepared statement.

According to the news release, the money for the new scholarships is coming from “reallocations of existing university funds.”

Eligible applicants for admission will be automatically considered for the scholarships.

For more information, contact USM’s Office of Undergraduate Admission at 780-5670 or usmadm@usm.maine.edu.

Nonprofit health center getting $680,000 grant

The Portland Community Health Center on Park Avenue is getting a $680,000 federal grant to expand its services, U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree said Tuesday.

The center serves about 3,000 patients annually, providing primary medical and mental health care. Services are provided regardless of ability to pay.

A sliding scale is used for patients who can afford to pay.

The center had been operated by the city since 2009, but became an independent nonprofit at the beginning of the year.

Leslie Brancato, chief executive officer of the Health Center, credited Pingree with helping the center navigate red tape that threatened short-term funding needed to stay open.

Pingree credited the center as being a lifeline for thousands.

“Without it, many people would go without basic health care, and that’s especially true during tough economic times and when state programs are being cut,” Pingree said in the news release.

Pingree is married to S. Donald Sussman, majority owner of the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram.

Mainers warned about cars damaged by Sandy flooding

Maine residents are being warned to stay away from deals on cars that appear too good to be true.

Experts say some of the estimated 250,000 vehicles damaged during flooding caused by Superstorm Sandy are starting to show up on the market.

Some of the vehicles may have spent a week under sea water.

Chris Basso, spokesman for Carfax, a company that provides used-car history reports for buyers and dealers, told the Sun Journal the vehicles may look pristine but are riddled with problems that may not show up for months.

He called those cars “ticking time bombs.”

Maine law requires car sellers to disclose whether the vehicle has sustained considerable damage. But there are loopholes to the law.

(Continued on page 2)

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