May 8, 2013

Local & State Dispatches

From staff and news services

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The car turned off the road onto a dead end near Collins Pond, and Higgins got out and ran into the woods, police said. A police dog and handler searched through the woods and eventually Higgins came out where some Cumberland County Sheriff’s deputies were waiting for him, DeGruchy said.

Higgins was arrested at 12:30 a.m.  and charged with criminal speeding, eluding an officer, driving to endanger and driving while a habitual offender.

KENNEBUNK

Town will remove exposed and jagged tree roots

The town of Kennebunk will remove jagged pieces of tree roots and stumps that were exposed on Gooch’s Beach after winter storms washed away sand.

Town officials are concerned that swimmers or surfers could become snagged on the wood pieces, which are covered at high tide.

The town consulted the Maine Department of Environmental Protection before the decision was made to remove wood that looks “like a group of prongs coming out of the ground,” said Town Manager Barry Tibbetts.

The town will not dig up stumps, some of which have become smooth from exposure to the tides, Tibbetts said.

The work will be done during the next two weeks, depending on the tides.

KENNEBUNKPORT

‘Happiest Seaside Towns’ list includes Kennebunkport

Kennebunkport came in seventh in Coastal Living magazine’s second-annual list of “America’s Happiest Seaside Towns.”

The list of the 10 best places to live by the sea, as ranked by consumers, is featured in the June 2013 issue of the magazine, which hits newsstands May 17.

Coming in first was Beaufort, S.C., followed by Harwich Port, Mass.; Sanibel Island, Fla.; Sag Harbor, N.Y.; Newport, R.I.; Rowayton, Conn.; Kennebunkport; P’ia Town, Maui, Hawaii; La Jolla, Calif; and Pescadero, Calif.

The list was based on criteria that included ranking on the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, percentage of sunny days, healthiness of beaches, commute times, walkability, standard of living and financial well-being of residents, geographic diversity, and what the magazine called “coastal vibe.”

Coastal locations that made the 2012 list were not eligible for this year’s list.

The full list of towns is at coastalliving.com/happytowns2013.

PORTLAND

Boaters are found safe after all-night search in thick fog

The Coast Guard ended its search for a missing boater off the coast after finding a group of canoeists who were safe on an island in Blue Hill Bay.

Coast Guard officials in Portland received a distress call at 7:43 p.m. Monday from a man who gave his position as west of Mount Desert Island, but did not provide the nature of his distress or the name of the vessel.

The Coast Guard launched a boat and searched in thick fog throughout the night before finding a group of 25 school members with 10 canoes around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday on Long Island.

Officials say the group got disoriented in the fog and put out the distress call before coming upon the island, where they camped for the night.

Court rules music teacher’s sentence was excessive

Maine’s highest court has vacated a former music teacher’s 27-year sentence, saying the term is excessive for his convictions on sex charges involving his students.

Theodore Stanislaw of Blue Hill was originally sentenced to 28 years in prison after pleading guilty to unlawful sexual contact for molesting five girls ages 10 to 14 from 2004 to 2008.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court vacated that sentence in 2011, ruling that sentencing guidelines were misapplied. Stanislaw was then resentenced to 27 years.

In a 4-3 decision, justices ruled Tuesday that the 27-year sentence was out of line for unlawful sexual contact.

The court ordered that Stanislaw be resentenced, suggesting that an appropriate term would be one-third to one-half of his previous sentence.

Coast Guard names Gilda regional commander

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