January 26, 2013

Dispatches

SOMERVILLE

Cause of fatal house fire likely will never be known

Maine State Police say the cause of a fatal fire in Somerville will likely never be determined because the farmhouse and a barn were destroyed.

Officials recovered a body from the rubble of the burned-out house. The state Fire Marshal’s Office said the body is believed to be that of the homeowner, 92-year-old Cecil Brann.

Authorities said a neighbor saw smoke and reported the blaze about 3:30 p.m. Thursday. Brann’s body was found in the kitchen of the house about 9 p.m.

Officials said the freezing temperatures made it difficult to fight the fire. Several of the fire trucks had frozen water and hoses.

Authorities said this is the state’s first fire death of the year.

NEW GLOUCESTER

New Gloucester motorist injured after going off road

A New Gloucester man was seriously injured after driving his car off the road and over a snowbank, going airborne, landing in a driveway and hitting a parked car, authorities said.

Arnold Dean Eldridge, 59, was not wearing a seat belt when he drove his 1997 Volkswagen Jetta off Sabbathday Road in New Gloucester around 12:30 p.m. Friday in a crash that appears to have been caused by alcohol and speed, according to the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office.

Eldridge, whose injuries were not life-threatening, had been driving south when he crossed the northbound lane, went off the road, over the snowbank and struck a parked car that hit another vehicle next to it in the driveway, the sheriff’s office said.

Eldridge’s face hit and broke the windshield and he was taken to Central Maine Medical Center. He was the only person injured in the crash.

Test results, which are pending, could lead to criminal charges, the sheriff’s office said.

AUGUSTA

Governor welcomes Maine troops home from Kuwait

Gov. Paul LePage has welcomed home 75 members of the Maine National Guard who were deployed to Kuwait.

The 126th Aviation Unit’s Charlie Company served a year as a medevac helicopter unit. During the time, the unit flew more than 1,200 sorties and completed 43 missions.

LePage told the personnel Friday that “Maine is proud of you.”

Charlie Company was last deployed in 2009 to Kuwait and southern Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

WILTON

Police apprehend suspect wanted on sex charges

Police have apprehended a man wanted in Kentucky on sexual abuse charges.

Wilton Chief Heidi Wilcox said officers arrested Jaime Johnson, 44, at a relative’s home Wednesday night.

Maine authorities were tipped off by Kentucky State Police, who said Johnson is wanted on 15 counts of sexual abuse.

Johnson was charged in Maine as a fugitive from justice. He was being held Friday at the Franklin County Jail pending a bail hearing.

Details of the allegations Johnson faces were not released by Maine authorities. It was unclear if he had an attorney.

ELLSWORTH

Ellsworth man faces charge of trafficking in heroin

Maine drug agents say they have arrested an Ellsworth man and seized heroin with an estimated street value of $11,000 from his home.

The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency and Ellsworth police searched the home of Matthew Wright late Wednesday.

Agents seized more than 330 retail bags of heroin, $2,100 in cash and two handguns, one of which was loaded.

Agents also seized about 40 grams of another substance that has not yet been positively identified.
Wright was charged with aggravated trafficking in heroin and taken to the Hancock County Jail. Bail was set at $2,500 cash and his initial court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 21.

The investigation continues and police said more charges and arrests are likely.

– From staff and news services

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