February 26, 2013

Local & State Dispatches

From staff and news services

PORTLAND

Specialty license plate urged for enterprising youth

A Portland-based nonprofit is starting a campaign to create a Maine specialty license plate to promote youth entrepreneurial programs.

Build A Biz must collect at least 2,000 signatures and raise $50,000 and then gain legislative approval to guarantee that the plates will be produced.

The proposed license plate would have the group’s acorn logo on the side. The bottom of the plate would read, “Support Entrepreneurship. Start Small. Accomplish Big.”

Build A Biz Director Kate Gooding hopes to have the plates available to the public in August 2014. Proceeds would go to support entrepreneurial programs aimed at children ages 5 to 15.

More information is available on the group’s website, www.buildabiz.me

BATH

No criminal charges filed from fatal propane blast

The Maine Fire Marshal’s Office says no charges will be filed in a home explosion that killed a woman on Feb. 12.

A leak in a propane line caused the explosion in Bath.

WMTW-TV reported that the Fire Marshal’s Office said Tuesday that the case is closed.

Fire investigators say the gas leak was in the wall of the unit next to the one where the body of Dale Ann Fussell, 64, was found. Investigators believe that fumes seeped into a crawl space before being ignited from an unknown source.

Four other people were taken to the hospital.

The blast flattened the building, awakened neighbors and scattered debris as far as a quarter mile away.

YARMOUTH

Reward offered for facts about Hannaford burglary

The FBI is offering an undisclosed reward for help in identifying two men who were involved in the burglary of a Hannaford pharmacy in December.

Yarmouth Detective Paul Martin said he believes the burglar had an accomplice who helped watch the store before the crime. Police believe that man walks with a limp and wears a brace on his left leg, Martin said.

The burglary suspect, whose image was captured on surveillance video at the Route 1 store Dec. 19, was dressed in black, wore gloves and a mask, and stole narcotics, Martin said.

On Dec. 24, a man walked into the Rite Aid on Route 1 and demanded narcotics. Martin said he does not think the incidents are related.

AUGUSTA

Proposed law would exempt Maine elders from jury duty

Mainers who are 70 and older will be allowed to opt out of jury duty if a bill before the Legislature is
approved.

The sponsor, Rep. Windol Weaver, told the Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that health issues make it difficult for many older people to serve. The Republican from York says there’s no need to add stress to their lives by requiring them to serve on juries.

Weaver, whose bill faced no opposition at Tuesday’s hearing, says 28 other states allow jury duty exemptions based on age.

A representative of the Maine court system spoke neither for nor against the bill. Mary Ann Lynch said it would reduce the pool of jurors who are chosen from the state driver’s license list, but she didn’t know by how much.

LEBANON

No children injured in crash between school bus, car

State police say no children were injured in a school bus crash Tuesday in Lebanon.

Steve McCausland of the state Department of Public Safety said the bus collided with a car on Route 202 on Tuesday morning. The two drivers suffered minor injuries.

Trooper Matthew Williams said seven children, ages 6 to 11, were on the bus at the time.

Williams said the bus driver, John Chanley, 47, of Berwick, drove the bus onto Route 202 from Creamery Hill Road and into the path of the oncoming car. That driver was Kim Scott, 46, of Lebanon.

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