December 4, 2012

Local & State Dispatches

From staff and news services

(Continued from page 1)

A Jay man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for sexually abusing two teenage girls.

Joshua Welch was also sentenced last week to six years of probation after pleading guilty in October to 10 counts of unlawful sexual contact with the girls, who were under age 16. The state dismissed a gross sexual assault charge as part of a plea agreement.

Prosecutors say the abuse occurred  from Jan. 1, 2007, to Aug. 15, 2011.

The Sun Journal reported that one victim told the court she doesn’t think she will recover from what was done to her.

A lawyer for Welch, 32, says his client took responsibility so the victims would not have to testify in court. Welch apologized in court.


Report identifies 145 species of spiders around Katahdin

The Maine Forest Service has put out a new report on the spiders that can be found on and around Mount Katahdin – all 145 species of them.

The new 30-page report is based on work done by scientists from Maine and Canada who have studied the spiders at Katahdin, Maine’s tallest mountain and the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. It’s the first time there’s been a publication providing a checklist of Katahdin’s spiders.

It includes five species that were previously unidentified. None of the 145 species is poisonous.

Registration starts Saturday for 48 Allagash campsites

The registration period begins soon for Allagash Wilderness Waterway campgrounds in northern Maine.

Registration will open at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Chamberlain Bridge ranger station.

The Allagash Wilderness Waterway is providing winter campgrounds at Chamberlain Bridge and Kellogg Brook in the preserve, a 92-mile-long ribbon of rivers, streams, lakes and ponds that winds through northern Maine’s forests.

The 48 campsites available at Chamberlain Bridge and Kellogg Brook will be allotted on a first-come, first-served basis until the campground capacity is reached, which could occur as early as noon on opening day. The sites are popular with ice fishermen.

Rental fees plus meal and lodging tax are charged.


Windows of 15 businesses damaged by pellet shots

Police are assessing damage to windows at more than a dozen businesses apparently struck by shots from a BB or pellet gun.

Police said Monday morning that somebody indiscriminately shot through the front windows of 15 downtown businesses Sunday night.

Officials later said it appears that most if not all the damage found overnight was old, unreported damage.

Authorities say a pawn shop owner discovered BB or pellet shot damage Sunday when police responded to an alarm at the store. Based on that information, the responding officer took note of similar damage at other businesses and reported it.


Police looking for vehicle involved in head-on crash

Police are looking for the second vehicle involved in a crash in Lebanon that injured a woman and three children.

Rescue officials who arrived at the scene of the crash on Saturday night found a Jeep SUV with severe front-end damage. Investigators say the driver told them she was involved in a head-on crash and the other vehicle immediately drove away from the scene.

The Jeep’s driver, a 31-year-old Farmington woman, was taken to the hospital with injuries not considered life threatening.

Three children in the car were treated at the scene for minor injuries.

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