Saturday, March 8, 2014
From staff and news services
Sex charge dismissed in former teacher’s plea deal
Prosecutors have dismissed a charge of sexual abuse of a minor against a former Westbrook substitute teacher as part of a plea deal in Cumberland County Unified Criminal Court in which a second charge of unlawful sexual touching will also be dismissed if he stays out of trouble for the next year.
Dereck Gilman, 25, of Westbrook, who has resigned from the Westbrook School Department, was accused of an inappropriate act with a Westbrook High School student sometime between May 1, 2012, and Jan. 30, 2013, when the student was 17.
The plea deal, in which Gilman must pay a $35 fee, was accepted by Justice Thomas Warren.
Gilman was indicted in May along with Westbrook School Committee member Suzanne Joyce, who was charged with interfering with prosecution of Gilman’s case. Prosecutors dropped the charge against Joyce last week without explaining why she had been indicted.
Bay State man sentenced to 12 years on drug charges
A Massachusetts man has been sentenced in federal court in Maine to 12 years in prison on drug charges.
Joshua Snow of Lynn, Mass., was also sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Portland to six years of probation upon release.
Snow, 30, pleaded guilty in May to a charge of possession with intent to distribute oxycodone.
According to court records, Snow was pulled over by Maine State Police on Interstate 95 in Falmouth in January. He was found to be in possession of 500 oxycodone pills.
Police said Snow said the pills were his and that he intended to distribute them.
Snow was found to be career offender which subjected him to harsher sentencing penalties.
Woman dies from injuries in kitchen fire on Sept. 4
A Brunswick woman has died from injuries she suffered in a fire last week. Harriet Soulen, 91, died overnight Monday at Maine Medical Center in Portland.
Soulen was cooking at her home at 14 Beech Drive on Sept. 4 when her clothing caught fire, according to the state Fire Marshal’s Office. Fire damage was confined to the kitchen.
Chamberlain’s war medal returns to historical society
Civil War general Joshua Chamberlain’s original Medal of Honor has arrived back in Brunswick.
The medal Chamberlain received in 1893 for his heroism at Little Round Top during the Battle of Gettysburg is at the Pejepscot Historical Society.
The historical society received the medal in an anonymous package in July but questioned its authenticity.
But historians verified that the medal was real. The Brunswick home where the Maine native lived more than 50 years is now a museum.
Settlement reached in fatal crash of small plane, truck
A nearly $4 million settlement has been reached between the families of three men who died in a small plane crash last year and several other parties.
Two University of Maine students and one alumnus died in the November crash that occurred when their plane clipped a pickup truck on takeoff at Knox County Regional Airport in Owls Head. The truck was authorized to be on airport grounds and had issued a warning.
The victims were David Cheney, 22, of Beverly, Mass.; Marcelo Rugini, 24, an exchange student from Brazil; and the pilot and alumnus, William “B.J.” Hannigan III, 24, of South Portland.
County lawyer Peter Marchesi told WMTW-TV that insurance companies for the truck driver, his employer and Hannigan’s flying club paid the bulk of the settlement.
Teen arrested after chase in stolen car, police say
A teenager from Portland is in jail after police say he led them on a high-speed chase in a stolen car before being caught on foot in Portland.
South Portland Officer Chris Gosling stopped a Honda Accord at 11:47 p.m. Monday on Main Street after he determined the license plate belonged to a Ford pickup truck, police said.
After initially stopping, the driver of the Honda then accelerated south and drove through a red light at Cash Corner and through Thornton Heights. The officer stopped the pursuit but alerted other officers.
Sgt. Kevin Gerrish saw the car going east on Broadway, coming from Scarborough, a short while later. He tried to stop it on the Maine Turnpike spur but the driver escaped onto the turnpike.
Police identified the suspect as Timothy Berry, 19, of Portland. At 12:35 a.m., Portland police, responding to an alarm at an automotive business, found him on foot on Brighton Avenue, police said.
The Honda, which was reported stolen from Brunswick Ford, was found in the nearby Barron Center parking lot.
Berry was out on bail after his arrest in South Portland in July in a car stolen from Yankee Ford.
Shipyard still in running for Coast Guard contract
Bath Iron Works remains in competition for a Coast Guard contract that would allow the shipyard to design and build offshore patrol cutters.
U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, a senior member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, and Angus King, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Tuesday that BIW is one of five shipyards left in the competition.
In January, the Coast Guard received design and construction proposals from eight contractors. That field was narrowed Tuesday to five.
Brunswick man walks away after car crash, fire on I-295
A Brunswick man walked away with only minor injuries from a serious car crash and fire Tuesday afternoon.
Kenneth Johnson, 50, fell asleep while driving south on Interstate 295, said Maine State Police Trooper Christopher Rogers in a news release.
The impact of the 2002 Honda hitting the guardrail next to the passing lane peeled back 50 feet of the metal and ignited the car.
Johnson was wearing his seat belt.
The car fire was put out quickly with fire extinguishers, Rogers said.
More cases of welfare fraud prosecuted, says LePage
Gov. Paul LePage says the state is prosecuting more cases of welfare fraud and abuse.
The Republican governor said on Tuesday that 45 cases of fraud were referred to the Fraud Investigation and Recovery Unit in 2012, compared with 32 in 2011. His office says there were only 10 cases referred to the unit in 2010, prior to LePage taking office.
The state recently hired eight more investigators to tackle welfare fraud. LePage says he plans to introduce more reforms to the state’s welfare system next session.
Governor signs order to help suicide prevention efforts
Gov. Paul LePage has signed an executive order designed to boost suicide prevention efforts in Maine.
The order signed by the Republican governor on Tuesday requires the state departments to develop suicide prevention and awareness policies.
Each state agency will educate employees about the resources available to themselves or co-workers who they feel may be at risk for suicide.
Reduced charges for man carrying replica gun in public
Prosecutors have reduced charges against a Farmington man who prompted some people to lock their business as he walked around with a compressed-air gun tucked in his waistband.
John Cushman, 20, was arrested Aug. 2 on a felony charge of terrorizing, but that was reduced to a misdemeanor charge of carrying a concealed firearm.
Assistant District Attorney Joshua Robbins tells the Sun Journal that prosecutors did not think there was an explicit threat made.
The gun was a real-looking Airsoft pistol, but people could not see the orange tip that indicates it’s not a regular weapon because it was tucked in Cushman’s shorts.