March 25, 2013

Dispatches

FREEPORT

Portland gay couple wins $100,000 dream wedding

A same-sex couple is getting their dream wedding, courtesy of a Maine magazine.

Real Maine Weddings said Jenna Eagleton and Caroline Currie were chosen Sunday from three finalist couples at the Maine Wedding Association Bridal Show in Freeport.

The Portland couple plans to get married in October in Kennebunkport. The $100,000 prize includes the reception, wedding attire, rings, flowers and limousine service.

Same-sex couples have been allowed to marry in Maine since December after voters legalized gay marriage in a referendum.

Couples had entered the giveaway by submitting a video saying why they deserve a free dream wedding. Organizers said Currie’s father had asked the couple to move up their planned 2014 wedding because he has leukemia.

WINDHAM

Police say man stole drug, then intentionally overdosed

Police say a man tried to kill himself Saturday by overdosing on a narcotic drug that he had stolen earlier in a robbery at the Hannaford Bros. supermarket in Windham.

Police said that about 2:22 p.m., the store’s pharmacy was robbed of an disclosed amount of Dilaudid, a narcotic pain reliever. Windham police and Cumberland County sheriff’s deputies identified a probable suspect, and located the man at 4:25 p.m.

Police said he was unconscious and in need of medical treatment after consuming a large amount of the stolen narcotic in a suicide attempt. The suspect was taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland.

Police said the suspect, whose name they withheld, will probably be charged with robbery when he recovers. Police seized the suspect’s vehicle as part of their investigation.

CARRABASSETT VALLEY

Teenage skier strikes tree, is airlifted to a hospital

A 16-year-old girl who struck a tree Sunday morning while skiing at Sugarloaf Mountain suffered what appeared to be a non-life-threatening head injury, a ski area official said.

“She was responsive when she left here in the ambulance,” said Ethan Austin, a spokesman for Sugarloaf.

Austin said the girl was taken by ambulance to the Carrabassett Valley airport before being flown to an undisclosed hospital. The girl, whose name was unavailable, was skiing on the Candy Side trail around 10 a.m. when she hit the tree. Austin said she was wearing a helmet.

WINTHROP

Police charge Arundel man in home invasion robbery

Police in Maine say they have charged a 36-year-old man in the January invasion of a 71-year-old Winthrop woman’s home in which four people, some carrying guns, stole cash and prescription medications.

Christopher Harmon, of Arundel, is being held at the Kennebec County Jail after being charged Friday with robbery and burglary, police said.

The victim said at least two of the intruders were carrying guns when they forced their way into her home Jan. 6 and searched through cabinets and drawers for prescription drugs. The victim suffered minor injuries, but has since recovered.

Officials said a 14-year-old boy was arrested previously on robbery and burglary charges in the incident. He has been released to the custody of his parents.

More arrests are expected, police said.

OAKLAND

Boy, 14, charged in fire that burned boat at closed mill

The former Cascade Woolen Mill, destroyed in a spectacular fire in 2010, was the site of a small fire Saturday evening, and a 14-year-old boy from Oakland was charged with arson, authorities said.

Sgt. Joel Davis of the state Fire Marshal’s Office said the boy and a friend were engaged in “horseplay” in a small building that once contained the mill’s boiler room, and “fire was involved.”
The boy and his friend were released to their parents, Davis said, noting that additional charges are possible.

The building was supposed to be empty, but it held an 18-foot fiberglass boat that was destroyed in the fire, Davis said.

Oakland Fire Chief Dave Coughlin said the boat’s registration was not valid, and its owner has yet to be identified.

AURORA

Regulators seeking views on proposed wind project

Maine environmental regulators will hear what the public has to say this week about a proposed 18-turbine wind farm in Hancock County.

The Department of Environmental Protection will hold a public meeting Thursday on First Wind’s Hancock Wind proposal. Several DEP representatives and noise and visual consultants who were involved with the agency’s review will attend.

First Wind wants to begin construction this year on the 54-megawatt power-generation facility on Schoppe Ridge and an unnamed ridge, with an operations and maintenance building in Aurora. In addition to the 512-foot-tall turbines, the project includes two 344-foot-tall meteorological towers.

Power from the facility would flow to an expanded substation at the company’s nearby 19-turbine Bull Hill Wind Project in Eastbrook.

FARMINGTON

In plea deal, man admits to burglaries on ski mountains

A 23-year-old Maine man faces sentencing after pleading guilty to felony burglary and theft for break-ins at two Maine ski mountains.

Ronald Davis II, of Livermore Falls, entered his plea Friday for thefts at Titcomb Mountain in Farmington and Spruce Mountain Ski Slope in Jay.

The Sun Journal newspaper said Davis admitted to stealing $670 in cash and portable radios from Titcomb Mountain in March 2012, and to taking radios from Spruce Mountain in November 2012, as well as driving a municipal bulldozer up the slopes to the top of the mountain.

Sentencing is scheduled for April, with a plea agreement calling for Davis to spend six months in jail followed by two years of probation.

PORTLAND

Three hearings scheduled on eel fishery regulations

Regulators have scheduled hearings in Maine and other East Coast states to gather public comment on proposed regulations for the American eel fishery.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission says three hearings will be held next month in Maine, where fishermen each spring catch baby eels known as elvers as they swim up rivers. The fishery last year was worth $38 million, with fishermen averaging $2,000 a pound.

The proposed regulations are the result of a stock assessment that concluded the American eel population is technically depleted, probably because of a combination of overfishing, habitat loss, predation, environmental changes, disease, turbine mortality, and toxins and contaminants.

The regulations would apply to glass, yellow and silver eels, which are all the same eel but at different life stages.

BUCKFIELD

Sen. Collins to visit producer of White House Easter Eggs

Sen. Susan Collins is planning a visit to the Maine company that supplies wooden keepsake Easter eggs featured at the annual White House Easter Egg Roll.

Wells Wood Turning & Finishing Inc., a wood products company in the central Maine town of Buckfield, is manufacturing the eggs for the seventh straight year.

The eggs will be included in gift bags that are given to children at the April 1 Easter Egg Roll on the White House lawn. The National Park Service also sells the eggs as collectibles for $7.99 each or a five-pack that includes one egg of each color plus a special-edition egg.

Collins says she’ll meet with employees when she visits the company Monday.

AUGUSTA

Panel wants to hear views on work force ‘skills gap’

A state panel that’s on a mission to close Maine’s so-called skills gap will hold a listening session and tour Monday in Belfast.

The activities by the Committee on Maine’s Workforce and Economic Future will focus on the state’s economic hubs, including Main Streets and downtowns.

A tour of Belfast’s Front Street Shipyard is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m., and that will be followed by a panel discussion and public hearing.

The bipartisan committee is similar to a special panel that Republicans assembled after they won legislative majorities two years ago. That panel focused on cutting red tape in government regulations.

ROCKPORT

Yarmouth, Bangor students win drama festival honors

High school theater companies from Bangor and Yarmouth took top honors at the Maine Drama Festival over the weekend.

Bangor won the Class A competition, held at Camden Hills Regional High School in Rockport, and Yarmouth won in Class B at the competition in Freeport.

The Top Five finishers in each class, listed from first to fifth:Class A: Bangor, Oceanside, Falmouth, Westbrook, Belfast. Class B: Yarmouth, Hermon, Mount Desert, Fort Kent and Waynflete (tie).

– From staff and news services

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