Tuesday, December 10, 2013
From news service reports
Responders battling wildfire atop Big Spencer Mountain
Maine forest rangers and other emergency response workers were battling a two-acre wildfire Sunday on top of Big Spencer Mountain, about 22 miles northeast of Greenville.
Maine Forest Service Lt. Jeff Currier said the fire isn't large by wildfire standards, but is "highly problematic" because of its remote location, the dry and windy conditions and the lack of nearby water.
He said the fire was burning from the top down and will probably take several days to put out.
Fire on second floor leaves 51-year-old woman dead
Police say a 51-year-old woman has died following an apartment fire here.
The fire on Hampshire Street was reported to police early Sunday morning. When authorities arrived, smoke was coming out of the building's second floor.
The woman was located in her apartment and transported to Central Maine Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead. Her name was not immediately released.
The fire was quickly brought under control before it could spread within the building or to adjacent buildings. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Officials planned to let residents return to their apartments late Sunday.
Two facing charges linked to theft of copper piping
Police say two Bingham residents face charges in the theft of copper piping from a vacant home on U.S. Route 201 in Bingham.
Somerset County Sheriff's Corporal Ritchie Putnam was patrolling the area about 1 a.m. Sunday and saw a vehicle parked by the road with its lights on and trunk open, according to a police news release issued Sunday. Putnam saw and spoke with a man, Eric Thompson, and a woman, Seigi Brillard, both 28, and received conflicting stories about what they were doing there, the release said.
Putnam checked the vacant home to see if it was secure. Ultimately, it was determined that Thompson had entered the home, cut copper piping from the basement area and placed it in and around the vehicle, police said.
Putnam arrested Thompson and charged him with burglary and theft. Brillard was summonsed and charged with criminal trespass, for allegedly entering the home's upper level, according to the release. The copper was valued at about $200.
Police urged residents to report any unusual activity at or near homes that are vacant or where homeowners are away. The sheriff's department's anonymous tip line is 474-0230.
Veterans benefit recipients warned of potential scam
The Maine Department of Labor is warning veterans of a potential scam targeting their bank accounts.
Veterans who have signed up or been approved for the new Veterans Retraining Assistance Program have been specifically affected. The program provides $1,473 monthly stipends to enrolled veterans attending an approved community college or technical school.
Some veterans say they've gotten phone calls from someone who promises matching money for those stipends. The caller also asks veterans to call a number to report their bank account number and to pay a $205 service fee.
Labor Commissioner Robert Winglass said veterans need to be aware of scams that target benefits they have earned. He said people should keep their financial information private and never provide it to anyone they have not directly contacted themselves.
Getaway driver in robbery sent to prison for 22 months
A New Hampshire woman is going to prison for 22 months for driving the getaway car during a bank robbery in Maine.
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