November 21, 2012

Local & State Dispatches

From staff and news services


Parents of transgender child lose lawsuit against district

A judge has ruled in favor of the Orono school district and against the parents of a transgender child who was barred from using the girls' bathroom at school.

The district was sued in 2009 after a fifth-grade boy who identifies as a girl was denied access to the girls' bathroom at the elementary school. The family also claimed the school failed to stop other students from harassing the transgender student.

The Bangor Daily News said Justice William Anderson ruled Tuesday that the school acted within its authority in barring the child from the girls' restroom, didn't harass the child and wasn't deliberately indifferent to the harassment subjected by others.

The Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, which is representing the student, said it will appeal.


Wardens, police probe death in 'hunting-related incident'

A deer hunter was killed Tuesday afternoon when he was shot by another hunter in the Androscoggin County town of Wales.

The shooting took place on East Road, which is also known as Old Route 126. Wardens at the scene Tuesday night told WGME-TV that a 41-year-old man from Wales shot and killed a 49-year-old man from Wales. The two men were not hunting together.

The victim's name was not released because authorities had been unable to contact family members.

Wardens said there is no evidence that the shooting was intentional, and the investigation will focus on whether there was negligence involved. The Maine State Police crime lab also was at the scene.


Cruiser, van destroyed when trooper loses control on ice

A Maine State Police cruiser and a minivan were destroyed Tuesday morning when a trooper lost control of his car on black ice.

Trooper Fernand Cloutier was driving a 2009 Crown Victoria on the Falmouth Spur at Exit 53 when he hit a patch of black ice around 9 a.m. and collided with a 2001 Dodge van carrying a couple from Michigan. Cloutier then overcorrected, sending his cruiser into a guardrail, said state police Sgt. James Urquhart.

The van was driven by Nels Nyblad, who was with his wife, Luanne. No one was injured.

The road was treated with salt and no other accidents were reported.


Murderer returned to prison for threatening to kill official

A convicted murderer from Lewiston has been sent back to prison for more than two years for threatening to kill a federal official.

Harold Rowe was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Portland to two years and three months behind bars, followed by three years of probation.

Rowe, 55, pleaded guilty in August to a charge of mailing threatening communications to the deputy commissioner for Budget, Finance and Management of the Social Security Administration in Baltimore in September 2011.

The Bangor Daily News reported that Rowe threatened in a rambling letter full of spelling errors to kill the federal employee if his Social Security checks were stopped.

Rowe spent 27 years in prison for a 1982 drug-related shooting death.


Salvation Army unit starts annual holiday kettle drive

The Salvation Army of Greater Portland kicked off its annual Christmas Kettle campaign Tuesday to fund services for needy families through the holiday season.

The nonprofit organization said in a release that it anticipates a greater demand for services this year and is hoping to raise $160,000 in donations for the holidays and into 2013.

Last year, the Salvation Army offered Thanksgiving and Christmas assistance to at least 3,500 families.

Portland Mayor Michael Brennan joined Maj. Steve Ditmer of the Portland Corps of the Salvation Army to start the Christmas fundraising effort.

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