November 22, 2012

Local & State Dispatches

From staff and news services

ALTON

Results of three autopsies now expected on Saturday

State police say autopsy results are expected Saturday in the deaths of a husband and wife and his friend in the couple's rural home.

Spokesman Steve McCausland said he initially expected the results late Wednesday afternoon, but now expects them Saturday, in the deaths of Scott Reed, 43; his wife, Danielle Folsom Reed, 39; and Daniel Young, 41, of Bradley.

The bodies were found Monday evening in the Reeds' home in Alton, a town of about 800 people north of Old Town.

Police have not said how the three were killed or offered an explanation for their deaths.

McCausland confirmed that the Reeds were estranged and said their separation likely had something to do with their deaths.

AUGUSTA

Pittsfield Democrat remains winner in House District 29

Maine election officials say Democrat Stanley Byron Short Jr. of Pittsfield remains the winner following a recount of votes in the House District 29 race.

After Tuesday's recount, Short remained the winner over Republican Robert Engelhardt Sr., also of Pittsfield. The recount determined that 1,855 votes were cast for Short, while 1,844 were cast for Engelhardt.

Twelve Maine legislative candidate recounts have now been completed, leaving one House recount and one in a county commissioner's race to be completed on Monday. 

State warning employers about identity theft scam

State labor officials are warning employers about an identity theft scam that has spread to Maine.

The Department of Labor said the scam attempts to trick employers into responding to an email made to look like it comes from a state's "Division of Unemployment Assistance."

Labor Commissioner Jeanne Paquette said the email asks for information about a "former employee" trying to file for unemployment benefits and directs the employer to click on a link to a website address. Once at the website, employers are asked to give personal information of former workers.

Paquette said the emails are scams and were first reported in several other states last week and have now been reported in Maine.

Paquette said Maine businesses that receive the emails should call local law enforcement.

PORTLAND

Sprinkler system credited with dousing fire in chair

Firefighters are crediting a sprinkler system in a Cumberland Avenue apartment building with putting out a fire in an overstuffed chair.

Firefighters were called to 457 Cumberland Ave., Cumberland Park Place Apartments, at 3:30 a.m. Wednesday where they found water dripping from the second floor and heavy smoke inside an apartment, said Deputy Chief Robert Wassick.

Firefighters learned that a 74-year-old woman, who was on oxygen but had turned it off, had lit a cigarette and a spark or ash fell into the chair and started the fire. She tried to stamp it out, but couldn't, Wassick said, and retreated to a neighbor's apartment.

A single sprinkler head discharged, putting out the fire and setting off an alarm that summoned firefighters, Wassick said. The woman was treated for a burn to the side of her hand, he said.

The apartment will have to be renovated because of smoke and water damage but there was no damage to other units, he said, adding that without the sprinkler system, the fire would have been much worse.

CAPE ELIZABETH

High school announces TedxYouth event Dec. 7

Cape Elizabeth High School will host a TedxYouth event for its students on Dec. 7.

"This day-long program is designed to inspire our junior and senior classes to expand their horizons as they look toward planning their lives beyond high school," Principal Jeff Shed said in a prepared statement.

TEDxYouth@CEHS will be Maine's first full-day TEDx event for students at a public high school.

TED conferences got their start in California in 1984 with a focus on technology, entertainment and design, and have since broadened their scope.

The event will feature talks designed to be relevant to young Mainers. TED talks that didn't cater specifically to young people have taken place in Maine under the name TEDxDirigo since 2010.

Speakers at the Cape Elizabeth High School event include Libby Hoffman, founder of Catalyst for Peace; Alan Lishness, chief innovation officer for the Gulf of Maine Research Institute; Emilia Dahlin, a singer, songwriter and artist; Fritz Grobe, a performer known for the Mentos-and-Coke experiment; and Zoe Weil, co-founder and president of the Institute for Humane Education.

PORTSMOUTH, N.H.

Group raising funds to put LED lights on new bridge

A group of New Hampshire and Maine residents has started a $60,000 campaign to put aesthetic lighting on the new Memorial Bridge.

Committee member Ben Porter told the Portsmouth Herald that current plans are to install LED lights to illuminate the bridge's towers, piers and a memorial plaque. He said there may be the ability to change the color of the lights, as well.

The group has contracted with John Powell, owner of Light Time in Space in Allston, Mass., for design work. Powell handled lights for Moakley Bridge near the Boston Children's Museum and other Charles River bridges.

The new bridge connecting the two states is under construction and is expected to be completed by July 2013. The old Memorial Bridge connected the two for nearly 90 years.

BANGOR

Canadian gets prison term for trying to re-enter U.S.

U.S. Attorney Thomas Delahanty II says a Canadian who has been deported from the United States at least seven times has been sentenced to nearly four years in prison for trying to re-enter the country through Maine.

Ian Owen Sharpe, 59, of Victoria, British Columbia, was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Bangor to 45 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release.

Court records say that in February, Sharpe, using an alias, crossed into the U.S. at Calais by walking across the bridge and entering the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office to be processed for entry.

A Customs and Border Protection officer determined that Sharpe's claim of U.S. citizenship could not be confirmed. An ensuing investigation revealed that Sharpe had already been deported.

LISBON

Annual Moxie Festival in no danger of fizzling

The town's annual Moxie Festival to celebrate the peculiar-tasting soft drink appears to be in good financial shape.

There had been fear that the festival would be discontinued, but Scott Benson, director of Economic and Community Development, told the town council Tuesday that fundraising efforts have been successful.

The Sun Journal reported that he said there is about $7,000 in startup funds for next year's festival, more than double this year.

The council scheduled a public forum in September to look at the festival's future, prompting speculation that the 30-year-old event might be discontinued.

Next year's festival is scheduled July 12-14.

Organizers say the three-day event, which pays tribute to the bittersweet soda invented by a Mainer in the 1870s, attracts about 50,000 people.

TOWNSHIP 2, RANGE 8

Moose killed in collision with SUV on Interstate 95

A moose died in a collision with an SUV on Interstate 95 in northern Maine, but police say the vehicle's occupants escaped injury.

Police said Gerald and Gloria Michaud of Van Buren were driving north on I-95 near mile marker 232 when the collision occurred at about 5 p.m. Tuesday.

The moose was killed and the front end of the vehicle, a 2012 Chevrolet, took heavy damage, but the Michauds were unharmed.

Trooper Larry Anderson told the Bangor Daily News that the sturdiness and height of the SUV probably saved the couple from harm.

The travel lane of the highway was closed around the mile marker for about an hour as emergency personnel cleaned up.

 

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