December 1, 2012

Dispatches

YARMOUTH

Student faces discipline for bringing pellet gun to school

A student will face academic discipline for bringing a pellet gun to Yarmouth High School on Thursday, the principal said.

Principal Ted Hall notified students and parents in an email message detailing the 10 a.m. incident. The gun contained no pellets or propellant.

"I feel it is very important for parents and students to know the facts concerning any issue that involves weapons in our school," Hall wrote. "This is one way we can continue to maintain a safe school."

The student was pulled from a class, searched and found to have a pellet gun that looked like a handgun, Hall wrote.

Hall said a second pupil had notified an assistant principal of the possible presence of a weapon. Students and staff were not in any danger, Hall said in a telephone interview Friday.

Police were notified and confiscated the weapon, Hall said. Hall said federal privacy law prohibited him from disclosing details about the student.

School policy allows Hall to suspend the student or recommend expulsion.

STATEWIDE

16 hospitals given 'A' rating, three a 'B' and one a 'C'

Sixteen Maine hospitals received an "A" rating for hospital safety from The Leapfrog Group, an independent national nonprofit run by employers and other large purchasers of health benefits.

Another three Maine hospitals received a "B" rating, while York Hospital got a "C," according to the Leapfrog Group website. The results for the Hospital Safety Score were announced this week.

The study by the Leapfrog Group found that out of 49 states, Massachusetts and Maine have the most "A" grade hospitals at 83 and 80 percent, respectively. New Mexico fell to the bottom of the list with only 7 percent of its hospitals getting an "A."

The scores were awarded based on publicly available safety data on a hospital's ability to keep patients free from infections, injuries, and medical and medication errors. At least 180,000 patients are killed every year from errors, accidents, injuries and infections in American hospitals, Leapfrog Group said.

To see the full list of Maine hospitals and their ratings, click here.

HOULTON

Man charged for using lit cigarette to burn two kids

A Houlton man has been charged with using a lit cigarette to burn two children he was teaching to meditate.

Police on Thursday said Adam Maguire, 28, was charged with two counts of domestic violence assault, two counts of endangering the welfare of a child and violating conditions of release.

Chief Butch Asselin tells the Bangor Daily News that Maguire burned the children at his home last Sunday in their upper back and neck areas "in an attempt to show them pain compliance while meditating."

Maguire's girlfriend told police she and Maguire were showing the children meditation techniques to help with their ADHD. The children were told that when you clear your mind, you are no longer susceptible to pain.

The children are now in the care of relatives.

AUGUSTA

Vendor mistake knocks out state's computer network

Much of the Maine state government's computer network was down for about three hours Friday because of a mistake by the vendor that provides system maintenance, a state spokeswoman said.

Jennifer Smith, spokeswoman for the Department of Administrative and Financial Services, said FairPoint Communications was doing maintenance on the system when "human error" caused the system to go down. Initially, there were reports of sporadic outages at 11 a.m.

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