January 21, 2013

Local & State Dispatches

From staff and news services

WELLS

Firefighters help digger escape that sinking feeling

Firefighters rescued a 60-year-old woman from the mud flats off Drake's Island after she sank into mud up to her waist.

Firefighters were called to help the woman, who was about 20 feet from shore near the rock jetty, at 12:40 p.m. Monday, said Capt. Jeff Cullen. The firefighters walked out to the woman and used a 20-foot roof ladder to disperse weight and get her to safety, he said.

The woman, who is visiting the area, was checked out by Wells rescue workers but did not need medical attention. Cullen did not release her name.

The woman was digging clams when she got stuck, he said. Low tide was at 1:09 p.m.

WESTBROOK

Police charge local man, 18, with gross sexual assault

A Westbrook man faces charges of gross sexual assault and unlawful sexual contact in connection with an incident involving a young child, said Westbrook police.

Police said a woman told police that she believed her young child had been touched inappropriately by someone she knew.

That prompted a police investigation that resulted in the arrest of Joseph G. Pooler, 18, on the two felony charges.

Pooler is being held in Cumberland County Jail on $10,000 bail pending a court appearance.

PORTLAND

Man faces driving charge following airborne crash

Police charged a driver with refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test and driving to endanger after his sport utility vehicle hit a snowbank and went airborne Sunday night.

Police said 49-year-old Richard Martel -- whose address was unavailable -- was speeding on Warren Avenue when his Jeep Grand Cherokee hit a snowbank, went airborne and hit a tree about 10 feet off the ground.

The Grand Cherokee slid across the parking lot of a medical office building near the intersection of Warren and Forest avenues before landing on its roof.

Police Lt. Scott Pellietier said Martel was extricated from his vehicle by Portland firefighters. He appeared to have minor injuries and was taken to Maine Medical Center to be checked.

Pelletier said Martel was alone in his vehicle at the time. The crash occurred around 9 p.m. Pelletier said witnesses told police Martel was going at least 60 mph.

 

Electrical failure to disrupt Peaks Island car ferry

The car ferry to Peaks Island will be out of service Tuesday morning because of a mechanical failure.

Casco Bay Lines said in a Facebook post Monday that Lionel Plante Associates will provide supplemental barge service while the Machigonne is being repaired.

Casco Bay Lines said trips may be affected into Tuesday afternoon.

Nicholas Mavodones, the district's operations manager, said an electrical switch malfunctioned on the Machigonne. That part had be ordered and was expected to be delivered by 10 a.m. Tuesday, he said.

Mavodones said the barge is roughly the same size as the car ferry, which holds 12 vehicles. Passenger service to Peaks Island will still run through the Commercial Street terminal.

The departure times and locations for car-ferry passengers are: 7:15 a.m. from Peaks Island and 7:45 a.m. from East End Beach.

 

Shortened shrimp season gets under way Wednesday

New England's shrimp-fishing season gets under way this week.

The season begins Wednesday, but isn't expected to last long with a quota of only 1.4 million pounds. That's about one-fourth last year's catch of 5.3 million pounds.

Net fishermen have a quota of about 1.2 million pounds and can fish only two days a week.

Trap fishermen have a quota of about 200,000 pounds. Their season begins Feb. 5.

Regulators last month set a short season with a low quota after scientists warned that the Gulf of Maine shrimp population is in poor shape due to environmental conditions.

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