February 27, 2013

Local & State Dispatches

From staff and news services

(Continued from page 1)


Ex-Chelsea selectwoman's extortion trial set for April

A federal judge has rejected a former Chelsea selectwoman's bid to have evidence in her extortion case dismissed, and her trial is now scheduled to start in early April.

Carole Swan asked that statements she made to investigators be barred from her trial, but the judge on Monday upheld a magistrate judge's ruling allowing the statements.

The judge also upheld a decision to have Swan tried separately from her husband on three extortion counts.

Swan, 54, has pleaded not guilty to 17 counts alleging she tried to extort money from a town contractor, committed tax fraud, defrauded a federal program and lied on forms to obtain federal workers' compensation.

Swan was a selectwoman for 19 years.


Car, industrial batteries stolen at two local sites

Police are investigating the thefts of batteries out of vehicles and heavy equipment at two sites in town.

Chief Heidi Wilcox says batteries were taken from a tractor, a generator and another piece of equipment from the town's wastewater treatment plant Monday night or early Tuesday morning.

She told the Sun Journal that batteries were also taken from two skidders at a logging site the same night.

It is unclear whether the thefts are connected, but she says there have been similar thefts recently in Farmington and Jay.

Anyone with information about the thefts, or who sees suspicious activity, is asked to contact police.


Watchic Lake house destroyed by kitchen fire

A lakeside camp that had been converted into a year-round home was destroyed Wednesday by a fire that started in the kitchen stove.

Standish Fire Chief Brent J. Libby said all three occupants at 47 Eleanor Ave. escaped without injury. They were housesitting for owner Thomas West.

Libby said the home was located on Watchic Lake about 500 feet from the nearest driveway. Firefighters had to stretch hoses by hand through a garage and down over a hill in order to reach the home.

Snow-covered, slippery roads delayed the fire department's response to the fire, which was reported at 4:14 p.m.


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