March 3, 2013

Local and State Dispatches

NAPLES

Single-engine plane crashes on Long Lake; nobody hurt

No one was hurt when a single-engine Cessna airplane crashed on Long Lake in Naples on Saturday morning.

The plane crashed while the pilot, whose name was not immediately available, was trying to land on the lake, Cumberland County Sheriff's officials said.

The plane received minimal damage in the 10:51 a.m. incident, according to officials.

The Naples Fire and Emergency Medical Service responded to the scene along with the sheriff's office and the Federal Aviation Administraiton, which is investigating the crash.

PORTLAND

Ocean swim raises $19,000 for camp for seriously ill kids

About 80 hardy dippers braved cold water Saturday to raise more than $19,000 for a Maine camp for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

The Maine Polar Dip was rescheduled from early last month, when the original date turned out to be the same weekend as a record-setting blizzard in southern Maine.

The swim was held off East End Beach.

Camp Sunshine, located on Sebago Lake in Casco, gives children with serious illnesses and their families a respite for a week. It has served 32,000 people since it was founded in 1984.

WATERFORD

Residents pass resolution opposing tar sands pipeline

Waterford residents passed a municipal resolution Saturday opposing the transport of tar sands oil through the Portland-to-Montreal pipeline.

It is the third Maine community to officially oppose using the pipeline for tar sands oil, joining Casco and Bethel. A similar resolution goes before Harrison voters June 11. Raymond, Windham and South Portland are also considering votes opposing the transport of tar sands oil from Canada to Maine.

The Portland City Council is studying whether to ban the purchase of tar sands oil for city operations.

The owner of the Portland-to-Montreal pipeline has not announced plans to start transporting the heavy form of petroleum from Canada but has not ruled out such a move in the future.

Opponents say the oil, produced from vast tar sands oil deposits in Alberta, is more corrosive than the crude oil that now runs through the pipeline and its production will speed up global warming.

Proponents say the oil is not more likely to spill or create environmental problems than the crude oil now flowing through the pipeline.

AUGUSTA

Delayed federal notifications have state's governor upset

Gov. Paul LePage says the news media and Democratic politicians sometimes get notification of federal decisions before the state does.

In his weekly radio address, Le-Page cited examples in which others were told first of decisions on the Electronic Benefits Transfer nutrition program and labor issues. LePage has written to President Obama's administration asking it to communicate with state government before telling others of government decisions.

LePage said he's disturbed not that the press received letters, but rather that his office had not received them first. He said the federal government must observe protocol and common courtesy.

In the Democratic statement, Sen. Troy Jackson of Allagash said budget cuts alone can't solve Maine's fiscal problems. He said the LePage budget adopted last year includes an unfunded $400 million tax cut that mostly benefits the wealthy.

Legislative panel to review drone-regulation proposal

A legislative committee will take a closer look at the details of a bill to impose regulations on unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as drones.

The Judiciary Committee has scheduled a work session for Thursday afternoon. Law enforcement, businesses and others who would be affected by the bill are expected to participate.

The committee last week held a public hearing on the bill, which is strongly endorsed by the American Civil Liberties Union's Maine chapter. The ACLU was joined by others who see drones as a threat to personal privacy.

The bill, L.D. 236, would regulate police agencies' acquisition and operation of drones, and require a warrant in most cases before police could use drones for surveillance.

Maine's attorney general and state police raised a number of questions about the bill.

This week's work session on the bill will take place Thursday at 2:30 p.m. in Room 438 of the State House.

-- From staff and news services

 

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