March 14, 2013

Local & State Dispatches

From staff and news services

BATH

Drug agents search suspected meth lab

The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency is leading a multi-department search of a suspected meth lab at 24 Dummer St.

Police from several departments put on protective suits and began searching the house just before noon, said agency spokesman Steve McCausland.

This is the fourth suspected methamphetamine lab found in Maine this year, McCausland said in a news release. Thirteen meth labs were discovered during 2012.

FALMOUTH

Off-ramp to turnpike spur will be closed for 3 weeks

The Maine Turnpike Authority will close a portion of the Falmouth spur for three weeks starting Monday.

The southbound off-ramp exiting the Maine Turnpike at exit 52 will be closed between March 18 until early April to allow the exit's overpass bridge to be rebuilt, according to the authority.

The $3.5 million project will be done in phases. For one week in late May or early June, the on-ramp for southbound travelers will be closed, and starting around the same time, the southbound off-ramp will close again until November.

The work will replace the overpass deck concrete, side railings, and superstructure underneath. Engineers will also raise the bridge to allow for more clearance for traffic that passes below.

Southbound drivers are advised to use alternative routes, including Interstate 295 at Exit 45, Exit 48 to Brighton Avenue, and Exit 53 at West Falmouth to Route 100 and Washington Avenue.

TROY

Man shoots himself as police arrive to arrest him

Maine State Police say a man wanted on child sexual abuse charges shot himself when troopers arrived to arrest him. The man survived and was taken to a hospital.

Steve McCausland of the Maine Department of Public Safety says the man refused to answer the door when troopers arrived in Troy on Wednesday to arrest him for sexual exploitation of a minor.

McCausland says troopers called in the State Police tactical team, and the man shot himself with a .22-caliber rifle after team members arrived.

Troopers declined to release the identity of the man. Police say he was being treated at a hospital but his condition was not known.

AUGUSTA

Man arrested, woman hurt in bleach-throwing incident

An Augusta man has been charged with throwing bleach in a 60-year-old woman's face after claiming to be a police officer.

Authorities say Charles Cortright, 44, had an argument with the woman on Monday night.

He left the area and returned a short time later. Police say he knocked on the woman's door and when she asked who was knocking, he said he was an officer. Police told the Kennebec Journal she opened the door and Cortright threw bleach in her face. She required hospitalization.

Cortright also allegedly punched a 56-year-old man in connection with the same incident.

The suspect and the alleged victims know each other.

Cortright was held without bail Tuesday on charges including aggravated assault and impersonating a public servant.

AUGUSTA

Former teacher changes plea, will avoid jail time

A former middle school teacher who originally pleaded guilty to a felony child pornography charge has withdrawn that plea and instead admitted to a lesser offense that allows him to avoid jail time.

The Kennebec Journal reports that Christopher Brown, a former Monmouth Middle School fifth-grade teacher, pleaded guilty a year ago to felony possession of sexually explicit material depicting children under 12 and theft of a school laptop.

But on Tuesday, under a deal reached a year ago with prosecutors, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor possession of sexually explicit materials depicting children under 16. He received a one-year suspended jail sentence and two years of probation.

Brown, 56, was arrested in June 2011.

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