March 21, 2013

Local & State Dispatches

From staff and news services


Three recommended for federal judicial post

Members of Maine's congressional delegation are forwarding the names of two Maine attorneys and one judge for appointment to a federal judicial post in Maine.

Democratic U.S. Reps. Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree and independent Sen. Angus King said Wednesday they are forwarding the names of Jon Levy, William Robitzek and Jeffrey Young to President Obama.

Obama will choose a nominee to replace District Judge George Singal, who is taking senior status on July 31. The nominee faces a confirmation vote by the Senate.

Levy is an associate justice on the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, Robitzek is an attorney with Berman & Simmons in Lewiston and Young is an attorney with McTeague Higbee in Topsham. They are among the 14 candidates reviewed by a screening panel. 

Sap thieves tap maple trees on private property

Thieves are illegally tapping maple trees on private property in Maine and stealing sap that is used to make maple syrup.

Forest Ranger Jeff Currier says the Maine Forest Service has gotten a dozen complaints from landowners finding taps in their trees with buckets or jugs underneath to collect the sap.

Currier says he first started getting sap theft reports about five years ago but says the number of complaints is up this year. No arrests have been made, but the culprits could face theft, malicious mischief and trespassing charges.

A typical tap produces enough sap to yield about a quarter-gallon of syrup.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says a gallon of Maine syrup has sold for about $50 a gallon on average at retail in recent years


Man who escaped cruiser in handcuffs in custody

A 31-year-old York County man who escaped from a cruiser while handcuffed is back in custody and nursing singed wrists after grinding off the cuffs.

Kevin Lawlor of Standish turned himself in to York County sheriff's deputies in Buxton at 1 a.m. Wednesday after deputies in York and Cumberland counties spent almost two days searching for him. He faces a felony charge of receiving stolen property and a misdemeanor charge of escape.

A deputy stopped Lawlor's pickup truck about 1:15 a.m. Monday in Cornish and put Lawlor in his cruiser in handcuffs after seeing valuable metals in the back of the truck that were suspected to have been stolen. Deputies recovered about $10,000 in stolen carbide, according to the sheriff's office.

When the deputy was interviewing Lawlor's alleged accomplice, a passenger in the pickup, Lawlor escaped from the back of the cruiser and fled while handcuffed behind his back.

Lawlor stepped back through his arms to get the cuffs in front of him, then used a grinder to get them off, said Maj. Thomas Baran. "He has some burn marks as a result of the grinder obviously getting close to the skin."


Storm delays closure of southbound offramp

State transportation officials say Tuesday's snowstorm has delayed the closing of the southbound offramp for motorists exiting the Maine Turnpike to the Falmouth Spur.

The closing was scheduled for Wednesday, but the contractor is delaying that until Monday, weather permitting. The winter storm delayed work to prepare the ramp for closing and equipment setup.

The project to rehabilitate the Exit 52 Falmouth Spur interchange bridge over the Maine Turnpike will be completed in phases and limit southbound access to and from it until the project is completed in November.

Commuters who now drive south from points north of Exit 52 are encouraged to plan ahead and seek other routes before the start of the project.


Driver stopped with fake plate 'of very poor quality'

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