July 2, 2013

Local & State Dispatches

From staff and news services

PORTLAND

Maximum-security inmate accused of punching officer

A maximum-security inmate who is accused of punching a corrections officer at the Cumberland County Jail has been charged with assault on an officer.

Two corrections officers were preparing to put handcuffs and shackles on Trezjuan Thompson, 29, of Lewiston for the rest of his hour of recreation time out of his cell at 1 p.m. Sunday. Chief Deputy Naldo Gagnon said Thompson's back was to the officers when he spun around and punched Officer Paul Abrol in the face, knocking him to the ground.

Abrol and Officer Tyrone Leslie restrained Thompson, Gagnon said.

Abrol was treated for injuries by the jail's medical staff and later went to a hospital, where he was treated for a mild concussion, Gagnon said.

Thompson was convicted in federal court of arson and then running a drug trafficking ring while he was incarcerated, and was sentenced last month to 27 and a half years in prison.

Federal prosecutors said Thompson was part of a cocaine and crack cocaine ring in the Lewiston-Auburn area when he set fire to an apartment that he had shared with a co-conspirator in November 2009. He pleaded guilty to the charges last year.

Prosecutors said that while he was incarcerated, he conspired to distribute crack cocaine, using phones in the Androscoggin County Jail and the Maine State Prison.

FALMOUTH

Operation Dry Water leads to rescue of kayaker in bay

A two-day effort to check for impaired boaters over the weekend yielded no charges, but led to the rescue of a kayaker in Casco Bay.

Falmouth police and the Portland harbormaster rescued a 25-year-old man who had fallen out of his kayak near Cow Island and was struggling to stay afloat without a life jacket in the chilly water between 7:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday.

"They definitely feel this kid would have drowned" had help not arrived, said Lt. John Kilbride.

Rescuers also retrieved the man's companion, whose kayak was taking on water and who also did not have a life jacket.

The events occurred while Falmouth police participated in Operation Dry Water, a national effort to check for drunken boaters. Police checked 84 boaters and found none in violation, Kilbride said.

BANGOR

Man from England charged with having sex with minor

A man from England is in custody, his passport seized, after being charged with having sex with a 13-year-old girl from Levant.

The father of the girl told Penobscot County Sheriff's Deputy Andrew Whitehouse that his daughter had been communicating online with Nicholas Cheese, 26, of Oxford, England, for about a year and that the man flew to Bangor last week and rented a hotel room there, police said.

Whitehouse and Bangor Detective Brent Beaulieu interviewed Cheese on Sunday at his hotel room and then charged him with gross sexual assault and sexual exploitation of a minor, police said.

AUGUSTA

LePage directing $100,000 to domestic violence group

Gov. Paul LePage is directing some of the state's saved money toward services for people affected by domestic violence.

The Republican governor said Monday that $100,000 from the state's emergency contingency fund will go to the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence.

The group provides services and centers throughout the state for people who experience domestic violence.

LePage said in a statement that more Maine residents are using domestic violence shelters and emergency hotlines. He said the boost will provide resources and help those rebuild their lives.

The Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence said in a statement that it hasn't received additional state funding since 2001. The federal automatic budget cuts and fewer donations have contributed to a 10 to 20 percent revenue loss for its programs.

 

State's top fisheries official will meet with lobstermen

Maine's top fisheries official will meet with lobstermen this month to discuss how the lobster-fishing season is progressing.

Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher said he's holding four open meetings in July to hear from lobstermen, share information and discuss ideas about the future of Maine's lobster industry.

The meetings are scheduled for July 9 in Rockland, July 11 in Machias, July 16 in Ellsworth and July 17 in Scarborough.

Lobster by far is Maine's most valuable fishery, but it's been hampered in recent years by low prices brought on by huge catches. Maine fishermen last year caught a record 126 million pounds of lobster but received only $2.69 a pound on average, the lowest since 1994.

 

Maine Republican Party to hold firearms fundraiser

The Maine Republican Party is raising money in an unconventional way -- by holding a firearms training class for people who want to get concealed weapons permits.

The party is holding a class complete with breakfast, lunch and door prizes on July 13 at the Sportsman's Alliance of Maine in Augusta. The party's charging $150, or $185 including a reception at the end of the day.

The class is being held a month after the Legislature voted down a Republican-backed bill seeking to repeal a requirement that people have a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

Maine law allows people to carry a gun without a permit as long as the gun remains visible. But residents have to apply for a concealed-weapon permit to carry a weapon hidden from view.

HEBRON

Redneck games returning to Brooks' farm Aug. 1-4

The Redneck games will be held in Hebron for the third successive year.

The town's selectmen granted a mass-gathering permit for organizer Harold Brooks last week.

The games drew about 2,700 people to Brooks' farm last year, who watched and competed in events including bobbing for pigs' feet, toilet-seat horseshoes, lawn mower races and a pie-eating contest.

The Sun Journal reported that about the same number of people are expected this year.

A demolition derby, live music and a beer tent are also planned for this year's event, scheduled for Aug. 1-4. Some proceeds will go to charity.

The games were originally dubbed the Redneck Olympics, but are now officially known as the Redneck Blank because the real Olympics threatened to sue.

CLIFTON

Route 9 motorcycle crash leaves man, woman dead

Police say two people died in a motorcycle crash in Clifton.

Penobscot County Chief Deputy Troy Morton said a man and a woman were killed when their motorcycle struck a guard rail on Route 9 eastbound at about 6 p.m. Sunday. He said speed appears to be a factor.

No names were released.

Morton said a witness reported that the motorcycle was speeding and passing other vehicles when it lost control on a curve, went into the oncoming lane and struck the guardrail. Both riders were thrown and pronounced dead at the scene.

Neither victim was wearing a helmet.

The accident remains under investigation.

PROSPECT

Man shot during fight recovering at hospital

Police are investigating a weekend shooting in Prospect that sent a 34-year-old man to the hospital with a gunshot wound to the stomach.

The Waldo County Sheriff's Department said the victim had a fight with his girlfriend Friday night and went to stay at a relative's house but decided to return to his girlfriend's home early Saturday morning.

Chief Deputy Jeffrey Trafton said a fight ensued when the man discovered another man at his girlfriend's home. The other man, who is 48 and from Brewer, told investigators that he pulled out a .38-caliber gun and fired because his head was being smashed against the floor.

Trafton said the victim is recovering at Eastern Maine Medical Center. No charges have been filed and names have not been released.

 

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