August 29, 2013

Local & State Dispatches

From staff and news services

FALMOUTH

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Wanda Brochu was trapped in her vehicle until firefighters could extricate her with the jaws of life, police said.

Maine State Police photo

Woman recovering after two-car crash on I-95

A Westbrook woman, whose flat tire had just been fixed by a tow truck driver, was injured Wednesday morning in a two-car crash at mile marker 54 on the Maine Turnpike in Falmouth.

The crash, which happened about 10:30 a.m., forced police to shut down both northbound lanes for three hours while rescue and wrecker crews responded.  During that time northbound traffic was diverted to Exit 53 in Portland.

Steve McCausland, a spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said the woman, 73-year-old Wanda Brochu, pulled her vehicle into the path of a pickup truck after having a flat tire fixed in the breakdown lane.

Brochu was trapped in her vehicle until firefighters could extricate her, police said.

Brochu was listed in satisfactory condition Wednesday night at Maine Medical Center in Portland.

NAPLES

Alcohol, speed suspected in accident that hurt two

Two people were hospitalized after a single-car crash in Naples early Wednesday morning, and police say alcohol and speed likely contributed to the crash.

Grady Doherty, 17, of Casco was driving a 1986 Chevrolet Monte Carlo in front of 220 Edes Road when the car crashed at 12:30 a.m., according to the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office, which is investigating the incident. Doherty, who was not wearing a seat belt, was taken to Bridgton Memorial Hospital with facial injuries, police said.

Cody Plummer, 22, of Naples, the lone passenger, was taken to the Bridgton hospital with leg and chest injuries. He was wearing his seat belt, police said.

Criminal charges are pending, the sheriff's office said.

BATH

Planning Board to consider shipyard's plan for new hall

Bath's Planning Board on Tuesday will consider a request from the city's largest commercial taxpayer to upgrade its Kennebec River shipyard.

Bath Iron Works, at 700 Washington St., is seeking permission to build a 110-foot tall, 51,315-square-foot outfitting hall at the shipyard.

The company, which is also seeking a tax break from the city -- known as tax increment financing -- has said the facility will make BIW more competitive in its bid to win Navy destroyer contracts.

In addition to site plan approval, BIW needs to contract zone amendment from the City Council because the height of the hall will exceed the 75-foot maximum allowed in the city's industrial shipyard zone.

The project will also include upgrades to its hazardous waste, paint and storage buildings.

Tuesday night's meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 at Bath City Hall.

PORT CLYDE

Woman hit by car Aug. 11 on wharf leaves hospital

A Massachusetts woman injured when a car slammed into her family on a wharf in Port Clyde has been released from the hospital.

Allison Gold, 50, of Cohasset, Mass., is no longer a patient at Maine Medical Center in Portland, according to a hospital spokesman.

Gold's son, 9-year-old Dylan Gold, was killed after a car driven by Cheryl Torgerson hit the family as it waited for a ferry to Monhegan Island on Aug. 11.

A preliminary accident report into the collision near the Monhegan Boat Line dock said there was no immediate indication why Torgerson, 61, of New York City sped through a series of crashes before her car finally came to rest, pinning the boy's mother against another car.

A brief accident narrative describes how Torgerson's car hit a 2012 Honda that had stopped in front of her and pushed it out of the way, then hit the corner of a building before hitting Jonathan Coggeshall, 68, of Port Clyde, who was standing alongside the building.

The car continued to accelerate past the building, first hitting six parked cars, then three people walking on the dock. The car knocked Wyatt Gold, 6, and Dylan Gold into the air. Wyatt was thrown between two parked cars, but Dylan landed on the ground and was run over, the report said.

When Torgerson's car finally stopped, the boys' mother was pinned between it and a parked car.

Dylan died on the way to the hospital.

Torgerson was not injured. The report notes that results of a blood test, required in all crashes with serious injuries, is pending. Torgerson told police she doesn't know what happened.

AUBURN

Man charged with arson to have mental evaluation

A Lewiston man who is charged with setting a fire at a Lewiston apartment building has been ordered sent to a state psychiatric hospital for a third time for a mental health evaluation.

The Sun Journal reported that Brian Morin was in the Androscoggin County Jail awaiting a bed at the hospital in Augusta.

Morin's attorney filed a motion last week seeking a follow-up mental exam for his client. He wrote that Morin "has severe mental health problems" and is "hallucinating and hearing voices."

Morin, 30, and another man are charged in the May 6 fire, which was the third major fire in Lewiston in less than two weeks.

According to an affidavit, the men used lighter fluid to start it.

Morin has pleaded not guilty and is being held on $350,000 bail.

BREWER

Police captain pleads guilty to OUI, gets fine, demotion

A police captain in Brewer has admitted he drove drunk.

Christopher Martin was pulled over Saturday night and charged with operating under the influence. He pleaded guilty to the charge Wednesday.

Public Safety Director Perry Antone told WZON-AM that Martin has been suspended for 60 days without pay, will be demoted to lieutenant and will spend a year on probation when he returns to duty. He must also complete a substance abuse program.

In court, District Judge John Lucy ordered Martin to pay a $700 fine and suspended his license for 90 days. Martin, 41, has been with the force for 19 years.

Martin's blood alcohol level was .17, more than twice the legal limit of .08, according to the Penobscot County prosecutor.

ORONO

Driver won't face charge in death of paving worker

Authorities say no charges will be filed against the driver of a vehicle that hit and killed a man who was working on a road paving crew in Orono.

Capt. Josh Ewing told WABI-TV that prosecutors have concluded that it is not possible to prove criminal negligence, so no charges will be filed.

Police said Richard Thibodeau, 56, of Carmel was struck about 7 p.m. May 7 while working on Forest Avenue. He was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

He worked for Harvey Paving and Seal Coating of Hampden. Police say late-afternoon sun may have been a factor.

 

Houlton office will remain closed since bill is tabled

A state office will remain closed because a bill that would have reopened it failed to advance Wednesday.

Democratic and Republican leaders on the Legislative Council chose to table the bill, so it will not be taken up during a special session Thursday.

Administrative and Financial Services Commissioner Sawin Millett decided recently to close the Maine Revenue Services office in Houlton to save $900,000 over two years.

Gov. Paul LePage said that he and Democratic leaders decided to hold a handful of bills over until January. He said the decision to close the office was difficult but is within the administration's purview.

House Speaker Mark Eves of North Berwick said Democrats are concerned about the closure but understand it cannot be corrected with legislative action.

WARWICK, R.I.

Dumbbell attack results in charges for Maine man

A man and a woman are facing robbery, assault and other charges after authorities say they attacked a woman with a dumbbell and led police on a high-speed chase in Rhode Island.

Attorney General Peter Kilmartin announced Wednesday that a grand jury has indicted Prince Benjamin, 28, of Biddeford, Maine, and Nasstassja Hampton, 24, of Warwick in connection with the incident in June.

Authorities said the pair assaulted a woman with a dumbbell before robbing her in her Warwick home. The woman played dead and called police when her attackers left.

Hampton and Benjamin are accused of leading officers on a chase on Interstate 95 that ended when they drove off the highway in Richmond.

They are being held in custody and are scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 13.

RANDOLPH

Thief steals from church, leaves satanic message

Police are investigating a break-in at a Randolph church in which the someone made off with about $1,500 in electronic equipment and even helped himself to a snack from the refrigerator.

Bette Seymour, administrative assistant and treasurer for the United Methodist Church, said the loss of a computer and television and other items is a financial strain.

Two brass collection plates that survived a 1962 fire that destroyed the old church building were also stolen. Seymour called them "irreplaceable."

She told the Kennebec Journal the words "Pray for Satan" were scrawled on a message board outside the pastor's office.

Deputy Chief Ryan Reardon of the Kennebec County Sheriff's Office said the stolen items have an estimated value of $1,500. He said investigators have developed some leads.

 

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