December 19, 2012

Local & State Dispatches

From staff and news service reports

BELFAST

Mother pleads no contest in dog mauling of daughter

The mother of a baby who was mauled to death by the family's dog has pleaded no contest to endangering the welfare of a child.

Katrina Mitchell, 31, of Frankfurt changed her plea to the misdemeanor charge Tuesday. She had been scheduled to go on trial in January.

Police say she got drunk and passed out on the day of the attack. Her 7-month-old daughter, Annabelle Mitchell, was fatally mauled by the family's Rottweiler in the living room while the mother slept on a sofa.

The Bangor Daily News reported that the plea agreement calls for one year in jail with all but three months suspended. A prosecutor also has recommended psychological counseling for Mitchell and a ban to prevent her from possessing or using alcohol or illegal drugs.

WESTBROOK

Police investigate false alarm activation at school

A false fire alarm at the Canal School on Tuesday morning caused an evacuation that sent students out into the rain, leaving them cold and wet.

Elementary school students were allowed to go home early, said police Capt. Tom Roth. School officials said other students stayed at school and classes resumed as normal.

Roth said police are looking into why the alarm was activated just before 9 a.m. Tuesday. There was no fire.

In light of last week's school shootings in Newtown, Conn., Roth said, he issued a press release about the incident in case anyone was concerned to see police officers and firefighters at the school on Glenwood Avenue.

Police and firefighters provided blankets and towels to children while they waited for school buses that were called to give them a place to stay out of the rain. 

Police setting up sobriety checkpoints during holiday

Police will be watching for drunk drivers this holiday season.

Westbrook police will use a $10,000 grant from the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety to set up sobriety checkpoints and put officers on duty -- in marked and unmarked cars -- with the sole purpose of seeking out drunk drivers, according to a press release from the department.

The dedicated patrols will continue through the holidays into the new year.

CASCO

Three injured when pickup spins into oncoming truck

A Naples woman was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries after a crash Tuesday morning on Poland Spring Road that also injured a Naples man.

Shawn Trottier, 29, lost control of the 2011 Chevrolet pickup truck he was driving around 8:14 a.m. on the wet, icy road, spun into the oncoming, northbound lane and collided with a 2008 Freightliner box truck, said the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office in a press release.

Trottier and his passenger, Sabrina Cloutier, 33, were extricated from the pickup truck by fire personnel, according to the press release.

Both were taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland. Cloutier's injuries were considered life-threatening. Trottier's injuries were listed as possible broken bones, the sheriff's office said.

The driver of the box truck, Max Walton, 46, of Livermore Falls, was taken to Bridgton Hospital for what authorities considered minor injuries.

Poland Spring Road, part of Route 11, was closed to traffic from Route 85 to Route 121 while the accident was investigated.

The sheriff's office said all three people who were hurt in the crash were wearing seat belts.

PORTLAND

Council OKs street program for pedestrians, cyclists

The City Council has approved a street planning program that will help make roads, sidewalks and thoroughfares easier for cyclists, pedestrians and others to navigate.

The Complete Streets policy is meant to balance the needs of drivers, transit riders, cyclists, commercial drivers and emergency responders with neighborhoods' concerns.

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