August 1, 2013

Local & State Dispatches

From staff and wire reports


Drivers taken to hospitals after two-car crash on Route 1

A rear-end collision in front of the Lobster Barn Seafood & Grill in York forced police to shut down Route 1 for more than an hour and sent two people to local hospitals on Wednesday afternoon.

Sgt. Steven J. Spofford said 44-year-old Gina-Marie Ambrosino of York was turning left into the restaurant lot when a 2001 four-door Volvo operated by 33-year-old Brian Decato struck her from behind.

Ambrosino, who was driving a 2006 Mercury Mountaineer sport utility vehicle, was transported to York Hospital. Decato had to be extricated from his vehicle by firefighters. Decato's vehicle was completely destroyed. He was taken to Portsmouth Regional Hospital in New Hampshire.

The seriousness of their injuries was not available. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

The accident was reported at 4:23 p.m. Route 1 reopened to traffic around 5:40 p.m.


City official defends officers in controversial eviction

The city of Westbrook, facing a federal lawsuit accusing police of violating a Westbrook couple's constitutional rights, is defending actions taken by officers who issued no-trespassing orders against the couple to help evict them from their apartment.

Pine Tree Legal Assistance and the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine filed the suit last week on behalf of Anne Blake and Kevin McBride, who are now homeless, saying the officers' actions to remove them from their apartment at 277 Main St. was illegal.

Westbrook Assistant City Manager William Baker said it's unfortunate Westbrook was "chosen as the target" of the two groups' opposition to the statewide use of no-trespass orders.

"This lawsuit has less to do with the facts of this case and more to do with the ACLU and Pine Tree Legal taking on what they see as a statewide problem with these orders," Baker said in a statement.

Baker said the case should be dismissed, groups should collaborate to help Blake and McBride and police should increase training in the future with improved protocols.

"People need to understand that this police action started, as most do, with a victim seeking police assistance," Baker said. "The Westbrook police were not on patrol hoping to find a poor tenant to displace."

Police were called to the apartment building by the landlords, who had obtained an eviction order against Blake but not against McBride, who lived together in the apartment for a year.


State's 'Business Answers' website provides resource

The state has created a website aimed at making it easier to get information on licensing and permitting procedures for new businesses.

The "Business Answers" portal, launched Wednesday, is hosted by the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development and developed by the state's content partner, InforME.

"This is a perfect example of how government can work in collaboration with and make it easier for the private sector to grow a business," said Gov. Paul LePage.

By selecting any one of the 104 different business types listed, a series of questions relevant to that business type will be asked. Based on the answers provided, users will be presented with a list detailing the specific forms, licenses, permits and information required for completion before that business can begin to operate.

The website will allow people to search for forms by agency name or keyword.


Winthrop man's crimes result in 2½ years in prison

A Winthrop man will serve 2½ years in prison after pleading guilty Tuesday in Kennebec County Superior Court to charges of robbery, eluding an officer, passing a roadblock and theft by unauthorized taking stemming from two incidents on March 30.

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