June 29, 2013

Local Dispatches

- CARRABASSETT VALLEY

Woman, 82, saved after car lands upside down in river

An 82-year-old woman was rescued Friday after a runner spotted her vehicle upside down in the Carrabassett River.

Police said Ivah Palmer went off the road and over an embankment, landing upside down in the river in Carrabassett Valley.

Dave Koenig of Coplin Plantation was running with his dog on the other side of the river when he saw the vehicle's tail lights.

He told the Lewiston Sun Journal that he and his dog trudged and swam across the river and found Palmer, but he realized he couldn't get her out of the car by himself.

He ran up the bank and flagged down help. Two other men helped him pull her out of the car.

Police said she was taken to the hospital with a broken leg.

OLD ORCHARD BEACH

Four of 21 businesses cited for serving alcohol to minor

Police say four of the 21 businesses they checked for sales of alcohol this week sold alcohol to a minor.

The violations occurred at Friendly's Market, Olde Town Country Store, the Barefoot Boy Restaurant and Jumpin' Jake's, police said.

In each case, the server or clerk asked for and checked identification and still sold alcohol to a person who wasn't old enough to buy it legally, police said.

Administrative violation notices were issued to each of the four businesses. The 17 others that were checked did not serve the minor who posed as a customer.

The department used two reserve officers who are 20 to conduct the compliance check. A statement from Deputy Police Chief Keith Babin said the compliance checks will continue through the summer.

PORTSMOUTH, N.H.

States inviting DOT chief to visit troubled bridge

New Hampshire and Maine's congressional delegations are inviting Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to visit a bridge between the two states that needs replacement.

The Sarah Mildred Long Bridge connects Portsmouth, N.H., to Kittery, Maine. Its rail component enables safe and efficient transportation of nuclear waste from the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

The delegations say the 70-year-old bridge urgently needs replacement. Both states came together to apply for a $25 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant for the project.

The bridge has been closed multiple times in recent years because of malfunctions and unplanned major repairs. The most recent damage happened April 1, when an oil tanker hit the bridge after breaking away from a pier.

The goal is to have a new bridge finished by 2017. The total cost is estimated to be $160 million.

Volunteers working on park at bridge to honor veterans

As work on a new bridge connecting New Hampshire and Maine nears its end, a group is working on a nearby memorial focusing on veterans, including World War I sailors and soldiers who were honored during the dedication of the original bridge.

The Portsmouth Herald said the all-volunteer group includes retired military members and several citizen members such as Jim Teetzel, CEO of Wilcox Industries in Newington. Teetzel has pledged $25,000 for a new memorial park near Memorial Bridge, which will connect Portsmouth to Kittery, Maine.

The Portsmouth Freedom Park will honor veterans and those who have died in war and conflicts throughout the country's history. The committee met for the first time this week.

AUGUSTA

New law bans lead sinkers to help protect state's loons

A new state law limits the use of lead fishing gear in an effort to protect the state's loon population.

The bill went into law without the governor's signature on Thursday.

Under the new law, stores will be banned from selling lead sinkers and lures beginning Sept. 1, 2016. Anglers will not be allowed to use those items starting the next year. Lures with covered lead will still be allowed, but no lead will be allowed in sinkers.

The state says lead poisoning from lures and sinkers is the leading cause of death for Maine's adult loons.

The bill was sponsored by Democratic Sen. Anne Haskell of Portland. She says the new law will help preserve loons.

Lewiston elementary school to receive $1.8 million grant

A struggling elementary school in Lewiston will receive extra funding from the state to help boost students' performance.

Maine's Department of Education announced Thursday that the Montello Elementary School will receive a $1.8 million grant through the federal School Improvement Grant program.

The state said Montello is one of the state's lowest-achieving schools, with students' proficiency below state and district averages in all subjects. It received an "F" on the state's grading scale for schools.

Among other things, the funding will go toward curriculum reform and professional development.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage said in a statement that the funding will ensure that the students have access to the quality education they deserve.

Monmouth man sentenced for child pornography again

A Monmouth man who was caught with child pornography barely a week after he got off probation for having sexually explicit materials is going to prison.

The Kennebec Journal reported that Raymond Carl LeClair Jr. was sentenced Thursday to serve a year in prison, with the remaining time in an eight-year term suspended.

State Department of Corrections records indicate that LeClair was charged with possessing the 18 explicit movies in September 2011. At that time, LeClair had just gotten off probation from his 1998 conviction on three counts of visual sexual aggression against a child.

LeClair, 47, pleaded guilty to the most recent charge in April 2012 and was sentenced Thursday in Kennebec County Superior Court.

-- From staff and news services

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