August 21, 2013

Local & State Dispatches

From staff and news services

(Continued from page 1)

Benn overcorrected and the car ended up in trees on the side of the road, police said.

He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police think Benn either fell asleep at the wheel or may have had a medical issue. The crash is under investigation.


Bicyclist hit by saw blade identified; leg is amputated

Authorities have identified the bicyclist who was severely injured Sunday when he was hit in the left leg by an 8-foot-long saw as Nathan Godfried, who has taught history at the University of Maine for the past 17 years.

Margaret Nagle, spokeswoman for the university, said Godfried's leg had to be amputated after the accident.

The Penobscot County Sheriff's Department said Godfried was riding his bicycle along Route 2 in Passadumkeag on Sunday afternoon when a truck towing a trailer with a John Deere tractor on it started to pass him.

Police said the truck's driver was unaware that the mowing attachment had become dislodged and, instead of being in an upright position, was sticking out toward the side of the road. The saw hit Godfried in the leg.

A nurse who was driving past the accident scene pulled over and stopped the bleeding until an ambulance crew arrived. Police said she probably saved Godfried's life.

Godfried, who is a scholar in 20th-century American pop culture, is married to Elizabeth McKillen, a professor of history at UMaine.

Deputy Ryan Fitch, who investigated the accident, said he does not plan to charge the driver of the truck, calling it "a freak accident."


Company settles MaineCare billing case for $125,000

Federal authorities say a company that provides services to physically and mentally challenged adults has agreed to pay $125,000 to settle allegations that it improperly billed Maine's Medicaid program.

Prosecutors say Employment Specialists of Maine Inc. violated the federal false claims act from early 2006 through June 2007 by billing MaineCare for services given by a registered nurse who had previously been excluded from participation in all federal health care programs.

Employment Specialists has offices in Auburn, Augusta and Bangor.

Prosecutors say the names of people excluded from the programs are readily available.

The complaint sought damages for all of the false claims, along with statutory penalties. Employment Specialists cooperated in the investigation.


Ozone expected to reach unhealthy levels along coast

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection is predicting unhealthy levels of ozone Wednesday for coastal regions of the state.

The air quality alert, posted on the department's website, said the unhealthy levels on the coast will continue into Thursday. Pollution levels for the rest of the state are expected to be moderate.

High ozone levels can adversely affect children, people who exercise and people who suffer from respiratory diseases such as asthma or bronchitis.

The DEP advises people to avoid strenuous outdoor activities and use of aerosol products.


State to unveil touch-screen license test for motorists

The Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles says the written portion of driver's license exams aren't going to be written for long.

Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap is holding a news conference on Tuesday to introduce an electronic testing system for new motorists. They'll soon be available for motorcycle riders, as well.

The testing system with touch-screen monitors was made possible by a federal grant.

Dunlap says the new system is easier to use and is offered in different languages. He says the system also randomly generates each test, ensuring that no two exams are the same.


Police say Lyman man went 111 mph in 40-mph zone

Police say a Lyman man who drove 111 mph in a 40-mph zone Sunday was also caught with marijuana and illegal knives.

Jeremy Doucette, 38, was arrested Sunday morning after he was pulled over on Burgess Hill Road, said Wilton police Officer Derek Dailey. Doucette was charged with criminal speeding.

Daley said Doucette was also charged with class D possession of dangerous knives and possession of marijuana, a civil infraction, after a police officer found both in Doucette's car.

Doucette was taken to the Franklin County Jail, where he posted $300 cash bail.


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