December 11, 2012

Local & State Dispatches

From staff and news services


Average price of heating oil falls 3 cents in a week

Maine energy officials say the average cash price for No. 2 heating oil in the state is $3.64 per gallon, down 3 cents from last week's price survey.

The Governor's Energy Office says several factors may be driving the drop. Citing reports in Bloomberg News, state officials say weak economic growth in Europe, and the impending "fiscal cliff" in the United States may be decreasing demand in the short term, thereby reducing prices.

Officials also point to increased domestic oil production from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

Maine energy officials say the average price for propane, in quantities used for heating, is unchanged from last week. Propane prices remain lower than they were at this time a year ago.


Unexplained death of man not considered suspicious

Police are investigating the death of a 41-year-old man who was found alongside the Androscoggin River.

Police say the body of Jeremy Perry of Lewiston was found on some rocks by the river around 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Investigators have classified the death as non-suspicious and say that alcohol may have played a role. Police say it could take weeks for toxicology tests to be processed to confirm the cause of death.


Sex offender in jail on drug trafficking charge

A sex offender was charged Monday with selling his own prescription medication.

Michael J. McKeown, 49, of 111 May St. was arrested by Maine Drug Enforcement agents and charged with aggravated trafficking of a scheduled drug.

The charge was increased to aggravated drug trafficking because McKeown lives across from an athletic field designated as a safe zone by the city.

McKeown allegedly sold drugs to an undercover agent and resisted arrest when agents and Biddeford police arrived at his home at 5 p.m. Monday, according to Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

McKeown is on the Maine Sex Offender Registry and is prohibited from having contact with teenagers. Biddeford police are investigating reports that he allowed teenage boys to smoke marijuana at his house, McCausland said.

McKeown was taken to York County Jail in lieu of $75,000 bail. He is expected to make his first court appearance Wednesday.


Officials identify body as murdered Lewiston woman

The Maine medical examiner says a body found in a wooded area in Lisbon last week is that of a Lewiston woman who was reported missing during the summer of 2011. The medical examiner's office says DNA has confirmed the body was that of 22-year-old Christiana Fesmire.

Spokesman Mark Belserene told the Sun Journal that the cause and manner of death were "homicidal violence" with facial fractures.

The body was found just weeks after 31-year-old Buddy Robinson of Lewiston was convicted of murder in her death, even though her body had not been found at the time of the trial.

Robinson and Fesmire lived in different units of the same apartment house when she disappeared in July 2011. Robinson awaits sentencing.


Fire destroys condominium, shuts down Route 302

Fire destroyed a Westbrook condominium Tuesday and sent one firefighter to the hospital with a broken ankle.

The fire broke out at 10:25 a.m. in Unit 13 of the La Bella Villa condominiums on Villa Road. Deputy Fire Chief Wayne Jones, who was driving past the area when the call was received, quickly requested help from Portland, Gorham and Falmouth, said Public Safety Chief Michael Pardue.

Busy Route 302 was shut down until about 1:30 p.m. because of the number of fire trucks at the scene, Pardue said.

Nobody was home at the time, though adjacent units had to be evacuated. No civilians or pets were injured, Pardue said. Authorities do not believe the fire is suspicious but called in State Fire Marshal investigators to help determine the cause, in part because a firefighter was injured, he said.

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