February 18, 2013

Maine/New England Dispatches

From news service reports

SOUTH PORTLAND

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Jordan Mayo heads out to clean camps at Sonny’s Smelt Fishing on the frozen Kennebec River in Dresden on Sunday. Winds gusted to 30 mph and blowing snow limited visibility to less than 100 yards.

Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

Police seek trio in robbery of pizza delivery driver

South Portland police are looking for three suspects who allegedly robbed a pizza delivery driver of cash and a pizza at gunpoint.

Police said the driver was delivering a pizza to a customer in front of an apartment complex at 10 p.m. Saturday when two men armed with a knife and a handgun approached and demanded cash.

The suspects took a small amount of cash and the pizza and fled on foot. Police said they suspect the supposed customer, who also ran, was involved in the robbery.

Police described the suspects as black men in their early 20s. Nobody was injured.

Mall reopens after gas leak outside is quickly contained

Officials said the Maine Mall reopened Sunday afternoon after being evacuated following a report of a gas leak.

Mall officials sounded alarms early Sunday afternoon and ordered that shoppers leave the mall immediately.

Lt. Robb Couture of the South Portland Fire Department said a snow plow truck struck a gas line outside of the mall, but that the leak was quickly contained. The driver of the plow was transported to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries, Couture said.

Shoppers were allowed to return and stores reopened for business a short time later.

PORTLAND

Hundreds of Mainers attend climate rally in Washington

Five busloads of Mainers traveled to Washington to take part in a demonstration described as the largest climate rally ever in the U.S.

Tens of thousands of people were expected at Sunday's Forward on Climate rally on the National Mall urging President Obama to take action on climate change and reject the Keystone XL oil pipeline that would carry oil derived from tar sands in western Canada to refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast.

Sierra Club Maine said it chartered four buses and that the Natural Resources Council of Maine chartered another bus to carry more than 300 Mainers to the event. One bus was carrying students from eight colleges and universities.

CONCORD, N.H.

House voting on bill to give lawmakers free ski passes

New Hampshire's House is voting this week whether lawmakers should get free ski passes for Cannon Mountain.

The majority of the Legislative Administration Committee is recommending killing a bill Wednesday that would grant the legislative perk. A one-day lift ticket is $70 for an adult and the bill allowed unlimited free access.

Opponents said using the perk a half-dozen times would be worth twice as much as lawmakers' biennial salary.

Supporters argue that lawmakers have open access to state parks, which promotes awareness of the locations. They say skiing at Cannon doesn't add costs to the ski area and encourages members to experience that part of New Hampshire culture.

BOSTON

'Roadrunner' suggested as official state rock song

The Modern Lovers' "Roadrunner," an iconic 1970s ode to the joys of driving along Route 128 when it's late at night, was unlike any song of its era.

Now it could become the official rock song of Massachusetts.

At a time of drug-infused lyrics and bloated orchestration, the Modern Lovers -- led by Bay State native Jonathan Richman -- crafted a deceptively simple anthem about listening to AM radio, cruising along the turnpike, driving by the Stop & Shop and listening to "the modern sounds of modern Massachusetts."

Now Boston state Rep. Martin Walsh has filed a bill to make "Roadrunner" the official rock song of the commonwealth.

PLYMOUTH, Conn.

Pair accused of making up story about baby's death

A Connecticut woman and a friend are accused of fabricating a story about the death of a baby in 2001.

The Republican-American reported that Rosemary Eaton and Jesse Brown were charged with falsely reporting an incident concerning serious injury or death and two misdemeanor counts of reporting false statements.

Police said the 29-year-old Eaton told a Waterbury social service case worker that she gave birth at an abandoned house 12 years ago. Eaton said Brown helped with the childbirth.

The case worker alerted police that Eaton said she buried the baby behind a ball field in Terryville.

Police, who found no remains, said Eaton eventually admitted she made up the story.

WEBSTER, N.H.

Man dies, teen hospitalized after gas used to start fire

New Hampshire officials say a 20-year-old man has died and a 17-year-old girl has been hospitalized with burns from a fire that started when the man used gasoline to ignite a brush pile in Webster.

Officials said Daniel Hewey of Warner died at Concord Hospital of inhalation injuries and burns following the Saturday night fire on Deer Meadow Road. Fire Marshal William Degnan said the gasoline caused a small explosion and a flash fire when Hewey tried to ignite a brush pile that was in a fire pit.

The girl was taken to Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston for treatment.

FITCHBURG, Mass.

Two-car crash kills woman, teenage son, injures man

Prosecutors say a two-car collision in Fitchburg has left a woman and her teenage son dead and a man injured.

Worcester District Attorney Joseph Early Jr. said the mother and son were riding in an SUV that crossed over a marked lane Sunday morning and struck a pickup truck.

He said 36-year-old Michelle Martens of Ashby and her 16-year-old son, Justin Fournier, were killed in the crash. Investigators haven't determined which one was driving the SUV.

Early said the truck was driven by Wayne Patenaude, whose age and hometown weren't immediately available. He was taken to Leominster Hospital with undisclosed injuries.

The District Attorney's Office, state police and Fitchburg police are investigating the cause of the crash.

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