Diver dies while trying to retrieve sunken ATV

A 53-year-old man died Monday afternoon as he was diving to retrieve his submerged ATV in Sebago Lake.

Investigators suspect a medical problem may have led to his death, according to the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, which is investigating the case.

The incident happened at 1:30 p.m. off Birch Point. The man was trying to retrieve his ATV, which fell through the ice over the weekend.

The man, who police have not yet identified, had support personnel with him, but when they pulled him from the water, he wasn’t breathing.

He was taken to Maine Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

Wardens have warned fishermen, snowmobilers and others who might venture out on the ice to be wary because unseasonably warm temperatures have left the ice precariously thin in places.

A popular fishing derby on Sebago was called off last weekend after seven people and a number of vehicles plunged through the ice.


Police identify swimmer who drowned on Sunday

Police have identified the man who drowned Sunday in Old Orchard Beach as Timothy Skaggs, 42, of Saco.

Witnesses spotted Skaggs flailing in the water off Temple Avenue at 9 a.m. Sunday before he went under. Firefighters and water rescue teams eventually found him but he was pronounced dead shortly afterward.

The state medical examiner is performing an autopsy on Skaggs and police are investigating the circumstances of how he came to be in the water.

Detective Sgt. David Hemingway said police have not determined why Skaggs was in the water, but he was wearing street clothes and there was no indication he had been in a boat.


L.L. Bean ranked No. 1 in customer service poll

Maine-based L.L. Bean has taken the top spot in an annual ranking of the nation’s leading companies for customer service.

The fourth annual Bloomberg BusinessWeek ”customer service champs” rankings gave the No. 1 position to the Freeport outdoor gear and apparel company, ahead of USAA insurance and financial services company and Apple Inc.

Bloomberg cited L.L. Bean for adapting to the way its customers now shop through the design and features of its Web site and its return policies.

It also commended the company for keeping its back-office operations in Maine rather than moving them offshore to save money.

L.L. Bean was ranked 24th on last year’s list.


Brazilian nationals facing deportation proceedings

A Maine federal prosecutor says eight Brazilian nationals are facing deportation proceedings after they were sentenced in Portland on federal visa fraud convictions.

U.S. Attorney Paul Silsby said the individuals traveled from Massachusetts to Maine in late 2007 and early 2008 and tried to get Maine driver’s licenses or identity cards.

None of the defendants was issued Maine documents.

The defendants pleaded guilty in December to one-count indictments of visa fraud.

The individuals had been incarcerated for about four months. They were sentenced last week to time served.

Special Assistant United States Attorney Stacy Neumann says the eight were then turned over to the Department of Homeland Security for possible deportation proceedings.


‘McGonagall’ star’s illness forces cancellation of show

After postponing the opening of the one-man show, ”The Real McGonagall,” Portland Stage Company announced Monday that the show will be canceled due to actor Mark Honan’s continuing illness.

The show was originally scheduled to open on Feb. 18, then was postponed to Feb. 24.

The theater company hopes to reschedule the production at a future time.

For more information, contact Portland Stage Company at 774-0465.


Popham Beach erosion focus of meeting in Bath

Erosion at Popham Beach is the focus of a meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Bath City Hall at the first floor auditorium.

Organized by beach area resident Dick Hill, the meeting will address erosion that is threatening a restroom facility and septic tank at Popham Beach State Park in Phippsburg.

The Morse River has cut into the park’s southern edge this winter and has sent trees toppling over.

More information is available by contacting Hill at 443-6669.


Juvenile facing charges he pointed rifle at police

A 16-year-old Ellsworth juvenile is facing charges that he pointed a gun at police officers breaking up an underage drinking party at his home.

WABI-TV said police received an anonymous tip that there was an underage drinking party around 11 p.m. Saturday.

Officer Chad Wilmot said officers approaching the house could see through a window that one of the male juveniles had picked up a .22 rifle.

The juvenile then pointed the gun at police.

Police say the teenager hesitated when ordered to drop the firearm, but did so after a few seconds.

The juvenile’s name was not released. He was taken to the Mountain View Youth Development Center in Charleston.

He’s charged with threatening with a deadly weapon.


Kennebec County to collect unused drugs for disposal

Kennebec County is following the lead of communities in Maine that have collected old and unused prescription drugs so they can be properly disposed of.

Sheriff Randall Liberty says deputies are disposing of unwanted prescription medications after the drugs are delivered to the sheriff’s office in Augusta.

Deputies will also respond to callers who want medications picked up at their homes.

South Portland and Cape Elizabeth police have already conducted a similar program in which they collected more than 100,000 pills.

Liberty said that in the first week of the Kennebec County drug collection program, the deputies collected more than 5,200 prescription pills.


New state laws protect kids from toxic chemicals in toys

Maine has new rules to protect the public, especially children, from toxic chemicals in consumer products and toys.

The Board of Environmental Protection unanimously adopted the final regulations last week. The board’s action implements a chemical policy law enacted in 2008 by the Legislature.

The law required the Department of Environmental Protection to create and regularly update a database of chemicals that they’ve determined to be unsafe.

That step was completed last July when the DEP released a list identifying 1,300 chemicals.

For more information and to search for chemicals of high concern (CHC) go to the CHC Web site: www.maine.gov/dep/oc/safechem/highconcern/.


Dirigo Health saved state $79 million in the last year

Maine’s insurance superintendent has affirmed that the state’s health care system has saved $79 million in expenses due to the Dirigo Health program during the last year.

Insurance Superintendent Mila Kofman formally affirmed savings resulting from the state-subsidized health insurance program, which had been calculated by the Dirigo Health and delayed by court challenges.

The savings result from hospitals’ voluntary caps on expenditures and a reduction in uncompensated care.

This is the last time the so-called savings offset payments are being used to calculate funding for Dirigo.

A law that took effect in September 2009 changes the financial underpinning of Dirigo with a fixed 2.14 percent payment on paid claims.



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