Police refrain from offering details of fatal two-car crash

Investigators were withholding details Sunday of a fatal two-car crash in Standish, saying the complicated circumstances should be sorted out by today.

The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department said in a written release that officials will talk about the investigation at 11 a.m. today in Portland.

Chief Deputy Kevin Joyce confirmed that one person, a 46-year-old woman, was killed in the crash on Oak Hill Road, which took place at 12:22 a.m. Sunday. Joyce declined to identify the woman or where she lived, adding that investigators were still trying to notify her relatives.

Four other people required medical attention. All had injuries that were not considered life-threatening.

One person landed in a stream. Another was ejected from a vehicle and landed in a tree, Joyce said.

But, Joyce said, he could not go into greater detail as the department tries to reconstruct what actually happened.

“We are still chasing down leads,” Joyce said Sunday night. “We are still trying to figure out what happened.”


Firefighters halt spread of house fire in York Beach

Firefighters prevented a blaze from spreading to nearby homes in a tightly developed beachfront community Sunday afternoon, rapidly extinguishing flames that erupted in an apartment building at York Beach.

Fire Chief Dave Bridges said flames from the second-story fire at 151 Long Beach Ave., were being driven toward a nearby home – about 3 feet away – by strong winds.

“It was a little nerve-wracking in the beginning,” Bridges said.

Firefighters were able to confine most of the damage to the exterior of the three-story building. Bridges is not sure what caused the fire, but he said it started near a propane gas furnace.

No injuries were reported.


Vehicle hits six cars in front of Becky’s; three injured

Three people were injured in an accident in front of Becky’s Diner on Commercial Street about 8 a.m. Sunday.

Police say a vehicle traveling west on Commercial Street crossed into the eastbound lane before hitting six cars in front of the diner.

Police Lt. Don Krier said Kevin Preston, 25, of Portland was cited for operating without a license. Preston was taken to Maine Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries after being extracted from the vehicle. The male and female passengers were also injured and taken to the hospital.

Krier said the vehicles in front of the diner were empty. He said he did not know what caused the accident. Portland police are investigating.


University system leader to give update on cost cuts

Chancellor Richard Pattenaude will provide an update today on the University of Maine System’s new long-term initiative to cut costs and reposition the state’s universities for the future.

Pattenaude will discuss the New Challenges, New Directions initiative — including a status report on tuition, financial aid and a market study that is now under way — at a meeting of the university system’s board of trustees, which oversees the state’s seven-campus network.

Trustees are also expected to approve recommendations for tenure for faculty members and get updates on collective bargaining sessions and the search for a new president at the University of Maine at Fort Kent.


Further votes expected on insurance payment cap ban

Further Maine House and Senate votes are expected this week on a bill to bar annual and lifetime caps on health insurance payments.

The bill is intended to protect health care policy holders from having to go into debt because they’ve been denied payments for expensive medical treatments. The measure would eliminate limits on payments, with exceptions for several specific kinds of health plans. It applies to health plans issued or renewed on or after Jan. 1, 2011.

An advocacy group, Consumers for Affordable Health Care, is cheering initial passage of the bill. The group calls Maine’s bill the first of its kind in the country.


Value of state’s potato crop rises 5 percent from 2008

Agricultural officials say the value of Maine’s 2009 potato crop came in at more than $150 million last year.

The National Agricultural Statistics Service said last week that preliminary figures show the crop was worth $151.1 million, up 5 percent from 2008.

For the year, Maine farmers harvested more than 1.5 billion pounds of potatoes from 55,500 acres of fields.


Park closes carriage roads for duration of spring thaw

Acadia National Park has shut its carriage-road system until the broken-stone roads thaw.

Park officials said all 45 miles of the roads were closed Thursday and will remain off limits for at least two weeks.

The roads run throughout the interior of the park and are popular among walkers and bicyclists. The park closes the roads each spring so they don’t get damaged during the annual spring thaw.




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