Bay State driver, wife hurt when car hits I-95 guardrail

A Massachusetts man and his wife were taken to Southern Maine Medical Center in Biddeford after their car bounced off a guardrail on the Maine Turnpike and skidded across three lanes of traffic Tuesday afternoon.

State Trooper Phil Alexander said Stephen Hemingway, 73, of Salem, Mass., fell asleep at the wheel of his 2007 Dodge Caliber while he and his wife, Nancy Hemingway, 62, were going south on the turnpike in Arundel.

Alexander said Hemingway’s car drifted across the highway before hitting a guardrail. The car then skidded across three lanes of traffic before coming to rest. No other cars were hit.

Alexander said the couple’s injuries were not life-threatening. Southbound traffic on the turnpike was restricted to one lane from about 4 to 5 p.m.


Two more Maine state parks will open for season early

Two state parks in southern Maine will open early, joining two in the midcoast that opened last weekend.

Sebago Lake State Park in Casco and Naples, and Bradbury Mountain State Park in Pownal will open today for day use and camping. Camden Hills State Park and Lake St. George State Park in Liberty opened last weekend.

Maine has 48 state parks and historic sites, which typically open for the season May 1. It’s not uncommon for the parks to open early, although that usually doesn’t happen before mid-April, said Jeanne Curran with the Department of Conservation.

Given the summer-like weather of the past week, there is a demand for the parks to be staffed, said Rod Hunt, regional parks manager for the Bureau of Parks and Lands. There will be limited staffing at the parks until later in the season.

Only the Witch’s Cove campground section of Sebago Lake State Park will open; the Songo Locks swing bridge will remain closed until May 1.

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Bull on the lam that injured teenage boy is euthanized

A 17-year-old boy is recovering from injuries he suffered when he was attacked by a bull that had escaped a farm pen in the town of Durham. The bull was euthanized.

Officials say the teenager, whose name was not released, suffered a serious puncture wound to the back and other bumps and bruises. The injuries are not considered life-threatening.

Durham Fire Captain Michael Lacasse says the bull was out of control and charged at people trying to get it back in its pen.

WGME-TV said family members and neighbors tried to corral the animal but were unsuccessful. The bull was put down with a rifle.


Eighth-grader, 14, charged with unlawful sexual contact

A teenager faces charges of unlawful sexual contact stemming from a series of incidents.

The 14-year-old eighth-grader at Westbrook Middle School is still attending school and has a court hearing scheduled this month.

Superintendent Reza Namin said school officials are taking the situation seriously and have assigned a one-on-one mentor to the teenager for ongoing supervision. The alleged incidents did not occur in the school, he said.

Police would not describe the alleged conduct.

One mother obtained a protection-from-harassment order against the student, prohibiting the student from having contact with her daughter, who also attends the school.

The juvenile hearing on the charges is scheduled for April 15.

Police Chief William Baker said he is unaware of any such charges against a middle school student in Westbrook since he became chief.


Widow cited by president watches governor sign bill

A woman who was left with $60,000 in medical bills when her husband died two weeks ago described a new law banning insurance caps as an “wonderful epitaph” for him.

Theresa D’Andrea is facing a staggering debt left when her husband, Rocky, surpassed his $250,000 lifetime cap. She said they didn’t know the difference between a lifetime and annual caps, and assumed they had adequate insurance through his employer.

Her plight was acknowledged last week by President Obama, who singled her out during his health care address at the Portland Expo.

On Tuesday, D’Andrea joined Gov. John Baldacci for a ceremonial signing of the bill in Augusta. The state law goes into effect on Jan. 1.

House, Senate kill measure to tighten ATV enforcement

A bill to tighten enforcement of all-terrain vehicles on private land in Maine is dead.

The House and Senate failed to agree on matching versions of the bill, so it died Monday.

The original proposal would have allowed game wardens to stop ATVs on private property without a reasonable suspicion that a law had been broken.

Present law says officers must have probable cause to stop ATV users on private land.

Supporters of the bill said the tougher enforcement policy would strengthen relations between private property owners and ATV users who want to use their land. Opponents said the added level of enforcement would have weakened privacy rights.

Mainers, groups will explore financial industry regulation

A roundtable to showcase continuing concerns over regulation of the financial industry will be held in the State House.

State regulators, economists, representatives of seniors, consumers, small business and the financial community are invited to U.S. PIRG’s event on Tuesday. U.S. PIRG is a federation of state public interest research groups.

U.S. PIRG said basic consumer protections could have insulated Maine citizens from actions by large financial institutions that led to the financial meltdown.

On Tuesday, Maine residents and organizations will discuss why they support strong consumer protections and reforms of Wall Street.


Woman, daughter die when Maine driver hits disabled car

State police say a 35-year-old woman and her 14-year-old daughter died when their disabled car was rear-ended by a pickup truck driven by a man from South Berwick, Maine.

Troopers say the car was stopped around 6 p.m. Monday with a flat tire in a driving lane on the bridge carrying the Berkshire Spur of the state Thruway over the Hudson River near Albany.

Beverly Watson of Dansville and her daughter Faith Horsted were pronounced dead at the scene. Police say neither was wearing a seat belt. Watson’s 10-year-old son, Prince Horsted, was wearing a seat belt in the front passenger seat and is in stable condition at Albany Medical Center.

The pickup’s driver, Matthew Reilly, 37, of South Berwick, and his passenger Sean Noble of York were taken to a hospital with cuts.
The accident remains under investigation.


Scholar on African politics will speak Thursday at UNE

A renowned scholar on African politics and international political culture is scheduled to speak Thursday at the University of New England in Biddeford.

Dr. Ali A. Mazrui will speak at noon at the St. Francis Room, according to a press release issued by the university. His topic is “From Othello to Obama: Is This the Dawn of a Post-Racial Age?”

Mazrui is the Albert Schweitzer professor in the humanities and director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies at the State University of New York at Binghamton.

Mazrui also has served as special adviser to the World Bank and on the board of the American Muslim Council in Washington, D.C., according to the UNE release.


Friends will mark Earth Day with spring marsh cleanup

Friends of Scarborough Marsh is celebrating Earth Day with a spring cleanup.

The annual cleaning day will target the marsh and beaches around town. The event is scheduled for April 24, between 9 a.m. and noon. The rain date is April 25.

Volunteers should bring their own work gloves and dress appropriately for the weather. The town is providing bags, plastic gloves and trash removal.

The event is a collaborative effort by a number of organizations, including Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center, Scarborough Land Conservation Trust, Higgins Beach Association, Friends of Pine Point, Camp Ketcha and the Town of Scarborough.

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