Portland woman, 22, killed; alcohol suspected in crash

A Portland woman died Friday from injuries she suffered in a car accident in Westbrook early Friday morning.

Jana Pooler, 22, died after the accident around 1:15 a.m. She was driving a Chevrolet Aveo that rolled over on the Westbrook Arterial.
 Her passenger, Danielle Duguay, 24, of Westbrook, was injured and was in fair condition at Maine Medical Center.

Police said Pooler apparently was not wearing a seat belt, and was ejected from the car. Alcohol and speed also may have been factors, they said.

“Police will be actively pursuing the investigation, including the suggestion from a witness about possible over-service at a local bar,” Chief William Baker said in a media release.

Because of the preliminary nature of the information, police are not releasing the name of the bar.


Red County Caucus endorses LePage for GOP nomination

A group of Republicans in New England’s only county that voted for John McCain in the 2008 presidential election is naming its favorite in the seven-way GOP primary race for Maine governor.

The so-called Red County Caucus, an offshoot of the Piscataquis County Committee, has interviewed all of the Republican candidates.
 It is endorsing Waterville Mayor Paul LePage for the nomination, which will be decided in the June 8 primary.

The other GOP candidates are Steve Abbott, Bill Beardsley, Matt Jacobson, Peter Mills, Les Otten and Bruce Poliquin.


Forty-four people graduate from Maine police academy

Forty-four new police officers graduated from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy on Friday.

The new officers completed 18 weeks of study at the academy.

They will now go to work in local police departments, sheriff’s departments, the Maine Warden Service and at Baxter State Park. Many of the new officers will be on patrol for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.


Ladder used to reach driver of car stuck in marsh mud

Firefighters had to extend a ladder on the ground to get at a woman whose car ended up half-submerged in marsh mud.

The woman was driving her 1999 Subaru Forester station wagon north on Route 1 at 9:30 a.m. when she felt a bump in the front end and lost control, according to the York County Sheriff’s Office.

The car ended up in the adjacent marshy area. The woman was not injured but firefighters couldn’t reach her to get her to safety because they would have sunk into the marsh. They extended a ladder and crawled out on it to reach her, the sheriff’s office said.

A tow truck had to remove the car, which had sunk two and half feet into the muck.


Council will hold hearing on town, school budgets

Residents will be able to weigh in next week on the municipal and school budgets proposed for 2010-11.

The Town Council will hold a public hearing at 7:30 p.m. Monday  at Town Hall.

The overall proposed budget of $34.1 million is up 2 percent from the current budget. It is expected to produce a property tax increase of 1.8 percent, 32 cents per $1,000 valuation. The new property tax rate would be $17.54.

The proposed school budget is $20.7 million, up 3.4 percent from the current budget. It calls for a net reduction of 2.15 full-time positions.

On Tuesday, the council is expected to adopt the municipal budget and set the bottom line figure for the schools. The school budget will go before voters in a referendum June 8.


Lobster trap fire ruled arson; damage estimate at $15,000

Investigators with the state Fire Marshal’s Office say a fire that burned more than 150 lobster traps that were stacked in a lobsterman’s yard was intentionally set.

According to WGME-TV, investigators have ruled that Tuesday’s night’s fire in Cushing was arson. The fire burned the PVC coating on the wire traps.

Officials say the traps were stacked about 25 yards from the home of Wyatt Weaver, but another 300 traps that were in the yard did not burn.

Damage has been estimated at $15,000. No arrests have been made.


League, Oxfam America to host clean energy awards

The League of Women Voters of Maine and Oxfam America will host the Climate & Clean Energy Leaders Awards Ceremony on Sunday.

Sen. Olympia Snowe, Sen. Susan Collins, Rep. Michael Michaud and Rep. Chellie Pingree will be recognized for their leadership on federal climate legislation.

League of Women Voters National President Mary Wilson will attend.

A lunch will be held in her honor and the league’s 90th anniversary.

The ceremony will begin at 11:30 a.m. at the Hampton Inn and Suites, 900 Post Road in Wells. The ceremony is free and open to the public; the lunch at 12:30 p.m. costs $25. For reservations, contact Pam Person at [email protected]


Assistant fire chief pleads guilty to drunken driving

The Bangor Fire Department’s assistant chief has pleaded guilty to drunken driving.

Scott J. Bostock, 55, of Eddington, who entered the plea earlier this month, had his license suspended for 90 days and was ordered to pay a $600 fine.

On Feb. 5, he was stopped by Brewer police.

Interim City Manager Bob Farrar told the Bangor Daily News that Bostock was off duty at the time. He said the 34-year fire department veteran will remain an assistant chief.

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