Head-on collision kills man from Tennessee, injures four

A man from Tennessee who was visiting Maine for a Baptist retreat was killed Wednesday and four other people were injured when the car they were riding in collided with a pickup truck on Route 25.

Palmer Maphet, 20, died around 8 p.m. at Maine Medical Center in Portland.

Taken to Maine Med with non-life-threatening injuries were Lea Hardwick, 20, Legon Craighead, 19, and Justin Owens, 20, all of whom are from Tennessee.

A 2010 Toyota Tacoma driven by Paula Haddow, 63, of Standish crossed the road’s center line at 2 p.m. and collided head-on with a 2005 Hyundai driven by Marilyn McClendon of South Portland, said Cumberland County sheriff’s Capt. Don Goulet.

McClendon, who sustained a non-life-threatening injury, was carrying the four passengers from Tennessee.

Haddow was not hurt and refused medical treatment. The sheriff’s office is investigating the cause of the crash.


Federal regulators boost catch limit on pollack

Federal regulators are making a major increase in the catch limit on a key groundfish species, in response to fishermen who said the initial limit would sabotage their switch to a new management system.

Fishing and environmental groups said Wednesday that the National Marine Fisheries Service will allow fishermen to catch 16,000 metric tons of pollock this year — nearly five times the original allocation.

Fishermen switched last month to a system in which they work in groups to divide an allotted catch. If they exceed their limit on one species, they must stop fishing for all species.

Fishermen said the low limit on stocks such as pollock, which swims among other fish they target, would quickly be reached and prematurely end the fishing year.

Federal regulators reassessed pollock and found that far more could be caught without overfishing.


Ex-submariner sentenced for beating man last year

A former Navy submariner has been sentenced to two to four years in prison for beating a man on a Portsmouth, N.H., street last year.

Sandy Portobanco apologized to the victim and his family in a Brentwood, N.H., courtroom on Wednesday for what he called the biggest mistake of his life.

Stephen Huntress of Kittery, suffered serious brain injuries.

Portobanco and Gerald Smith of Honolulu were crew members of the USS Greeneville nuclear submarine, which was being repaired at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. They have both been discharged from the Navy.

In addition to the sentence, the Portsmouth Herald said the judge ordered Portobanco to split the $17,175 in restitution with Smith and undergo a substance-abuse and anger-management evaluation.


State officials order recount in Senate District 1 GOP race

Election officials have ordered a recount of ballots in the state Senate District 1 Republican primary.

The Secretary of State’s Office said the recount will begin this morning. On June 8, Michael Estes of York received 1,546 votes, two more than Sarah Lewin of Eliot, according to unofficial results.

If the recount produces enough disputed ballots to affect the outcome of the election, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court will review the disputed ballots and determine the outcome of the election.

Workers’ comp board cuts assessments on employers

Assessments on Maine employers to fund the state workers’ compensation board will decrease.

The Maine Workers’ Compensation Board has approved the largest reduction in assessments since 1993, said Gov. John Baldacci and the executive director of the board, Paul Dionne.

Assessments have been reduced by nearly $3.5 million, to $7.35 million because of a series of steps, including a transfer of money from a rehabilitation fund and salary savings from vacancies and shutdown days.

The reduction affects assessments that pay for the agency’s administration, not assessments that pay to cover injured workers.

DHHS will get $750,000 to fight teen tobacco use

Maine has been awarded a $750,000 federal grant to crack down on tobacco use by teenagers.

The money will go to the Department of Health and Human Services through a contract with the Maine Attorney General’s Office. The agencies did not say how it will spend the money. Federal and state laws prohibit tobacco sales to anyone younger than 18.

The rate of smoking among Maine high school students reached a low of 14 percent in 2007, but increased to 18 percent in 2009, according to the state.

“If we can keep tobacco products out of the hands of teenagers, we can reduce the toll of tobacco-related illnesses on Maine people, families and communities,” Attorney General Janet T. Mills said in a written statement.


Squirrel in CMP equipment blamed for power outages

An explosion and fires at an electrical substation in Ogunquit caused large-scale power outages in southern York County on Wednesday morning.

Central Maine Power Co. said customers lost power in Ogunquit, Wells, York, Kennebunk and Arundel. North Berwick and South Berwick also were affected, said the Ogunquit Fire Department.

The explosion happened around 8 a.m. at the substation on Route 1 when a squirrel got into the equipment and grounded out the transformer. The explosion set off three fires, all of which burned themselves out. No one was injured.

A total of 6,353 customers were without power, said CMP spokesman John Carroll. Power was restored for all of them by about 12:45 p.m.


Findings fail to support criminal cause of death

The state Medical Examiner’s Office says initial autopsy findings don’t point toward anything criminal in the death of a man in Auburn.

Auburn police say several prescription bottles were found near the body of Kyle Tyburski, 24, in his apartment after a neighbor called 911 Monday morning.

Deputy Police Chief Jason Moen said the death was originally classified as suspicious because Tyburski had been dead for several days while the apartment was occupied by his girlfriend, Pamela Chasse. He said Chasse, 29, has been hospitalized and is satisfactory condition.

The autopsy results will not be final until toxicology tests have been completed. Moen said that will take four to six weeks.


Police halt pursuit of truck, later arrest driver on foot

Police arrested a man with a history of driving with a suspended license after calling off a chase through the city’s streets early Wednesday.

Sgt. Paul Lambert tried to pull over a truck on Broadway at 1 a.m. but the driver refused to stop, police said. The truck ran a stop sign on Preble Street and sped off, leading the officer to call off the pursuit.

Other officers converged on the area and Derek Hill, 30, was caught while on foot. He had left the truck on Elsmere Avenue, police said.

Hill was charged with driving after license suspension, failing to stop for an officer and refusing to submit to arrest, police said.

Hill has had six license suspensions since 2000. He was convicted of reckless driving in 1999 and driving after license suspension in 2008.

Hill was released on his own recognizance pending a court appearance.

Chase through two cities ends with driver’s arrest

A police chase that went through Portland and ended at Clark’s Pond in South Portland led to an arrest late Wednesday night.

Portland police Lt. Robert Ridge said a state trooper chased the car along Baxter Boulevard before it got onto Interstate 295.

A South Portland police dispatcher said the chase ended near the Cinemagic theater complex at Clark’s Pond with the driver abandoning his vehicle and fleeing into woods.

The driver, whose name was not available, was taken into custody around 10:30 p.m. No other details were available.


Plans to rebuild bridge subject of meeting tonight

The Maine Turnpike Authority will host a public meeting tonight on plans to rebuild the bridge over the turnpike at Exit 48.

The meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Howard Johnson’s Conference Center, at 155 Riverside St.

Engineers and planners will describe several options being considered for rehabilitating the 56-year-old bridge, which is showing signs of decay.

One option calls for completing the project in nine months, but that would require the bridge to be closed. Another option would keep the bridge partially open, but would be more expensive and take 20 months.

USM will host conference on visual, virtual learning

The University of Southern Maine will host Diverse 2010, an annual international conference on visual and virtual learning that started in 2001.

Usually held in Europe, the three-day conference will be held on USM’s Portland campus July 6-8.

This year’s conference is being organized by H. Lori Schnieders, assistant professor of counselor education at USM.

Global experts will lead workshops on topics such as video training for teachers, communicating with autistic students and using the iPad in education.

For more information, including how to register, call 780-5055 or go to

Turnpike authority building will be named this morning

The Maine Turnpike Authority’s administration and public safety building at 2360 Congress St. will be named for Gerard P. Conley Sr., the authority’s chairman and a former Portland mayor and Maine Senate president.

The naming ceremony for the year-old building will begin at 10:30 a.m. today.

“Few Maine leaders are held in as high regard as Gerry Conley. He is a man of great compassion, integrity and heart,” said Maine Turnpike Authority Vice Chairman Lucien Gosselin in a prepared statement.

Conley has overseen the completion of the turnpike’s 30-mile widening project and the implementation of E-Z Pass for tolls.

The new building brings together the authority’s administrative offices, the E-Z Pass Customer Service Center and Maine State Police Troop G. Those operations were spread previously among four buildings that needed renovations.


NOAA vessel will map floor of menacing Cobscook Bay

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is mapping the bottom of Cobscook Bay in an effort to learn why so many mariners have been lost there in recent years.

Fishing communities in Maine and adjacent areas of Canada have lost more than a dozen men at sea in recent years.

The Bangor Daily News said there have been seven fishing-related deaths in Cobscook Bay since December 2008.

The 32-foot NOAA mapping vessel Sea Ark will spend the summer and fall in Maine.

Fishermen who drag the bay for urchins and scallops hope the maps that are generated will locate uncharted obstructions so they can avoid snagging their gear and flipping their boats.


Bowdoin team to compete for RoboCupSoccer title

A team of students from Bowdoin College will compete in the 2010 RoboCupSoccer World Championships in Singapore starting Saturday.

The Northern Bites are seeded second among 24 teams in this year’s competition for the robotics soccer world championship in the Standard Platform League.

The Northern Bites are one of four teams that are invited to participate in a special demonstration before Singapore’s minister of education.

The team took second place at the 2010 RoboCupSoccer U.S. Open for the Standard Platform League, held in April at the Watson Ice Arena at Bowdoin.

The world championships begin Monday. Four robots per team will compete on 4.4-meter-by-6.8 meter fields.

The robots operate with no external control by humans or computers, and execute programs written entirely by Bowdoin students.

The championships will conclude with an awards ceremony and banquet on June 24, followed by a symposium June 25 on advances in robotics research that have been produced by competitors’ work. Learn more at