New Gloucester man held in interrupted burglary

Portland and Falmouth police interrupted a burglary in progress Sunday afternoon at a home on Allen Avenue Extension in Falmouth.

They arrested Philip Giusti, 47, of New Gloucester.

Falmouth police Sgt. George Savidge said he was notified around 12:30 p.m. by Portland police that a car belonging to a suspect in a Portland theft was parked outside a home at 3 Allen Ave. Extension. The home is near the border between Portland and Falmouth.

When police arrived, they found that the front door had been broken through. “We walked in on an active burglary,” Savidge said.

Savidge said officers from both departments surrounded the home. At first, Giusti did not come out of the house, but when officers threatened to send a police dog in after him, he surrendered peacefully, Savidge said.

Savidge said the owner was not at home.

Giusti is being held at the Cumberland County Jail on charges of theft and burglary. His bail has been set at $10,000 cash.


Second-story deck collapses, sending couple to hospital

Two people had to be taken to the hospital Sunday night after their deck collapsed.

Gorham Fire Chief Robert Lefebvre said a man and a woman whose names were unavailable had just set up a grill to cook their dinner when the second-floor deck collapsed.

The victims, who are renting a home at 10 Hawkes Way, were taken by ambulance to Maine Medical Center with what are believed to be non-life-threatening injuries.

“I really couldn’t see anything that stood out (as a cause),” Lefebvre said Sunday. “I plan to get together with the code enforcement officer tomorrow and try to figure out what happened.”

The collapse was reported around 6 p.m.


Man’s medical past under scrutiny after death in pond

The police chief says an autopsy will determine whether a medical problem contributed to the death of a man who was unresponsive when he was pulled from a local pond.

Chief Edward Strong said 56-year-old Paul Hodgkins was not a strong swimmer and was wearing a life vest when he first went into a pond on Martin Road on Wednesday. Strong said the man’s wife screamed for help when she saw the life vest floating but did not see her husband.

Hodgkins was pulled from the water by a friend and firefighters and was taken to Portsmouth Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Strong said that investigators were told Hodgkins had underlying medical conditions. A New Hampshire medical examiner was performing an autopsy.


Hundreds join hands to protest offshore drilling

Hundreds of people gathered in Portland and in Rye, N.H., to participate in a nationwide demonstration against offshore drilling.

An estimated 200 people gathered at Portland’s East End Beach and joined hands at noon Saturday as part of the national Hands Across the Sand day of action. The Portsmouth Herald says a similar event was held at Wallis Sands State Park in Rye, also on Saturday.

The demonstrations across the country were to show opposition to offshore drilling and support for clean energy in the wake of the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Hands Across the Sand was founded in October 2009 and is endorsed by several environmental organizations.


Maine ‘well-positioned’ for wind-energy millions

The U.S. Energy Department is setting aside $20 million for deep-water offshore wind energy development, and Sen. Susan Collins says the money could be headed to the University of Maine.

The Maine Republican invited Energy Secretary Steven Chu to UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center in Orono about two weeks ago.

The government has provided funding to the center and its partners to aid Maine’s efforts to aggressively pursue wind power development and green jobs. Collins said the center is well-positioned to win the new funding.

The senator told the Sun Journal of Lewiston that if Maine is awarded the entire $20 million, it would be the largest nondefense federal investment ever in the state of Maine.

Maine voters this spring approved an $11 million bond proposal for wind technology.


Got insurance questions? State bureau wants to help

Maine’s Insurance Bureau is offering a summer consumer outreach program to help Maine people with insurance cases and raise awareness about the bureau’s resources.

Insurance Superintendent Mila Kofman said the public is invited to join bureau staff at upcoming events in Kittery, Lewiston, Greenville, Ellsworth and Waterville.

Previous outreach sessions have been held in Presque Isle, Bangor, Portland, Farmington and Madawaska.

The sessions, to be held between July 19 through Sept. 16, will take place from 5-7 p.m. They will include ample time for questions, and staff members will help consumers with their specific cases.


Boater stopped for speeding allegedly attacks officer

A boater caught speeding on a crowded Nottingham allegedly lake punched a New Hampshire Fish and Game officer in the head when he tried to board his boat, forcing the officer to use pepper spray to subdue him.

The New Hampshire Union Leader reported that Wayne Dorrance, 47, of Nottingham is charged with simple assault on a police officer. Authorities said alcohol is believed to have been a factor in the incident on Pawtuckaway Lake on Friday night.

Conservation Officer Christopher Mckee was treated at Exeter Hospital for injuries resulting from being punched in the face and body. The case remains open.