Route 111 crash leaves one dead, three with injuries

A 76-year-old Biddeford woman was killed Thursday in a crash on Route 111 that forced the road’s closure for many hours, according to the York County Sheriff’s Department.

The accident happened shortly before 1 p.m., when a 2002 Toyota Camry driven by an 81-year-old Biddeford woman crossed the centerline and hit a 1994 Dodge Ram van driven by a 68-year-old man from Hermon, said Deputy Gil Hudson.

The woman who died was a passenger in the Camry.

Both drivers were taken to Southern Maine Medical Center in Biddeford for treatment of serious injuries, Hudson said. The woman was in critical condition Thursday evening. The man was in stable condition.

The man’s wife, who was a passenger in the van, was taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland for treatment of serious injuries, Hudson said.

The cause of the crash is under investigation. The sheriff’s department was withholding the names of the people involved until family members could be notified.


Medevac airlifts hiker hurt in fall on Knife Edge ridge

A man was airlifted from the Knife Edge on Mount Katahdin on Thursday after he fell 10 to 12 feet on the exposed, rocky ridge line.

Dan Frye sustained head and torso injuries, said Baxter State Park officials. He was hiking with a news team from WLBZ-TV in Bangor, which was on assignment. One of the team members used a cell phone to call for help after Frye fell.

Park rangers went to the scene and requested assistance from the 126th Army National Guard Medevac Unit in Bangor. A Black Hawk Medevac helicopter arrived on the Knife Edge around 2:30 p.m., and evacuated Frye to Millinocket Regional Hospital.


Grant to fund two positions in city’s fight against obesity

The city has hired two men to assist in efforts to combat obesity.

Pete O’Donnell, a registered nurse and a former mayor and city councilor, is the program coordinator of Healthy Portland, a program of the city’s Public Health Division. Bruce Hyman, who has worked as lead planner and project manager for trail projects, has been hired as bicycle and pedestrian program coordinator in the city’s Department of Public Services. They will work to improve nutrition, encourage residents to be more active and make it easier to walk and bike in the city.

The city received a $1.8 million Communities Putting Prevention to Work grant through the federal stimulus package. Both positions are funded through the grant. 

Benefits provider donates $2.3M to UNE’s dental college

Northeast Delta Dental has contributed $2.3 million to help the University of New England establish its planned College of Dental Medicine, the university announced Thursday.

UNE plans to establish Maine’s first dental college to help address a lack of access to dental health care and a need for more oral health professionals across the state.

Northeast Delta Dental, the largest provider of dental benefits in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, shares those goals, said Tom Raffio, its president and CEO. 

Gulf-bound research vessel will be open to public today

The public is invited to tour the 93-foot research ketch the Odyssey, which is bound for the Gulf of Mexico for a study of the impact of the BP oil spill on marine life.

Students and faculty from the University of Southern Maine will spend three months on board, conducting whale toxicology studies. They are scheduled to leave Saturday. 

The ship will be at the Southern Maine Community College Pier in South Portland starting at 1 p.m. today.


Officials worried about funding bridge replacement

Some business leaders say they fear that Maine won’t pay its share of the cost needed to build a new bridge between Portsmouth and Kittery.

New Hampshire has pledged $45 million to replace the Memorial Bridge and is seeking an additional $20 million federal grant. But that figure is still short of the bridge’s estimated $80 million to $90 million replacement cost.

WMUR-TV says the Maine Department of Transportation won’t decide on funding until a new study is released, possibly next month.