Skydiving instructor injured when jump lands him in tree

A skydiving instructor who had made more than 10,000 jumps was critically injured Tuesday when he went off course and landed in a tree while making a jump.

Mike Carpenter, the owner of Skydive New England in Lebanon, told WGME-TV that Paolo Difini — known as “DiFo” — was coming in for a landing when the accident happened.

According to Skydive New England’s website, Difini, 48, made his first jump in June 1979.

Difini was taken to Frisbie Memorial Hospital in Rochester, N.H., before being transferred to Maine Medical Center in Portland. A hospital spokesman said Tuesday night that Difini was in critical condition.

Jason Cole, Lebanon’s assistant rescue chief, said his department averages about seven rescue calls a year to Skydive New England. He said the business conducts 20,000 to 25,000 jumps a year.


Visa hearing delayed for man jailed in Times Square probe

A Pakistani man who was jailed while authorities investigated the attempted Times Square car bombing continues to be held because of his expired visa.

An immigration hearing for Mohammad Shafiq Rahman of South Portland was rescheduled Tuesday for Aug. 24, said Kathryn Mattingly of the U.S. Department of Justice’s executive office for immigration review.

Rahman is one of three Pakistani men in New England who were charged with immigration violations during the investigation of the attempted car bombing in New York on May 1.

Rahman’s lawyer has said Rahman once met Faisal Shahzad, who pleaded guilty to 10 charges in the Times Square case, but they hadn’t had contact for years.


Bystander’s action may have kept blaze from spreading

A bystander may have prevented a fire in an apartment building on Deering Street from doing more damage than it did Tuesday afternoon.

The man, who lives in the neighborhood, saw flames shooting out of a third-floor window at 14 Deering St., said Deputy Fire Chief Scott Thomes.

The man – identified by WGME-TV as Peter Gauthier – knocked on doors to warn residents before kicking in the door to the third-floor apartment, Thomes said. He then poured tap water on the fire. The fire continued to burn but didn’t spread.

Portland firefighters, who arrived around 3:30 p.m., extinguished the fire within minutes.

Thomes said discarded smoking materials likely caused the wood frame around the window to catch fire.


Boats passing through lock to undergo milfoil inspection

Boats that pass through the Songo River lock will be inspected for plant fragments as part of an effort to stop the spread of milfoil.

Officials from the departments of Environmental Protection, Conservation, and Inland Fisheries and Wildlife said Tuesday that they hope the inspections will halt the upstream migration of milfoil, an invasive plant that can grow into dense mats at the surface of the water, cutting off oxygen from deeper water.

The inspections will start this week and will be conducted by volunteers and paid inspectors. Boats going upstream from the Lower Songo River will be inspected as they go through the lock, possibly causing some delays for boaters on the river, which connects Sebago Lake to Brandy Pond and Long Lake.

Any plant fragments that are found will be removed and disposed of, officials said.


Company seeks more time to find new LNG investor

The company that is trying to build a liquefied natural gas terminal in Calais is asking the Maine Board of Environmental Protection for another month to find a new investor.

A lawyer representing Calais LNG sent a letter to the board Tuesday, saying it needs until Sept. 11 to line up a financial backer. Last month, the company abruptly pulled out of a long-planned hearing on its permit application for the project. A week later, the company said its lead investor, GS Power Holdings LLC, was selling its share and looking for another investor.

Calais LNG asked the board to give it until Aug. 11, and the board agreed.

Now, the company says it is in talks with potential financial partners and needs more time. Opponents counter that Calais LNG doesn’t deserve an extension.

In a response to the board, the Conservation Law Foundation noted that Calais LNG set the Aug. 11 deadline, and said the company appears to lack the financial capacity to continue with the project.


Born in pickup, Shapleigh baby didn’t wait for hospital

A Shapleigh woman was resting comfortably after her husband helped deliver their 7-pound, 9-ounce boy in a pickup truck on the side of a busy highway.

Jimmy and Kristy Cacace were still a few miles from Southern Maine Medical Center when the mother’s water broke Monday morning while they were driving on Route 111 in Arundel.

With help from a 911 dispatcher, Jimmy Cacace guided his wife through the delivery, with Sawyer William Cacace entering the world about 11:41 a.m.

Jimmy Cacace told the Journal Tribune of Biddeford it was hard to hear the dispatcher’s directions because his wife was screaming so loudly.

An ambulance later took mother and son to the hospital, with the father following in his truck.


Trial set for Pennsylvanian on charges of trapping lynx

A fur trapper from Pennsylvania is due to go on trial on charges that he trapped a Canada lynx in remote northern Maine.

William McCoy, 40, of Fayetteville pleaded not guilty last week in U.S. District Court in Bangor to charges that he violated the Endangered Species Act by killing the lynx and a protected bird in 2008. A trial is set for October.

The Bangor Daily News said McCoy lives in Maine during trapping season.

A federal complaint says McCoy was warned in 2008 that his traps did not comply with Maine rules intended to prevent the unintended capture of lynx and other species, but McCoy continued to set illegal traps.

In December 2008, wardens discovered a dead lynx near McCoy’s traps in Stacyville.


Tribe receives $42,000 to improve health center

The Passamaquoddy Reservation has won a $42,000 federal grant to make improvements to the Pleasant Point Health Center.

The money, announced Monday, will be used to upgrade the center’s security system, patient education equipment and medical equipment.

The project is funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Community Facility Grant Program.

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