Police investigate drowning of man in Sabbathday Lake

The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the apparent drowning death of a 51-year-old man in Sabbathday Lake on Monday night. The victim was identified as Norman Chasse of New Gloucester.

According to the department, a beachgoer noticed some personal belongings on the beach about 6 p.m. and told the owner of a nearby snack shack. Someone else at the snack shack paddled a kayak to a float moored about 30 feet from the beach and saw a body in 10 to 12 feet of water.

With help from a nearby resident, the kayaker was able to bring the body to the surface and then to shore, where emergency responders pronounced Chasse dead.

The sheriff’s department said a cause of death has not been determined and the sheriff’s office and Maine medical examiner are investigating.


Two pickup trucks collide, killing one, injuring four

A 36-year-old Wales man died and four others were taken to the hospital Monday after two pickup trucks crashed on Route 142.
Tolga Ozkur ran through a stop sign and crashed his 2007 Chevrolet pickup truck into a 1996 Chevrolet truck at 10:06 a.m.

Ozkur died at the scene, according to Franklin County Deputy David Rackliffe.

The driver of the other truck was Troy McCormick of Wilton. He, his infant daughter and passenger Ashlee Cote were all taken by ambulance to Franklin Memorial Hospital.

A passenger in Ozkur’s truck, Casandra Patnode of Wales, was taken to Rumford Hospital.

None of them had life-threatening injuries, Rackliffe said.

Sheriff’s deputies still are investigating the crash. They don’t believe alcohol or excessive speed were factors, Rackliffe said.


Five harness racing fans struck, hurt by starting gate

Five harness racing fans were injured at the Windsor Fair on Monday when they were struck by the starting gate just after the beginning of a race.

The fans were standing along the rail about 50 yards beyond the starting line when they were struck by the gate as the pickup truck it was mounted on was leaving the track.

Three of the fans were taken by ambulance to MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta while the other two were treated at the scene.

Elaine Bennett of Ashland was one of the spectators treated at the scene.

“I was standing here watching the race and all of a sudden it looked like something silver was coming. I turned my head … and it hit the side of my face.”

Windsor race director Bill McFarland said the truck carrying the steel retractable gate travels at 30 to 35 mph. He said the gate is closed manually by the driver of the vehicle.


Police arrest wanted man on three burglary warrants

A man police have been seeking for more than eight months was arrested on three burglary warrants on Monday, police said.
Albert Dadiego, 34, was arrested at his mother’s house on Murray Street, police said.

Two arrest warrants from South Portland and one from Androscoggin County were issued for Dadiego about a year ago, and police believed he was involved in burglarizing businesses, including doctors’ offices. Police say he may have been involved in Portland and Scarborough burglaries as well.

Police said they got a tip from a neighbor concerned about suspicious activity at Dadiego’s mother’s house.

Dadiego is being held at Cumberland County Jail.


Police hunt for armed man who tried to invade home

Police are on the hunt for an armed man who unsuccessfully tried to force his way into a home Saturday night after allegedly sticking the barrel of his gun through a door opening and claiming to be from the Maine State Police.

He escaped after a brief struggle with residents.

Lt. Michael Murphy of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said the man tried to force his way into the home on Noyes Lane at about
9:30 p.m. Saturday. He stuck the barrel of his gun through a crack in the front door left open when a visiting neighbor ran back inside after starting the walk home and hearing a suspicious noise, Murphy said.

The man, who’s about 6 feet tall, was wearing a white costume mask, a bandana and all black clothes, Murphy said. As the suspect tried to force his way into the home, some of those inside held the door back while another called police.

At one point, Murphy said, one resident grabbed the barrel of the man’s gun, starting a tug-of-war with the man. The man fled when residents told him they had called police.

Murphy said police combed the surrounding area Saturday night looking for signs of the man.

Anyone with information should call the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office at 882-7332.


State’s top election official promotes voter awareness

Secretary of State Matt Dunlap says Maine leads the nation in the percentage of eligible citizens who are registered to vote. But Dunlap, the state’s top election official, says there’s still room for improvement.

Dunlap joined other members of the National Association of Secretaries of State and Gov. John Baldacci in proclaiming September as National Voter Registration Month. Dunlap is working with Maine’s local election administrators to make eligible voters aware of registration deadlines and requirements for this year’s general election.

Mainers will elect a new governor, other state officials and two members of Congress in November.

Mainers can register to vote in person for the Nov. 2 election at their town office or city hall through Election Day.


Retired Pittsfield manager hired as interim executive

A retired Pittsfield town manager will fill in as Fairfield’s town executive until councilors hire a replacement for Paul Blanchette, who died unexpectedly on Saturday.

The Town Council held a special meeting Monday morning to hire Dwight Dogherty, who will begin working today.

Dogherty, 73, served as town manager in Pittsfield for 18 years before retiring in 2002. Since then, he’s served as the interim town manager in Norridgewock and Clinton.

Council Chairman Edward Stevens said Deputy Town Manager Cynthia Tuttle would have taken over in the interim, but she’s going on medical leave and will be away from the office for more than a month.

Blanchette, 52, had been manager for 10 years. He apparently died of a heart attack.