Police identify suicide victim found in Fort Allen Park

Police have confirmed the identity of a man who killed himself in Fort Allen Park on Tuesday morning.

The state medical examiner has told Portland police that the man found hanging in a tree is Michael Simpson, 37. He is originally from England but has been in Portland for several years, police said. His family was notified of his death.


Parents suffer dog bites, son arrested in disturbance

Two people were treated for dog bites after a struggle that ended when police incapacitated one man with a Taser.

Cumberland County sheriff’s deputies were called to a home on Douglas Hill Road in Baldwin at 8:40 p.m. Wednesday for a report of a domestic disturbance. They said that Jesse Ewald, 25, was intoxicated and had been vandalizing the inside of his parents’ home.

The parents had tried to subdue Ewald. A pet pit bull attacked the parents, biting them on the legs, deputies said.

Ewald refused to comply with deputies’ commands, they said. They used a Taser to incapacitate him, arrested him and charged him with disorderly conduct and refusal to submit to arrest.

The parents required stitches for their injuries, deputies said. The dog was quarantined to be checked for communicable diseases like rabies. Ewald was taken to the Cumberland County Jail, then freed on $250 bail pending a court date.


Life jackets cited as two men survive after canoe capsizes

Rescue workers say two men who spent 45 minutes in 45-degree water in Rangeley Lake are fortunate that their calls for help were heard.

Officials say that when Richard MacKenna, 25, of Wells and Ian Efsathiou, 24, of Ogunquit set out in their canoe Tuesday the weather was calm. But winds came up quickly, overturning their canoe.

Rangeley Fire Chief Rudy Davis said the two could hardly use their hands when they were pulled from the water.

Davis said there aren’t many people on the lake at this time of year. He told the Sun Journal of Lewiston that the two survived because they were wearing life jackets.


Official to discuss EPA’s regional work on Nov. 18

Curt Spalding, New England regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency, will talk about the agency’s work in the region at 8 a.m. Nov. 18 at the Environmental and Energy Technology Council of Maine’s annual meeting at Woodlands Country Club, 39 Woods Road, Falmouth.

Admission for nonmembers is $10 for students and $25 for the general public.

More information is available at the council’s website at e2tech.org or by calling 767-5283.


Couple from Utah charged with forgery, growing pot

Maine officials say a Utah couple has been indicted on charges of aggravated forgery and cultivation of marijuana while living in Maine.

Officials say Frank Terhaar and Michelle Hank, formerly of Salt Lake City, were living in a travel trailer in Durham, Maine, at the time of their arrest.

The couple allegedly obtained birth certificates from other states in the name of deceased individuals, and using information gathered from genealogical websites applied for Maine identification credentials. They are also charged with growing marijuana where they lived.

The Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles and state police investigated.


Study links rural casinos to rise in fatal OUI accidents

A new study finds that rural counties that experience the construction of new casinos will likely see an increase in the number of alcohol-related fatal traffic accidents.

The study, published by two economics professors in the latest issue of the Journal of Health Economics, is the first of its kind to examine the impact of casinos and drunk driving rates.

The study estimates that rural counties will likely see a 9.2 percent increase in the number of fatal drunk driving accidents following the introduction of a gambling casino. The rate is not as high for more populated, urban areas due to a number of factors, including availability of mass transit and fewer miles that casino patrons have to travel, the study found.

The study looked at areas that introduced casinos over a 10-year period and contrasted that with the number of fatal drunk driving accidents.

The results indicate that there is a strong link between the presence of a casino in a county and the number of alcohol-related fatal traffic accidents, the study concluded.

Casinos No!, a political action committee opposed to a ballot measure that would allow a casino in Oxford County, issued a press release today about the study.