Police say top of spruce tree in town park was lopped off

Police are investigating damage to a spruce tree in town-owned Robie Park. The park is located between the municipal center and high school.

Sgt. Robert Mailman said police received a complaint last week from the Recreation Department that someone had cut off the top of a 15-foot spruce tree, apparently thinking the treetop could be converted into a Christmas tree. “The top had been hacked off,” Mailman said. “There’s only about five feet of tree left.”


Two drivers taken to hospital after Route 1 traffic accident

An accident involving a U.S. Postal Service truck forced police to close the southbound lanes of Route 1 for nearly two hours Thursday morning.

A Honda Civic driven by Lisa Corson, 40, of Falmouth apparently rear-ended a mail truck driven by John McLean, 61, of Portland around 11:15 a.m., said Police Chief Edward Tolan.

The impact pushed the truck into a utility pole near Route 1’s intersection with Webber Way and Greenway Drive, and caused the Honda to flip on its side. Emergency responders cut off the roof of the car to remove Corson.

Corson and McLean were taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland with non-life-threatening injuries.

Tolan said the crash remains under investigation.


First plane lands at base since airfields closed in January

The Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority on Thursday welcomed the first plane to land at the Brunswick Naval Air Station since its airfields were closed in January.

Steve Levesque, executive director of the authority, said the Navy granted special permission for Kestrel Aircraft Co.’s JP-10 carbon composite business aircraft to land at the base.

In June, Kestrel announced its intention to move its operations to Brunswick Landing — the Navy base’s new name. Kestrel said it will invest more than $100 million to create as many as 300 jobs in Brunswick.

Levesque said that permitting Kestrel to fly in and out of the base will allow the company to begin developing and producing its composite-based turboprop aircraft.


Environmental regulators act to eliminate harmful chemical

Environmental regulators have voted to phase out a chemical that’s used to harden plastics in some food containers, baby bottles and cups.

The Board of Environmental Protection’s vote Thursday to phase out bisphenol-A must be authorized by the Legislature before it’s finalized.

The board designated BPA and nonylphenols as Maine’s first priority chemicals under the state’s 2008 Kid-Safe Products Law. Supporters of the board action say scientific studies show BPA is a dangerous hormone-disrupting chemical linked to cancer, learning disabilities and obesity.

Maine does well in latest round of egg safety testing

Maine egg producers have come up clean in testing for salmonella by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

State Veterinarian Don Hoenig said it has been more than a year since any of Maine’s major commercial egg farms have tested positive for the bacterium salmonella enteritidis.

That’s the strain that was responsible for last summer’s salmonella outbreak, which sickened hundreds of people in multiple states and led to the recall of 550 million eggs from Iowa farms.

The FDA tested the farms this fall as part of the new federal Egg Safety Rule, which requires farms with more than 50,000 hens to take steps to prevent salmonella.

Maine has its own regulations, which go beyond federal requirements when it comes to egg safety.

Police investigating theft of charity Christmas trees

Police say somebody has been making off with dozens of Christmas trees for sale outside an American Legion post in Augusta.

American Legion Grand Knight Bob King Jr. told the Kennebec Journal that somebody stole 26 trees last week. On Tuesday morning, he discovered that another 30 were missing.

King said the post has been selling trees for about a dozen years, with proceeds donated to charitable causes. With the trees selling for $20 each, this year’s proceeds will be down more than $1,000.

Police are investigating.