Police say driver in crash that killed three was drunk

The driver in a crash that killed three people last month had a blood-alcohol content almost twice the legal limit, state police said.

Daniel Dodge, 21, had a blood-alcohol level of 0.14 percent when he lost control of his pickup truck on Nov. 8 in Hope. It rolled over and slid into a tree.

The crash killed Dodge and his two teenage passengers, Katherine Kelly, 17, of Rockland and Misti Leach, 14, of South Thomaston.

Driving with a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher is illegal in Maine.


Police arrest three teens in stolen car on Interstate 295

Portland police charged three teenagers after they were arrested in a stolen car Sunday night.

Police were called at 11:20 p.m. Saturday to an apartment in the 100 block of Sherman Street, where a resident reported that three men had come to the door with a knife and forced him to sit while they searched his apartment.

The man said they stole an Apple laptop computer, an Xbox 360 game system, the man’s wallet and the keys to his car.

The next night, he reported that his Chevrolet Impala had been stolen about 9:20 p.m. An hour later, an officer saw it on Interstate 295 and pulled it over.

The officer arrested Jatra Chea, 18, of Falmouth and two 16-year-old boys on charges of theft by unauthorized taking. Chea was also charged with failing to provide his correct name and violating bail conditions.

Police said the three teens did not match the description of the suspects who robbed the man on Sherman Street on Saturday, but they did have the stolen car keys. None of the other stolen items was recovered.

Maine bicycle group names Portland woman as director

The Bicycle Coalition of Maine has chosen its board president, Nancy Grant of Portland, as its new executive director.

The coalition announced Grant’s selection Monday, saying she stood out among dozens of candidates in a national search.

“She cares passionately about making our state a safer place to bicycle and encouraging more Mainers to try bicycling,” said John Wright, the coalition’s incoming board president.

Grant has been an educational technology consultant at Bowdoin College since 2001. She has served as staff adviser for the college’s bicycle sharing program, as a member of the Bowdoin President’s Climate Commitment Advisory Committee, and as lead organizer of Bowdoin’s Commute Another Way activities, the coalition said.

The coalition’s current executive director, Allison Vogt, is moving out of state, the group said.


Brunswick man charged with robbery at Super 8

Westbrook police have charged a Brunswick man in connection with a robbery that occurred Dec. 9 at a motel on Larrabee Road.

Police arrested Jarod Donathan, 28, on Saturday at his house. He initially refused to come out, but when officers surrounded the house and prepared to force their way in at 11 p.m., he gave up, police said.

Donathan is accused of robbing a victim of money at the Super 8 motel in what police described as a drug-related crime.

Police said there were contradicting versions of who stole from whom, but they had enough probable cause to charge Donathan.


Police say drunken driver toppled utility pole, then fled

Police charged a South Portland man with drunken driving after he allegedly crashed his Jeep into a utility pole, knocking out power to a neighborhood.

Police say they were called to 148 Pine Hill Road just after midnight Monday and found a snapped utility pole and parked car nearby.

Nobody was in the car, but a short time later Tyler Strout, 23, who was injured, returned to the crash scene. He was arrested on charges of drunken driving and leaving the scene of an accident. Strout was taken to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries, police said.


Border businesses get gift as bridge reopens early

Business owners on both sides of the Memorial Bridge between Portsmouth and Kittery say they’re thrilled that the aging span was reopened to traffic two weeks earlier than scheduled.

Some business owners say their sales dropped 30 to 50 percent after the bridge over the Piscataqua River was closed Dec. 9 because it was deemed unsafe.

The New Hampshire Department of Transportation completed emergency repairs faster than expected. Construction of a new bridge is set to begin in mid-2012.

Justin Hebert of Hebert Brothers Seafood in Kittery told the Portsmouth Herald that the closing of the bridge was like “turning off a faucet.” He said its reopening is “a sigh of relief.”


Chemicals on property end bid to revive furniture plant

Hopes of reviving the former Moosehead Furniture Co. plant have been dashed because of environmental problems with the property.

Last weekend, furniture-making equipment was auctioned piece by piece. Everything was up for grabs, including specialized tools, parts and vehicles.

Louise Jonaitis of Portland had planned to reopen the plant before she learned of barrels of unidentified chemicals on the property.

She made the discovery before any money changed hands. The Bangor Daily News said she negotiated with a bank to buy the inventory instead of the foreclosed property. She’s still using the Moosehead name, but the furniture is produced elsewhere in Maine.


Organizers of Moxie Festival seek suggestions for theme

Organizers of Maine’s annual Moxie Festival are seeking suggestions for a theme for next year’s event. The Moxie Festival Committee says it will take entries for its theme contest until Jan. 31.

The festival in Lisbon Falls draws tens of thousands of visitors each year to pay homage to the bittersweet soda that was concocted by a Mainer in the 1870s. Moxie is Maine’s official soft drink.

The winner of the contest will win a basket filled with Moxie items and be invited to join festival VIPs during the festival parade. The 28th annual Moxie Festival is scheduled July 8-11.