Man critically injured when ATV rolls over in driveway

A Freeport man was critically injured Monday night when he fell off his all-terrain vehicle.

Greg Thompson, 48, of Wardtown Road, who was riding his ATV in his driveway, was taken to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston by LifeFlight helicopter.

Thompson was riding his Arctic Cat four-wheeler when it rolled over just after 6 p.m., said Deborah Turcotte, spokeswoman for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

His wife, Robin, said she looked out a window and saw her husband fly through the air, landing face-down in their driveway. Thompson was not wearing a helmet.


Marley performance Sunday to help Project Graduation

The Maine-centric comedy of Bob Marley will be featured at a fundraiser Sunday to benefit South Portland High School’s Project Graduation.

Members of the Class of 2011 will model the latest formal and casual wear from the area’s clothing stores during a fashion show starting at 2 p.m. in the high school auditorium.

Marley, a Portland native, will take the stage at 4 p.m., performing at a greatly reduced rate, as he often does for community fundraisers.

Tickets, priced at $15 for adults and $10 for students, can be purchased at Willows, Broadway Variety and South Portland House of Pizza. Proceeds will benefit a chemical-free graduation celebration that is being organized to help keep new graduates safe.


Property zoned as residential is again put under contract

A 6-acre parcel near the Interstate 295 connector is under contract again. The broker, Chris Paszyc of CBRE/The Boulos Co., said he could not identify the would-be buyer. Paszyc said he believes the party does not plan to propose rezoning the property.

The Maine Department of Transportation property was eyed by a medical practice last year. The proposal for a 40,000-square-foot facility concerned residents of the Green Acres neighborhood, who see the wooded property as an important buffer between them and the traffic on the connector and Route 1.

The Town Council decided against making the property part of the Business Office-Research District, which is on the opposite side of Route 1 and includes the Maine Medical Center campus.

The current residential zoning allows uses besides homes, including places of worship, schools, museums, golf courses, day-care facilities and farm stands.

The Save Green Acres neighborhood group is looking into ways to prevent the commercial development of the property, including having it turned into conservation land.


Homeowner escapes house as fire causes major damage

Fire badly damaged the home at 39 Old County Road before dawn Monday, but nobody was hurt.

The fire was reported at 2:11 a.m. The homeowner had just returned from working a late shift and was still awake, so escaped safely, said Fire Chief Glen Garland.

Firefighters brought the fire under control in 20 to 30 minutes, but it badly damaged the living room and kitchen, Garland said. He said the structure appeared sound. Investigators were still trying to determine the cause of the fire, he said.

Firefighters remained at the house until about 5:30 a.m., putting out smoldering spots and making sure the fire did not re-ignite.

The home is near the Shawnee Peak ski area. Firefighters did not have a nearby hydrant and had to shuttle water from Moose Pond, Garland said.


Official who ‘transformed’ Bowdoin will leave post

One of Bowdoin College’s top administrators is stepping down. Bill Torrey, senior vice president for planning and development, will leave his post in June.

Bowdoin’s president, Barry Mills, made the announcement Monday.

Since Torrey was named chief development officer 20 years ago, he and his staff have secured more than $600 million in contributions, Mills said.

“That is a remarkable number, given the size and history of Bowdoin, and it has quite simply transformed this college,” Mills wrote.

Mills said Torrey will remain at Bowdoin for an additional year as secretary of the college while he contemplates his next career move.


Residents can purchase composting equipment

The city is taking orders for composting bins, wing diggers, kitchen waste pails and water barrels.

City officials will take the orders for the discounted items until April 25. The items will be available for pickup beginning May 21.

The compost bins, large enough to handle the kitchen waste and yard trimmings for a family of five, cost $45, down from the original retail price of $100. They come with a 10-year warranty and are made of recycled plastic.

The wing diggers, for turning compost, cost $20 each. Kitchen pails for food scraps cost $10 each, and the 55-gallon rain barrels for collecting water for plants cost $60.

The compost bins come with a how-to guide. The city sold more than 500 bins, diggers, pails and rain barrels last year.

Orders will be taken in person, by mail at the Public Services Department, at 55 Portland St., and on order forms online. Checks or money orders should be made out to MRRA (Maine Resource Recovery Association) when an order is placed.

For more information, call the Public Services Department at 874-8801.

Egyptian rights activist will speak Tuesday at USM

Nawal El Saadawi, an Egyptian novelist, feminist and human rights activist, will speak tonight at the University of Southern Maine about the recent revolution in her country.

The free, public lecture will begin at 7 p.m. in the Talbot Auditorium at Luther Bonney Hall.

El Saadawi, a longtime opponent of the Mubarak regime, has been censored, imprisoned and threatened with death. In 2004, she ran for president of Egypt on a platform of human rights and women’s rights in the face of attacks by fundamentalists and Mubarak supporters.

El Saadawi, 80, took part in the Cairo protests from the beginning of the movement to oust President Hosni Mubarak. She is now on a speaking tour of U.S. college campuses.


Lying about military awards might incur a $10,000 fine

The Legislature is considering a bill that could impose a $10,000 fine on anyone who is convicted of lying about winning military awards and then benefiting from that deception.

False claims of military deeds and awards have been the subject of books and a national law, which has been declared unconstitutional. The bill reviewed Monday by the Legislature’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee attempts to correct the flaws in the federal law.

Supporters say similar bills are being introduced in statehouses across the country. They call lying about military achievements or awards “egregious” behavior that needs to be addressed.

But legal groups said such behavior is covered by Maine’s broader theft-by-deception law.

LePage nominates Welch for another term on PUC

Gov. Paul LePage has nominated former Public Utilities Commission Chairman Thomas Welch to serve another term on the regulatory panel.

If confirmed, Welch will join commissioners Vendean Vafiades and David Littell. He will appear before the Legislature’s Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee in the upcoming weeks.

Welch was chairman of the PUC from 1993 to 2005 and played a leading role in the adoption of incentive regulation for Maine’s telephone utility. Before that, he was a law school professor, chief deputy attorney general for Pennsylvania’s antitrust division and in-house counsel for Bell Atlantic.

Welch will fill a slot vacated by Commission Chairman Jack Cashman, who has served since 2008.


Woman faces prison, fine for fraud in medical billing

An Orrington woman faces as much as 10 years in prison and a fine of as much as $250,000 for health care fraud.

U.S. Attorney Thomas Delahanty II said Monday that Dawn Zehrung, also known as Dawn Grover, pleaded guilty. District Judge John Woodcock Jr. accepted her plea. In addition to prison time and a fine, Grover can be ordered to pay restitution.

Court records show that Grover worked for Bangor Women’s Health from 2006 until 2009, and starting in 2008 was responsible for the agency’s billing.

Delahanty says an audit showed billing for more extensive examinations than those performed, and for procedures that weren’t done. The audit showed overpayments to Bangor Woman’s Health of more than $300,000.


Schools may end customary week off for potato harvest

Two school districts in northern Maine will consider ending the tradition of closing school during the fall potato harvest.

The school boards in the Aroostook County districts were expected to vote Monday on proposals to eliminate the potato harvest from next year’s school calendar.

The Bangor Daily News said the regional school boards in Houlton and Hodgdon were expected to decide whether to continue their long-running practice of giving students a week off. Last year in Hodgdon, only five students helped with the harvest.

Historically, schools’ potato break in Aroostook County played a key role in helping farmers get in their crop. But the introduction of mechanical potato harvesters helped end the need for young people to take time off from school.


Shaheen will seek funding for a new Memorial Bridge

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., says she will push for federal funding for a new bridge across the Piscataqua River between Portsmouth and Kittery.

The $20 million in federal funding for the $90 million bridge project was approved in the fall, but was cut last month in the budget passed by the U.S. House. Both states are ready to spend their share of the project, which is supposed to start in mid-2012.

On Monday in Portsmouth, Shaheen called the proposed federal cuts “reckless” and “irresponsible.”

Shaheen said the Memorial Bridge is of vital importance to the economy and transportation systems of Maine and New Hampshire.