Chartered schooner runs aground off Great Diamond

The Wendameen, a chartered two-masted schooner, ran aground off Great Diamond Island on Saturday, the Coast Guard said.

No one was injured in the incident off the north side of the island just before low tide Saturday afternoon, which was at 4:36 p.m., said Lt. Nick Barrow of the Coast Guard.

He said the 49 passengers were being removed from the ship.

Barrow said it was likely that the boat would refloat when the tide came back in.

He also said the crew reported it was not taking on water.

A Coast Guard rescue boat, the Portland fire boat and harbor masters from Portland and Falmouth were on the scene, as was a casualty inspector for the Coast Guard.

Incidents involving commercial vessels are automatically investigated, Barrow said.

The Wendameen ran aground less than two months ago off Fort Gorges, Barrow said, hitting a charted wreck June 4. He said that incident is still under investigation.

The ship is owned by the Portland Schooner Co. According to the company’s website, the Wendameen is 88 feet long and was designed by John Alden. It was built in East Boothbay and launched in 1912.

Taxi cab hits telephone pole, causing brief power outage

Officials said power was restored in the North Deering area around 9:30 a.m. Saturday after a car struck a telephone pole earlier in the morning.

Police said a taxi hit the pole near 94 Auburn St. The pole snapped and landed on the taxi. The driver was not injured.

Crews from Central Maine Power, as well as cable and telephone companies, were on scene repairing lines. The section of road near the accident was closed to traffic.


Woman admits conspiracy in husband’s fatal shooting

A Rumford woman has pleaded guilty to criminal conspiracy and solicitation in connection with the shooting death of her husband.

In turn, two counts of murder have been dropped against 25-year-old Gayla Sheldon.

Her husband, Victor Reed Sheldon, and his friend Roger Leroy Day Jr. were fatally shot in 2009.

Eric Hamel and Richard Moulton, who was Gayla Sheldon’s boyfriend at the time, confessed to the killings and pleaded guilty to murder.

The Lewiston Sun-Journal reported that when Hamel and Moulton were arrested, they told police the killings were payback for an assault on Sheldon by her husband. Hamel told police that he and Moulton had met with Gayla Sheldon several times to plan the murders.


Agencies are investigating after inmate found hanged

Three agencies are investigating the death of a 19-year-old man who was found hanged in his cell at the Androscoggin County Jail on Wednesday night.

Kyle Farrell, listed as a transient in the jail log, was alone in his maximum-security cell at the time, Sheriff Guy Desjardins told the Sun Journal.

Auburn police had arrested him Monday on charges of robbery and refusing to submit to arrest.

Farrell had not made bail and had been arraigned Wednesday, Desjardins said

An officer doing checks every 15 minutes discovered Farrell’s body just after 6 p.m. Farrell had not been on a suicide watch.

The Maine State Police and the Department of Corrections have both launched investigations, which is standard procedure. The jail will do its own internal investigation, Desjardins said.

He declined to comment on whether there was anything suspicious about the death. 


Police officers hear shot, find shooting suspect dead

Officers outside a Norton Road home heard a gunshot Friday night and later discovered Elmer A. Norton dead inside, Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland said Saturday.

Norton, 24, had been wanted for questioning in a Livermore Falls shooting.

Norton was alone in the house at the time.

Livermore Falls police alleged that Norton had shot at a 34-year-old man on Depot Street, missed and ran away Thursday. According to court records, Norton used to live at 54 Depot St.

He had been indicted earlier this month on a charge of criminal threatening stemming from an incident June 9. He also had an outstanding arrest warrant from a domestic violence complaint June 13.

Livermore Falls Police Chief Ernest Steward Jr. had issued a statement to the press Friday while several police agencies searched for Norton.

“It is alleged that Mr. Norton had a (cellphone) altercation with the 34-year-old male victim,” Steward wrote. “He later confronted (the victim) in person at the Livermore Falls location with a handgun. He fired one shot at the victim, missing him, and ran from the area.”

That handgun had been stolen from Farmington a week earlier, police said.


Musicians planning to jam in middle of closed bridge

Musicians from Maine and New Hampshire are being asked to “meet in the middle” of a bridge now closed to vehicle traffic between both states.

The Portsmouth Herald reported that the plan is to hold a jam session Monday at 6 p.m. for the Memorial Bridge. Musicians will participate from Portsmouth, N.H., and Kittery, Maine.

The 88-year-old bridge abruptly closed Wednesday, and transportation officials said there are no plans to try to reopen the span that carries Route 1 traffic across the Piscataqua River.

The bridge will be open only to pedestrians and bicyclists until it’s torn down altogether to make way for a new bridge due to open in June 2014.

A two-day inspection that started Tuesday revealed numerous structural problems with the bridge.


Tri for a Cure expecting 1,100 participants today

About 1,100 participants are swimming, running and bicycling for the Maine Cancer Foundation’s annual Tri for a Cure event to raise money for cancer research, education, and patient assistance programs.

Thousands more spectators are also expected at today’s event in South Portland, where participating women will swim one-third of a mile, bike 15 miles and run 3.1 miles.

Now in its fourth year, the event raised about $1 million last year. The foundation is hoping to do even better this year.

— From staff and news services