Bay State woman’s body found in Stanley Pond

State officials said the body of a missing swimmer has been recovered from a pond in Hiram.

The Maine Warden Service said Kathleen Whitehouse, 47, of Malden, Mass., was reported missing Tuesday evening by her family when she didn’t return to her camp. She was last seen swimming in Stanley Pond earlier in the day.

On Wednesday morning, Maine Warden Service divers, search dogs and a plane were used to search the small pond and area.

Her body was found Wednesday afternoon and taken to the Medical Examiner’s Office to determine the cause of death.


SAD 61 residents to vote on rejected budget again

Residents of the four towns in School Administrative District 61 will vote Tuesday on the same $26.6 million budget that they rejected in June.

The district’s board of directors removed $75,000 from the budget at a meeting in July, but residents at a district budget meeting Tuesday voted to restore that funding.

Voters in SAD 61, which covers Casco, Sebago, Naples and Bridgton, have twice rejected the proposed budget for 2011-12.

The first proposal, for $26.8 million, was rejected by all four towns at a referendum in May. School officials cut $262,000 from that budget by eliminating a kindergarten teacher, a part-time library clerk and a transition program between middle and high school.

The second proposal, for $26.6 million, was rejected in Casco and Sebago but approved in Bridgton and, by one vote, in Naples. Overall, it failed by 16 votes.

After that vote, the board cut a first-grade teacher and decided to start charging a fee for community groups to use the school facilities, bringing the budget down to $26.5 million.

The money was restored in a town-hall style vote Tuesday after parents of elementary school students and groups that rely on the free use of school facilities spoke about the effect of those proposed cuts, said SAD 61 Finance Coordinator Sherrie Small.

Small said about 125 people attended the meeting at Lake Region High School.


Four taken to hospital after two-car accident

Four people were taken to local hospitals following a two-car crash Wednesday night at the intersection of Carl Broggi Highway and Upper Middle Road.

Jason Cole, Lebanon’s Assistant Rescue Chief, said none of the people injured, including an infant, suffered life-threatening injuries.

The infant was in a car operated by a 16-year-old girl, who apparently was checking on the baby when her vehicle rear-ended a Nissan sports utility vehicle that had stopped to make a turn. The 16-year-old, the baby, and a 17-year-old passenger were evaluated at Goodall Hospital before being released.

The infant was protected by a properly installed car seat, Cole said.

The driver of the second car, a 43-year-old woman, remained at Goodall Hospital Wednesday night.

The accident was reported at 5:07 p.m.


Man charged in burning of fire investigator’s car

A Prentiss Township man was charged with arson after he allegedly set fire to a state fire marshal investigator’s vehicle.

Sgt. Timothy York had parked his state-owned 2009 Chevrolet Impala off the Aurora Road in the tiny northern Maine township as he and two other investigators probed three fires that had been set in the past 10 months.

When York returned at 12:30 a.m., he found his car had been doused with a flammable liquid and ignited. The fire burned the car as well as some of York’s personal belongings that were inside, authorities said.

Fire investigators, state police, wardens and Penobscot County sheriff’s deputies responded and a police dog tracked a scent to the property of John Weckerly, 53, about a half-mile away from the fire.

He was arrested by the Fire Marshal’s Office without incident, but has not been charged in the previous fires, two of which damaged a garage, last November and July 3, and one a seasonal camp, which was reported July 20. Those investigations continue.


Amtrak Exhibit Train visiting town Aug. 13, 14

An Amtrak Exhibit Train will visit Freeport on Aug. 13 and 14, offering a unique showcase of the railroad’s history in celebration of its 40th anniversary.

The free exhibit is touring the nation with a display of memorabilia including vintage advertising, past menus and dinnerware, and period uniforms. The exhibit will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Representatives of the Amtrak Downeaster, Maine Eastern Railroad, Pan Am Railways, Operation Lifesaver and TrainRiders Northeast will offer educational exhibits, refreshments, kids’ entertainment, ticket giveaways and other train displays.


Health clinic will open downtown on Monday

The Mid Coast Primary Care and Walk-In Clinic is set to open Monday in downtown Brunswick.

The 10,000-square-foot health center is in Brunswick Station on Station Avenue.

Lois Skillings, president and CEO of Mid Coast Health Services, said it will be the region’s first non-emergency walk-in clinic and will provide high-quality, accessible care closer to patients’ homes.

The clinic is intended for people of all ages who have minor medical problems and are unable to see their own doctor, or do not have a primary care provider. Fees at the clinic are lower than those charged at an emergency room.

The clinic will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the week and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekends.

Mid Coast’s Adult Primary Care, formerly on the main campus of Mid Coast Hospital will move its practice to Brunswick Station. The primary care office will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and can be reached at 373-6848.

Both offices will open to patients on Monday.


Utility grants easement to save Indian Pond land

Maine officials said the state has been granted a conservation easement on Indian Pond at the headwaters of the Kennebec River.

According to the governor’s office, FPL Energy Maine Hydro LLC granted the easement as part of a settlement in relicensing Harris Dam, at the southern end of the pond in Indian Stream Township.

The easement covers 1,278 acres, including 52 miles of shoreline. The pond is just off Moosehead Lake and marks the beginning of the Kennebec River.

Under terms of the easement, the lands cannot be developed and can be used for education and conservation purposes and low-impact public recreation.

Gov. Paul LePage said Wednesday that preserving the land is a “win-win situation” for the adjoining working forest, the region’s recreation economy and wildlife habitat.


Underground camera will explore sinkhole

The Maine Department of Transportation will use an underground camera to help determine what caused an 8-foot by 10-foot sinkhole to form in a Route 1 intersection in Ellsworth before making a permanent fix.

Department of Transportation crews filled the hole with gravel early Tuesday after the hole formed following a storm Monday night.

Department of Transportation spokesman Mark Latti said an old, underground drainage system was undermined during the storm. The hole was filled with 10 cubic yards of gravel.

Latti told the Bangor Daily News officials will make a more permanent repair, but they want to diagnose the problem properly first. So they’re going to use an underground camera to investigate the drainage system.


Rescuers take nine hours to retrieve injured hiker

Officials said it took rescuers nine hours to bring an injured hiker to safety after he fell and possibly broke his shoulder on a western Maine mountain.

The Maine Warden Service said rescuers responded to a call shortly after 10 a.m. Tuesday of a hiker on the Appalachian Trail who had injured himself in the Bigelow Range in Dead River Township.

A warden service spokesman told the Sun Journal it took a long time to get 52-year-old Douglas Doane of Atlantic Beach, Fla., out of the woods because the trail is so remote and fairly steep.

Barrett said Doane was taken by ambulance to Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington. He said Doane was hiking with his niece and had been hiking different sections of the Appalachian Trail.


Seven-year-old boy loses a foot in mower accident

A 7-year-old boy was in the hospital after losing a foot in a lawn mower accident. Old Town Fire officials said the accident Monday evening at the Regency Trailer Park on Route 2 happened as the boy ran toward his grandfather, who was cutting the grass with a riding mower.

Old Town Police officer Debbie Holmes says the boy tried to stop as he neared the mower, but he slipped and slid partly underneath it. The boy’s name was not released.

The boy was flown to the Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, where he was listed in fair condition on Tuesday.

The Bangor Daily News said the community is now trying to raise money to help the family.


Veterans hospital renamed VA Maine HCS, for short

The VA hospital at Togus will now be known as VA Maine Healthcare System, VA Maine HCS for short, according to officials.

The change was made “to better align with other facilities in the VA New England Healthcare System,” according to the medical center’s website, which has been changed from www.togus.gov to www.maine.va.gov.

The change includes the medical center’s community-based clinics and outreach clinics, which will be under the VA Maine HCS title.

— From staff and news services