E. coli forces closing of Crystal Lake beach

High levels of E. coli bacteria have led town officials to close Wilkies Beach on Crystal Lake.
Tests done Monday showed that E. coli levels exceed healthy standards, said Recreation Director Dean Bennett. The most likely culprit is a large flock of geese that has made the pond home, he said.

Officials will take more water samples today and expect to know by Friday whether the beach can reopen, he said.

The beach is small, but the town’s day camp typically uses it, and on a sunny day 50 to 100 people are there, Bennett said.


Man who drove into househad taken drugs, police say

A Portland man who drove into a house on Allen Avenue Extension on Tuesday is scheduled to go to court Sept. 8 on charges of driving under the influence of drugs.

Police charged Sean Fusco, 25, after the 7 p.m. crash. Fusco was driving on Ledgewood Drive and apparently ran a stop sign without slowing down, police said, crashing into the front room of the house at about 35 mph.

“Thank God nobody was in the house or passing in front of him on Allen Avenue,” said police Lt. John Kilbride.

Fusco indicated that he is taking prescription medication but was charged after a drug recognition officer determined he was impaired, Kilbride said. He could not explain to officers where he was or what had happened, he said.

Fusco was not seriously injured.


Child porn convict can be freed on bail, court rules

A federal appeals court says a former Maine drug prosecutor who is serving a 16-year sentence for a child pornography conviction can be freed on bail while his appeal is pending.

The decision by the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturns a decision by a federal judge in Maine who ruled that James Cameron had to remain in prison while his case is pending.

Cameron was convicted in March of 13 counts of sending, receiving and possessing child pornography in 2006 and 2007.

The Bangor Daily News said Cameron, 49, of Hallowell, has been held in a federal prison in Littleton, Colo.


72-year-old found two days after getting lost near camp

The Maine Warden Service says a man from York was found two days after he disappeared from his remote lakeside camp.

A search team found Frank Wallace, 72, at 8 a.m. Wednesday on a dirt road in an unorganized township north of Chesuncook Lake, about 20 miles west of Mount Katahdin.

Wallace was reported missing Monday afternoon by a friend who got concerned when Wallace didn’t return from an outing to pick mushrooms.

Lt. Kevin Adam said once Wallace realized he was lost, he stayed on woods roads until he was found about a mile from his camp.

Adam said Wallace was wet and slightly hypothermic and had minor cuts and bruises. He was taken to Millinocket Hospital for observation.


Mom whose baby ingested cocaine pleads not guilty

A mother whose 18-month-old baby swallowed cocaine has pleaded not guilty to charges of child endangerment, unlawful possession of scheduled drugs and falsifying physical evidence.

Jillian Jones, 21, of Bingham entered the pleas to the three misdemeanor charges Tuesday in

Kennebec County Superior Court. Justice Michaela Murphy appointed attorney Sherry Tash to represent her.

Jones is due back in court Oct. 4. Murphy continued the $10,000 unsecured bail that had been set earlier.

Conditions of bail ban Jones from contact with Justin Currier, the baby’s father.

Published reports said Jones and Currier, 30, were arrested and charged after the incident in their apartment building in Oakland on June 23. The baby was taken to the hospital and kept overnight.

No court date is set for Currier, who is being held on a charge of violating probation.

Oakland Police Chief Rick Stubbert said earlier that the child was playing unsupervised, apparently found cocaine in the apartment and ingested some of it. Both parents were in the room with the toddler at the time, he said.

Stubbert said it wasn’t known how much cocaine the child swallowed.


Massachusetts man injured after swerving to avoid car

A Massachusetts man was injured when he swerved to avoid another car in the northbound lanes of the Maine Turnpike in York on Wednesday.

Mahad Ali, 24, was driving his red 2008 Toyota Camry in the left lane at 1:45 p.m. when another car, a red Volvo with Vermont plates, drifted into his lane, state police said.

He swerved to avoid the car, over-corrected and crossed three lanes of traffic before ending up about 100 feet off the east side of the road, police said.

Ali was taken to York Hospital with a broken clavicle.

His two passengers were not injured. All three were wearing seat belts, police said.

Police continue to try to identify the driver of the other vehicle.


DNC chairwoman urges Mainers to get involved

The Democratic National Committee chairwoman is telling party members in Maine to get organized at the grass-roots level in preparation for the 2012 elections.

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida was in Maine on Tuesday, meeting with party activists, leaders and volunteers.

Speaking at the Portland Public Library, she said money in politics gets a lot of attention, but volunteers’ time is much more valuable. She said the party can’t win without volunteers knocking on doors and making telephone calls.

– From staff and news services