Massachusetts woman indicted in Old Orchard Beach fatality

A Massachusetts woman was indicted on manslaughter and drunken driving charges by a York County grand jury this week.

Old Orchard Beach police working with detectives in Bellingham, Mass., arrested Debra Gentile, 47, on a warrant in August while she was living in Blackstone, Mass. Gentile was at the wheel Dec. 12 when the sport utility vehicle she was driving crashed into a tree on Temple Avenue, killing her boyfriend, Michael Daigle, 50, said Old Orchard Beach Detective Brady Coulombe.

When police arrived, Gentile was injured but outside the car and would not cooperate or speak with investigators, Coulombe said. Her blood alcohol content was .16, twice the legal limit, police said.

Gentile is being held in York County Jail on $10,000 bail.


Sheriff’s deputy says firearm was stolen from his cruiser

A Maine sheriff’s deputy reported that his duty firearm was stolen from the trunk of his unmarked cruiser while he attended training in Knoxville, Tenn.

The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department said the deputy was attending the National Forensic Academy at the University of Tennessee when someone broke into the cruiser early Wednesday.

The department said a .40-caliber handgun, photo identification, badge, camera equipment, flashlight and personal items were stolen. Local police are investigating.

LePage says automakers call state energy costs too high

Gov. Paul LePage says the state’s high energy costs have deterred Japanese and Korean automakers and other businesses that might otherwise want to come to Maine.

LePage told business leaders at the Portland Regional Chamber’s Eggs and Issues on Thursday that Japanese and Korean automakers have been looking to expand geographically. But one consul general told him “we cannot afford your energy,” LePage said.

LePage also touched on a variety of economic development issues and reiterated that he plans to introduce a bill to eliminate income taxes on retirees’ pensions.

Eder says he’ll keep running despite scholarship to Ireland

John Eder will continue to run for mayor despite winning a scholarship to study in Ireland next spring.

Eder, a student at Southern Maine Community College, won a scholarship from the George J. Mitchell Scholarship Exchange program to study next semester at the Cork Institute of Technology in Ireland.

Eder said he is committed to winning the mayoral race and will decline the scholarship if he’s elected in November.

But if he loses the race, he said, he will take the scholarship.

Portland man facing charges for Munjoy Hill crash July 4

A Cumberland County grand jury has charged a Portland man with driving to endanger, criminal mischief and leaving the scene of an accident stemming from a July 4 crash on Munjoy Hill that hospitalized a pedestrian.

Jason Beaudoin, 34, was indicted in connection with the crash that sent Steve Makris to the hospital with serious injuries including a head injury. The driving to endanger charge is a felony.

Three months after the crash, Makris remains at Maine Medical Center. He had just moved to Maine for work and was visiting a friend the night of Portland’s July 4 fireworks when a Dodge Durango backed into his Honda Accord, witnesses said. After the Durango pushed the car back several feet, Makris confronted the driver, Beaudoin.

Beaudoin drove off with Makris at first hanging onto the Durango, then falling to the ground, witnesses said. Makris’s 3-year-old son is staying with relatives.

Civic center offers free skating to public over the weekend

The Cumberland County Civic Center is opening its ice rink to the public for free skating this weekend.

On Saturday and Sunday, from 1-5 p.m., skaters can join Portland Pirates’ mascots Salty Pete and Crackers on the ice.

Skate rental will not be available, and hockey sticks and pucks will not be allowed on the ice.

For more information, call the civic center at 775-3458.

Police searching for suspect who robbed convenience store

Portland police are looking for a man who robbed the Big Apple convenience store at 1585 Forest Ave.

The man entered the store around 8:25 p.m. Wednesday and demanded money. The clerk complied and the man fled.

The man is described as white, about 5-foot-8, with a medium build and short brown hair. He wore a gray New England Patriots hooded sweatshirt, jeans and white sneakers, police said.

Police, state medical examiner identify body of R.I. woman

Portland police and the state medical examiner have identified the body found off St. John Street on Sept. 21.

Vicki Jacobs, 37, was originally from Warwick, R.I., and had moved to Portland a couple of months before her death, police said. She had been staying at Florence House.

Police used letters that were in the woman’s possession to contact family members and then the state medical examiner was able to use medical records to confirm the identity.

The skeletal remains were discovered by two men walking the path between St. John Street and railroad tracks. The woman apparently had been dead for several weeks before being found, police said.


Authority predicts traffic on par with last year’s Columbus Day

The Maine Turnpike is predicting Columbus Day holiday weekend traffic will be about the same or a little lighter than last year’s.

The turnpike authority says around 244,000 vehicles are expected to pass through the York toll gate during the long weekend.

The forecast model from the University of Southern Maine’s Center for Business and Economic Activity estimates a 2.7 percent decrease in incoming traffic Friday and Saturday, and outbound traffic to be roughly equal to last year’s.

Maine State Housing Authority releases salaries of employees

Responding to a request from a conservative public policy group, the Maine State Housing Authority is releasing the salaries of its employees.

The state agency released the information in response to a revised Freedom of Access Act request filed last week by the Maine Heritage Policy Center.

The website shows the director’s position held by Dale McCormick is paid $101,520 per year, the treasurer is paid $115,314, and on the lower end, a data entry clerk is paid $15,990.

McCormick also said Maine Housing employees were paid on average 15 percent less than the comparable statewide average. She noted that no state funds support Maine Housing personnel costs.

State takes further step toward setting up charter schools

Maine is taking another step toward establishment of charter schools in the state.

The Legislature authorized charter schools this year. Thursday, the state Board of Education appointed the first three members of the state Charter School Commission, as called for in the new law.

The new commissioners, James A. Banks Sr. of Portland, Marilyn Temple Tardy of Palmyra and Jana Lapoint of Falmouth, all state education board members, must now nominate four more members. The other state Board of Education members will vote on those nominations.


Massabesic student charged with shooting soccer player

The York County Sheriff’s Department says a Massabesic High School student used a BB gun to shoot a Kennebunk Middle School soccer player in Waterboro.

Witnesses saw two to three young people fleeing with a rifle after a Kennebunk player was shot in the shoulder while standing near his team’s bench during a game against host Massabesic Middle School.

Maj. William King said deputies canvassed the neighborhood Wednesday and focused on two suspects matching the description given by the soccer team.

He said the gun was seized and the high school student confessed. He said the teenager, who was on probation for criminal mischief, was charged with reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon and assault.


Dayton teen who flipped car treated, released from hospital

A 17-year-old Dayton driver who flipped his car and hit a utility pole Wednesday has been released from the hospital.

Route 5 in Dayton was shut down and traffic diverted for about five hours while emergency crews rescued Evan Kiesiner and utility crews worked to restore power.

York County sheriff’s deputies said Kiesiner was driving on Route 5 near 1046 New County Road about 3:30 p.m. when the 2001 Ford Focus he was operating flipped and hit a utility pole, knocking down several live wires and trapping him inside, the sheriff’s office said.

Kiesiner was extricated and taken to Southern Maine Medical Center by Goodwin’s Mills Fire and Rescue. He was treated and released.


Toddler found drinking alcohol now in custody of his mother

Brunswick police say a 2-year-old found drinking Steel Reserve lager near his unresponsive father at the city’s homeless shelter is now in the custody of his mother.

Family members had been unable to get in touch with Shane Sawler, 35, Wednesday and he didn’t answer the door of his apartment at the Tedford Family Shelter on Federal Street, police said.

When staff entered the apartment at 4 p.m., they found Sawler unresponsive and his son on the floor, drinking from a 40-ounce can of beer, Deputy Chief Marc Hagan said. There were other empty beer cans on the floor of the apartment.

Sawler, once roused, refused to answer police questions and became belligerent, Hagan said. He was taken to Midcoast Hospital, where he was placed in protective custody, Hagan said. He was issued a summons Thursday morning to appear in court on a charge of endangering the welfare of a child, Hagan said.

The boy was taken to Parkview Hospital for observation and was kept overnight after police contacted the Department of Health and Human Services. The boy was placed in the custody of his mother, who had been at work when the incident occurred, Hagan said.

Police were unable to say how much alcohol the boy had consumed.

Steel Reserve brands include “Triple Export Malt Liquor” and “High Gravity Lager” and is known for its high alcohol content and low price.


Swimmer pronounced dead after being pulled from river

A 51-year-old man drowned Thursday morning in the Kennebec River, according to Bath police.

Police said the man is a local resident, but did not release his name.

Around 6:40 a.m., a person walking a dog in Bath’s dog park noticed a man who appeared to be swimming in the river.

The person flagged down a Bath Iron Works patrol boat near the park, and the boat’s crew pulled the man from the water. 

Attempts to resuscitate him failed. The man was pronounced dead at Bath’s Waterfront Park.