Soule Lane resident faces charges after foot chase

A Soule Lane resident who led police on a foot chase through the woods late Saturday is facing domestic assault and weapons charges.

Police arrived at 36 Soule Lane around 11 p.m. after receiving reports of a domestic disturbance, Police Chief Troy Cline said. Neighbors told police they witnessed an argument between Tammy Morton, 42, and Michael Burns, 28, who lives in a camper-trailer on the property.

Shortly after police arrived, they heard a single gunshot from nearby woods, and witnesses said Burns had fled into the woods with a 20-gauge shotgun.

Officers from Damariscotta, the Lincoln and Sagadahoc county sheriff’s offices, the Maine Warden Service and the Maine State Police Tactical Team assisted in a search of the woods. They found Burns around 1:30 a.m. Sunday and took him into custody, seizing a loaded shotgun as evidence. No one was injured in the chase.

Burns faces charges of domestic assault, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and creating a police standoff. He is being held at the Lincoln County Jail on $8,000 bail.


Driver who fled from police dies when vehicle hits tree

A driver who sped away after police tried to make a traffic stop for speeding was killed in a crash Sunday.

Officer Josh Muise attempted to stop the vehicle on Willis Park Road around 12:30 p.m., according to Bridgton police, who said the driver sped off on Route 302, passing several vehicles at high speed.

Witnesses said the driver turned onto Kansas Road and then lost control of the vehicle, which went airborne before hitting a tree.

The driver, the car’s only occupant, was killed. Police declined to release the driver’s name until relatives are notified.

Police did not say whether the crash was the result of a high-speed chase, or whether the driver was a man or a woman. Bridgton Police Chief Kevin Schofield is expected to provide more details today.


Veterans Memorial Bridge to be shut down at night

The Maine Transportation Department says a Portland-area bridge will be shut down at night this week due to construction of the new Veterans Memorial Bridge, which began in July 2010.

The existing Veterans Memorial Bridge, which connects Portland’s West End to South Portland over the Fore River, will be closed from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. from today through Saturday morning.

The closure will enable construction crews to install an underground communication conduit. Detour signs listing best alternate routes will be set up.

Construction of the new bridge is on schedule and is expected to be finished next summer, with the removal of the old bridge to be completed in December 2012.

Maine cruise ship season draws to a close this week

The Maine cruise ship season is drawing to a close.

Portland hosted its final cruise ship of the season Sunday, and Bar Harbor is due to get its final ships Wednesday.

The final ship to visit Portland was the 962-foot Jewel of the Seas, which carried 2,100 passengers and 869 crew. It was scheduled to leave port Sunday evening for Bar Harbor.

In Bar Harbor, two ships — the Caribbean Princess and the Poesia — are due in port Wednesday to mark the end of the cruise ship season there.

In all, Portland had 65 cruise ships call this year. Bar Harbor is scheduled to end the season with 106 visits.


Health officials offering kits to test for lead paint dust

Maine health officials are offering free kits to parents of children born in Maine last year to test for lead paint dust in homes.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention says brochures are being mailed to more than 11,000 families as part of an effort to eliminate childhood lead poisoning. The brochure includes instructions on how to obtain test kits.

Dr. Sheila Pinette, director of the Maine CDC, says the kits will help parents determine if they have dust from lead paint, which can be found in homes built before 1978.

Nearly 300 families in Maine took advantage of free test kits last year. About 25 percent of them identified lead dust and received information on how to address the problem.


Three downtown buildings demolished for new park

The central Maine town of Skowhegan is going to have a different look.

Three vacant downtown buildings were reduced to rubble over the weekend and the debris was being hauled away. The demolition site was at the corner of Madison Avenue and Commercial Street.

Ten to 15 tons of debris were being taken to a Waste Management landfill in Norridgewock. Crews were expected to have the site backfilled with sand and loam by Sunday night.

A park will take the place of the demolished buildings.


Fish mislabeled nearly half the time, newspaper says

A published report says DNA analysis of fish sold at more than 130 restaurants, stores and seafood markets in eastern Massachusetts found it was mislabeled almost half of the time.

The Boston Globe reports that DNA tests it commissioned found many fish were labeled as more expensive and nutritious varieties, but actually were cheaper and less desirable species.

The fish often was caught thousands of miles away and frozen, not hauled in by local fishermen as the menus claimed.

Some restaurant owners whose fish was mislabeled told the newspaper that they were misled by distributors. Others acknowledged they swap species when supplies are low or fresh fish isn’t available, or to trim costs.

Federal officials say they are working to develop a better program to identify mislabeled fish using DNA analysis.

— From staff and news services