Surprise snow squall causes slew of minor accidents

An unexpected snow squall that coated parts of Maine with up to an inch of snow created slippery roads and led to scores of minor traffic accidents Saturday morning.

Police didn’t report any serious injuries, but responded to various slide-offs and fender benders around the region.

Much of the trouble was being reported along the midcoast, from Topsham to Wiscasset and Boothbay Harbor. Multiple reports were coming from routes 1 and 27.

“We have a cold front dropping through the area now,” Chris Legro, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Gray, said Saturday.

The cold air colliding with warmer air resulted in heavy snow showers in some locations.


Family awarded $8.5 million in lawsuit over Maine death

A New Hampshire woman and her two children have won $8.5 million in a wrongful death lawsuit against a trucking company.

A federal court jury in Concord concluded Thursday that Loignon Champ-Carr Inc. negligently caused the death of 38-year-old Jon Paul Lacaillade II of Meredith.

Lacaillade was killed in 2008 when a Loignon tractor-trailer ran over and killed him while he was bicycling in Porter, Maine.

The Citizen reported that Lacaillade’s widow, Michele Lacaillade, and their two children filed suit last year against the company, which is based in Quebec and has a U.S. presence in Cornville and Jackman, Maine.

The newspaper said attorneys for Michele Lacaillade and the trucking company could not be reached for comment.


After armed bank holdup, man escapes on bicycle

Police say a man who robbed a central Maine bank made his getaway on a bicycle before jumping into a pickup truck driven by an accomplice.

The Kennebec County Sheriff’s Department said a man armed with a handgun and wearing a ski mask pulled over his nose and mouth robbed the Border Trust Co. in China of an undisclosed amount of cash around 10:30 a.m. Friday.

Witnesses said they saw the suspect ride a bicycle a short distance before jumping into the truck, which then sped away. Police later found the bike in a ditch.


Jury selection scheduled in triple-murder trial

A Maine judge has scheduled a date for jury selection to begin in the case of a young man charged with murdering two men and a 10-year-old boy in a tiny northern Maine town.

Justice E. Allen Hunter has ordered that jury selection begin April 4 in 21-year-old Thayne Ormsby’s murder trial. An Aroostook County Superior Court clerk told the Bangor Daily News that two weeks have been set aside for jury selection, after which the trial will begin.

Ormsby is charged with fatally stabbing 55-year-old Jeffrey Ryan, his son Jesse, and 30-year-old Jason Dehahn, a friend and neighbor, at Ryan’s home in Amity on June 22, 2010.

Ormsby has pleaded not guilty. He is being held without bail.


Wreath company teaching lessons in making garlands

The eastern Maine wreath company that started the annual tradition of placing thousands of wreaths on grave sites at Arlington National Cemetery is opening its doors to teach people how to make their own wreaths.

Residents this weekend are invited to Worcester Wreath Co. in Harrington, where they can learn how to make a Christmas wreath and take home their creation free of charge. The wreath-making took place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and was scheduled to continue during the same time period today.

Morrill and Karen Worcester said they offered wreath-making instructions to give thanks to Mainers for their support of the Wreaths Across America program, which this year placed some 90,000 wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery.

Morrill Worcester began the tradition 20 years ago.


Whole-body scanners rolled out at airport

The latest generation of full-body security scanners has been rolled out at the airport in Manchester.

The Transportation Security Administration last week unveiled three whole-body imaging scanners installed at the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport. They’ll be in use throughout the holiday travel season.

TSA officials said the scanners display a generic outline of a male or female body. They are designed to detect weapons and explosives, using electromagnetic technology.

Passengers who don’t want to go through a scanner can still go through an old-style metal detector and be subject to a pat-down search.


Police on lookout for man in attempted kidnapping

Police are looking for a man they say tried to kidnap and rob a woman in a store parking lot in Portsmouth.

Police say a man pulled a handgun on a woman after she drove into the Ocean State Job Lot parking lot around 1:20 p.m. Saturday.

The woman told detectives she offered the man money, but he refused and instead forced his way into the car. As he got in, she escaped.

The suspect was described as a black man in his late teens or early 20s. He was wearing baggy clothes and a ripped puffy jacket.

— From staff and news services