Medical condition may have caused fatal car crash

A Freeport man was killed Wednesday in a single-car crash in Durham.

The Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Department said Michael Connolly, 51, died after his car went off Pinkham Brook Road and hit a large pine tree. The accident was reported at 10:05 a.m. Wednesday. Connolly was alone in the car.

Police said witnesses told them that Connolly’s 2003 Kia Spectra went straight instead of going around a curve — his brake lights never came on. Police suspect the crash may have been caused by a medical condition.


Men in credit union robbery may have cased other banks

Police responded Wednesday to a robbery at the University Credit Union at 391 Forest Ave.

Police said at 1:45 p.m. two men wearing hooded sweat shirts approached a teller, said they had a weapon and demanded money.

They did not display a weapon and nobody was hurt, police said.

The men are described as young black, tall and thin. No further description was given.

Two other banks in the area reported people fitting the same description that were acting suspicious at those banks prior to the University Credit Union robbery.

The two suspects were reportedly speaking a foreign language, police said.


William Carter, longtime Lincoln County sheriff, dies

A former longtime sheriff of Lincoln County died Wednesday at Maine Medical Center in Portland.

William Carter, 72, died after a long illness, according to a press release issued by the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.

Carter took office in January 1965 and held the position until his retirement in 2002. His tenure of 37 years is the longest ever by a Lincoln County sheriff.

Born and raised in the Lincoln County town of Jefferson, Carter was just 26 when he became sheriff. Back then, the county was patrolled by part-time deputies. All police-related calls were sent by Carter’s office to his home.

It wasn’t until 1971 that full-time deputies were hired.

From 1962 to 1965, Carter worked for the police department in Damariscotta, where he was eventually appointed chief of police.


School bus driver in sex case indicted on 15 new charges

A former New Hampshire school bus driver already indicted on federal charges involving the sexual exploitation of children has been indicted by the state on 15 new charges alleging he sexually abused a local child and filmed the incidents on a school bus.

When he was arrested in September, John Allen Wright, 45, of Milton was a driver for special needs children in Kittery, Rochester and other areas.

Past charges allege Wright had pornographic images of child sexual abuse on his computer and that he assaulted a boy in Maine. The new charges allege he engaged in sexual acts with a boy, now 5, between 2009 and 2011, filming the incidents on his bus.

Wright’s lawyer did not return calls seeking comment Tuesday.


Police suspect three in theft of elderly man’s checks

Police have identified three people suspected of stealing two check books from an 85-year-old Guilford man and writing $32,000 worth of fraudulent checks.

Piscataquis County sheriff’s investigator Allen Emerson says Johnathan Lehman, 22, of Guilford was arrested Tuesday and Brent Wells, 42, of St. Albans was arrested Saturday. Both are charged with forgery.

The third suspect, a 37-year-old Etna woman, is in jail in Florida and has not yet been charged.

Emerson tells the Bangor Daily News Wells and Lehman were hired by the elderly man in October to remove scrap metal from his property.

The victim discovered the theft when a check he wrote in December to pay for the work bounced.

Police say electronics and other items bought with the stolen checks were found in Wells’ home.


Olympic medalist Wescott partners with L.L. Bean

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Seth Wescott will partner with L.L. Bean in the new year.

Wescott will serve as brand ambassador and assist product developers and product testing. He’ll also make appearances on behalf of L.L. Bean as the company celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2012.

The Maine native is a spokesman for Maine’s “Take it Outside” and “WinterKids” programs that support healthy and active lifestyles. He says he’s proud to be working with L.L. Bean because the brand is associated with “quality, outdoor recreation and healthy active living.”

Wescott won his first gold medal in the inaugural snowboardcross in the Turin Olympics, then collected gold again Vancouver.


Head-on crash kills Massachusetts driver

Police say a Massachusetts man died in a head-on crash with a pickup truck in Maine.

State police say Dallas Whatley, 39, of Taunton, Mass., crossed the centerline on Route 1A in front of Dedham Town Hall and struck the other vehicle about 9:20 a.m. on Tuesday.

Whatley was pronounced dead at the scene. Police say he was visiting friends in the community south of Bangor.

The driver of the pickup, James Sullivan of Sorrento, suffered a leg injury and required hospitalization.


Support for service project nets 80 American flags

Eighty American flags will fly over the streets of Wilton, East Wilton and East Dixfield next year thanks to a service project that has drawn unexpected support from the community.

It started as a community service project for members of the Wilton Day Extension Homemakers, who at first planned just a few flags in downtown Wilton.

But donations started pouring in and the organization raised about $2,000, enough money to raise 80 flags in the three communities that will fly from May to November.

Extension member Hazel Flagg tells the Sun Journal she was “flabbergasted” by the response.

Some people have given donations to purchase a flag to honor an individual or veteran in their lives.

Donations are still being accepted.


Heating oil business owner sentenced in tax fraud case

The owner of a Maine heating oil business is being sentenced to five months in jail for tax fraud.

Attorney General William Schneider says Andrew Murphy Sr., 49, of Bangor was sentenced Tuesday after being convicted of 14 counts of state tax fraud, including theft of withholding tax, intentional tax evasion, failure to pay over withholding tax and making false statements in tax returns. He must also pay $65,713 in restitution.

Murphy operates a fuel oil and trucking delivery business. He pleaded guilty in August following an investigation covering 2005 through 2010.

During this time period Murphy repeatedly reported to Maine Revenue Services that he had no employees, when in fact he had several. Instead of handing over the withholding taxes he kept the money.


First work force training graduates to get certificates

Maine Labor Commissioner Robert Winglass will present certificates to the first class of graduates from a new work force training program this week.

The Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership program is funded by the state Department of Labor and Unity Foundation. The graduation ceremony will be held today in Lewiston.

The nine graduates are previously unemployed workers, including three veterans. They’ll receive job offers from WahlcoMetroflex, an engineering and manufacturing firm in Lewiston.

The jobs program provides customized training in high-tech mobile classrooms for careers in manufacturing and is designed to address the skills shortage in Maine.

— From staff and news services