Fire destroys family’s home; cause is under investigation

The Saco Fire Department said a fire that broke out Wednesday night in a two-story home in Saco’s downtown destroyed the structure.

Capt. Bill Madore said the home at 55 Common St. — behind Rapid Ray’s restaurant on Main Street — was engulfed in flames by the time fire trucks arrived just after 8 p.m.

The home is owned by Robert Sink and his wife, Lisa Perry, who have a 5-year-old son, Owen Perry.

Robert Sink watched as firefighters knocked holes in his windows and roof to put out the flames. He said he and his son were playing a video game when flames shot out of a socket near the television.

Madore said no one was injured and the family dog is safe. The cause remains under investigation.


Condition of Saco woman hurt in accident improves

The condition of a Saco woman who was critically injured in a two-car crash at Holmes and Beech Ridge roads Tuesday night was upgraded on Wednesday.

John Lamb, a spokesman for Maine Medical Center, listed 51-year-old Julia Jacobson-Maloney’s condition from critical to fair on Wednesday.

Scarborough police were forced to shut down Holmes Road for more than four hours after Jacobson-Maloney’s Honda Accord collided with a Chevrolet Suburban operated by 32-year-old Erron Pennell of Limington.

Pennell was treated and released from the hospital.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.


Officials keep library open, will vote next Wednesday

Old Orchard Beach’s public library is staying open — for now.

Town councilors and trustees of the Libby Memorial Library met Tuesday and verbally agreed not to close the facility.

Trustees had said they would close the library on Wednesday because the town had withheld its quarterly payment in a dispute over finances. Trustees said that meant they could not pay employees.

The town wanted control of the library’s budget after an investigation into the alleged embezzlement of funds by a former bookkeeper who has since died.

Town officials say the employees will be paid.

A meeting is scheduled for next Wednesday to vote on whether to keep the library open.


Maine woman admits theft of funds from Yellowstone

A Maine woman who once worked for the federal government at Yellowstone National Park has admitted to stealing nearly $7,500 from the park.

Danel Nickerson of Kittery pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Maine on Tuesday to embezzlement of government money.

Nickerson, 45, was indicted in January by a grand jury in Casper, Wyo. The case was moved to Maine at her request.

Prosecutors say Nickerson’s job at the park in 2007 included counting cash that had been collected at park entry points. Authorities say she stole the money by concealing cash-filled envelopes with other paperwork on her desk, or by hiding them in her trash.

The Bangor Daily News reported that her lawyer said she has paid full restitution. Her sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 8.


Warden’s deadly shooting of police officer justified

Maine’s attorney general said a game warden was justified in using deadly force in a shooting last November that killed a part-time police officer.

Eric Richard, 46, was fatally shot Nov. 10 by Warden Jeremy Judd after pointing a firearm at Judd, the Attorney General’s Office concluded.

A group of wardens and state troopers found Richard sitting under a tarp in some woods behind his Rumford home. The search team had been called after the potentially suicidal Richard — a part-time police officer as well as a full-time administrative officer for the Rumford Police Department — had ventured into the woods the previous evening with a handgun.

In a report released Wednesday, Attorney General William Schneider wrote that Judd fired three rounds after Richard pointed a handgun at Judd and other officers.

Bill for overtime totals $300 or less for GOP convention

It turns out the Maine GOP didn’t run up a huge tab from the Augusta Civic Center for keeping the lights on after the convention ran late Sunday.

GOP Chairman Charlie Webster warned Ron Paul activists who took over the weekend convention that the civic center agreement called for wrapping up by 6 p.m. Sunday. Instead, the convention continued at least two hours longer.

Civic Center Director Dana Colwill said Wednesday that the bill will be $300 or less for overtime for workers who stayed to the end.

The convention experienced repeated delays as Paul supporters and Mitt Romney supporters argued over rules of order. Some party members passed the hat to collect donations to pay the civic center.

Bankrupt fuel dealer to pay restitution, his lawyer says

A lawyer for a Maine home heating company that declared bankruptcy told people who paid for fuel they never received they can expect restitution, but how much is unclear.

At a bankruptcy hearing Tuesday, David Pinkham of Pinkham’s Corner Fuel in South China laid out his assets, including delivery trucks, propane tanks and even his home.

His lawyer told people who prepaid for fuel that a bankruptcy trustee will sell Pinkham’s property and distribute the assets. When that will be and how much they will get is not yet known.

Pinkham’s declared bankruptcy last month after years of declining income.


Passamaquoddy tribe issues 236 elver fishing licenses

With juvenile eels bringing more than $2,000 a pound, the Passamaquoddy tribe in eastern Maine has issued 236 elver fishing licenses to its tribal members.

The Department of Marine Resources issues 407 licenses each year allowing fishermen to catch the tiny eels, known as elvers, as they make their way up Maine rivers each spring. With a worldwide shortage, elver prices this year have hit unprecedented levels.

Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher told the Bangor Daily News the Passamaquoddy decision to issue the licenses last week caught the department by surprise.

By law, the tribe has the authority to issue licenses, but license holders must follow state laws and regulations. The season is scheduled to end May 31.


Ormsby will be sentenced June 7 for three murders

A sentencing date has been scheduled for a 22-year-old man convicted last month in the stabbing deaths of a 10-year-old boy and two men in northern Maine.

Thayne Ormsby is scheduled to be sentenced June 7 in Aroostook County Superior Court in Houlton.

That’s the same court where Ormsby was convicted of three counts of murder in the 2010 stabbing deaths of 55-year-old Jeffrey Ryan, his 10-year-old son, Jesse, and family friend Jason Dehahn at Ryan’s home in the small town of Amity. The jury rejected Ormsby’s insanity defense.

Ormsby faces 25 years to life on each charge. Prosecutors have indicated they’ll ask the judge to sentence Ormsby to life in prison.


Elementary school principal will retire effective Sept. 30

The Cape Elizabeth School Board accepted the resignation of Pond Cove Elementary School Principal Tom Eismeier on Tuesday night.

Eismeier, who began at the school in 1995, said he will retire effective Sept. 30. He said he has been considering retirement for a while.

“It was a good time to do it while I’m happy and healthy,” he said.

Eismeier said staying at the school until next fall will allow him to help with the transition to a new principal. The School Board agreed to draw up a contract that ends Sept. 30.

During his 17-year tenure, Eismeier, 67, supported efforts to make education fun, including an annual Dr. Seuss theme for Read Across America Day, tributes to Harry Potter and an annual Arts Day.

Eismeier was the 2008 co-recipient of the Cape Elizabeth Educational Foundation’s Brownell Award for his support of the elementary school math lab.

The school department will form a search committee to look for Eismeier’s replacement.


N.H. man will face charges of crack cocaine trafficking

A 24-year-old New Hampshire man was arrested on cocaine trafficking charges Monday after a monthlong investigation.

Jermaine Jackson was found with 33.2 grams of crack cocaine and $2,300 in cash, according to Fairfield Police Chief John Emery.

He said the cocaine had a street value of $3,300 and was found in Jackson’s room at the American Lodge.

Jackson was under police surveillance as part of the investigation by Fairfield and Waterville police and the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office when he was stopped in his Honda on Main Street about 8:30 a.m.

Jackson also faces a felony violation of conditional release and was taken to Somerset County Jail. He is scheduled to appear June 6 in Superior Court in Skowhegan, Emery said.