Police divers find stolen car during search for student

Police divers on Wednesday recovered a stolen car that was found in Portland Harbor during the search for a missing Harvard Business School student.

Divers found the 1994 Cadillac just off Maine Wharf while they were looking for Nathan Bihlmaier, 31, who vanished early Sunday. Police found the car in 25 feet of water Monday but did not remove it then because it would have interfered with the search for Bihlmaier.

The stolen car is not connected to the search for Bihlmaier, police said.

Bihlmaier was found alongside Custom House Wharf, not far from Ri Ra Irish Pub, the last place he was seen alive.

The car was reported stolen May 10 from Casco Street. It apparently was driven or rolled off the end of Maine Wharf, police said. Police ask that anyone with information on the car contact authorities at 874-8533.

Dean from Arizona named provost and VP at USM

The University of Southern Maine has named a dean from Northern Arizona University as provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Michael R. Stevenson, dean of Northern Arizona’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, will replace John R. Wright, who is retiring this summer after 12 years at USM.

Stevenson, who has a doctorate in developmental psychology from Purdue University, was selected from a pool of 93 applicants, according to a news release from USM.

He was chair of the psychological science department at Ball State University, where he founded and directed the Diversity Policy Institute, and then associate provost at Miami University, where he was the first person to serve as chief diversity officer.

At Northern Arizona, where he became a dean in 2007, Stevenson led an $8 million campaign to build the Native American Cultural Center, according to the release.

He is the founding editor the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education and a Fulbright Senior Scholar.


State police investigating death of 6-week-old baby

Maine State Police are investigating the death of a 6-week-old girl in Bath.

Bath Police Chief Mike Field said the death doesn’t appear to be suspicious, but police are required by law to investigate the death of any child younger than 6.

Field told The Times Record that Bath rescue workers were called to a home about 4:50 a.m. Wednesday after the child’s father reported she was unresponsive.

Field said the infant was taken to Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick, where she died.


Mall wins permission to hold farmers market in parking lot

The Maine Mall received approval Tuesday night from the city’s Planning Board to open a farmers market in its parking lot.

The market will open June 5 and run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. each Tuesday through the fall.
The mall operated a farmers market from 2002 to 2005.

The market will be held at the corner of Gorham Road and Philbrook Avenue, in the parking between the Weathervane restaurant and Hannaford supermarket. In addition to produce, the market will feature plants and products from up to 25 sellers.

Maine Mall Manager Craig Gorris expects the market to draw “several hundred” people per week because of the high-visibility location and the number of commuters and shoppers on lunch break.

The Maine Mall market will be the second farmers market in the city.

The South Portland Farmers’ Market opened last week in its new location on Hinckley Drive, adjacent to Mill Creek Park. The market began last year at Thomas Knight Park, but was moved by city officials to a more visible location in an attempt to boost the number of weekly shoppers.

The South Portland Farmers’ Market is open from 3 to 7 p.m. every Thursday. Hinckley Drive is closed to through traffic from 2 to 8 p.m.


Man pleads guilty to sexual contact with 12-year-old girl

A Maine man accused of having inappropriate sexual contact with a 12-year-old female relative has pleaded guilty.

Timothy Damien of Bradley pleaded guilty on Tuesday to two counts of unlawful sexual contact just before his trial was about to start.

In exchange for his plea, prosecutors agreed to drop several other charges.

Prosecutors say Damien, 44, had sexual contact with the girl from December 2008 through July 2009. Authorities say they lived in the same house and the girl would wake up in the middle of the night with Damien on top of her.

Damien’s lawyer tells the Bangor Daily News that his client wanted to spare the girl the pain of testifying at trial.

He faces up to five years in prison at sentencing on Wednesday.


Body identified as owner of South Berwick restaurant

Police have identified the body of a man found washed up on the shore in Rye, N.H., as the owner of a Maine restaurant.

Police say Lyndsey Altshul, 52, was discovered Tuesday morning in the area of Foss Beach.

The Portsmouth Herald reports Altshul was the owner of Pepperland Cafe in South Berwick.

Police Chief Kevin Walsh said Altshul was wearing sneakers and pants and was in the water for about 12 hours before he was found. Walsh said, however, that Altshul’s death did not appear to be suspicious and that an autopsy was expected.

Altshul was arrested in Rye in March on charges of driving while intoxicated.


Council will ask Legislature to consider plastic-bag ban

A Windham eighth-grader’s proposal to ban plastic bags in Maine has taken a baby step forward.

The Windham Town Council on Tuesday rejected an outright ban on plastic bags in the town as suggested by Sierra Yost but did vote to send a resolution to the Legislature to consider a statewide ban.

Yost says she made the proposal after finding out about the negative environmental impacts of plastic bags during a science project.

The draft resolution asks retailers to stop offering single-use plastic shopping bags and certain paper bags and encourages residents to use reusable shopping bags.


Woman accused of dragging deputy after traffic stop

A Maine woman wanted on several warrants in four counties dating back three years is in more trouble after allegedly dragging a sheriff’s deputy whose arm got caught in her car as he was trying to arrest her.

Police say Kennebec County Sheriff Deputy Nathan McNally was dragged about 35 feet by a car driven by Angie May Soucy, 33, of Belgrade on Tuesday when his watch got caught on the door. The car got stuck in a drainage ditch.

The Kennebec Journal reports that McNally sustained minor cuts to his arm.
Soucy was charged with seven offenses in connection with the traffic stop, including reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon and refusal to submit to arrest.


Sugarloaf to install 300 new snowmaking machines

In an effort to avoid a repeat of last winter when the lack of natural snow kept skiers off the slopes, Sugarloaf ski area has announced plans to install 300 new energy-efficient snowmaking machines.

Sugarloaf spokesman Ethan Austin says a $300,000 grant from Efficiency Maine will help the $1 million project.

He tells the Morning Sentinel that with improved snowmaking, Sugarloaf will be able to prevent low snowfall totals from harming not only its own business but dozens of others that rely on the tourists who visit the Carrabasset Valley resort each year.