Police arrest three men after shots fired in brawl

Three men have been charged after shots were fired in downtown Lewiston for the third time in the past week.

Witnesses said a man with a machine gun-style weapon fire several shots into the air and then at a group of people who were fleeing around 5:30 p.m. Friday on Horton Street.

The Sun Journal reported that bullets made holes in the side of a nearby apartment building, but nobody was hurt. Witnesses told the paper that after the gun jammed, the shooter fled on foot.

A man who lives in an apartment near the scene said a fight between two groups of people led to the shots.

One group of men had jumped a smaller group, and then an all-out brawl began in the street, said Bryan Morin, who witnessed the fight, according to the Sun Journal.

Soon after the fight began, a tall, skinny man pulled out a Mac-10 and fired into the air, Morin said.

“He just fired over and over straight up in the air,” he said to the newspaper. “Then he brought the gun down and started firing down the street.”

Police a short time later arrested three men in their 20s. Two were charged with reckless conduct, and the third was arrested on a probation hold as part of the investigation.


Norway man gets 15 years for torching boarding house

A 20-year-old man is going to prison for 15 years for setting fire to a boarding house while residents were sleeping.

Todd Fickett of Norway was sentenced Friday in Oxford County Superior Court in South Paris.

He pleaded guilty in March to burning down the boarding house where he lived after threatening another resident during a fight over stolen food. Nobody was injured in the May 2011 fire, but more than a dozen people were left homeless.

Assistant District Attorney Joseph O’Connor argued for a 30-year sentence, saying the fire could have turned into the “largest mass murder in Maine history.”

According to the Sun Journal, defense attorney Maurice Porter said Fickett was reckless but didn’t intend to kill anyone.


Police increasing patrols and enforcing seat belt law

Maine police agencies are beefing up patrols for the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

State police Col. Robert Williams said state police as well as sheriff’s deputies and local police officers will be on the lookout for drunken and aggressive drivers and motorists who aren’t wearing seat belts.

Williams also said that state police and 61 other Maine police agencies are taking part in a two-week effort to encourage seat belt use. The Maine Bureau of Highway Safety has awarded $139,000 in federal money to pay for the statewide effort to fund overtime patrols for officers looking for seat belt violators.

The patrols coincide with a national campaign funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The initiative continues until June 3.

Heating oil prices in Maine fall to lowest level this year

Energy officials said heating oil prices in Maine have fallen 21 cents a gallon on average since the beginning of the month and now stand at their lowest levels of the year.

According to the Governor’s Energy Office, oil prices Friday averaged $3.56 a gallon statewide. Southern Maine had the lowest prices, while northern Maine had the highest.

The last time the average heating oil price was below $3.56 a gallon was last October.

Kerosene was selling for an average of $3.97 a gallon on Friday, down 20 cents since April 30. Propane was selling for $2.97, down from $3.09.


Hollywood Casino adding two Texas Hold ’em tables

Less than three months after adding table games to its gambling mix, Hollywood Casino in Bangor is adding two more poker tables.

Casino officials said they’ve added two Texas Hold ’em poker tables because of strong demand.

The casino put out four Texas Hold ’em poker tables, three other poker tables, six blackjack tables and a roulette table on its gambling floor in March after Penobscot County voters last fall approved the addition of table games.

The casino had been limited to slot machines since its 2005 opening until voters approved the change.


Bowdoin College awards degrees to 450 graduates

Four hundred fifty Bowdoin College graduates have received degrees.

The Brunswick school held its 207th commencement Saturday. Students from 40 states — including 58 from Maine — and 15 foreign countries earned degrees.

Honorary doctorates were awarded to archaeologist Margaret Conkey, philanthropist Agnes Gund, television journalist Cynthia McFadden, human rights activist Humaira Awais Shahid and artist Carrie Mae Weems.


Store owner facing charges over knockoff handbags

A New Hampshire man has been charged with two counts of dealing in counterfeit goods after police said they seized knockoff handbags from his store in Hampton Beach.

Hampton police said they executed a search warrant on Thursday at the Deja vu Boutique and seized handbags with labels such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Coach.

Police returned the following day and charged store owner Terry Shore of Hampton.

— From news service reports