Democratic Senate hopeful fails to file finance report

Federal campaign regulators say the U.S. Senate campaign of Benjamin Pollard has failed to file a campaign finance report that was due May 31.

Pollard is one of four Democrats seeking their party’s nomination for the open seat in next Tuesday’s primary. Six Republicans are also running for the seat.

On Friday, the Federal Election Commission said Pollard failed to file a 12-day pre-primary election report.

Pollard acknowledged Friday he had failed to file the report, but said it only involves $600 to $700 in contributions and spending. Pollard, who’s working full time as a carpenter, said he would try to fill out the report today.

Commission action against non-filers and late filers is decided on a case-by-case basis and can include fines.

Man to serve five-year term in series of car thefts, crash

A Bass Harbor man who stole three vehicles in one night and crashed one of them into a home has been sentenced to five years in prison.

Jacob Russell, 27, pleaded guilty Thursday to charges including aggravated criminal mischief and four thefts, burglary of a motor vehicle and leaving the scene of an accident, for the May 2011 spree.

The Kennebec Journal reported that in exchange for the pleas, a charge of arson and six other charges were dismissed by prosecutors.

Police said Russell’s crimes started in Winslow with a stolen car. He abandoned it and stole another vehicle, which he crashed into an Augusta home, causing a fire that destroyed the house. He fled the scene in a third stolen vehicle before being stopped in Pittsfield.

News service launching campaign research site

A nonpartisan investigative news service is launching a free website to help Mainers do research on public officials’ campaigns and activities in government.

The nonprofit Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting provides a variety of sources on elections, campaign finance, lobbying, legislation and government ethics on its website.

The center, which produces investigative stories that appear in Maine newspapers, calls its site “Be Your Own Watchdog.”

Center Publisher John Christie said the site it can help voters, for example, check out the source of candidates’ campaign contributions, whether their votes were connected to lobbying and the sources of their income.

Partial funding for Be Your Own Watchdog was provided by the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation and the Nicholas B. Ottaway Foundation.

The site is located at


Novice motorcyclist dies in collision with pickup truck

Police say a Jay woman on her first solo motorcycle ride died in a head-on collision with a pickup truck in Dixfield.

Police said Victoria Flagg, 32, was headed west on Route 2 about 7 p.m. Thursday when her motorcycle veered into oncoming traffic at a spot where the road curves to the right and she was struck by a heavy-duty pickup truck.

Sgt. Jeff Howe told the Sun Journal that Flagg’s husband was on a motorcycle behind her.

The investigation is continuing, but Howe says there is no indication that speed played a role. He said the rider’s inexperience is suspected as a factor.


Scarborough man expected to survive motorcycle crash

A 39-year-old Scarborough man apparently will survive injuries he suffered when he crashed a motorcycle on the Veterans Memorial Bridge in South Portland on Thursday.

The man, who is originally from South Carolina, had borrowed the motorcycle, police said.

Authorities said the man, who was not wearing a helmet, suffered head injuries.

The man was taken to Maine Medical Center, where he remains in serious condition, police said. Police have not released the man’s name because they want to confirm his identity. He had no identification with him, and police have not been able to interview him.

Witnesses told police the man was seen using the breakdown lane to pass several cars on the on-ramp to the bridge when he lost control. It appears that speed and alcohol were factors in the crash, police said.


One killed, three injured in SUV-pickup collision

Police say one person was killed and three others were injured in a head-on collision in Waldoboro.

Police said a passenger in a pickup truck was killed around 11 a.m. Friday when the pickup and a sport utility vehicle crashed on Route 1.

The driver and another passenger in the pickup truck were hospitalized, as was the driver of the SUV.

Police have not released the names of those involved. The crash is under investigation.


Man faces murder charge in fatal shooting at his home

Police have arrested a Lamoine man and charged him with murder in a fatal shooting that took place at his eastern Maine home March 11.

State police and Hancock County sheriff’s deputies Friday arrested Michael Carter, 30. Police said he was taken into custody at his home without incident following his indictment Thursday by a Hancock County grand jury.

Carter was also indicted on charges of elevated aggravated assault, aggravated assault and illegal possession of a firearm stemming from the same incident in which two other men were shot and wounded.

In March, Randy Sinclair, 32, of Ellsworth was shot to death outside Carter’s house.

Carter has been taken to the Hancock County Jail in Ellsworth and is expected to be arraigned Monday.


Manslaughter charge follows man’s death in street fight

A 41-year-old transient is being held on $50,000 bail following his arrest on a manslaughter charge in connection with a fatal stabbing in Bangor.

Jason Alan Trickett is charged in the death of Andy Smith, 38, on May 22 during a street fight.

Police said Trickett was arrested Friday morning on a city bus and made his first court appearance later in the morning.

A witness to the fight told the Bangor Daily News that Smith was stabbed following an altercation in a street with a woman. The witness said the woman called for her friends, who went after Smith.


Residents to vote next week on merger of police forces

Selectmen as well as police officers and residents appear to agree that merging the town’s police department with the Paris department is the most efficient and cost-effective way to better serve both towns.

Town Manager David Holt said Thursday that combining police departments is more about improving services than saving money. The proposal will go to Norway voters next week.

The Sun Journal reported that he says a one-year trial will give both departments the opportunity to try the merger and identify any problems. Norway Chief Robert Federico said he and Paris Chief David Verrier have expressed approval of the move.

If the police merger happens, it would be the first in the state.


Jury selected for Dechaine trial in drug possession case

Dennis Dechaine, the man serving a life sentence for murder in the death of 12-year-old Sarah Cherry in 1988, is due on court June 19 on a charge of possessing drugs in prison.

A panel of 12 jurors and two alternates was selected Friday that will hear the case against Dechaine, said Geoffrey Rushlau, Knox County’s district attorney. Dechaine is charged with trafficking in prison contraband after he was allegedly found with morphine and the anti-anxiety drug Klonopin.

Dechaine has pleaded not guilty to the drug possession charge. He says he used the drugs in a suicide attempt April 4, 2010.

Dechaine also insists he did not kill Cherry and hopes that DNA from an unknown male, which was found under one of the girl’s fingernails, will help him win a new trial.

At a hearing Tuesday, Dechaine’s court-appointed lawyer will try to convince a judge that the jury would have acquitted Dechaine if it had been given the DNA evidence. Dechaine has previously made four unsuccessful appeals.


Local man gets Emmy nod for ‘Transformers’ work

Jeff Kline of Cape Elizabeth has been nominated for a Daytime Emmy for his work as executive producer on the animated series “Transformers: Prime” on The Hub cable network.

Kline’s nomination is in the category Outstanding Special Class Animated Program. The show has also received nominations for directing, individual achievement in animation, sound editing and sound mixing. Kline splits his time between Los Angeles and Cape Elizabeth.

Kline has worked on many animated series over the years, including “Jackie Chan Adventures,” “Men In Black: The Animated Series,” “Harold and the Purple Crayon” and “Dragon Tales.”

Kline’s nomination will be part of the Daytime Creative Arts Emmy Awards presented June 17. The creative arts winners will be mentioned during the 39th Daytime Emmy Awards, broadcast on the HLN cable network at 8 p.m. June 23.


Property with forest, bog now protected by easement

More than 210 acres in the upper Saco River watershed is now protected from development.

The Loon Echo Land Trust in Bridgton announced that, after a four-year process, it recently completed a conservation easement on the land, owned by Andrew and Joy Norkin of Denmark.

The property, on Harnden Road in northwestern Denmark, contains a working forest, waterfront land and a sensitive bog, which means there is a variety of animal and plant life that makes it particularly important to conserve, according to Carrie Walia, executive director of the land trust.

The land has been in the Norkin family since the 1940s and offers views of Pleasant Pond and Pleasant Mountain.

Walia wouldn’t disclose the cost of the easement, but said it was supported by a grant from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife and The Nature Conservancy, as well as the land trust.


Road race this morning to benefit local teen center

A 5-kilometer road race this morning will benefit the Mission Possible Teen Center.

The race around the downtown begins at 9 a.m. at the teen center at 755 Main St.

Runners can still register at the race for a $25 fee.

Mission Possible provides afterschool programming and meals for young people between the ages of 10 and 18.

Executive Director Donna Dwyer said she expects, by the end of this school year, the center will have served 490 teens and pre-teens and prepared 15,300 meals.

Yarmouth, SAD 51 schools receive $60,000 in grants

Community education foundations supporting public schools in Yarmouth, Cumberland and North Yarmouth distributed more than $60,000 in grants for classroom enrichment programs during the 2011-12 school year.

The foundations are registered nonprofits that raise and distribute money for educational programs not funded by school budgets.

The fledgling Yarmouth Education Foundation provided $35,000 in grants, funded primarily by a founding-donor drive held last fall, according to a news release. The grants launched a new robotics program at Yarmouth High School and purchased digital microscopes for Harrison Middle School, among other things.

Foundation 51 provided more than $28,000 in grants for enrichment programs in School Administrative District 51, according to a news release.

The grants paid for a variety of initiatives in Cumberland and North Yarmouth schools, including field trips to Skyline Farm and electronic readers for struggling students at Greely High School.

Foundation 51 has awarded more than $400,000 in educational enrichment grants since it was founded in 1998.

— From staff and news services