N.H. woman faces charges of robbing bank in Conway

A Gorham woman is scheduled to be arraigned Monday on charges of robbing a Conway bank.

Police tell WMUR-TV that 36-year-old Roxanne Esty is charged with robbing the Bank of New Hampshire on May 11. Investigators said they were given information that a woman seen in surveillance pictures from the robbery was Esty.

Police obtained a search warrant and seized evidence in Esty’s home. Police said they also found evidence from a separate bank robbery at the York Bank in York, Maine, on May 29.

York police said they are seeking an arrest warrant for Esty. The amount of money stolen from the bank was not available. Police said they may release more information this week.

Esty was being held at the Carroll County House of Corrections on $50,000 bail.

York police said they welcome any additional information or anonymous tips which may be made through Seacoast Crime Stoppers at 603-431-1199 or online at seacoastcrimestoppers.org or by sending an SMS text to CRIMES and include TIPSCS in the message.

Rewards are paid for information that leads to an arrest and indictment.


Kennebec Valley Gas Co. being sold to Summit

The Kennebec Valley Gas Co., which has proposed a natural gas pipeline through central Maine, is being sold to the subsidiary of a Colorado-based company.

The Kennebec Journal said the sale agreement between Portland-based Kennebec Valley Gas Co. and Summit Natural Gas of Maine Inc. has been submitted to the Maine Public Utilities Commission for approval. Summit is a subsidiary of Summit Utilities of Colorado.

Terms of the sale are not being disclosed.

Kennebec Valley Gas has proposed a nearly 80-mile pipeline from Madison to Richmond in central Maine. Officials of towns along the route have been told that the project under Summit will be more extensive than originally proposed, with service being offered to more residential customers in addition to commercial users.

LePage sees better economy as tourist season takes off

Gov. Paul LePage sees an improving Maine economy as the summer tourism season begins.

In his weekly radio address, LePage said traffic into Maine during the Memorial Day weekend was up, and campgrounds say reservations for the summer season are up by 10 percent or more. This means more money is being spent at restaurants, stores and local attractions.

But LePage said more must be done to improve the state’s economy. He is holding another round of job workshops that will focus on the tourism and marine resources industries. Future sessions will address forestry, farming, information technology and manufacturing industries.

In the Democratic response, Sen. Justin Alfond of Portland discussed another seasonal topic: graduation. Alfond said Maine students’ futures are challenged as they enter an economy that offers them little.


New PAC launches against same-sex marriage issue

A new political action committee that opposes Maine’s same-sex marriage referendum on November’s ballot is formally launching its campaign.

Michael Heath and Paul Madore, co-chairmen of the No Special Rights PAC, have held leadership roles going back to the early 1990s opposing gay rights and gay marriage initiatives in Maine.

They said they’ve hired a treasurer for the PAC and begun raising money, and vow that they’ll be outspoken in their opposition to the proposal to legalize gay marriage in Maine.


Firefighters from Maine wrap up training weekends

Firefighters from across Maine are finishing up two weekends of training at the 10th annual Maine State Wildfire Training Academy.

Forest rangers from the Maine Forest Service are providing instruction on how to battle fires in Maine’s vast forestlands.

Topics include digging fire lines, deploying fire shelters, cutting down trees with chain saws and using water pumps.

More than 160 students signed up for this year’s academy, held at Thomas College in Waterville.

The academy kicked off last weekend with two days of instruction, and wraps up this weekend with two additional days of training.


Lightning strike starts fire that burns Slattery’s Stables

A lightning strike set off a fire that destroyed a large barn that doubled as a workshop and stable.

Fire officials told the Sun Journal of Lewiston that the call came in Friday afternoon during thunderstorms that rolled through the area. Firefighters from Hebron, where the barn was located, and Buckfield, Auburn, Paris and Minot responded. No one was hurt.

The barn, known as Slattery’s Stables, offered boarding and carriage rides from the farm. A skidder and other heavy equipment were destroyed.


Eighth-grader, grandmother create their fashion news

A Maine eighth-grader’s idea may bring some good news to the newspaper industry.

Thirteen-year-old Hannah Wigham of Garland and her grandmother made a gown out of Bangor Daily News papers for the Ridge View Community School’s big spring dance in Dexter.

Hannah said she got the idea during April vacation, saying it highlights her views about the importance of recycling. Then she got her grandmother, Patricia Brawn of Dexter, on the case.

Brawn fastened complicated folds with red duct tape and placed a heart made out of an old red zipper on the chest. The two also worked in a few funnies and a lot of crosswords, but stayed away from political stories so the outfit wouldn’t make too much of a statement.

All told, it cost $18.


Four more hepatitis cases hit Exeter Hospital patients

New Hampshire health officials say four more cases of hepatitis involving patients at Exeter Hospital have been identified in addition to 10 others spotted earlier.

The Department of Health and Human Services said four more patients match the strain of hepatitis C recently diagnosed in 10 people who had been treated at the hospital’s Cardiac Catheterization Lab, bringing the total number of related cases to 14. Of the 14, one is an Exeter Hospital employee. All 14 individuals have been notified.

Dr. Jos?ontero of the human services department said officials are working as quickly as they can with the hospital to determine how the people were infected.

Hepatitis C is a viral infection transmitted by blood. It causes inflammation of the liver that can lead to chronic health issues.

– From staff and news services