Dismissal and indictment in bat-and-crowbar brawl

The Portland man accused in an attack that critically injured a Standish man has been indicted, while the case against the other defendant has been dismissed.

A Cumberland County grand jury indicted Peter Tracy, 23, last week on charges of elevated aggravated assault and aggravated assault.

Nicholas Richards, 23, also of Portland, faced two counts of elevated aggravated assault, but the charges against him were dismissed.

The men were arrested April 6 after an incident outside Shane Wescott’s home at Pine Tree Estates in Standish. The attack, which allegedly involved a baseball bat and a crowbar, caused life-threatening injuries to Ryan Wescott, 29, and put his brother, Shane, 25, in the hospital.

Assistant District Attorney Bud Ellis said no charges are expected against anyone else.

At the time of Tracy and Richards’ initial court appearance in April, Ellis said the initial information suggested that Tracy initiated contact with Ryan Wescott, and that Richards hit Shane Wescott with a crowbar after he tried to help his brother.

Richards’ lawyer, David Bobrow, said his client was involved in a “mutual altercation.”

Witnesses said there was tension between Tracy and Shane Wescott because Wescott was dating Tracy’s ex-girlfriend, according to the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office.

Tracy remains in the Cumberland County Jail on $100,000 bail.

Disabled fishing boat towed to Portland by Coast Guard

U.S. Coast Guard crews from Maine rescued a stranded fishing vessel and towed it back to Portland on Monday.

The Coast Guard received a distress call Sunday afternoon from the vessel Prudence with four people aboard. The boat was adrift about 110 miles east of Gloucester, Mass.

Coast Guard officials said the Prudence had all the necessary safety equipment and a satellite phone, and crew members had told a family member where they were going.


Secretary of state to host Collins’ engagement party

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will throw a wedding engagement party for U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine.

Clinton’s plan to host the get-together was first reported by BuzzFeed. Kevin Kelly, Collins’ spokesman, said the report was accurate. The site reported that guests include other female senators and former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

Collins announced in February that she was marrying Thomas Daffron. He and Collins met when both were Senate staffers. They are expected to get married in a private ceremony this summer.

Collins and Clinton served together in the Senate from 2001 to 2008, when Clinton was a Democratic senator from New York. Both served on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Collins was highly supportive of Clinton’s nomination in 2009 to become secretary of state.


Gray motorcyclist injured in collision with vehicle

A Gray man was hospitalized after the motorcycle he was riding north on Route 26A in Gray collided with a southbound vehicle that was turning left in front of him Sunday night.

Donald Bilodeau, 58, was thrown from his motorcycle and suffered serious injuries to his legs, according to the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office. Claudia Raessler, 63, of North Yarmouth, who was driving a Honda CRV, escaped without serious injury.

Investigators do not believe alcohol was a factor in the crash, which happened at 9:42 p.m. It remains under investigation.


Suspect pleads not guilty to murder, assault charges

A Lamoine man has pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges in a fatal shooting outside his home in eastern Maine.

Michael Carter, 30, is accused of murder, elevated aggravated assault, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. Police say he killed Lawrence “Randy” Sinclair Jr., 32, and wounded two others March 11 in what friends have described as a dispute over the quality of a paint job that Sinclair had done on Carter’s pickup truck.

The Bangor Daily News reported that more than 30 people attended Monday’s arraignment, some of them wearing buttons with a photograph of Sinclair. A bail hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.


Police seek witnesses after crash kills one, injures seven

One person died and seven others required medical treatment Sunday after a three-vehicle crash in Bangor.

Police said Diane Morrison, 68, of Bangor was killed when the vehicle in which she was riding collided with another car before crashing head-on into a third vehicle about 6 p.m. at the intersection of Broadway and Burleigh Road.

Authorities said Morrison was in a car driven by her husband when it careened off another car on Broadway before veering into oncoming traffic.

Seven people were either transported to local emergency rooms by ambulance or went on their own. The crash remains under investigation and police are asking for witnesses to come forward.


Man who rented out home didn’t own it, lawsuit says

A family has sued a Leeds man who they say rented them a home he didn’t own.

John Stetson and Melissa Rollins say in their lawsuit filed in Androscoggin County Superior Court that they found the home in Turner for themselves and their three children on Craigslist.

They paid the man who answered the phone number in the ad, who they identify in the lawsuit as John Gray, more than $4,000 for several months’ rent, security deposit and other fees and moved in in January.

The Sun Journal reported that in April, a company working on behalf of a bank showed up to change the locks, and the family learned that the home had been foreclosed on. Bank officials said they didn’t know Gray, and that he had never been authorized to rent or manage the property, according to the lawsuit.


Forums to gather comments of public on agency merger

Public meetings are scheduled for later this month to gather suggestions, comments and ideas about the upcoming merger of the state departments of Agriculture and Conservation.

Agriculture Commissioner Walt Whitcomb and Conservation Commissioner Bill Beardsley encourage Mainers to participate in the forums, at the University of Maine at Orono on June 22 and in Augusta on June 26.

Two additional meetings, in northern and western Maine, will be announced soon on the merger website at www.maine.gov/ACFMerger.org.

A new law creates a new Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry as of Aug. 30. The new department will have 732 full-time and seasonal employees and have a budget of $96.5 million. It will be organized into seven divisions.

Legislators head to Quebec for a series of discussions

Three Republican Maine legislators will go to Quebec this week for a series of meetings with Canadian government officials and business leaders.

Issues to be discussed during the meetings Wednesday and Thursday include energy, trade and economic development. The three legislators, Reps. Ken Fredette of Newport and Jeff Gifford of Lincoln, and Sen. Roger Sherman of Houlton, are members of the Maine-Canadian Legislative Advisory Commission. Fredette chairs the commission.

The delegation will meet Wednesday with members of the National Assembly of Quebec. They also will meet with representatives of an organization that seeks to reinforce relations among Francophones in Quebec and elsewhere, with economic-development, natural-resources and wildlife officials, and with representatives of Hydro-Quebec.