Man dies of injuries suffered in crash of ultralight aircraft

A 75-year-old man died at Maine Medical Center on Sunday after crashing his ultralight aircraft into trees near his home and falling 40 feet to the ground.

William Gaddis of North Yarmouth took off from his home at 367 Mill Road, where he had a landing strip, then crashed into trees near a home at 354 Mill Road around 7:15 p.m., said Detective Sgt. Jim Estabrook of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office.

He said Gaddis and the aircraft were suspended in the trees. People who had gathered around told him not to move, but Gaddis got out of the aircraft and then fell about 40 feet, Estabrook said.


Bad weather delays rangers in recovery of Maine native’s body

Helicopters and a crew of rangers were on standby Sunday as they waited for a break in the weather to recover the body of a colleague and Maine native who died while helping rescue four climbers on Mount Rainier.

Stormy weather on the mountain has hampered efforts to recover the body of Nick Hall, who grew up in Patten, Maine. He died Thursday after helping four climbers from Texas who fell near the 14,411-foot mountain’s peak.

“It’s very frustrating. We’d like to make this (recovery) happen for the employees and the family,” park spokesman Rick Jones said Sunday.

The Texas climbers had reached the summit and were on their way down, roped together, when two women fell into a crevasse on Emmons Glacier at the 13,700-foot level. Two men were able to stop the group, and one called for help by cellphone.

Hall had helped put three climbers into a rescue helicopter when he fell 2,600 feet. The final climber, Stacy Wren, descended the mountain with rangers Friday.

For now, Hall’s colleagues must wait at Camp Schurman until the weather clears. Today’s forecast calls for a repeat of Sunday’s weather. Jones said the rangers are more optimistic for a recovery effort Tuesday or Wednesday.


Fire chief dies at home after returning from call

The town’s fire chief since 2005 died early Saturday after returning home from responding to a call.
George Davis, 62, suffered cardiac arrest at his home in Lyman, where he died, according to Deputy Fire Chief Jason Johnson.

The fire department had received a complaint about an unpermitted burn about 11 p.m. Friday, Johnson said. Davis responded to the scene, as he almost always did, no matter the severity of the incident, Johnson said.

The deputy chief said he and Davis went back to the station and filled out an incident report together. The chief’s wife found his body in the driveway about an hour later, Johnson said.

He described Davis as an outgoing, honest man who always wanted to do the right thing. He said Davis dedicated his life to the fire department.

The department is “trying to hold things together,” Johnson said. “It’s a huge loss.”


Park rangers go to rescue of hiker on Mount Katahdin

Baxter State Park rangers Sunday were rescuing a 68-year-old Winter Harbor man who became exhausted while hiking down Mount Katahdin.

A hiking companion of Chet Rubackis told park rangers Sunday that Rubackis became exhausted Saturday evening while descending a steep and rocky ridge on the Hunt Trail.

A search team hiked up the trail Sunday and found Rubackis at 3,600 feet elevation. A litter team of more than 40 people, including park and forest service rangers, game wardens and civilian rescue teams, was in the process of bringing Rubackis down the mountain.


Maine residents sentenced for three-state crime spree

Federal prosecutors say two Maine residents have been sentenced in New Hampshire for stealing credit cards and personal and corporate checks in a three-state crime spree.

The U.S. District Attorney’s Office in Concord, N.H., said Donald James, 49, and his wife, Jennifer Harris James, 45, both of Gorham, admitted using the stolen checks and credit cards to obtain cash and property to feed their heroin addictions. In all, the losses amounted to more than $48,000.

Prosecutors said the thefts began in Maine in January 2011, and later spread to New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

At Friday’s hearing, Donald James was sentenced to 41 months in prison. His wife was sentenced to 24 months.


Windjammer Days festival runs through Wednesday

The annual festival celebrating Maine’s historic windjammer fleet and rich maritime heritage has kicked off in Boothbay Harbor.

The 50th annual Windjammer Days festival got under way Sunday and continues through Wednesday.

A record 11 windjammers will be on display when they arrive in the harbor for the final day of the event.


Students attend camp to learn about dentistry

While many Maine high school students go to summer camp to sail, camp or play basketball, a group of 20 students this week is attending a camp to learn about dentistry.

The University of New England is hosting its third annual Dental Careers Exploration Camp, which kicked off Sunday and runs through Tuesday on the Portland campus.

Students will learn about dental techniques on a patient simulator, including drilling and filling teeth.

They’ll also spend time at local dental offices.