Maine State Police getting new cruisers this summer

Maine State Police are getting new cruisers beginning this summer.

Officials say the new vehicles will be Ford Police Interceptors, which are based on the Ford Taurus.

The Interceptors will replace Crown Victoria cruisers, which state police have been using since 1996.

Ford has stopped making the Crown Vics, replacing them with the new Interceptor line of cruisers beginning this year.


Man, woman hospitalized after being hit by lightning

A man and woman required hospitalization after they were struck by lightning while sleeping in a tent at Acadia National Park, according to a park official.

Park Ranger Supervisor Richard Rechholtz said a storm Friday night produced lightning that struck a vehicle at the Blackwoods Campground, and the electrical current somehow followed a path to the tent where the couple were sleeping.

Rechholtz said the man, who felt a burning in his feet, had his arm around the woman, allowing the current to travel from him to her.

The couple was transported to a local hospital, but their injuries were not thought to be serious. Their names were not released.


Police apprehend Saco man in pharmacy armed robbery

Gorham police say they have apprehended the suspect in an armed robbery Sunday at a Main Street pharmacy.

Lt. Christopher Sanborn said John J. Vernon Jr., 28, of Saco was charged with robbing the Community Pharmacy at 365 Main St.

Police received a call at 8:38 a.m. alerting them that a man had entered the store and demanded that employees hand over the store’s supply of oxycodone.

The suspect fled with the drugs in a vehicle and was chased by police. He crashed at a rotary on Narragansett Street and ran from the scene before police caught him.

Police said Vernon faces charges of armed robbery, theft, terrorizing, eluding an officer, reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon, criminal speed and operating after suspension.

Vernon was being held Sunday night at the Cumberland County Jail on $75,000 cash bail.


Pickup truck crash leaves one man dead, two injured

Police say excessive speed and alcohol were factors in an accident Saturday night that killed a 21-year-old Milbridge man.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office said Jared Dorr of Milbridge was pronounced dead at Eastern Maine Medical Center after the Milbridge crash.

Officials said Dorr, 20-year-old Jason Redimarker of Addison and 25-year-old Owen Fickett of Cherryfield were driving on Wyman Road about 7 p.m. when their pickup truck crashed into a tree before rolling over. Dorr was ejected and trapped underneath. Authorities said they haven’t identified who was driving, but that it appears nobody was wearing a seat belt.

Fickett was treated and released. Redimarker remained hospitalized Sunday. The crash is under investigation.


Local man charged with illegally selling fireworks

Officials say a Saco man has become the first person charged with illegally selling fireworks under Maine’s new fireworks law.

The state Fire Marshal’s Office said 21-year-old Gregory Jutras was advertising on the Internet that he was selling fireworks. Officials said an undercover investigator met him in the parking lot of the Maine Mall on Friday to complete the sale of 16,000 firecrackers and other fireworks.

Investigators said Jutras had more fireworks in his car for other customers, and that additional fireworks were also found at his apartment. He was issued a summons for selling consumer fireworks without a license.

Only licensed fireworks dealers can sell fireworks in Maine, officials said.


Maine falling short of goal for recycling, study says

A University of Maine study says Maine is falling short of its goal of recycling at least 50 percent of the trash going to state landfills.

A recent survey of 17 communities concluded that as much as 60 percent of what’s thrown in the trash could have been either recycled or composted.

Graduate student Travis Blackmer told the Maine Public Broadcasting Network that a team picked through bags of trash to categorize what was being thrown away. The study concluded that about 40 percent was waste, 40 percent could have been composted and 20 percent could have been recycled.

The study, commissioned by the State Planning Office, aims to educate communities about the value of reducing waste by quantifying what’s being thrown away.


Workers finish demolition of old Memorial Bridge

Workers have completed demolition of the Memorial Bridge and are turning their attention to installing supports for the new bridge to connect Kittery and Portsmouth, N.H.

Contractor Archer Western said workers have completed foundations on the Portsmouth side of the river and are starting work on foundations on the Kittery side this month.

Also to be completed this month are drilled foundations to support a new approach to the bridge. Two additional foundations in the middle of the river will be completed by September.

The new bridge is expected to be completed by next July. The old Memorial Bridge connected the two communities for nearly 90 years.

– From staff and news services