Toddler airlifted to hospital after falling onto hot coals

A toddler was airlifted to a Boston hospital with serious burns after she fell into a fire pit Sunday morning in Lebanon.

The 2-year-old girl from Milton, N.H., was camping with her family at Flat Rock Bridge Family Resort when she was burned around 6:30 a.m., said Assistant Chief Jason Cole of the Lebanon Rescue Department. He said the incident was a “tragic accident” that occurred while the mother was nearby.

“The child was outside playing with family when she apparently fell backwards into the fire pit, which had hot coals in it,” Cole said. They had tried to put the fire out the night before, he said, but “it continued to smolder all night. When the toddler fell into the fire pit, the family pulled her out immediately and called for help.”

The girl was taken by helicopter to Boston because of her “serious burns,” Cole said. Campground staff and bystanders assisted until rescue crews arrived.

The state Fire Marshal’s Office was called to the scene to investigate.


Louisiana fugitive captured after fleeing border crossing

A Louisiana fugitive is in custody in Maine after he fled from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection port of entry in Houlton.

Houlton Police Chief Butch Asselin said it appeared Benjamin Gottke, 43, was attempting to enter Canada around 2:30 p.m. Saturday, driving a vehicle with a Louisiana license plate. When ordered to turn off the vehicle for a secondary security check, he fled south on Interstate 95, Asselin said.

U.S. Border Patrol agents and Maine police located Gottke in Houlton about an hour later after the vehicle was found abandoned at a truck stop there. He resisted arrest and police had to use a Taser on him twice to subdue him, Asselin said.

Police said Gottke escaped last week from the Tensas Parish Detention Center in Waterproof, La., and stole the unmarked police cruiser that he used to try to enter Canada.

Gottke is facing charges in Maine as a fugitive from justice and resisting arrest, as well as charges in Louisiana of simple escape and theft of a vehicle. He is being held in the Aroostook County Jail.


Former Lewiston journalist, 29, found dead in Florida

The father of a former Lewiston journalist says the 29-year-old has been found dead in her apartment in Clearwater, Fla.

Mark Robert of Greene said he got a phone call from Florida police Saturday afternoon about his daughter, Adrianne Robert. Her roommate reportedly discovered the body early Saturday.

The Lewiston Sun-Journal reported that police haven’t released the cause of death.

The newspaper said Adrianne Robert worked in Florida for H.I. Development, a business consulting firm that specializes in the hotel industry. She worked as a page designer for the Sun-Journal from 2004 to 2007.

Mark Robert said Adrianne was supposed to move in with her new boyfriend on Saturday.


Former Sen. Mitchell to give address on climate change

Former Maine U.S. Sen. George Mitchell will deliver the keynote address Thursday at a gathering of international researchers, scientists and students who study the effects of climate change.

The conference, running through Friday in Northport, will focus on how chemical and physical climate changes influence the Earth’s environment.

The University of Maine, Villanova University and the Czech Geological Survey are hosting the conference, and about 400 people are expected to attend. Neither Mitchell’s address nor the conference is open to the public, but media coverage is expected.

As a senator, Mitchell led the push for the 1990 reauthorization of the Clean Air Act. He is the author of World on Fire, which describes the threat of the greenhouse effect and recommends steps to curb it.


Police say probe continues into cause of man’s death

No autopsy result was available Sunday as the investigation continued into the death of 38-year-old James Dodge of China, which police have said is suspicious.

Police were called to Dodge’s Hanson Road home Friday night, and he was taken by ambulance to an Augusta hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland characterized Sunday as “a continued day of investigation as we try to determine what happened inside that house.”.


Attendance rises 20 percent at the Maine Wildlife Park

A state-run wildlife park in Maine that’s home to 30 different species is seeing a 20 percent increase in attendance compared with last year.

Officials said that so far this year, more than 45,000 people have visited the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray, which serves as a permanent home for animals that can’t survive in the wild, many of which were brought to the park injured, orphaned or after being illegally kept as pets.

The park is home to 30 bald eagles, hawks and owls, black bears, bobcats, Canada lynx and deer. There’s also a pair of moose.

New to the park this year is the recently opened 3,500-square-foot mountain lion exhibit, home to a male and female mountain lion.


Police say charges unlikely in car-pedestrian fatality

Police say a woman has died after being hit by a car early Saturday while walking near the highway overpass on Union Street.

Police are not releasing the woman’s name until her family has been notified, and they also did not identify the driver. Police Lt. Tim Reid said he doesn’t anticipate filing charges against the driver.


Owner gets out safely as fire destroys mobile home

A home was destroyed but no one was hurt in a fire in Limington Saturday night.

The fire broke out about 9:20 p.m. at a mobile home at 547 Sokokis Ave. The homeowner was able to exit the home safely.

About 24 firefighters from Limington, Cornish and Standish were at the scene. The cause of the fire is under investigation.