Man celebrates 90th birthday with first jump from airplane

A Maine man who learned how to use a parachute as a Navy pilot during World War II has finally made his first jump — at age 90.

Lester Slate of Exeter jumped out of a plane for the first time on Sunday at Pittsfield Airport and was guided to the ground by a tandem jumper, and accompanied by another skydiver trailing a U.S. flag.

The jump was a 90th birthday present to himself. More than 50 family and friends watched.

Slate told the Bangor Daily News he was inspired by former President George H.W. Bush, who jumped from an airplane on his 85th birthday in 2009.

Slate says he had such a good time he wants to do it again — on his 95th or 100th birthday.


Skateboarder hit by truck dies at Portland hospital

A boy has died after being hit by a truck while riding a skateboard.

Police say the juvenile was struck by a commercial truck while crossing Lebanon Street at about 3 p.m. Friday. He was flown by helicopter to Maine Medical Center with serious injuries.

Police said Monday that the boy died later that same day. Officials did not release his name or age.

The accident is under investigation.


Head-on crash shuts down Hill Road, sends 6 to hospital

Two sport-utility vehicles crashed head on Monday afternoon, shutting down Hill Road for several hours and sending six people to the hospital.

The crash occurred at noon when a 2004 Chevrolet Trailblazer going south on Hill Road collided with a Chevrolet Suburban going in the opposite direction. The Trailblazer appeared to cross the center line and hit the Suburban, which was pulling an 18-foot boat, according to Maj. Bill King of the York County Sheriff’s Office.

The driver of the Trailblazer, Thomas Haig, 38, of Waterboro, was extricated from the vehicle and taken to Southern Maine Medical Center in Biddeford, as were his daughters, ages 10 and 12.

Taylor Solari, 18, of Kennebunkport, the driver of the Suburban, was extricated from his vehicle. He and two passengers were also taken to the Biddeford hospital.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation. The crash shut down Hill Road as authorities investigated and cleaned up fuel that leaked from the vehicles.

N.H. man ‘critical’ after SUV collision, rollover on Route 11

A New Hampshire man remains in critical condition following a head-on crash on Route 111 in Lyman.

The crash happened at 4:45 p.m. Saturday when Gregg Lewis, 62, of Alton, N.H., driving east in a 1995 Nissan Maxima, fell asleep and collided with a 2006 Hyundai Elantra driven by Brittany Cunningham, 22, of Northwood, N.H., said the York County Sheriff’s Office.

Lewis’ car rolled over and he had to be extricated, then taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland.

Cunningham and three children who were in her car, ages 2, 4 and 16, were taken to Southern Maine Medical Center in Biddeford with injuries that were not life-threatening.

Route 111 was closed for several hours.


Trial begins for man accused of strangling ex-girlfriend

A Rockland man is on trial in the strangulation death of his ex-girlfriend.

Opening statements got under way Monday afternoon in the trial of Arnold Diana, 35, who is charged with strangling Katrina Windred, 47, of Friendship in his apartment on Nov. 20, 2010, while her 11-year-old son sat outside in her car reading comic books. Her body was dumped on the outskirts of town, where it was found three days later by a man walking his dog.

A judge in March threw out the confession that Diana made to police, but prosecutors said the ruling wouldn’t have a significant impact on the case.

Jury selection was completed Friday.


Man ruled homicide victim, had stab wound in chest

The state Medical Examiner’s Office has ruled that a 38-year-old man died of a single stab wound to the chest.

James Dodge of China died Saturday after being taken from his home to MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta by ambulance Friday night.

Police initially called Dodge’s death suspicious but didn’t release details. On Monday, Mark Belserene of the Medical Examiner’s Office said Dodge’s death has been ruled a homicide.

Authorities say three other people who were in the house at the time are cooperating in the investigation.


Police identify pedestrian who died after car hit her

Police have released the name of the woman who died after being struck by a car over the weekend while walking in Bangor.

Police say Brecon Oldham, 57, was struck about 7:45 a.m. on Saturday as she was crossing a ramp to Interstate 95 north on Union Street. She died at Eastern Maine Medical Center a short time later.

The driver of the car, Marie McBrine, 78, and her passenger, her 6-year-old granddaughter, were not injured.

The death remains under investigation and no charges have been filed. Police are asking witnesses to come forward.


Portland woman, 26, dies in one-car crash on Thruway

Authorities say a Portland woman was killed and a New Hampshire man was hospitalized after their vehicle crashed after they attended a music festival in eastern New York.

State police say Alisha Makepeace, 26, was driving in the N.Y. Thruway’s eastbound lanes near Exit 24 in Albany Sunday night when the vehicle drifted from the center lane into the median, where it struck the end of a guide rail. Troopers say the rail penetrated the vehicle, killing Makepeace and seriously injuring her passenger, David Melnick, 26.

Melnick was being treated at Albany Medical Center. Troopers say his hometown wasn’t available. The vehicle was registered in Londonderry, N.H.

Troopers say Makepeace and Melnick had attended the Camp Bisco Music Festival in Mariaville in Schenectady County.


Flogging, no, prison, yes, for armed-standoff perpetrator

A Maine man who asked to be publicly flogged rather than serve prison time for his role in an armed standoff with police has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

The Bangor Daily News reports that Domingos Nobrega was sentenced Friday in federal court on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Police went to Nobrega’s Bangor home in October 2010 to deal “with a despondent, suicidal male.”

During a six-hour standoff, police saw Nobrega holding a gun. He was barred from having a firearm because of prior felony convictions.

Nobrega’s attorney said the weapon was a pellet gun.

Nobrega asked a federal judge in January to sentence him to a public flogging instead of prison time, a request the judge turned down.


Public invited to visit lighthouse on Saturday

The Little River Lighthouse in Cutler will be open to the public on Saturday.

Boats will leave from the Cutler Town Boat Landing to take visitors to the 15-acre island, where they can tour the restored keeper’s house, climb the tower, hike the trails and enjoy sea songs performed by local musicians.

The historic 1847 lighthouse, which is now on the National Register of Historic Places, was listed in 1996 by Maine Preservation as one of the state’s 10 most endangered historic properties. In 2002, the Little River Lighthouse ownership was transferred to a nonprofit group.

Visitors to the lighthouse should be prepared to get their feet wet while boarding and getting off boats. Small children must have their own life jackets.


Ceremony, senators honor submarine fire responders

New Hampshire’s U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte on Monday honored the first responders who helped contain the fire that badly damaged a submarine at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in May.

Shaheen and Ayotte presented the Senate resolution they and other New England senators sponsored to commend the first responders at a ceremony at Prescott Park in Portsmouth.

WMUR-TV reported that Shaheen recalled hearing about the thick, black smoke the first responders had to deal with. Also on hand to thank the crew was David Lang, president of the Professional Firefighters of New Hampshire.

Last week, the Navy convened a special panel to investigate the May 23 fire that damaged the USS Miami while it was in dry dock for an overhaul at the shipyard in Kittery, Maine. The investigation was ordered by U.S. Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk, Va.

The fire started when an industrial vacuum cleaner sucked up a heat source that ignited debris inside the vacuum, officials say.

Early estimates put the fire damage at $400 million. It damaged the torpedo room, crew quarters, and command and control areas.


Waterville man to serve 22 months for sex offenses

A Waterville man was convicted Friday of sexual offenses involving four children over a 12-month period.

Daniel Doucette, 44, pleaded no contest in Kennebec County Superior Court to three charges of unlawful sexual contact with children under 12 and one charge of unlawful sexual touching involving a child under age 14.

All the offenses occurred between March 15, 2010, and March 15, 2011, in Waterville.

Doucette was automatically found guilty, and he was sentenced to 22 months in prison, followed by a 10-year suspended sentence and four years’ probation.

Conditions of probation ban him from contact with children under age 18 except his own.

He also was required to register as a lifetime registrant under the state’s Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.

In exchange for the plea, three other charges of unlawful sexual touching and two counts of assault involving the same victims were dismissed.


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