UNE receives $10 million grant for research into chronic pain

The University of New England has received the largest research award in its history, a $10 million grant to facilitate the discovery and development of new pain therapies.

UNE spokeswoman Kathleen Taggersell said Monday that the National Institutes of Health has given the university the money to spend over a five-year period.

It will go toward establishing UNE’s Center of Biomedical Research Excellence, whose mission will be to contribute to the scientific understanding of the neurobiology of chronic pain and sensory function.

“Chronic pain is a major health, social and economic problem worldwide, affecting about one in three people,” said Ian Meng, an investigator for the university’s Center for Excellence in the Neurosciences, in a prepared statement.

“Funding will help drive innovative research that increases our understanding of pain as a progressive disease,” he said.


Police: Bones found in woods those of homeless woman, 31

Police say the 31-year-old homeless woman whose skeletal remains were found Aug. 4 in the woods off Hutchins Drive was Toina M. Hanson of Portland.

Police said in a press release Monday that the manner of Hanson’s death has not been determined and they would like to speak with anyone who was in touch with Hanson in the past year.

Items found near Hanson’s remains and a review of her medical records led police and the state Medical Examiner’s Officer to confirm her identity, according to the press release.

A man who was picking wild blueberries discovered Hanson’s bones off a trail that runs from Hutchins Drive. Police have said they found no signs of a crime.

Hanson’s death is still under investigation. Police ask anyone with information to call them at 874-8533.

Lobster-licensing system undergoing broad study

Maine lobstermen are being asked for their opinions in a new study analyzing the state’s lobster-licensing system.

The Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland is conducting the study, which will look at the current limited-entry system and evaluate its impact on individuals, communities and the lobster resource. It’s the first top-to-bottom analysis of the system since it was established in 1997.

For the study, the institute has begun a series of industry meetings in coastal towns from Scarborough to Machias. The report and its recommendations are due to the Department of Marine Resources by Oct. 15.

A final report with recommendations will be presented to the Legislature’s Marine Resources Committee in January.


D’Andrea leaving council; cites career responsibilities

Karen D’Andrea resigned her Town Council seat on Monday.

D’Andrea would have completed the first year of her second term in November.

“It is with a heavy heart I tender my resignation to the Scarborough Town Council, effective immediately, as a result of additional career responsibilities which leave me unable to maintain the high standards I set for myself as a public servant,” she wrote in her resignation letter.

Town Manager Tom Hall said he believes the town will not need to hold a special election to fill D’Andrea’s seat because town elections already are scheduled for November.

In her resignation letter, D’Andrea said serving on the council gave her a “meaningful” way to connect with the community.

“I am pleased that over the past four years I was able to support the passage of tobacco-free beaches, small wind allowances for home owners, and restricting the use of pesticides on municipal property to protect our children, residents, visitors, and environment,” she wrote.


Man escapes submerged truck after bridge mishap

A New York man escaped from his submerged pickup truck after it crashed through a guardrail Sunday night on Sewall’s Bridge.

Michael Chandler, 50, of Schenectady, N.Y., told police that he was avoiding a bicyclist and crashed through the wooden guardrail.

The 2009 Toyota Tacoma was going south on Organug Road about 11:30 p.m. Sunday when it went through the right guardrail and became submerged under the bridge, which connects Seabury and Organug roads over the York River.

Chandler swam to safety and was taken by ambulance to York Hospital, where he was treated and released.

A search by the York Fire Department, the Coast Guard, the Maine Marine Patrol and the Maine State Police dive team turned up no sign of a bicyclist.

York police are investigating to determine the cause of the crash.


Death of man, 55, at local home under investigation

Authorities are investigating the death of a 55-year-old man who was staying at a home in Brewer.

Police Chief Perry Antone said officers were called to the home just after 6 a.m. Sunday after receiving a report of an unresponsive man. The state medical examiner and detectives with the Maine State Police also went to the scene.

The man’s body was taken to the state Medical Examiner’s Office in Augusta for an autopsy.

Antone told the Bangor Daily News that if the death is determined to be suspicious, state police will take over the investigation.


Early-morning crash kills one, badly injures another

One man was killed and another was injured in an early-morning car crash in Caribou.

Police say Wayne Carter, 36, was killed shortly after 4 a.m. Monday when his car went off the road and rolled over.

Carter and a passenger, Patrick Strainge, 21, of Stockholm, were ejected from the vehicle. Police say the two men were not wearing seat belts.

Carter died at the scene. Strainge was flown from Cary Medical Center in Caribou to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor with extensive injuries.

A third passenger, Shawn Holmquist, 19, of Caribou, was wearing a seat belt. He was treated for minor injuries.

Police are still investigating, but say speed was a factor in the crash.


Reward offered for help in arrest of pharmacy thief

Authorities are offering a reward of as much as $2,500 for information leading to the arrest of a man who broke into a pharmacy inside a grocery store, while the pharmacy was closed but the store was open.

The incident occurred just before 11 p.m. on July 31 at the Osco Pharmacy inside the Shaw’s supermarket at 147 Bath Road.

The man pried the pharmacy door open and took prescription drugs, police said. Security images show the man with a mustache, wearing a hat with a brim like a baseball cap, a black sweatshirt and baggy gray pants.

The reward is being offered by Purdue Pharma as part of the RxPATROL program, an effort among the pharmaceutical industry, pharmacists and police to share information on pharmacy thefts. Purdue Pharma manufactures OxyContin, a painkiller that is popular with drug abusers and can lead to addiction.

Anyone with information about the burglary is asked to call an anonymous hotline at (888) 479-8477.

New Marine training center named for late Maine officer

A new Marine Corps Reserve Training Center in Brunswick has been named in honor of a Marine officer from Maine who died in Afghanistan.

The center on the former Brunswick Naval Air Station property was dedicated Sunday in honor of 1st Lt. James Zimmerman.

Zimmerman, who grew up in the Aroostook County town of Smyrna, was killed by small-arms fire in November 2010. He was 25.

The building will become the new training center for Company A of the 1st Battalion of the 25th Marine Division.

Gov. Paul LePage said Zimmerman was “an exemplary soldier and Mainer.”

The $8 million facility includes a weapons storage area, an assembly hall, classrooms, locker and shower rooms, and workshops.

Mid Coast Hospital opens diabetes education center

A hospital in Brunswick has opened a center that focuses on diabetes education and treatment.

Mid Coast Hospital opened its Mid Coast Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology on Monday.

The center provides a multidisciplinary approach aimed at helping adults who have diabetes take an active role in managing their disease.

The hospital says that more than 100,000 adults in Maine have diabetes, and that their health risks could be reduced through education programs and regular medical care.

The center’s education component includes nutrition, insulin pump training and glucose monitoring.

Correction: This compilation was revised at 9:45 a.m., Aug. 14., 2012, to state that the University of New England’s spokeswoman is Kathleen Taggersell.