Man charged with aiming laser pointer at airplane

A Falmouth man was charged late Friday with criminal use of a laser pointer, after a commercial airline pilot reported a laser being pointed into the cockpit.

Falmouth police charged John Bagonzi, 19, after receiving word of a second incident, off the Falmouth town landing.

According to Sgt. Frank Soule, Falmouth police received a call at roughly 8:25 p.m. Friday from the Portland International Jetport. The pilot was 7 miles northeast of the jetport, leading officials there to notify Falmouth police.

Officers were unable to locate the source of the laser. But almost an hour later, police got a second call, this time from a launch operator at the Portland Yacht Club. The operator said someone was pointing a green laser at his vessel, making it difficult for him to see. The light seemed to be coming from the town landing.

Officers responded and found several people entering vehicles in the parking area. After detaining them and investigating, they charged Bagonzi.

Soule said it was unclear why the laser was being pointed at boats and aircraft, but said the practice is dangerous. Exposure to the powerful light beam can cause eye damage, he said, and the presence of laser sighting on some weapons makes their use disturbing to law-enforcement personnel. “You can’t point a laser at anyone, let alone an aircraft,” he said.

The Federal Aviation Administration also is reviewing the incident for potential action, Soule said.


Teen with autism found safe after walk from Yarmouth

A 17-year-old boy with autism who apparently walked on railroad tracks from Yarmouth to Portland was found Saturday afternoon by Portland police.

Riley Paul was located at East End Beach, following a search by police and game wardens. He was reported missing from his Yarmouth home early Saturday.

After receiving reports of a boy walking on the tracks, the Maine Warden Service called Portland police and asked them to look in the area, according to Sgt. John Nueslein. Two Portland bicycle officers spotted Paul and notified his parents.

The family met police at Maine Medical Center, where Paul was taken to be checked.


Town hosts triathlon that features 40 pro competitors

More than 1,200 people will swim, bike and run at a triathlon in Old Orchard Beach.

The Revolution3 Triathlon gets under way early Sunday, with the top athletes swimming 1.2 miles, bicycling 56 miles and running 13.1 miles. A shorter course has a swim of 0.9 miles, a bike ride of about 25 miles and a 6.2-mile run.

The field includes 40 professional triathletes who will compete for $25,000 in prize money.

The Revolution3 Triathlon was founded in 2008 and began with one race in 2009. Three races were held in 2010, six races in 2011 and the series has grown to 10 events this year. This is the first year for the Old Orchard Beach event.


Best Places to Work list names 42 Maine companies

Forty-two companies have made the cut for an annual list of the best places to work in Maine.

The Maine State Council of the Society for Human Resources Management says the annual Best Places to Work program recognizes businesses that have outstanding workplace environments. This is the seventh year the organization has put out the list.

The businesses run the gamut from banks and insurance and law firms to construction companies. Some of the better-known names include Cianbro, Hollywood Casino Bangor and Unum.


Motorcycle-vehicle crash kills two, injures five others

Police say two people were killed and five others were injured in a crash involving several motorcycles and a vehicle in Westmoreland.

Police told WMUR-TV that about 200 motorcycles were heading south on Route 12 as part of a memorial ride when a car driven by an 87-year-old Walpole resident swerved into their lane for unknown reasons.

Police identified the deceased motorcyclists as 59-year-old Gary Champney of Alstead and 41-year-old Aaron Robar of Newport. They said five other motorcyclists sustained serious but non-life-threatening injuries Saturday morning.

The ride was in honor of Army Spc. Justin Rollins, a Newport native who was killed in Iraq by a roadside bomb in March 2007.

— From staff and news services