Three named as finalists for Teacher of the Year

Two elementary school teachers and one middle school teacher have been named as finalists for the title of 2013 Maine Teacher of the Year.

The Department of Education says the winner will be announced at a surprise all-school assembly in September.

The finalists are South Berwick second- and third-grade teacher Kathy Bousquet, Poland seventh- and eighth-grade special education teacher Shannon Shanning, and York fourth-grade teacher Beth Switzer.

The winner serves as an advocate for the teaching profession, education and students, and represents the state at a national Teachers of the Year gathering in Dallas, a ceremony in Washington with the president and the secretary of education, and at other events and conferences around the country.


2-year-old, father, injured as ATV crashes into tree

A 2-year-old girl was flown by LifeFlight helicopter to Maine Medical Center after the ATV she was riding with her father went out of control and the two of them hit a tree.

John Walker, 25 was riding a 2012 Polaris 400 with his daughter in front of him on a dirt track along the Androscoggin River when the accident occurred at 3:15 p.m. Monday, said the Maine Warden Service.

The service said Walker slowed on a corner to look behind him and when he pressed the thumb throttle to accelerate, the lever became stuck behind a handle grip that had been added to the machine after it was manufactured. The acceleration threw Walker and his daughter, who was not wearing a helmet, into a tree.

The girl was flown to Portland with facial injuries. Walker was taken to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston for leg injuries.

The case is under investigation.


Fire destroys barn but attached house is saved

Fire destroyed a barn at 1862 Royalsborough Road Monday morning but firefighters from Durham and Freeport were able to save the attached house.

The fire was reported at 2 a.m. When firefighters arrived the barn had already collapsed and fire was burning the ell connecting the barn and the two-story home belonging to Richard Lauck and his wife, said Durham Fire Capt. Clifton Larabee.

Seven towns provided mutual aid. A car parked outside the barn burned, he said. Nobody was injured.

The cause appears to be accidental but the State Fire Marshal has been asked to investigate Tuesday. 

Duck stamp going on sale for stamp collectors only

Maine’s 2012 duck stamp is going on sale for stamp collectors.

This year’s edition of the stamp is now available from the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

The 2012 stamp was designed by Janine Folsom, of Skowhegan, whose painting of a pair of ring-necked ducks was selected from contest entries submitted by Maine artists.

The stamps, which sell for $7.50 each or $10 for a signed one, are for collection purposes only. Proceeds from stamp sales are used by the department for waterfowl habitat acquisition and management.


Seaweed harvesting foes grow in Down East Maine

The number of oceanfront property owners opposed to commercial harvesting of seaweed is growing in Down East Maine.

The “Rockweed Registry” maintained by the Downeast Coastal Conservancy now includes more than 500 oceanfront properties in 12 communities, and many of the property owners don’t want seaweed harvested from offshore waters.

The Bangor Daily News said the 2010 Cobscook Bay rockweed harvest totaled about 106,300 pounds, a small fraction of an estimated biomass of more than 100 million pounds. Rockweed makes up at least 90 percent of total seaweed landings in Maine.

The Maine Legislature in 2009 broke Cobscook Bay into sectors and required pre-harvest plans.

Robin Hadlock Seeley, who’s a senior research associate at New York’s Cornell University, says more research is needed into the sustainability of seaweed harvesting.


Caribou motorcyclist dies after crash into guardrail

Maine State Police say a 26-year-old Caribou man is dead after the motorcycle he was riding hit a guardrail on Route 11 in Eagle Lake.

Police said Jason Michaud was riding with three other people about 11:45 a.m. Sunday when his motorcycle drifted off the right side of the road and hit the guardrail, throwing him down an embankment. He died at the scene of the crash.

Police said Michaud had received his motorcycle permit the day before and that inexperience played a major role in the crash. Speed was not a factor in the crash.


Annual fair closes down after nine days of events

One of Maine’s most popular fairs drew to a close after nine days of events and festivities.

The Windsor Fair came to an end late Monday. The final day’s events included horse barrel racing, horse-pulling contests and an antique auto show and parade.

The fair in the small central Maine town of Windsor has been around since 1888 and draws more than 100,000 people each year.

The fair features agricultural exhibits, harness racing, crafts, art exhibits, animal-pulling events, a carnival, demolition derbies, music, and a giant pumpkin contest.