Six people killed on roads during holiday weekend

The Maine Department of Public Safety says six people were killed on state roads during the holiday weekend, making it the deadliest Labor Day weekend since 1986.

The six fatalities included two motorcycle crashes, one of which involved a Canadian biker crashing into a moose north of Jackman. The other motorcycle crash involved a rider who had received his motorcycle permit the day before and crashed into a guardrail in Eagle Lake.

Four others died in crashes involving vehicles in Biddeford, South Berwick, New Portland and Van Buren.

Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland said it was the greatest number of deaths since Labor Day weekend in 1986, when 10 people died on Maine roads.

Deputy labor commissioner wins panel’s support to lead

Gov. Paul LePage’s nominee for state labor commissioner has won solid support from a legislative committee.

The Labor Committee voted 10-0 Tuesday to recommend the appointment of Jeanne Shorey Paquette, who’s now deputy commissioner of the department, as its commissioner.

Five committees are meeting at the State House to take up dozens of the governor’s nominations. More confirmation hearings are scheduled for Wednesday before the Senate comes in Thursday to vote on the committee recommendations.

On Tuesday, the Judiciary Committee voted to endorse the renomination of Justices Jeffrey Hjelm of Rockland, Thomas Humphrey of Portland and Thomas Warren of Portland to the Superior Court bench.

The Education Committee endorsed James Erwin of Yarmouth, Norman Fournier of Wallagrass and Mark Gardner of Kittery to the University of Maine System Board of Trustees.

Summers introduces himself in his first paid television ad

Republican Senate candidate Charlie Summers is airing a TV ad introducing himself to voters.

The spot highlights Summers’ background as a Navy officer who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, as former Small Business Administration regional chief and as secretary of state who sought to reduce teen driving fatalities. It points out that he was endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

It’s the first paid TV ad by a candidate in the race to succeed Sen. Olympia Snowe.

Spokesman Drew Brandewie said the TV ad kicks off Wednesday. He said it was a “substantial” purchase of air time but didn’t immediately provide an amount.

Meanwhile, an ad urging Democrats to stick with their candidate, Cynthia Dill, over independent Angus King continues with another TV buy by a super PAC with GOP ties.


Teen center gets $14,000 raised by local restaurant

The Frog and Turtle restaurant presented Mission Possible Teen Center with checks for more than $14,000 Tuesday morning.

James Tranchemontagne, owner of the restaurant in Westbrook, announced in August that he was holding a fundraiser for the city’s teen center, after finding out that it would lose $10,000 in funding from the city and $40,000 from the state this year.

The goal was to raise $5,000 in a month by offering a $10 gift certificate to the restaurant for a $50 donation to the teen center and a four-course tasting menu with wine pairings for a party of four, for a $300 donation.

The restaurant raised $5,333, which was matched by an anonymous donor, Tranchemontagne said. The local Kiwanis chapter added a $3,000 donation, and another $800 came from Unum.

Mission Possible was one of 17 after-school programs in the state to lose money this year that had come from the Department of Health and Human Services through the Fund for a Healthy Maine.

The teen center serves more than 500 kids per year, offering snacks and meals, mentoring, homework help and a hangout space.


Teens nominated for award after helping to save man

Three teenage boys from Lewiston are being praised for helping save the life of a 72-year-old man who had been reported missing from a boarding house.

Police said Austin Davis and Billy Sheperson, both 13, and Tyler Davis, 14, were walking along a path behind Tri-County Mental Health Services about 4:30 p.m. Sunday when they found the man, injured and trapped between a fence and a boulder.

The boys ran for help and emergency crews showed up to free the man, identified as Lewis Osgood.

Osgood had been reported missing on Friday. He was taken to a hospital. The boys have been nominated for a city citizen’s award.


Financial abuse of seniors to be discussed at sessions

Securities regulators say financial abuse of seniors is escalating in Maine and throughout the country.

Hoping to address the problem, Maine’s Office of Securities and a coalition of government and nonprofit agencies will hold a series of free educational sessions for seniors, caregivers and service providers.

Sessions will be offered in Hallowell, Scarborough, Lewiston, Bangor and Presque Isle from Sept. 10 to 12.

Securities Administrator Judith Shaw encourages people to take advantage of the sessions, which will provide information necessary to spot and avoid investment fraud and scams.


Band fun.’s show at State will benefit gay marriage

The indie-pop band fun. will donate the proceeds from a concert in Portland on Oct. 31 to Mainers United for Marriage, the campaign announced Tuesday. The concert at the State Theatre will follow the band’s tour of Europe.

“This is a huge and historic moment for Maine in which the citizens of Maine have the power to go vote and take matters into their own hands to win the freedom to marry,” said band member Jack Antonoff in a statement released by the campaign. “We hope to see a big crowd at the show and we’re thrilled to be part of the campaign.”

Matt McTighe, campaign manager for Mainers United, said the concert will come just six days before the election and remind younger voters to vote.


Police seeking inmate who escaped from work-release

Law enforcement authorities are looking for an inmate who escaped from a work-release site in Leeds.

The state prisons department said Justin Ross, 35, was reported missing about 6 p.m. on Monday. He was living at the Central Maine Pre-Release Center in Hallowell.

Authorities described Ross as a white male, 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighing about 185 pounds, with brown hair and hazel eyes.

Ross is from the Farmington area and was serving a sentence for domestic violence assault. He started serving his time in June 2011 and was scheduled to be released late next month.

The Central Maine Pre-Release Center houses prisoners with 15 months or less on their sentence and focuses on reintegrating prisoners into the community through work-release opportunities.


Second suspect still at large in violent home invasion

Police have arrested one man and are searching for a second in connection with a violent home invasion in Greenbush that put a woman in the hospital.

Police said two men broke into the woman’s home about 1 a.m. Monday where she was asleep with her children, ages 5 and 3.

She said she was sprayed with a fire extinguisher and Mace then punched, choked and beaten with a tire iron by men who demanded money and prescription drugs. She screamed and escaped with the help of neighbors. She needed staples in her head.

Police arrested Nicholas Hutchinson, 23, of Medway just hours after the assault. He is charged with elevated aggravated assault and robbery and was held on $500,000 bail. A second suspect remains at large.


Biddeford getting $685,000 for at-risk people ages 16-24

Programs in New Hampshire and Maine will get a total of nearly $1.5 million in grants to help out-of-school youths earn high school diplomas while learning skills in construction, health care, information technology and other fields.

Southern New Hampshire Services Inc. in Manchester will receive more than $768,000 in YouthBuild grants.

The Biddeford Housing Authority in Maine will receive $685,000 in grants.

YouthBuild is a community-based alternative-education program that provides classroom instruction and occupational-skills training to at-risk people ages 16 to 24. Many participants have been in the juvenile justice system, are leaving foster care or have dropped out of high school.

The grants announced Tuesday by the U.S. Labor Department are the first awarded under new regulations that expand occupational skills beyond construction to include fast-growing industries such as health care and information technology.