Freeport man hospitalized after crashing snowmobile

A Freeport man was in critical condition Saturday at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston after a single-snowmobile crash Friday in Johnston Mountain Township.

The Maine Warden Service said Robin Lowell, 56, was operating a Skidoo snowmobile around 6:30 p.m. on Maine’s interconnected trail system 87 when he left the trail on a corner and struck trees.

He was taken to Jackman Regional Health Center with rib and arm injuries before he was flown to Lewiston.


Future of Middle East topic for Camden Conference

The future of the Middle East is the topic of an annual conference of policy experts in Camden.

This year’s Camden Conference runs through this weekend. The conference will be live streamed to venues in Rockland, Belfast and Ellsworth.

The topic is “The Middle East: What Next?”

Experts focusing on the key countries of the Middle East will provide historical analysis with current insights, giving participants a deeper understanding of the elements that will influence the future.

Helping to make this year’s event possible is R.M. Davis Inc., a Maine-based investment management firm.


Vermont firm finishes work on Colby biomass plant

A Vermont construction company has finished work on a new biomass plant at Maine’s Colby College in Waterville.

The $11 million project is expected to save the college $1 million a year, replace 90 percent of its heating oil and help Colby to its goal of carbon neutrality by 2015.

PC Construction has offices in Vermont, Maine and North Carolina. It worked on the Colby project with Rist-Frost-Shumway Engineering.

The system produces high-pressure steam that generates heat and power for the Colby campus.

Colby is expected to use about 22,000 tons of wood harvested within 50 miles of Colby’s campus.

During construction, the project created more than 75 jobs. The college’s need for biomass fuel is expected to create four to five permanent jobs in Maine’s forest products industry.


UMaine marine scientist featured in Geographic

University of Maine marine scientist Rhian Waller is featured in the March edition of National Geographic magazine.

Waller is described as a risk taker in the “New Age of Exploration” piece.

An assistant research professor in the School of Marine Sciences in the South Bristol village of Walpole, Waller has pushed the envelope of diving during more than 40 expeditions around the world.

In a submersible, Waller plunged to a depth of 3,600 meters for corals on the New England Seamount chain in 2005. Waller frequently scuba dives in temperatures of 35 degrees and colder in the name of science.

Waller’s research focuses on how environmental factors such as climate change, fishing and oil exploration affect deep-sea coral ecology and reproduction.

A National Geographic Society yearlong series highlights 21st-century explorers who “press the limits.”


Wells man treated for burns following Friday night fire

A man is being treated for burns and smoke inhalation at Maine Medical Center in Portland following a house fire at 1422 Post Road on Friday night.

Wells Deputy Fire Chief Shannon Bridges said the unidentified man was the only occupant of the Cape Cod-style home when the fire started around 11:20 p.m.

Bridges did not know whether the man’s injuries were life-threatening.

It took 45 firefighters about an hour to contain the blaze, which was difficult to control because the fire was fed by a large amount of material stored inside the building.

The fire destroyed the house. The cause of the fire, which started in the kitchen area, is under investigation by the state Fire Marshal’s Office.


Report of gunman at MIT turns out to be a hoax

Authorities in Massachusetts say a report of a gunman on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus was a hoax and that there is no threat to public safety.

Cambridge police said Saturday that officers searched for a man reported to be carrying a long rifle and wearing body armor and found nothing. A spokeswoman said the university also called off a campus-wide lockdown.

State police spokesman David Procopio said the report of a gunman turned out to be a hoax. He referred questions to Cambridge police.

About 11,000 people attend the prestigious school where students are famous for their smarts as well as their stunts, including once putting a police car on top of a domed campus building.

– From staff and news services