Warren man faces several charges in high-speed chase

A Warren man is facing a number of charges after a high-speed chase and crash on Interstate 295 in Portland Thursday night.

Steve McCausland, a spokesman for the Maine State Police, said 41-year-old Robby Beaulieu of Warren was on the Yarmouth stretch of Interstate 295 driving at speeds reaching 110 miles per hour when trooper Douglas Cropper attempted to pull him over.

Beaulieu refused to stop and headed south toward Portland. He lost control of his vehicle, a Cadillac, near the Forest Avenue exit, where his car flipped over.

Beaulieu had to be taken to Maine Medical Center, where he was being treated Thursday night for an assortment of injuries that are not considered to be life threatening.

Beaulieu, who had a suspended driver’s license, will be charged with operating under the influence — Cropper found an open bottle of whiskey in the car — criminal speed, eluding a police officer, driving to endanger and operating after suspension.

His car, which was destroyed, is owned by an Arundel car dealer. The crash took place around 6:30 p.m., just after rush hour traffic had subsided.


Police looking for two men who robbed, shot cab driver

Police are looking for two men who robbed a cab driver Wednesday night, then shot him with a pellet gun.

Police released descriptions of the two attackers Thursday morning and asked that anyone with information contact them.

Police said the Elite Taxi driver picked up a fare at 10:30 p.m. at Congress and St. John streets and drove up Cumberland Avenue, where he was directed to pick up a second man, police said.

The first man was described as black, between 5-foot-9 and 5-foot-11, with short curly hair and a red hooded sweatshirt. The second man was described as black, 5-foot-6 to 5-foot-8, wearing a gray puffy coat and a red hooded sweatshirt.

Police said the first man pulled a gun on the cab driver at 563 Cumberland Ave. and demanded money.

The driver didn’t believe the gun was real and refused and fought with the two men.

They ran, but the first one turned and fired at the driver, hitting him in the face and neck with either BBs or pellets, police said.

The man was treated by rescue workers but was not taken to the hospital. No money was taken.


Two-day yoga festival to feature 30 instructors

Yoga lovers will be able to indulge their passion this summer with the launch of a two-day yoga festival in Portland.

Organizers say YogaFest will be held at the East End Community School on July 13 and 14.

The festival will feature more than 30 yoga teachers and 20 yoga studios from Maine, allowing participants to try different styles of yoga and different teachers. Music, food, vendor booths and a “Friends and Family Yoga Party” are also planned.

Co-founder Justine Carlisle says her goal is to generate a sense of togetherness among yoga practitioners and to raise awareness about the physical and mental benefits of yoga. Festival passes can be purchased at www.maineyogafest.com.


Waynflete, Deering students win poetry competition

Dyer Rhoads of Waynflete School won the 2013 State Poetry Out Loud competition Wednesday night in Bangor. Iman Omar from Deering High School was runner-up.

Presidential poet Richard Blanco presented signed copies of his inaugural poem to all the finalists of the contest, which is sponsored annually by the Maine Arts Commission.

Rhoads will represent Maine at the National Poetry Out Loud Finals on April 28-30 in Washington, D.C.

Rhoads recited three poems: “Onions” by William Matthews, “Break of Day” by John Donne and “The Windhover” by Gerard Manley Hopkins.

Rhoads will receive $200, with a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books for his school.

He also receives a paid trip to the national final, where he will compete for the national title and $50,000 in cash prizes.


Distributor to soup kitchens looking for new warehouse

An organization that distributes food to 47 pantries and soup kitchens across York County could close unless it finds new warehouse space. York County Food Rescue is being evicted from its current space in Sanford and will shut down unless it finds 4,000-square feet of new space.

Executive Director Tom Vacca tells the Journal Tribune there’s no money for rent, so the organization is hoping someone with space will be generous enough to help, or someone will step forward to donate money to lease space.


Sarah Tracy wins special election for town councilor

Voters chose a new town councilor Wednesday in a special election to fill a vacant seat.

The town clerk’s office said Sarah Tracy, a lawyer with the Public Utilities Commission, won the District 2 seat over Joyce Clarkson-Veilleux, a retired Army nurse.

Tracy, 37, got 304 votes to Clarkson-Veilleux’s 133 votes.

Tracy will fill the unexpired term of Katherine Arno, who had to step down after taking a job out of state. Tracy’s term will expire in November 2014.


Man held after brandishing medieval ax in road dispute

A Maine man involved in a feud with another family over access to a dirt road has been charged with threatening a neighbor with a medieval-style ax.

Benjamin Stewart of Sumner, a member of a Renaissance and Middle Ages re-enactment group, was held on $1,000 bail after being charged Wednesday with criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon.

Police say Stewart, 26, threatened Richard Pothier.

The Sun Journal reports Pothier said he reached for his gun and Stewart backed off.

Both men called police.


Texas company gets OK to develop 14-turbine wind farm

A vote by Maine’s Board of Environmental Protection gives a Texas-based company the go-ahead to develop a 14-turbine wind farm atop Passadumkeag Ridge in Grand Falls Township.

The board’s 5-1 vote Thursday reverses last November’s decision by the Department of Environmental Protection to deny a permit for the 42-megawatt wind farm. It means Quantum Utility Generation can move forward with construction once DEP writes the permit.

The DEP had rejected the application, saying the array of 459-foot-tall turbines would compromise views from Saponac Pond. Analysis concluded the turbines would be visible from 97 percent of the pond.

In its appeal of the department’s decision, Quantum and landowner Penobscot Forest LLC contended the value DEP placed on scenic character was “arbitrary” and that the mountain was already developed.


No one injured as plane snags ski, flips on landing

Authorities say a small plane outfitted with skis instead of wheels flipped on a snowy airfield about 3 p.m. Wednesday.

The pilot, the only person on board, was not hurt.

The Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department told WABI-TV the plane was taxiing on the runway when one of the skis snagged in the snow, causing the flip.