Unexplained death of man not considered suspicious

The state medical examiner will try to determine what caused the death of a 28-year-old Harpswell man whose body was found on Bailey Island Thursday morning.

Investigators said they found no sign of injury to indicate that the death was suspicious.

The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office identified the man as Ryan Johnson of Harpswell, who was last seen by his mother, with whom he lived, at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Investigators initially responded to Garrison Cove Road in Harpswell for a report of a body on the shore.

The call came at 9:25 a.m. Thursday, reporting that a person had fallen overboard. Later information indicated that a body was on the beach. It was found near Cook’s Lobster House.


Bridge may remain closed until Memorial Day weekend

Authorities say the bridge connecting New Hampshire and Maine that was damaged by a tanker ship on April 1 could remain closed until Memorial Day weekend.

Workers are replacing damaged steel on the structure, which has been closed to traffic since being hit by the tanker, which went adrift in the Piscataqua River.

One factor contributing to the delay is the need to build a new support structure in the river while repairs are under way.

With the bridge closed and the new Memorial Bridge under construction, the only route between Portsmouth and Kittery is the Piscataqua River Bridge on Interstate 95.


Inmate charged with escape a week before release date

An inmate who was serving the final days of his sentence at the Cumberland County pre-release center has been charged with escape.

Authorities say Jamie Allen Irish, 35, whose last known address is New Gloucester, reported to a work site in Freeport on Wednesday.

After Irish finished work, a co-worker dropped him off in Portland. When Irish did not return to the Community Corrections Center by about 6:30 p.m., the staff began a search for him.

He was found on Free Street in Portland about 10 p.m.

Irish is serving a six-month sentence for domestic violence and was scheduled to be released on April 25. He now faces a charge of escape.

Irish was in a facility for inmates with fewer than 90 days to serve.


LePage helps christen clubhouse for mentally ill

Gov. Paul LePage helped to celebrate the opening Thursday of Maine’s fifth clubhouse for people who have mental health challenges.

The clubhouse at 890 Main St., Suite 118, is operated by Sweetser, a nonprofit mental health agency, and funded by MaineCare, the state’s Medicaid program, according to a news release.

Other clubhouses are in Augusta, Bangor, Lewiston and Waterville. They offer supportive social and educational programs and employment opportunities to help people address mental health issues and work toward independent living.

For more information about the Sanford clubhouse, call 459-6080.


Four charged following major heroin bust at home

Authorities have arrested four people in what police are calling one of the biggest heroin busts in central Maine in recent memory.

Police say a search at a home in Farmingdale on Tuesday netted 116 grams of uncut heroin, with an estimated street value of more than $50,000. Kennebec County Sheriff Randall Liberty said investigators also seized 57 oxycodone pills, worth $2,000, along with packaging material, scales, ledgers and assorted drug paraphernalia.

Police charged Christina Sanborn, 42, and Nicholas Presby, 31, with drug trafficking. Randy Figueroa of New York City and Justin Swift of Whitefield also were charged. All were held on bail at the Kennebec County jail.

Liberty said more arrests are expected.


Deaths of man and woman determined to be suicides

After several days of investigation, police said two deaths at 202 Maple Ave. this week were suicides.

Police identified the pair as Lawrence Decker, 58, of Farmington and Nikole Dolloff, 21, of Burnham.

They were found dead at Decker’s home on Maple Avenue around 1:15 a.m. Monday, after police were called to investigate a possible suicidal person at the home.

Their identities were confirmed Tuesday evening, according to a Farmington police news release. The release said Decker lived alone at the house.

Neighbors said he was an electrician at the University of Maine at Farmington and described him as a nice man who kept to himself.

A statewide crisis hotline operated by trained clinicians is available 24 hours a day. The number is (888) 568-1112.


Mainers urged to take steps to keep hungry bears away

Maine wildlife officials are warning homeowners to remove bird feeders and other easy food targets for bears as they emerge from their winter dens this month.

The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife says bears may also be attracted to backyard garbage cans, Dumpsters and grills where food or the odor of food is prevalent.

With natural food not readily available, bears may roam into backyards looking for things to eat. Besides taking down bird feeders, homeowners should rake up and dispose of bird seed on the ground, and store remaining bird seed indoors.

Last year, which included a warm spring, the Maine Warden Service received 870 bear-related complaints, compared with 395 in 2010 and 436 in 2011.