USM remembers student who died in Philippines

A memorial service was held Wednesday at the University of Southern Maine for a student from South Portland who drowned while hiking in the Philippines.

Kim Lim, 20, who was a 2010 South Portland High School graduate, was studying for a semester in South Korea when the accident occurred April 28, said USM spokesman Bob Caswell.

Lim, a junior at USM, had taken a side trip with friends to hike in the Philippines. They were in a remote area when he drowned near a waterfall.

Lim was a Mitchell Scholar and a recipient of USM’s presidential scholarship. He graduated in the top 10 percent of his high school class.

He excelled as a student despite having immigrated with his parents and brother from Cambodia in 2008 and knowing almost no English when he arrived.

Defective switch replaced on Casco Bay Bridge

The electrical switch that caused part of the Casco Bay Bridge to get stuck upright for more than two hours was replaced on Thursday.

Ted Talbot, spokesman for the Maine Department of Transportation, said the bridge has been operating smoothly since the faulty switch was replaced.

A cargo ship carrying an electrical transformer bound for the Merrill Marine Terminal passed under the bridge on Thursday morning.

The malfunction, which occurred during Wednesday’s rush hour, forced police to shut down the northbound lanes of the bridge between Portland and South Portland.


Kittery man sentenced for crash that injured couple

A Kittery man who caused a high-speed car crash in Kennebunkport in 2011 that injured a couple from Massachusetts was sentenced this week to a year in prison followed by two years of probation.

David Van Blaricom, 30, who lived in Kennebunkport at the time of the crash and has since moved to Kittery, was driving about 80 mph in a 30 mph zone on Route 9 in Kennebunkport on June 28, 2011, when he lost control of the vehicle and it slid sideways into the Massachusetts couple’s car, according to the York County District Attorney’s Office.

Robert and Eleanor McCarrick of Stoneham, Mass., both in their 70s, were injured.

Van Blaricom was found guilty in March of aggravated assault, driving to endanger and reckless conduct. A jury found him not guilty of felony drunken driving.

Justice John O’Neil sentenced Van Blaricom on Monday to five years with all but 364 days suspended.

The judge also ordered his driver’s license suspended for two years and fined him $575.
Assistant District Attorney John Connelly said after the trial that a witness described the crash as so violent that it sent metal and glass raining down on the road.


Amusement park’s petition before planners on Monday

Seacoast Fun Park and Snow Park plans several improvements, including new waterslides, expanded snow-tubing runs and a new restaurant that would serve beer and wine, according to an application submitted to the Planning Board by the park’s owner.

The board is scheduled to vote Monday on Roy Moore’s application to expand the park at 932 Roosevelt Trail.

Moore was busy installing new ziplines in the park Thursday and could not be reached for comment, a representative said.

In November, the Town Council approved Moore’s applications for licenses to serve food, beer and wine at the park’s proposed restaurant.

The application for a site-plan amendment seeks town approval for “new parking areas, an expansion of the snow-tubing lanes, a 5,300-square-foot expansion of the clubhouse to include a restaurant, and new water features including a wading pool, water slides and a ‘lazy river’ float ride.”

The park generates $1 million to $2 million in revenue each year, according to public documents.


Laborer fatally struck while helping to repave street

Authorities say a man working on a road repaving project in Orono died after being struck by a vehicle.

Police say Richard Thibodeau, 56, of Carmel was struck about 7 p.m. on Tuesday while working on Forest Avenue. He was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, where he was pronounced dead.

He worked for Harvey Paving and Seal Coating of Hampden.

The death remains under investigation by local police and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

No information was released on the driver who struck Thibodeau.


Legislator’s illness delays guardian ad litem hearing

A legislative committee that was about to open discussions Thursday evening on a bill seeking to reform the state’s guardian ad litem program postponed the meeting after one of its members was taken away by ambulance.

The Judiciary Committee was in recess after hours of hearings on other bills, when Rep. Lisa Villa, D-Harrison, suddenly became ill.

The committee’s Senate chair, Linda Valentino, D-Saco, said the other members decided to postpone the hearing rather than continue because guardian ad litem reform is an important issue for Villa.

Guardians ad litem are specially registered lawyers or mental health workers assigned by judges to step in the most contentious cases, like divorce cases, to represent the interests of children.

Villa said last week that guardian ad litem reform is the reason she got into the Legislature.

Villa went through a divorce more than a decade ago and was assigned a guardian who sided with her ex-husband over custody of their daughter. She claims the guardian was biased and said talking about it is still painful.

Motorists warned to beware of moose, especially in dark

It’s high season for moose on Maine highways.

The Maine departments of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and Transportation are asking drivers to take extra precautions in May and June.

May and June are the most common months for moose collisions due to a combination of factors, including calving time, weather and salt.

After a winter of eating browse, moose tend to travel more when the weather warms up and greens and other food sources become available to them again. Sodium is also an important part of a moose’s diet, so moose are drawn to roadsides where they can find salt run-offs.

Nearly 90 percent of vehicle-moose collisions occur between dusk and dawn, when moose move around more and it’s dark.


Two more men accused in slaying of 20-year-old

Authorities have charged two more men in connection with the death of a man believed by one of the alleged assailants to be a police informant.

Nathan Morton was arraigned Thursday on conspiracy and murder charges along with Michael McNaughton, 23, who was charged last month and faced a bail hearing in the death of Romeo Parent, 20. Also arraigned Thursday was William True Jr., who’s charged with hindering apprehension or prosecution.

Police believe that Parent was killed late on April 9. His body was found three days later in a stream.

The Sun Journal said police believe that Parent and McNaughton were friends, but McNaughton had come to believe that Parent had served as an informant on criminal matters.


Burn victim had to leap from second-story unit

Fire officials say a Hampden woman who suffered serious burns in an apartment fire saved herself by jumping out a second-floor window.

Officials say Jennifer Seekings, 37, was burned over half of her body when her bed caught fire, mostly likely because of a cigarette or candle.

She’s being treated at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

The state Fire Marshal’s Office says Seekings jumped to safety at 11:30 p.m. Wednesday. She was living in an apartment in an addition to a house owned by her mother.

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