Local man in Boston hospital after crashing his motorcycle

A Berwick man remained hospitalized Sunday night at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston after he lost control of his motorcycle Saturday on Guinea Road in Berwick.

Police Sgt. Jeff Scott said the hospital would not release the condition of Robert V. Cushing Jr., 46, only disclosing that he was a patient at the hospital.

Scott said Cushing was operating a 2005 Harley-Davidson on Guinea Road near James Way when he veered left, hit some dirt and lost control of the motorcycle.

Rescue crews responded to the single-vehicle crash around 3:30 p.m. Saturday and transported Cushing to Wentworth-Douglass Hospital in Dover, N.H. Cushing eventually had to be airlifted to Boston with head and shoulder injuries. He had not been wearing a helmet.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation, Scott said.


Mother, child hospitalized after two vehicles collide

A young mother and a 1-year-old child were transported to a local hospital after their car collided with another vehicle Sunday night near the entrance to the Lebanon House of Pizza on Carl Broggi Highway.

State Trooper Kyle Wells said 19-year-old Chastity Morton was attempting to make a turn from the southbound lane when her Dodge Stratus hit a northbound car operated by 18-year-old Eric Beaudoin of Rochester, N.H., around 6:25 p.m.

The force of the impact cut the child’s face and caused Morton to complain of neck pain. Beaudoin and his two passengers did not suffer any injuries.

Wells said the child, Madison Finnegan, was properly restrained in a child seat at the time. Morton and Finnegan were transported by ambulance to Frisbie Hospital in Rochester, N.H. Their injuries did not appear to be serious.

Wells said he did not know why the two drivers did not see each other. The road, also known as Route 202, was shut down for about 15 minutes.

The accident remains under investigation.

Two crashes leave a vehicle in swamp, another in ditch

Two pre-dawn traffic accidents kept the town of Lebanon’s Rescue Department busy Saturday.

Assistant Rescue Chief Jason Cole said the first crash was reported at 1:45 a.m. on the Carl Broggi Highway.

When Cole arrived, he found a 2006 Pontiac sedan that had rolled over into a swamp. Both occupants, assisted by other motorists, were able to get safely out of the car.

The 18-year-old male driver and a 16-year-old female passenger, both of Lebanon, were transported by ambulance to Frisbie Hospital in Rochester, N.H., where they were treated for non-life threatening injuries, Cole said.

State Trooper Kyle Wells, who investigated the crash, said the 18-year-old appeared to have fallen asleep at the wheel.

Then around 3:25 a.m. Saturday, rescue personnel were called to Center Road, near Upper Cross Road, where they found a Ford F-150 pickup truck that had gone off the highway, hit a mailbox and landed in a ditch.

Emergency crews used a thermal imaging camera to make sure the driver, who had left the accident scene, was not nearby. Maine State Police said that some time after the accident, the driver notified police that his truck had been stolen.

Cole said the Center Road site has been the scene of several accidents this year, including a double fatal crash.


UMaine researchers leading study of nutrition education

Researchers at the University of Maine are leading a study to determine how cooking can combat childhood obesity.

The project is called iCook.

Throughout the two-year study, some participants will take classes on topics such as proper food handling, nutrition groups and structured meal times. They will also have access to a website to track their progress.

Researchers are hoping to determine the impact the classes have on the body mass index of the participants.

The study is designed to improve culinary skills and promote family meals.

The $2.5 million U.S. Department of Agriculture study is also being done in Nebraska, South Dakota, Tennessee and West Virginia.


Law lets island lobstermen set 550 traps, up from 475

Lobstermen on Swans Island off the eastern Maine coast are now allowed to fish more traps.

Gov. Paul LePage last week signed into law a bill allowing Swans Island fishermen to have 550 traps, an increase from 475.

The law aims to increase economic opportunities by allowing Swans Island lobstermen to take advantage of the plentiful summer lobster harvest. Officials say the higher trap limit won’t threaten the lobster resource.

Most lobstermen in Maine are allowed to have up to 800 fishing traps, but Swans Island and some other fishing zones have lower limits. Swans Island is located about five miles south of Mount Desert Island and has a population of about 330.


State doing new study on public use of private land

Outdoor recreationists in Maine are being asked to share their attitudes and opinions about public use of private land.

The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife — in collaboration with the Maine Professional Guides Association, the Maine Snowmobile Association and the Small Woodland Owners Association of Maine — is sending surveys to 1,000 people randomly selected from license and registration databases. The results will help address land-use issues across Maine.

Officials said many landowners in an earlier survey indicated they were considering forbidding public access because of people not respecting their land.

Maine has a long history of people being allowed to fish, hunt, snowmobile and enjoy other outdoors activities on private property, but some landowners are denying access because of problems such as illegal dumping and road damage.


Five cars involved in crash with injuries on I-295 south

State police and local ambulance crews responded to a five-car pileup reported Sunday night in the southbound lane of Interstate 295 in South Portland.

The crash, which was reported around 8:15 p.m. near exits 2 and 3, involved five vehicles, and there were unofficial reports of at least two injuries.

— From staff and news services