Police investigate roles of speed, alcohol in fatal crash

An Arundel man died early Friday morning after the motorcycle he was riding crashed near 625 South St. in Biddeford.

Geoffrey Holbrook, 22, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash at 2:46 a.m.

Police say Holbrook was driving a 2005 Suzuki GSX-RX but had only a permit and was not wearing a helmet.

The accident is under investigation and police suspect alcohol and speed may have contributed to the crash.


Farmington man killed in head-on collision Friday

A 57-year-old Farmington man was killed in an accident on Route 27 Friday morning when his van crossed the center line and collided head-on with a tractor-trailer, police said.

William Ellsworth was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, about one mile north of the Farmington town line, said Franklin County Sheriff Scott Nichols.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, Daniel French, 29, of Alfred, was taken to Franklin Memorial Hospital where he was treated for minor injuries and released, he said.

The van, a 1999 Plymouth Voyager, was destroyed and the tractor-trailer sustained between $15,000 and $20,000 worth of damage, said Nichols. He said the truck was going north toward Kingfield when the accident was reported around 9:15 a.m. Nichols said Ellsworth was wearing a seat belt and did not appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation, but Nichols said there were no skid marks on the road that would have indicated the driver swerved to avoid the truck.

There were no passengers in the van, he said.

Nichols said Friday’s rain did not appear to have been a factor in the accident.


Teen dies after apparently accidentally shooting self

Authorities say a Hancock County teenager who appears to have accidentally shot himself has died.

The sheriff’s office says Jesse Sinclair, 19, was in his home when he shot himself on Aug. 3.

Sinclair was taken to Maine Coast Memorial Hospital in Ellsworth before being transferred to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, where he died.

Police say other people were at home at the time, but are not releasing any additional information because the investigation is continuing. 

Lightning strike likely caused power outage

A power outage that left more than 7,400 Central Maine Power Co. customers in parts of Brunswick, Freeport, Harpswell and Topsham without electrical service Friday morning was likely caused by a lightning strike, a company spokeswoman said.

Electricity had been restored to all customers by shortly before 2 p.m., said CMP spokeswoman Gail Rice.

Customers first began reporting outages around 8:36 a.m., and utility crews tracked the source of the outage to two poles in a remote area on River Road in Brunswick near Interstate 295, Rice said.

“It looked like it was lightning related,” Rice said. “This happened to hit a transmission line that serves a significant substation.”

The strike “completely destroyed” two glass insulators that go on the power lines between poles, she said.

Crews on at least nine trucks worked to restore power from mid-morning to noon, returning power to a first wave of about 1,250 customers by 11 a.m. and all the rest by 2 p.m., Rice said.


Student’s app identifies invasive aquatic plants

Invasive aquatic plants? There’s an app for that.

University of Maine at Farmington senior Christopher Bond has created an application for mobile devices to help people identify invasive aquatic plant species and report them to a lake-monitoring program.

Bond’s efforts started as a National Science Foundation Grant project to protect Maine’s natural resources and help advance economic development in the Rangeley Lakes Region.

His app features 11 of the most common invasive aquatic plants in Maine. It helps identify the plants with a series of questions and high quality graphics. Once identified, the user can attach a photo of the plant and the GPS coordinates to an email that’s sent to the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program.


Plans to demolish historic church placed on hold

Plans to demolish Lewiston’s historic St. Joseph’s church are on hold for now.

The 159-year-old closed and deconsecrated church building and rectory were sold for $125,000 in May to Central Maine Healthcare, which announced plans to tear it down to create a parking lot for the nearby hospital.

A hospital spokesman tells the Sun Journal those plans are now on hold. Chuck Gill says the hospital will take another look at the church and site and look at other options.

He previously said the church is in such poor condition that it’s not worth renovating.

Lewiston Director of Planning and Code Enforcement Gil Arsenault says there is still a chance the church will be torn down.

Some people protested plans to tear down the former Roman Catholic church.


Maine residents recruited for border-protection jobs

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is looking for young, healthy and fit Maine residents who need a job.

Customs and Border Protection officers are hosting several recruiting events this month, beginning Friday at the Stratton library and continuing at the Carrabassett Valley library and the Skowhegan Career Center next week. They’re also holding an open house at Jackman and Coburn Gore ports of entry the week of Aug. 19

Officers work to ensure terrorists don’t enter the U.S., inspect travelers and enforce customs, immigration and agriculture laws. Applicants must pass fitness and medical exams and have to be under the age of 37 at the time they’re referred for selection.

A Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman says it can be challenging to fill Maine positions because officers often seek work in larger ports.


Thousands expected at boat and home show

Boat lovers are making their way to Rockland this weekend for a show with more than 70 boats of all shapes and sizes.

Organizers say 8,000 to 10,000 people are expected for the 11th annual Maine, Boats, Homes & Harbors Show, which kicked off Friday and runs through Sunday at Rockland’s Harbor Park.

The show features dozens of power and sail boats in the water and on land.

The show also has tents filled with exhibits, music and events for families and children.

The show is put on by the Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors magazine.


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