EEE confirmed in more pools in Alfred and York, state says

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention says eastern equine encephalitis, a potentially fatal disease in humans, has been confirmed in more mosquito pools in Alfred, as well as in York.

Dr. Sheila Pinette, director of Maine CDC, said additional positive tests are likely.

EEE was first identified from mosquitoes collected from a pool in Alfred on July 16, marking the earliest the disease has been confirmed in Maine. It’s also been confirmed in neighboring states.

The virus is transmitted from the bite of an infected mosquito.

So far, there’s never been a human infected in Maine but the disease was found in a flock of pheasants last year and in multiple animals in Maine in 2009. Health officials recommend bug repellent and clothing to protect against mosquito bites.


Moose damages side of van driven by Olympian Wescott

Police say two-time Olympic gold medalist and Maine resident Seth Wescott got an close-up introduction to a moose this week.

Franklin County Sheriff’s Department Lt. David Rackliffe said Wescott was driving on Route 16 in Lang Township near his home in rural western Maine just after 1 a.m. Thursday when a moose ran out of the woods and struck the left side of the Olympian’s van.

Rackliffe told the Sun Journal that Wescott, 37, of Carrabassett Valley, was not hurt and the moose returned to the woods.

Damage to the van, however, is estimated at $3,000 to $4,000.

Wescott won gold medals in the snowboard cross in the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics.


Woman charged after tot left in car outside Walmart

Police have charged a Farmington woman with leaving her 20-month-old child locked in a parked car while she went shopping.

Two witnesses reported seeing the baby in the vehicle parked outside a Walmart in the late afternoon of Aug. 14, with the windows down 2 to 3 inches.

Police told the Sun Journal that a witness said the baby was crying.

After an investigation, Officer Justin Blais issued Denise Boulette, 34, a summons to appear in court on a misdemeanor charge of endangering the welfare of a child. She is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 9.

Boulette told police the baby was sleeping when she went into the store.


Former ed tech charged with boy’s sexual assault

A former education technician at a Maine public school has been charged with having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old male student.

Authorities said Tammy Larlee, 45, of Lincoln has been indicted on four counts of gross sexual assault and four counts of unlawful contact with a minor.

Police Chief Daniel Summer told WLBZ-TV that the relationship was uncovered while officers were investigating a burglary case involving the boy and Larlee. He said the relationship occurred this summer.

Larlee was an ed tech for special education students at Mattanawcook Academy in Lincoln.

No arraignment date has been set. It was unclear if Larlee had a lawyer.

Gross sexual assault carries a maximum 30-year prison sentence.


Corinth woman, 22, arrested for OUI after hitting cruiser

A Corinth woman drove into a utility pole Thursday night, then drove off north in the southbound lane of Interstate 95 until she hit a police cruiser in Old Town, setting it on fire, state police said.

McKenzie Kaphammer, 22, was arrested on charges of operating under the influence, aggravated criminal mischief, reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon and passing a roadblock, said Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland.

The Orono Regional Communications Center got an emergency call around 11:40 p.m. reporting that a car had hit a pole on Mill Street and then had been driven off.

About midnight, three calls came in about the same car going north in the southbound lane of the highway around Exit 191.

Trooper Christopher Hashey met the car around Exit 193 and tried to stop it, but Kaphammer kept driving, police said. Hashey then crossed over to the northbound lane and drove parallel to the car until he got ahead of it, and blocked its path with the cruiser and a tire-deflating device. He got out of the cruiser and moved a safe distance away.

Kaphammer did not try to stop or avoid the cruiser, but crashed into it around Exit 197, setting off a fire under the cruiser’s hood.

Hashey got Kaphammer out of the car and used a fire extinguisher to put out the flames.

Kaphammer was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor and treated, then taken to the Penobscot County Jail in Bangor, police said. Results of a blood-alcohol test were not available Friday afternoon.

Police said Kaphammer’s car and the cruiser were destroyed.


Safe recovered on riverbank after theft from historic site

A safe stolen from the Colonial Pemaquid historic site in Bristol has been found about 10 miles away by a 9-year-old boy playing on a riverbank.

The safe was stolen Aug. 18 or 19.

It was found last weekend in a cove on the Sheepscot River on Westport Island by Garrett Pinkham.

Garrett’s mother, Alice Cromwell, told The Times Record that the safe contained cash, a few rare coins, bank notes and 2014 state park passes.

John Bott, spokesman for the state Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Fishery, said Wednesday the safe had been used to store cash transactions.

Just how the safe made it so far remains a mystery. It’s 10 miles as the crow flies, but a nearly 30-mile drive.

The burglary remains under investigation.


Annual windjammer fest continues through Sunday

Maine’s historic fleet of windjammers is being celebrated at the annual Camden Windjammer Festival.

The festival kicked off Friday with the arrival of 15 windjammers. It continues Saturday and Sunday with boat parades, music, food and maritime exhibits and demonstrations.

Festival organizers say thousands of people attend each year to celebrate Camden’s maritime heritage from the age when majestic schooners were launched in Camden to today when elegant modern-day sailing yachts visit port.


Secretary of state decides order of five bond questions

Maine’s secretary of state has determined the order of the five bond questions that will appear on the November ballot.

Matthew Dunlap held a public drawing Friday at the Nash School Building in Augusta.

The $149.5 million bond package was approved Thursday by the Maine Legislature, which met in special session.

The first question will be for a $14 million bond to repair Maine’s armories. It will be followed by a $15.5 million bond to upgrade buildings at Maine’s universities, a $100 million bond for roads and bridges and a $4.5 million bond for Maine Maritime Academy. The final bond question will be a $15.5 million bond to expand classrooms and buildings at Maine’s community colleges.

There are no other questions on the November statewide ballot.



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