Michaud, LePage favored closely in election survey

A new survey shows Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud about even with Republican Gov. Paul LePage among Maine voters in the 2014 race for governor.

Critical Insights of Portland interviewed 600 likely voters across the state Sept. 27-30 for its fall tracking survey gauging Mainers’ opinions on a variety of topics.

When asked who they would vote for if the governor’s election were held tomorrow, 33 percent said they’d vote for Michaud and 30 percent chose LePage. Twenty-four percent of those surveyed said they’d vote for independent Eliot Cutler.

The survey, released Thursday, has a sampling margin of error of 4 percentage points.

The election is in November 2014.

Concert-goers who OD’d won’t identify the substance

Police say they don’t know what substance five people overdosed on at a concert Tuesday night.

Police reported that the concert-goers became unconscious or incapacitated after taking a drug while at the Flux Pavilion concert at the State Theatre. However, the individuals would not cooperate with police efforts to identify the substance, said Lt. James Sweatt.

“Technically, they’re not committing a crime,” he said. “We’re treating them as a casualty.”

Officers suspected it was a mixture of an unknown drug and alcohol, he said. In such circumstances, alcohol can be very dangerous, he said.

The unknown substance was not an opiate like oxycodone because the people were not treated with Narcan, he said.

Hospital officials could not be reached to discuss the episode.

Police are working with the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency to follow up on the reports, in part to determine if there are any new substances or new drug potencies that might pose a danger to people unfamiliar with them.


Girl, 15, nears end of trek alone on Appalachian Trail

A 15-year-old girl is hiking through Maine as she nears the end of the Appalachian Trail in her attempt to become the youngest person to hike the trail from end-to-end alone.

Neva Warren of Spring Hill, Fla., began her trip in Georgia on April 1.

On Wednesday, she had about 15 miles to go to Mount Katahdin, the northern end of the 2,200-mile trail. After reaching the peak, she was going back to another part of Maine to hike a 100-mile stretch that she passed over earlier.

Warren told WLBZ-TV she plans to take it easy for a while after the hike’s completed.

Neva’s parents have been following her in the family camper, and she wears a GPS tracking device so they always know where she is.


Two plead guilty to charges linked to UMF rooftop caper

Two men spotted on the roof of a University of Maine at Farmington building last month have pleaded guilty to related charges.

Devon Pease of Farmington and Joshua Farthing of Panama City, Fla., pleaded guilty Wednesday to criminal mischief and criminal trespass.

The 21-year-old Pease was seriously hurt when he fell about 40 feet Sept. 3 while trying to evade police who ordered him down. The Sun Journal reports he appeared in court on crutches.

Sentencing was deferred a year. If the men successfully complete an agreement that requires substance abuse evaluation and counseling, their guilty pleas will be withdrawn and charges will be dismissed. If they fail, they face a year in jail.

They have also been banned from campus and ordered to pay more than $900 in restitution.


It’s the peak foliage period for central Maine swath

Conservation officials say the fall colors are hitting peak levels across much of eastern, central and western Maine in time for Columbus Day weekend.

In its weekly fall foliage report, the Maine Forest Service says rangers are reporting that the foliage is 75 to 100 percent toward peak in a swath stretching from Bethel in the west to Bangor to Calais in far eastern Maine.

Coastal Maine from Kittery to Bucksport is 50 to 75 percent toward peak, while northern Maine is past peak.

Foliage reports are updated weekly through mid-October on www.mainefoliage.com.

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