Potential dam failure leads to warnings and draw-down

Leaking at the Gorham Dam prompted the National Weather Service to issue flash flood warnings for communities downstream of the dam.

Chad Miller, director of emergency management in Gorham, says the dam’s owner, Brookfield Renewable Power, reported a potential failure after divers discovered “significant structural issues.” The company is drawing water down to make repairs.

He says crews are going door-to-door to notify people in low-lying areas.

Steve Doyon, administrator of the state dam safety and inspection office, says the dam on the Androscoggin River has not failed.

It’s classified as a low-hazard dam, which means it is unlikely to affect people if it did fail.

Gorham is on the northern edge of the White Mountains.


Mother of the bride charged with slapping her daughter

Authorities say a heavily intoxicated mother of the bride slapped her daughter as she tried to escort her out of her wedding reception in Massachusetts.

Prosecutors say 55-year-old Leslie Duane of West Haven, Conn., was drunk Sunday after the ceremony and caused a scene at the Arabian Horse Farm Inn in Sudbury. The bride and several guests escorted Duane out of the reception. Duane allegedly slapped her daughter as she was helping her into a car.

The MetroWest Daily News reports that Duane was freed on $200 bail and ordered to have no contact with her daughter after pleading not guilty to assault and battery Wednesday.

Duane’s lawyer says the daughter tried to bail out her mother and that the no contact order is too much.


Lawsuit blames camp after girl gets Lyme disease

The parents of a New York girl are suing a Connecticut summer camp for $41.7 million, accusing the camp of failing to monitor and protect their daughter, who contracted Lyme disease.

Antonio Ponvert III, the family’s attorney, announced the federal lawsuit Wednesday against YMCA Camp Mohawk in Litchfield. Ariana Sierzputowski, 17, was bitten by ticks while attending the camp in 2011 at age 14, Ponvert said. She suffers debilitating injuries including memory loss and migratory joint, muscle and nerve pain, he said. “This amount also includes the profound mental, emotional and physical pain and suffering she has endured since 2011, and that she will endure for the rest of her life,” Ponvert said of the damages sought.

Renee Dwyer, the camp’s attorney, declined to comment.

A camp handbook promised to take precautions to protect campers from Lyme disease, Ponvert said. “Ariana was never told to wear tick protective clothing nor was she consistently instructed to use insect repellant,” Ponvert said.

Ariana repeatedly visited the camp infirmary and camp nurses with obvious signs and symptoms of Lyme disease, according to Ponvert.

She is completing her senior year at home.


Man accused of throwing cockatoo at police officer

A Waterbury man faces charges including animal cruelty after police say he threw an exotic bird at a police officer.

Luis Santana was spotted holding the bird while running on High Street Tuesday night. Police said they’d been called to the scene to break up a fight.

When an officer tried to stop and question him, Santana threw the cockatoo at the officer and ran into some woods.

The 32-year-old was found in a nearby house, after a homeowner reported someone had run into his basement.

Police say the bird, which didn’t belong to Santana, wasn’t harmed. They tracked down the owner, who retrieved it Wednesday.


Endangered status proposed for bat hard hit by disease

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Thursday it had proposed granting Endangered Species Act protection to the northern long-eared bat, a species that has been devastated by a disease known as white-nose syndrome.

But the service said it had determined that the eastern small-footed bat does not warrant protection.

The fungal disease white-nose syndrome has killed an estimated 5.5 million bats in the U.S. and Canada, federal officials said. The population of northern long-eared bats has plummeted by 99 percent in the Northeast since the disease was detected in 2006, the service said.

The service will now take public comment on the proposal for 60 days. It will then evaluate the information over a year to decide whether the bat species will be protected.


Police team up to solve 22 Dunkin’ Donuts robberies

Police from more than a dozen Boston-area communities are working together to solve 22 robberies at Dunkin’ Donuts stores over several months that have stumped law enforcement.

The robberies started in March when a Westwood shop was hit, and have continued up to this week, when stores in Bedford, Burlington and Rockland were robbed.

Police think a former employee may be responsible, given an apparent familiarity with store layouts and procedures.

Dunkin’ Donuts’ parent company is offering a $10,000 reward.

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