APPLETON

Maine man rescued after falling through ice

A Maine man has been rescued by two nearby skiers after his tractor fell through the ice of a pond in Appleton.

Eighty-three-year-old George Stevenson was plowing snow with his tractor onto Perry Pond on Tuesday when the fire chief says the tractor fell through the ice and sank.

Two women who were skiing on a ridge across from the pond heard faint cries for help. WCSH-TV reports that they found Stevenson clinging to the tractor in the icy water.

The women slid a nearby aluminum boat onto the ice and pulled Stevenson partway into the boat until the fire chief arrived and helped to get him onto the shore to meet the ambulance.

Stevenson was recuperating at Pen Bay medical Center Wednesday, where was listed in stable condition.

PORTLAND

Three-vehicle crash injures two, backs up I-295 traffic

A three-vehicle crash on Interstate 295 southbound near the Fore River Bridge in Portland early Wednesday afternoon injured two people and backed up traffic for more than an hour.

Two cars and a pickup truck crashed around 1:15 p.m. just north of Exit 4, leaving two people with injuries that were not considered life threatening, said Portland Deputy Fire Chief David Jackson. A door of one of the cars was damaged in the crash, so firefighters had to pry the door open to get inside, Jackson said.

“It just backed up traffic for a while,” said Jackson. Firefighters cleared the scene by around 2:15 p.m.

State police are investigating.

A Saco woman honored as a top judicial employee

A Saco woman is being honored as Maine’s outstanding judicial employee of the year.

Chief Justice Leigh I. Saufley announced Wednesday that the award goes to Gail Merritt, supervisor of the family division.

Saufley said that since Merritt became supervisor in 2009, the Family Division runs far more efficiently because of her management skills.

The award is given to the person who best exemplifies the qualities of competence in providing court services, commitment to public service, respect, courtesy to fellow employees and members of the public, and a willingness to learn and grow.

Awards were also given for career performance, special services, volunteer services and contributions to safety and wellbeing of the judicial branch employees and people who participate in court activities.

Farmington gets more time to file in wrongful death suit

A federal court judge has extended the deadline for Farmington officials to submit a response to a lawsuit alleging the wrongful death of a 28-year-old U.S. Army veteran who was shot and killed by a Farmington police officer in 2011.

The town of Farmington, Officer Ryan Rosie and Chief Jack Peck have until Jan. 8 to submit an answer to the lawsuit, which seeks unspecified monetary damages for civil rights violations and the wrongful death of their son, Justin Crowley-Smilek. The previous response deadline was Dec. 9.

The parents, Ruth E. Crowley of Milwaukie, Ore., and Michael Smilek of Farmington, are claiming wrongful use of deadly force and violations of the Maine and U.S. constitutions in the shooting death of their son on Nov. 19, 2011.

Crowley-Smilek was armed with a large knife when he arrived at the Farmington municipal building and was shot a short time later by Rosie. The state attorney general later ruled the shooting justified.

OGUNQUIT

Maine charitable group awards grant to RFK Center

A Maine-based charitable organization is awarding $200,000 over the next three to five years to the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. Officials say the money from the Tramuto Foundation will be used by the RFK Center to advance international human rights.

Donald J. Tramuto, who lives in Ogunquit, is the CEO and chairman of Physicians Interactive in Reading, Mass., which provides mobile clinical resources for health care professionals.

Beginning in 2014, more than $400,000 will be dispersed to a total of four recipients, including $75,000 for the Frannie Peabody Center to help immigrants living with HIV. The other grants go to the RFK Center and $100,000 for scholarships for international students and $5,000 to the Museum of American Art in Ogunquit.

BANGOR

Pliers, other items used in killing introduced as evidence

Items used to attack a man, including needle-nose pliers and a bent towel rack, have been introduced into evidence in the murder trial of the man’s wife in Bangor.

Law enforcement officers also showed crime scene photos to a judge on Wednesday in the trial of Roxanne Jeskey, who’s accused of killing her husband, Richard Jeskey, while in a jealous rage in June 2011.

Roxanne Jeskey told police she used several items including a baseball bat and pliers.

A medical examiner testified this week that the victim had been beaten and strangled, and had injuries from head to toe.

Testimony at the Penobscot Judicial Center was being heard by a judge, not a jury, at the defendant’s request.

The trial is expected to continue through the week.