Man faces charges of drunk driving, attempting to flee

A Naples man faces charges of drunken driving and trying to escape from police after he abandoned his car Monday night and was found hiding in the vestibule of a shopping plaza, police said.

Daniel Lajoie, 62, was charged with criminal operating under the influence – made more serious because of a prior drunken-driving conviction – refusal to submit to arrest, criminal speeding more than 35 mph over the speed limit, eluding an officer and drug possession.

A Cumberland County sheriff’s deputy followed a car east as it left a Naples restaurant at 10:40 p.m. Monday. The car quickly sped up to 67 mph through downtown Naples, where the speed limit is 25 mph, police said.

The car swerved onto Route 35, then turned into the nearby shopping plaza, police said. The driver stopped in the plaza parking lot and ran to a store vestibule, where he tried to hide behind a wooden pillar, police said.



Man indicted in shooting of girlfriend with children nearby

A Gardiner man has been charged in connection with a shooting last month that wounded his girlfriend as her children huddled in another room to keep from being shot.

Sean Kingston, 38, was indicted last week on charges of aggravated assault and reckless conduct in connection with the Dec. 7 shooting on Costello Road in Gardiner. Kingston, who was arrested two days after the shooting on a charge of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, was indicted on the same charge by the Kennebec County grand jury last week.

Kingston was being held Tuesday at the Kennebec County jail in lieu of $2,500 cash bail.

The victim, 34-year-old Shawna Snyder, was shot in the torso and taken by LifeFlight to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, Gardiner Police Chief James Toman said shortly after the shooting. Snyder was expected to make a full recovery.


Kingston, whose record includes two felony convictions, allegedly shot Snyder with a handgun. Kingston turned himself in to police on Dec. 8.


UMF expands program giving free on-campus housing

The University of Maine at Farmington is expanding a program that gives some students free on-campus housing for their freshman year.

The “Be Home At UMF” program was offered only to students from Mount Blue High School in Farmington last fall.

Director of Admissions Jamie Marcus said the program will be expanded to all high school seniors from Franklin County this year, the Sun Journal reported.


He said the goal is to give students the total college experience and break the feeling that college is just an extension of high school.

The deal can save a student $4,500 per year.

Marcus said the program has already spurred more interest in the university from area high school students.


Officials looking into cause of fire that destroyed home

A fast-moving fire destroyed a house early Tuesday in the Penobscot County town of Plymouth. The homeowner called 911 around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday after noticing the fire.

No one was injured, but the home was a total loss.

Responders told WLBZ-TV that the fire started in the basement. The cause is being investigated.

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