JUNEAU, AlaskaCoast Guardsman sentenced for incident in Maine

A Coast Guardsman from Maine has been convicted on charges of committing indecent acts with a child and making a false official statement.

A military judge sentenced Petty Officer Benjamin L. Sylvester, 43, to seven years’ confinement. He is scheduled to serve three years, with four years suspended, in compliance with a pre-trial agreement.

Sylvester, who is from Belfast, Maine, also was sentenced to a dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances and reduction in grade during the court-martial held Thursday in Juneau.

The Coast Guard, in a news release, said the indecent act with a child charges stemmed from 2004 when Sylvester was stationed in Maine. The allegations were brought forward in November 2012.

BerwickWoman hospitalized for severe smoke inhalation


A 63-year-old Berwick woman has been transferred to a Boston hospital after suffering severe smoke inhalation Friday in a fire on First Street.

Firefighters responded to the fire at 8:30 a.m. and found Rebecca Galleshaw still in bed, authorities said. Galleshaw lives alone.

Firefighters administered CPR and were able to get a pulse before she was rushed to a hospital in New Hampshire.

Galleshaw was listed in critical condition Friday night at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Investigators with the State Fire Marshal’s Office said the fire started in electrical wiring in the basement.

Fire damage was confined to the basement but the rest of the one-story house had heavy smoke damage, authorities said.

The fire was under control by 9 a.m.


SacoSchool board appoints interim superintendentThe new Saco School Board has appointed an interim superintendent to lead the school department as it completes its withdrawal from Regional School Unit 23.

Michael Pulsifer, who currently is RSU 23’s assistant superintendent, was appointed Wednesday as interim superintendent for Saco. He is expected to lead the district for the next 18 months.

Saco residents voted in November to withdraw from RSU 23, the district it joined five years ago with Dayton and Old Orchard Beach. Dayton also voted to withdraw. Saco will officially become its own district July 1.

Pulsifer was a principal in Old Orchard Beach schools for 21 years before moving to the RSU 23 central office five years ago. He has been assistant superintendent for the past two years. He will continue full-time with the RSU through the end of the school year.

Kevin Lafortune, chairman of the school board, said the board chose to appoint an interim superintendent now instead of immediately launching a time-consuming search for a more permanent candidate. He said Pulsifer will help guide the district as it develops its first budget and negotiates contracts.

Lafortune said he believes Pulsifer will help make the transition go more smoothly because he is already familiar with the city, students, staff and school buildings.

Pulsifer will receive a stipend for the part-time work he does for the district this spring. He also signed a one-year, $115,000 contract that begins July 1.

— From staff and news services

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