Man riding electric scooter injured when hit by car

A Windham man was injured Tuesday afternoon when the electric scooter he was riding in was hit by a car as he attempted to cross Route 302, police said.

Police said that Ralph Darling, 60, of Windham was transported to Maine Medical Center in Portland for treatment of non-life threatening injuries

The car’s driver, Patricia Owens, 84, of Denmark, was not injured.

Police said in a press release said that Darling was attempting to cross Route 302 in the area of Shaw’s Plaza when he was struck by Owens’ car around 3:15 p.m. That stretch of Route 302 is congested with traffic due to the high volume of retail stores and restaurants that line the road.



Man hospitalized for smoke inhalation from home fire

A 60-year-old Randolph man suffered smoke inhalation during a fire at his home Monday evening.

Richard Messer remained at Maine Medical Center in Portland on Tuesday for injuries he suffered in the fire, which investigators said started from a metal stove pipe attached to the fireplace in the house.

The two-story log cabin-style home, at 38 Mill Road, was destroyed. Both Messer and his wife were home at the time and managed to escape, but Messer then went back into the house three times to try to rescue the family’s cats. Three of the cats were rescued, but others died in the fire.



Vote falls short of overriding veto of moratorium measure

The Maine Senate fell short by one vote Tuesday of overriding Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of a bill that would have created a moratorium on virtual charter schools while the state developed a plan to create a state-run virtual school.

The Democratic-led Senate voted 23-12, although the bill initially had bipartisan support. Several Republicans switched their votes Tuesday, and the Senate fell short of the two-thirds vote needed to override the veto.

In his veto message, LePage said a moratorium hurts private virtual charter schools and does nothing to help advance the development of a state-run school.

The moratorium provision in L.D. 1736 would have directly affected Maine Connections Academy, which was recently approved by the Maine Charter School Commission to become the state’s first virtual charter school. Maine Connections Academy plans to open this fall.

Bill to allow arming Maine’s forest rangers moves forward


A bill that would allow Maine’s forest rangers to carry firearms is moving forward in the Democratic-controlled state Legislature.

In a 24-11 vote Tuesday, the Senate endorsed Republican Rep. Larry Dunphy’s bill, which won initial approval in the House earlier this month.

Officials estimate it would cost nearly $87,000. Rangers would have to take classes and training to be armed.

Forest rangers say firearms will protect them from the growing dangers they face in the field. But critics say rangers carrying weapons is inappropriate and unnecessary.

The Senate rejected a proposed amendment that would have created nine new “conservation officers,” who could carry firearms and enforce criminal laws and would restrict forest ranger enforcement to only civil violations. The measure faces final votes in the House and Senate.

Maine Senate endorses bill to insure more autistic kids


The Maine Senate has endorsed a measure that would allow more children to receive private insurance coverage to treat autism.

Current Maine law mandates that insurance companies provide coverage for treatment of autism spectrum disorder only for children ages 5 and under. The measure would raise that to age 10.

Supporters say some Maine children are being prevented from getting proper treatment or are forced onto Medicaid, which does cover treatment.

The bill introduced by Democratic Sen. Colleen Lachowicz of Waterville faces further votes in the House and Senate.


Zumba studio prostitution scandal’s last case resolved


A prostitution scandal in Kennebunk has quietly drawn to a close with resolution of the final client’s case.

The man was fined $500 last week after he pleaded guilty, joining dozens of others including a former mayor, minister and firefighter who now have convictions for paying for sex with a woman who used her Zumba studio as a front for prostitution.

The scandal made international headlines in 2012 with reports of 100 to 150 clients, many of whom were videotaped without their knowledge while engaging in sex with fitness instructor Alexis Wright.

In the end, charges were brought against 68 people accused of being clients, 65 of whom pleaded guilty or no contest, according to documents obtained under Maine’s Freedom of Access Act. Another client was convicted, one case ended in acquittal and charges were dropped in another case.

Wright served nearly six months in jail after pleading guilty to engaging in and promoting prostitution, as well as several welfare- and tax-related charges. Her business partner, Mark Strong of Thomaston, was sentenced to 20 days in jail for his role.


Man to serve 15 years for conspiracy, firearms charges

A Hudson man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for conspiracy to import bath salts, launder money and being a felon in possession of firearms.

Court records say Ryan Orton, 29, who was sentenced Monday, illegally obtained the drugs from China over the Internet.

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