Mother, 4-year-old son taken to hospital after crash

A mother and her 4-year-old son were taken to a hospital after a two-vehicle crash in Rumford.

Sgt. James Bernard says 56-year-old Arthur Chappell of Rumford was driving a pickup truck north Wednesday afternoon on Franklin Avenue and 34-year-old Hylie Sweetser of Rumford was driving a car west on Plymouth Street when the vehicles collided at the intersection.

Chappell told police he didn’t realize until too late that there was another car entering the intersection, the Sun Journal reported.

Sweetser and her son were taken to Rumford Hospital after a complaint of pain and discomfort.

Chappell was not injured.

No citations were issued but both vehicles had to be towed from the scene.


Ex-ambulance firm worker sentenced for child porn

An Oxford County man who downloaded child pornography on the job at an ambulance company in the town of Mexico was sentenced Wednesday in federal court to serve six years in prison.

Jason Littlehale, 42, of Andover, pleaded guilty to the felony charge of possession of child pornography on Sept. 30, 2013, in U.S. District Court in Portland before Judge Nancy Torresen.

Littlehale used his laptop computers while working at Med-Care Ambulance from Sept. 23, 2011, to April 24, 2012, to download still images and videos of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct, court documents say.

When law enforcement agents went to his home on April 24, 2012, Littlehale initially denied that he intentionally downloaded the images and videos. He reversed his plea to guilty only a week before he was due to stand trial.

Torressen also sentenced Littlehale to serve 10 years of supervised release following completion of his prison term.

Two music acts set for free Monument Square shows

Two national music acts, The London Souls and Spirit Family Reunion, will play free shows in Monument Square this summer as part of the annual “Alive at Five” after work concert series.

The announcement was made Thursday morning by Portland’s Downtown District and the State Theatre.

The London Souls, a group with a classic rock sound, will play July 10 with Maine-based Kenya Hall Band as the opener.

Spirit Family Reunion, an Americana-roots group, will play Aug. 7 with local folk band The Ghost of Paul Revere as the opener. Both shows will be 5-7:30 p.m.

This year the five-show series’ programming was changed from all music to a combination of music and arts.

There will also be three shows in the middle of the series – July 17, 24, 31 – held under the name “Arts Alive.” Those shows, not yet announced, will feature performances by Portland arts organizations.

For more information on the two “Alive at Five” music shows, visit


Man pleads guilty to passing counterfeit traveler’s checks

A Windham man pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court in Portland to passing $18,000 worth of counterfeit traveler’s checks.

Keith Coleman, 48, had passed 180 fake $100 American Express Travelers Cheques from Dec. 17, 2013, to Jan. 10 of this year at Applebee’s, Best Buy, CVS Caremark, Denny’s, TGI Fridays, Longhorn Steakhouse, Olive Garden, RadioShack, Rite Aid, Ruby Tuesday, Staples, Target and Toys ‘R Us in Maine and elsewhere, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Coleman was arrested Feb. 27 and remained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service until March 5, when he was released by Magistrate Judge John Rich III on $5,000 unsecured bond.

He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. His sentencing date was not immediately available Thursday evening.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service and the Auburn, Augusta, Biddeford, South Portland, Topsham and Everett, Massachusetts, police departments.


Flash turns photo op into piggyback ride for squirrel

A photo op with a squirrel that went awry has left a teenager flustered but unhurt.

Seventeen-year-old Brian Genest of Auburn said Thursday he saw what appeared to be a friendly squirrel on a hand rail while walking through John Chestnut Park near Tampa, Florida. He was on a trip looking at colleges.

Genest took a selfie of himself and the squirrel. But the flash and noises from his camera phone scared the squirrel, which climbed under his shirt and hung onto his back before scampering out.

“He was just in that spot where my arm can’t reach him,” Genest said. “I threw myself on the ground, and that scared him off.”

Genest’s mother, Paula Wright, snapped photos of the hoopla, originally posted to his Instagram feed along with his selfie.

Genest had approached the squirrel making clicking sounds with his tongue to get closer. His mother said the spectacle Saturday taught him a lesson.

She said neither her son nor the squirrel was harmed.


Massachusetts man held on heroin distribution charge

Police on Wednesday arrested a Massachusetts man suspected of distributing heroin in northern Cumberland and Sagadahoc counties.

A monthlong investigation by agents with the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency and Cumberland District Task Force led to a group of men from Massachusetts, including Alex Santiago, 25 of Boston, who would travel to Maine’s midcoast once a week with large amounts of heroin, police said. The men would then provide the heroin to local distributors to sell locally, police said.

The Massachusetts men would stay in hotel rooms and collect money once the drugs were sold, then return to Massachusetts to buy more heroin, police said.

Santiago was arrested at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at a Route 1 parking lot in Yarmouth as he delivered 10 grams of bulk heroin, worth $3,000, to an undercover agent, police said.

Santiago is being held in Cumberland County Jail in Portland on $15,000 bail on a charge of aggravated drug trafficking. He is charged with a Class A crime, the most serious drug offense, because he has a prior trafficking conviction and because he was selling more than six grams of heroin, police said.

Police expect to make more arrests.

Correction: The Portland news item “Ex-ambulance firm worker sentenced for child porn” was revised at 10:37 a.m., May 2, 2014, to reflect that Jason Littlehale was sentenced to serve six years in prison. A previous version contained incorrect information provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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