Suspect in battery theft captured after fleeing

A manhunt that started when a suspect who was dressed in pajamas during questioning at his home then fled the scene ended hours later in a wooded area when deputies from the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office arrested 36-year-old Jeffrey Luce on several criminal charges.

On Tuesday morning, Detective Sgt. Ronald Rollins went to Luce’s home on Hollywood Boulevard in Whitefield as part of an investigation into the theft of batteries from Bartlett’s Auto Sales in Whitefield, Lt. Michael Murphy of the sheriff’s office said in a press release. The stolen batteries were sold to a redemption center in Jefferson. The owner of the center identified Luce as the seller, Murphy said.

After a brief interview, Luce, who was still in his pajamas, told Rollins it was “all a mistake and that he would return the batteries to the owner.” Rollins told him he was under arrest, but gave him permission to go into his bedroom to change out of his evening wear.

Luce’s wife became argumentative, questioning why her husband was being placed under arrest, Murphy said. The distraction gave Luce enough time to flee from his house.

Several sheriff’s deputies and game wardens converged on the scene. They spread out, talked to neighbors and checked several miles of neighborhood roads.

While the search was going on, Rollins, Detective Scott Hayden and a police dog named Koda tracked Luce from his home into a thickly wooded area. After tracking him for nearly two miles, Luce was located and arrested.

He was taken to the Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset, where he was charged with felony theft, felony escape, violating conditions of his release, burglary, criminal trespass and forgery.


Man killed, three injured in three-vehicle crash

A man was killed and three other people were injured in a three-vehicle crash Monday in Stockton Springs, police said.

The victim of the crash, which occurred about 3:30 p.m. Monday on U.S. Route 1, was identified by authorities as Philip Grindle, 79. He was the driver of one of the vehicles and was traveling alone.

The three injured people were taken to Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast with what police called serious but non-life threatening injuries.

Their names were not made public.

Investigators told WABI-TV that one of the cars crossed the centerline.

The crash remains under investigation.


Boys & Girls Clubs get $100,000 Hannaford gift

The Hannaford Charitable Foundation awarded Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine $100,000 to expand and enhance the youth service program over the next seven years.

The money will be used to hire additional staff, create new programs and improve transportation options for the clubs that provide services in Greater Portland and Lewiston-Auburn, according to a release from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine. The award contributes to the organization’s
$3 million capacity campaign.

“Hannaford is committed to supporting healthy communities and to meeting the needs of our children,” said Heather Paquette, regional vice president of Hannaford Supermarkets and a board member for the clubs, in the release. “We are thrilled that this gift to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine will help that organization serve more young people in the years ahead.”

Hannaford has a long history of support for the clubs. Ed Hannaford, president of the Portland Boys Club Association from 1919-1941, spearheaded the organization’s first capital campaign to build the flagship downtown Portland Clubhouse in 1931 as a state-of-the-art facility at the time.

In 2001, it was a donation from the Scarborough-based supermarket chain that resulted in a major renovation of the Portland clubhouse, and an expansion of the South Portland clubhouse, according to the release.

More than 2,600 children and teens a year use the Boys & Girls Clubs at five facilities in Portland, South Portland and Auburn. Its Great Futures Campaign was launched in 2013 to expand the reach of the organization, especially to young people who need of out-of-school programs, safe places and support with graduating high school.


UMaine hosts conference on effects of melting sea ice

The University of Maine is hosting a two-day conference about the implications of diminishing Arctic sea ice.

The conference, which began Tuesday and continues Wednesday, is hosted by University of Maine School of Policy and International Affairs and the Maine Army National Guard. Organizers said in a statement the event will “explore challenges and emerging opportunities in the Arctic.”

The event is being held at the Maine Army National Guard Regional Training Institute, 289 Hildreth St. North, Bangor. Speakers are expected to address global, national and Maine issues related to the environment, trade, politics and policy.


Scallop fishery management meetings set around state

Maine officials will host a series of meetings in June to discuss the development of a scallop fishery management plan with the public.

The state Department of Marine Resources is hosting the meetings, which will also include discussions of the past scallop season and the coming season. State officials have said the last season’s catch will top the 2012-13 haul of 427,080 pounds at a nearly $4.9 million value.

The meetings are scheduled for June 2 in Yarmouth, June 3 in Rockland, June 16 in Ellsworth, June 17 in Machias, June 19 in Blue Hill and June 24 in Dennysville.

Officials said the Scallop Advisory Council’s “season setting” meeting will follow up on the meetings on June 30 in Ellsworth.

Leadership, nonprofit training groups to merge

The boards of directors of the Institute for Civic Leadership and of Common Good Ventures announced Tuesday that they have voted to merge the two organizations, effective July 1.

A press release issued by the organizations said a merger will result in a more dynamic organization to serve the communities of northern New England.

The Institute for Civic Leadership focuses on leadership training for individuals who work in business, nonprofit organizations, and municipal government.

Common Good Ventures focuses on improving the ability of nonprofit organizations and their supporters to achieve their missions.