Teen’s body recovered from Aroostook River

Wardens have recovered the body of an 18-year-old who tried to swim across the Aroostook River.

Sgt. Daniel Menard said Wayne Estabrook of Caribou was picking fiddleheads with three friends along the river when he decided to swim to the other side Sunday evening. Menard estimated the water temperature to be in the low 50s.

Officials said five boats, an aircraft and seven wardens participated in a search Sunday night but that Estabrook’s body was not found until the next morning on a sandbar, two miles downstream from where he was last seen.

Wardens said Estabrook’s death is being treated as an accidental drowning but that it remains under investigation. Menard said strong currents and cold water temperatures were contributing factors.

Thunderstorms disrupt holiday in northern Maine

Powerful thunderstorms disrupted Memorial Day activities in northern Maine with heavy rain, hail and gusts topping 40 mph.

Meteorologist Joe Hewitt from the National Weather Service in Caribou said one of Monday’s storms produced a confirmed funnel cloud but that it didn’t touch down. He said there also were unconfirmed reports of crop damage from hail. He said one of the storms left hail piled 3 inches deep in Easton.

There were scattered storms across northern New England. Officials said one of the biggest storms passed just south of Caribou during the city’s parade and wreath-laying ceremony. Another storm in Hopkinton, N.H., produced hail the size of pingpong balls Sunday.

South Portland

Grass fire causes damage to siding of nearby house

A grass fire Monday damaged the siding of a nearby house, but no one was injured, fire officials said.

The fire broke out shortly after 3:30 p.m. near the baseball fields on Pine Street off Broadway and spread to about two acres in the windy weather, a dispatcher said.

The fire burned an open grassy area near the city’s greenbelt, according to Sgt. John Sutton. He said the cause of the fire was not known.


Single-engine aircraft towed from grass air strip

A single-engine aircraft that made an emergency landing at a grass air strip in Harpswell on Sunday was towed Monday.

Kathleen Bergen, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration, said two people were aboard the single-engine Van’s Aircraft RV-4 when the pilot reported a fuel problem Sunday evening.

The plane landed on a grass airstrip in Harpswell with no injuries. Bergen said the plane was en route to Brunswick, and that the FAA is investigating.

The air strip is off Birchmere Lane at Fryar Field.

The owner of the plane and others helped push the aircraft out of the nearby thicket Monday so it could be towed. He declined to answer questions when approached by a Press Herald employee.

The plane did not appear to be damaged.


Sierra Club plans to host series of outdoor events

The Maine chapter of the Sierra Club will host a series of outdoor events to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the federal Wilderness Act.

The events include hiking, camping and canoeing trips in Maine’s wild areas. The events begin May 31 with a trip to Sears Island and end with a writing workshop at Lunksoos Camp in Stacyville from Oct. 3-5. Other events include a yoga retreat at Camp Mechuwana in Winthrop from Aug. 22-24 and a celebration of the 100 Mile Wilderness at West Branch Pond Camps in Greenville from Aug. 8-10.

President Lyndon Johnson signed the Wilderness Act in 1964. It established the National Wilderness Preservation System.

Sand and gravel habitats getting most use in gulf

A study of Gulf of Maine shallow-water habitats by the federal government finds that sand and gravel habitats are used the most by fish and invertebrate species in the gulf.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released the report, which tracked 16 species in different life stages and habitats. The report is intended to identify Gulf of Maine species that use shallow-water habitats that are threatened by humans. It is also meant to enhance the permit application process for activities that could affect the habitats.

The report says the next most utilized habitats after sand and gravel were mud, eelgrass, macroalgae, boulder, salt marsh channels, and shell beds.

Boothbay Harbor

Boat race, antique parade on calendar during June

The Boothbay Harbor One Design Boat Race and Annual Antique Boat Parade will take place on June 22 and 24.

The One Design Boat Race is scheduled for June 22 at 1 p.m. between the Boothbay Harbor Shipyard and the Tumbler Island buoy. The race features Boothbay Harbor Twenty-Foot Class boats, which are unique to the area.

The Antique Boat Parade is scheduled for June 24 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. and will include more than 20 antique boats that are each at least 25 years old. Organizers say Whale Park and the decks of the town’s waterfront restaurants are good places to view the parade.

Both events are part of the 2014 Windjammer Days festival, which lasts from June 22 to 28.

– From staff and news services