Video shows a teen falling off a Six Flags ride — and a crowd gathering to catch her

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National and international headline

Video shows a teen falling off a Six Flags ride — and a crowd gathering to catch her

A teenage girl escaped serious injury Saturday evening after falling 25 feet from an amusement park ride in upstate New York — and into the arms of a crowd that had gathered below to catch her.

The dramatic fall and rescue was captured on video by at least one bystander at Six Flags Great Escape in Lake George, New York, about 60 miles north of Albany, where the incident took place.

In the video, a girl wearing blue shorts and a gray shirt can be seen dangling from a stopped gondola and screaming as several onlookers shout in alarm. Another person is seated inside the two-person gondola, not in apparent danger of falling.

“I was sitting there waiting and I heard the people screaming,” Loren Lent, who witnessed the incident, told The Washington Post. He said he had been standing nearby waiting to photograph his own family members, who were in a later gondola on the same ride.

After several moments, Lent can be heard in the video yelling: “They’ll catch you! They’ll catch you, honey, go ahead!” It was then that the girl plummeted to the ground, hitting a tree branch before being caught by several people below. The video showed onlookers cheering after the girl was caught and then the girl being carried away, limp.

Bernie Sanders responds to ongoing FBI fraud probe into wife’s 2010 bank loan

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and his wife, Jane, attend the White House Correspondents’ Association annual dinner in Washington, April 30, 2016.

Last week, Bernie and Jane Sanders had retained attorneys to represent them in a long-running investigation into the collapse of Burlington College, which Jane Sanders led from 2004 to 2011. The investigation began in January 2016, when attorney and Vermont GOP vice chair Brady Toensing urged the FBI to probe whether Jane Sanders had committed bank fraud to acquire a new campus for the college.

Bernie Sanders predicted Saturday night that the probe would be a political fizzle.

“This was a story that just, amazingly enough, came out in the middle of my presidential campaign, initiated by Donald Trump’s campaign manager in Vermont,” Sanders said in an interview, between rallies in Pennsylvania and Ohio organized to defeat the Senate Republicans’ health care bill. “That’s about it. I don’t think it’ll be a distraction.”

Trump and Modi set for first high stakes meeting

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures during a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in Russia, June 2, 2017.

President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold their first face-to-face meeting in Washington on Monday, seeking to boost U.S.-Indian relations despite differences over trade, the Paris climate accord and immigration.

Their White House session promises less pomp than Modi’s previous visits to Washington, which included former President Barack Obama taking him to the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in 2014.

But Trump administration officials have pointed to both leaders’ impact on social media — each has more than 30 million Twitter followers — as proof that they are cut from the same cloth, and predicted the two would get along well.

White House blames Obama for failing to stop Russia collusion

White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway attends a healthcare listening session at the White House in Washington, D.C., June 5, 2017.

The White House blamed the Obama administration Sunday for failing to tackle possible Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential election, sticking with a new strategy to fault President Donald Trump’s predecessor for an issue currently facing the president himself as part of a widening FBI probe.

Appearing on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday morning, Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, struck a combative tone, saying: “It’s the Obama administration that was responsible for doing absolutely nothing from August to January with the knowledge that Russia was hacking into our election. They did absolutely nothing. They’re responsible for this.”

Tillerson urges Qatar and the Gulf states to negotiate an end to their rift

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks during a press conference after talks with Chinese diplomatic and defense chiefs at the State Department in Washington, June 21, 2017.
Kevin Lamarque | REUTERS

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Sunday criticized some of the demands by Saudi Arabia and its allies on Qatar as “very difficult” to meet, and urged the countries to tamp down the rhetoric and start negotiating.

“While some of the elements will be very difficult for Qatar to meet, there are significant areas which provide a basis for ongoing dialogue leading to resolution,” Tillerson said in his statement, which urged the parties to sit down and have a conversation about what he called the “requests.”

“We believe our allies and partners are stronger when they are working together towards one goal which we all agree is stopping terrorism and countering extremism,” he said. “Each country involved has something to contribute to that effort. A lowering of rhetoric would also help ease the tension.”

Tanker fire in Pakistan kills more than 100

A soldier stands guard amid burnt out cars and motorcycles at the scene of an oil tanker explosion in Bahawalpur, Pakistan, June 25, 2017.

More than 100 people died Sunday in Pakistan when an oil tanker overturned and caught fire and a crowd rushed in to collect fuel, police said.

The tanker flipped over on a highway in the city of Bahawalpur in Punjab province about 6 a.m. Seeing fuel spilling onto the road, villagers in the area, some riding motorcycles, rushed to the site with buckets and containers, said Raja Riffat, the Bahawalpur police chief.

“About 10 minutes later, the tanker exploded in a huge fireball and enveloped the people collecting petrol,” Riffat said.

Black off-duty cop tries to help stop a crime, and is shot by another officer

A “friendly fire” incident in which an off-duty St. Louis policeman was shot while coming to the aid of fellow officers has taken on racial overtones after an incendiary claim by the injured officer’s attorney: The officer was viewed as a threat because he was black.

Nebraska Democrat caught on tape saying he was ‘glad’ Steve Scalise was shot

Police investigate a shooting scene after a gunman opened fire on Republican members of Congress during a baseball practice near Washington in Alexandria, Virginia, June 14, 2017.

A Nebraska Democratic official has been removed from his chairman post after recordings emerged in which he said he was glad that House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-Louisiana, was shot and that he wished he had died.

In the recording, Phil Montag, who was the volunteer co-chairman of the Nebraska Democratic Party’s technology committee, criticized Scalise by saying “his whole job is to … convince Republicans to (expletive) kick people off (expletive) health care.”

“I’m glad he got shot. … I wish he was (expletive) dead.”

Local headlines

Susan Collins waiting for CBO score before she decides on Senate health bill vote

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, speaks to reporters after Senate Republicans unveiled their version of legislation that would replace Obamacare on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 22, 2017.

A key moderate Republican senator said Sunday she’s waiting for a Congressional Budget Office score to finalize her position on the Senate bill to repeal and replace Obamacare and that she has concerns about the measure’s impact on older and rural Americans.

“I have very serious concerns about the bill,” U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said on ABC’s “This Week.” The CBO score “will be so important.”

Collins said she’s “very concerned” about cuts for older people with serious, chronic illnesses and the impact on lower-income Americans, as well as the cuts to funding for rural hospitals and nursing homes through Medicaid reductions.

“Based on what I’ve seen, given the inflation rate that would be applied in the outer years to the Medicaid program, the Senate bill is going to have more impact on the Medicaid program than even the House bill,” she said.

Eddington man dies in Orono motorcycle crash

An Eddington man died early Saturday morning after he crashed his motorcycle into a utility pole on outer Forest Avenue in Orono.

Peter Gooden, 55, died at the crash site, which was about a quarter-mile beyond Orono Landing Road, Orono police Chief Josh Ewing said Sunday.

Hundreds turn out for Bangor pride parade and festival

Rainbows could be seen nearly everywhere downtown on Saturday as the city celebrated Bangor Pride 2017.

A parade down Main Street featuring members of the LGBT community as well as organizations and businesses kicked off around 10 a.m., after occasionally heavy rain slowed down to a sporadic drizzle.

The parade and the festival that followed were the culmination of a week of events and activities for the region’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender residents and their allies.

Rockport fighter, a ‘man who knows no limits,’ wins MMA title at 52

Patrick Kelly of Rockport (right) sizes up Rafael Velado during their New England Fights amateur lightweight title fight on June 17 in Lewiston. The 52-year-old Kelly beat Velado to claim the belt.
James Allen Walker

When Patrick Kelly was winning a New England wrestling title at the University of Maine more than three decades ago, the aches and pains inherent in that achievement surely suggested that such combat endeavors weren’t going to become a lifetime sport like golf or tennis.

So even as Kelly continued to enter grappling tournaments 15 and 20 years later, much of his competitive side inevitably turned to a highly successful coaching career at his alma mater, Camden Hills Regional High School, where he has contributed to 15 state championship teams as a head coach or as an assistant.

He was inducted into the Maine Amateur Wrestling Alliance Hall of Fame in 2007, but try telling Kelly — or anyone he has sparred with in mixed martial arts — that his playing days are over.

On June 17, when Kelly scored a three-round unanimous decision over previously undefeated Rafael Velado to win the New England Fights amateur lightweight championship at Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston — at age 52.

Most crisis phones on Penobscot Narrows Bridge out of order as crews search river for body

A crisis phone is seen on the Penobscot Narrows Bridge from Verona Island. The bridge connects Verona Island to Prospect.
Ashley L. Conti | BDN

Three of the four crisis hotline phones installed on the Penobscot Narrows Bridge two years ago — marked with signs that read “You are not alone” — were out of order the same day that authorities were searching the river for a possible body.

State workers checked the phones just hours after a vehicle was reported abandoned in the middle of the bridge at about 3:30 a.m. Friday. Two Marine Patrol boats and a drone from Down East Emergency Medicine Institute, an Orono-based search and rescue organization, later were searching the water.

“We are looking for a possible individual,” said Jeff Nichols, spokesman for the Maine Department of Marine Resources. “There was a vehicle left on the bridge and there is a possibility a subject may have gone into the water.”

A Maine Department of Transportation spokesman said the agency has had trouble with the phones for months and that Friday morning only one of the four phones was working. There are two phones on each end of the bridge.

Driver collides with ambulance responding to emergency medical call

This 2007 Ford Taurus was heavily damaged Saturday afternoon in a collision with a Houlton ambulance at the intersection of North Street and Union Square, according to the Maine State Police.
Maine State Police

A Houlton man crashed his car into an ambulance that was on its way to an emergency call on Saturday afternoon, according to the Maine State Police.

George Barrow, 83, of Houlton collided with the side of the ambulance at the intersection of North Street and Union Square in Houlton.

He did not see or hear the ambulance, according to police.

Living and events

LGBT farmers find opportunity, adversity in rural Maine

Greg King and his husband Kyffin Dolliver at their Morrill farm. The couple own and operate Morrill Century Farm, where they raise mixed vegetables, laying hens, pigs and cattle. Dolliver works on the farm full time, but King works off the farm and is attending nursing school.
Gabor Degre | BDN

On a golden day last September, farmers Kyffin Dolliver and Greg King traded their jeans and Muck boots for slightly more formal attire and got ready to celebrate an old-fashioned wedding at their 150-acre Morrill Century Farm.

The two had a simple, private ceremony in the barn and then threw open the barn’s doors to, well, just about everyone. And they all came: friends, family, farm customers, neighbors, Morrill residents they know from the general store and more, crowding around long tables groaning with food, tapping their toes to the sounds of a string band outside and, after the sun went down, gathering around a huge bonfire that sent cheerful sparks into the night sky.

“It was a great day,” King, 29, said.

A few of the townsfolk they invited to the celebration were initially surprised to learn the two young farmers were not brothers or friends, as they had assumed, but engaged to be married. It didn’t take long for any surprise to turn to happy excitement, though, the newlyweds said. Dolliver and King felt like people in Morrill “kind of went out of their way” to let them know that even if their politics likely did not align with the farmers’, it didn’t matter.

“I’ve always felt growing up in Maine that there’s a really healthy dose of live and let live,” Dolliver said.

Maine school district receives thousands in federal funds for farm-to-school initiatives

Etna-Dixmont Elementary School student Hailey Power, 5, holds a corn seedling before planting it in the school’s vegetable garden, May 25, 2017.
Gabor Degre | BDN

Like a large percentage of schools in Maine, Regional School Unit 57 has implemented several initiatives to bring local agriculture into its seven schools. However, the projects ― a new greenhouse, a couple of school gardens and composting efforts ― are relatively isolated from each other.

But after being awarded nearly $34,000 in grant funding through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm to School Program, RSU 57 Superintendent Larry Malone is hoping the district is able to forge a farm-to-school initiative that is cohesive throughout all of the district’s seven schools.

“We have [agriculture curriculum] in pockets, and what we’re really looking to do is form a sustained effort so that it becomes a part of what RSU 57 will do [districtwide] and not hinge upon a specific teacher,” Malone said.

Layers in Time: Hands-on Exploration of Wabanaki Life and Culture Through the Ages

Every Tuesday in June from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. the Abbe Museum at Sieur de Monts is hosting an archaeologist-led program where you can learn about Wabanaki material culture and the archaeological record in Maine.

This is a hands-on activity where you can touch artifacts and replicas while learning about Wabanaki cultural adaptations over the past 12,000 years.

This is a drop-in event so there’s no registration required!

Panel discussion on ‘Mountain Lions in Maine’ 

BookSpeak, a literary forum based in Damariscotta, will hold a panel discussion by scientists and environmental writers titled “Mountain Lions in Maine: Rewilding the Maine Woods” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 28, in the Darrows Barn at Damariscotta River Association’s Round Top Farm, 3 Round Top Lane.

Rt. 17 Ramblers to hold free concert at Rockport Masonic Center

The Rt. 17 Ramblers featuring Rosey Gerry are on tap and will play a free lawn concert at the Rockport Masonic Center from 6 to 7 p.m. June 28. The event is free to the public with pass the hat donations taken for the band. You are encouraged to bring a lawn chair or blanket and enjoy the summer night and music.

History of Maine fire towers

Collin Brown

Bill Cobb, director of the Maine chapter of the Forest Fire Lookout Association, will give a presentation about several historic fire towers Down East, including the much beloved Grand Lake Stream tower that sits atop Indian Hill. The tower was built in 1934, and it is currently the oldest standing, enclosed wooden tower in Maine, and potentially New England. Following the presentation, we will take a group walk up to the GLS Tower to examine the site.

The talk will be 5 to 7:30 p.m. June 30 at the Grand Lake Stream School Building, 15 Water St., in Grand Lake Stream.

195th Army Band to play Old Town concert series

Performing for audiences around the world and in their own backyard in Maine, the 195th Army Band’s Concert Band is carrying on a proud tradition of military bands past and present by presenting free patriotic public performances.

The band will perform 6:30 to 8 p.m. July 6 at Riverfront Park, North Main Street, in Old Town.

Red Cross and Old Town Fire Rescue partner to install free smoke alarms

The American Red Cross of Maine and the Old Town Fire Rescue Department are teaming up to install free smoke alarms in residents’ homes and teach people how to be prepared for home fires.

Old Town residents can sign up for the free smoke alarm installation by calling Ron Springel of the Red Cross at 874-1192, ext. 113. The Red Cross, the Old Town Fire Rescue Department and community volunteers will follow-up with the installation on July 22.

“Working smoke alarms are key to escaping a home fire safely. That early warning, along with a practiced escape plan to a designated meeting area and early notification to emergency services can greatly reduce death and injuries,” Capt. David Daniels of the Old Town Fire Rescue Department said.

Appalachian Trail Conservancy 2017 Maine Conference coming to Waterville

Appalachian Trail Conservancy

Waterville will host the 2017 Appalachian Trail Conservancy Conference. It will be held at Colby College Aug.4-11.

The week-long event features over 240 hikes, numerous workshops, and excursions to local areas of interest.

Each evening there are exciting adventure presentations and stellar entertainment.

Business headlines

In a better job market, Maine can’t fill openings in college help program

University of Maine students move into campus to start the 2014 school year.
BDN file

Karen Keim’s looking for adults who want to go to college or return to college. Better economic times appear to make that harder than usual.

Through a federally funded program based at the University of Maine, Keim has about 450 openings to offer college counseling to adults 19 and older who don’t have bachelor’s degrees.

In most years, Keim said it’s not difficult to fill the program’s 2,269 spots well before enrollment closes Aug. 31. This year, she said low unemployment statewide appears to put a damper on the number of people looking for higher education help.

Sears to close 20 more stores, totaling 260 closures this year

A Sears logo is seen inside a department store in Garden City, New York, on May 23, 2016.

More bad news for Sears Holdings: The beleaguered chain on Friday said it will shutter an additional 20 U.S. stores, amounting to more than 260 closures so far this year.

The announcement, which deals yet another blow to the 124-year-old company, comes as retailers across the country struggle to stay relevant in an era of online shopping. Department stores like Sears, J.C. Penney and Macy’s have been particularly hard hit as Americans look beyond the suburban shopping mall for clothing, furniture and appliances.

“These are businesses that have badly neglected their customers, forgotten that stores need to be invested in and are running out of ways to raise cash,” Brian Sozzi, a former retail analyst, wrote Friday on “This is yet another sign that Sears’ business model no longer works, and efforts to save costs are in no way deep enough.”

Regulators to allow lobstering in protected coral areas in Gulf of Maine

Lobstermen will continue to be able lay traps in parts of the Gulf of Maine where deep-water corals are found, but the use of bottom-tending fishing gear will likely be prohibited there.

On Thursday, the New England Fishery Management Council voted to protect recently discovered corals in the inshore gulf by creating zones where the use of dredges and trawls will be off limits, according to council spokeswoman Janice Plante.

The regulatory body’s decision, however, makes exemption for lobster traps and pots which will still be allowed in the coral protection zones near Mount Desert Rock and along the Outer Schoodic Ridges.

Opinion headlines

Colleges revive segregation with separate graduations

George Danby | BDN

Harvard, for example, had its first separate commencement ceremony for black graduates in May. This was followed by a separate graduation for Latino students. The University of Delaware staged a so-called ” lavender graduation” for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students. And Columbia University separated out its first-generation graduates with a special graduation in their honor.

Who would have thought segregation would become fashionable again and that it would be promoted by the bastions of liberalism — colleges and universities — which, in recent history at least, have been at the vanguard of the fight for equality, inclusiveness and community?

Maine should fear being labeled a high tax state. Just look at Connecticut.


“We fear … Maine again being labeled as among the most taxed states in the nation.” Those aren’t the words of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, though they could be. No, that quote is from a BDN editorial last Novemberopposing passage of Question 2, the 3 percent surtax on annual income over $200,000 to provide more funding for education.

But this isn’t just about individuals; this surtax falls the hardest onto the backs of Maine small businesses. That’s why more than 30 statewide business associations and dozens of small businesses continue to advocate for its repeal this session, and it is why the Legislature must act now to find a different way to fund public education.

The great Muslim civil war — and us

A picture of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad is seen outside the historical Umayyad mosque during the holy month of Ramadan, in old Damascus city, Syria, June 14, 2017.

The U.S. shoots down a Syrian fighter-bomber. Iran launches missiles into eastern Syria. Russia threatens to attack coalition aircraft west of the Euphrates. What is going on?

It might appear a mindless mess, but the outlines are clear. The great Muslim civil war, centered in Syria, is approaching its post-Islamic State phase. It’s the end of the beginning. The parties are maneuvering to shape what comes next.