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February 6, 2013

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This looks like a good place for a nap

OLD TOWN Police reportedly found a vehicle parked in the middle of Main Street with the driver passed out on the wheel. 

Officer Ryan Fitch was on routine patrol on Feb. 3 around 3 a.m. when he came upon a vehicle that was stopped in the middle of Main Street for no apparent reason. There were no traffic lights or stop signs in the area where the vehicle was stopped. Fitch noted that the headlights and brake lights were on and the car was running. He approached the driver's side and saw a man in the driver's seat with his chin on his chest and apparently passed out. The man's foot was on the brake and that was the only thing preventing the car from moving, as it was running and still in drive.

With the assistance of Officer Jim Fearon, Fitch knocked on the window and hollered at the man for some time but got no response. At one point the officers even ran the siren in the cruiser, to no avail. Eventually, Fitch called his supervisor to request permission to break the window and secure the vehicle for safety reasons. After getting approval, the officers used a safety hammer to break the window. They then shut off the car and put it in park. They were also able to rouse the driver, who confirmed he had not heard the yelling and was unaware that they had broken out the window of his car.

They identified him as Eric Bufresne, 21, of Presque Isle. They administered standard field sobriety tests, which he did not pass to the officer's satisfaction. He was placed under arrest and escorted to Penobscot County Jail.

4th of July Corporation embezzlement release

BANGOR The Greater Bangor 4th of July Corporation, a nonprofit organization which produces the Bangor area's annual Independence Day celebrations, together with the Bangor-Breakfast Kiwanis Club, a local nonprofit civic organization for the benefit of children, discovered as a result of a financial review in August that funds were missing and possibly misappropriated.

The financial review performed by officers of the nonprofits uncovered questions of fund accountability by the organizations' shared treasurer covering a period of several years. The initial discovery was made after fellow officers and other members of the organization's board of directors were unable to verify funds on deposit at a local financial institution following fund raising events surrounding the July 4th 2012 celebration. The missing money did not affect the disbursement of funds to charitable beneficiaries of last year's activities including Chords for Cure concert proceeds to benefit EMHS Healthcare Charities and the ALS Association.

'We are saddened to learn that a fellow volunteer for the Fourth of July Corporation has violated our trust and the trust of our donors and residents of the area, who depend on us for the Independence Day festivities,' said Tony Bernatche, president of the nonprofit. 'We struggle each year to bring the best possible event to the Bangor and Brewer areas, and part of that struggle is the funding last year's fireworks alone cost $20,000.'

The Corporation and Bangor-Breakfast Kiwanis Club contacted the Bangor Police Department immediately upon discovery of the accounting irregularities. The individual involved was relieved of his responsibilities and is no longer active with either organization. The organizations have also implemented new internal controls and procedures to prevent a future occurrence.

'We sincerely hope the trust of the many businesses, organizations and individuals who support our efforts will continue,' Bernatche said.  'While one individual may have crippled us temporarily, we're confident we can recover from this with help from the public and our loyal supporters who care about maintaining traditions that come with celebrating our nation's Day of Independence and the significant related charitable efforts.'

MAP Awards

BANGOR On Jan. 26, the Bangor Association of Police Awards banquet was held to recognize officers and civilians who make a difference. Niko and Beth Turlla, who own Angelo's Pizza, were given the Business Recogniztion Award for their numerous school fundraising events, spaghetti suppers to raise money for people stricken with cancer and other charity events. Despite working seven days a week for the past 12 years, the Turllas completed their citizenship process and recently became United States citizens.

The Heroism Award was given to Rob Angelo for his actions on April 11, 2011, when he received a call that there was a woman in the water. When he realized she was not going to be able to make it out, he removed his gunbelt and vest and went in after her, pulling her to safety. 

The Lifesaving Award was issued to Michelle Kasap-Gomes for her heroic efforts to save the life of a stranger. On March 9, 2011, Mercier responded to a medical emergency call. He found Michelle Kasap-Gomes kneeling over a man and performing chest compressions. The paramedics arrived and took over, transporting the man to the hospital. Mercier learned that Michelle had noticed the man in distress inside his vehicle. She approached him and saw him turning blue. Unable to revive him, she ordered others to help her remove him from the car, and she called 911 before starting CPR. 

Another Lifesaving Award was issued to Officers Jason Linkletter and Tim Shaw. On Oct. 13, 2011, the Bangor Police Special Enforcement Team had effected the arrest of a 23-year-old woman. While officers were searching her home, she attempted to swallow drugs wrapped in cellophane. Officer Jason Linkletter became aware of her actions, placed her on the floor and encouraged her to spit them out, but the items became stuck in her trachea and she was unable to breathe.

Shaw attempted the Heimlich maneuver, but was unable to dislodge the items and her condition began to deteriorate. They could not locate a pulse and she wasn't breathing.

Linkletter began CPR and after a minute and half established a pulse. He then placed the woman on her side and her color began to improve. Paramedics were able to then remove the obstruction from her airway.

A third award was given to Bonnie Martin and her daughter Ashley Patterson, who both witnessed two pedestrians that were struck by a vehicle on Hogan Road and then rendered medical care and human compassion to those involved.

Martin, a cardiac nurse at Eastern Maine Medical Center, instructed her daughter to move the van so she could treat the injured people. Patterson also provided comfort to the traumatized driver.

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