BRUNSWICK (AP) – Authorities have determined that a body found in Brunswick was that of a homeless man who had been missing for a week.

The state medical examiner used DNA to confirm the identity of 48-year-old Calvin Osnoe. DNA samples from his mother were used because fingerprints could not be read and dental records were not available.

Osnoe had been a fixture on Main Street for more 30 years, and was known for both his criminal history and his kind deeds.

His death triggered a public reaction from friends who paid tribute to him with street memorials and makeshift signs posted around town. Collections were being taken to pay for his funeral.

His remains were found near a school on July 17. Police said there was no indication that foul play was involved in the death.

Number of Maine Caesareans drops

PORTLAND (AP) – Fewer Maine women are choosing to have their babies by Caesarean section when it isn’t medically necessary, a new study shows.

Between 1999 and 2001, the incidence of first-time, “patient-choice” C-sections dropped nearly 10 percent in Maine.

During the period, 502 of the 34,715 women who delivered babies from 1999-2001 in Maine had the procedure without a medical reason. The number would have been 538 if the rate hadn’t changed.

C-section rates are often used as a barometer of cost and quality of health care. High rates may indicate that C-sections are being performed unnecessarily while low rates may show that C-sections are not being done when they should be.

Plymouth man dies; car hits horse

SIDNEY (AP) – A Plymouth man died early Wednesday when his car collided with a horse in foggy conditions on Interstate 95, state police said.

James MacKenzie, 46, was killed instantly when his southbound car struck one of two horses that had apparently wandered off a nearby pasture, said State Trooper Jeffrey Beach.

The collision’s impact sent the large horse into the car’s windshield and roof, crushing the driver, authorities said.

MacKenzie, an employee of Cianbro Corp., was traveling to a work site in Portland, police said.

The horse also died from the collision.

Man charged in death of son

OWENSBORO, Ky. (AP) – A Daviess County man who was convicted of child abuse in Maine has been charged with murder in the death of his 6-month-old son, authorities said.

Robert Michael Bednarski, 38, of Owensboro, was arrested Tuesday after a four-month investigation, Sheriff Keith Cane said.

Bednarski is accused of placing a blanket and king size pillow over the face of Josiah Bednarski March 19 to stop the baby from crying, Daviess County Coroner Bob Howe said. The death was ruled suffocation due to homicide.

Man jailed for assaulting teen

AUGUSTA (AP) – A Standish man was sentenced Tuesday to 40 days in jail for sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl.

Justin Benoit, 26, plead guilty in Kennebec County Superior Court to assault and was sentenced to 364 days in jail, all but 40 suspended, and one year of probation.

Benoit met the Readfield girl on the Internet and believed she was 18, according to both the prosecutor and the defense lawyer.

They began their relationship through e-mails in which the girl said she was 18, had graduated high school and was running her own day-care business.

The two went on a date and Benoit kissed and fondled the girl, prosecutors said.

When the two returned to the girl’s home, her parents tried to block Benoit’s car in the driveway. Benoit fled on foot, and police were called.

“The state is convinced Mr. Benoit did not know she was 13,” Deputy District Attorney Alan Kelley told the judge. “She may look older, but the state does not believe she looks 18.”

Some soldiers trickling home

PITTSFIELD (AP) – Army Lt. John Heaton was in Iraq for just hours before he found himself in a fire fight. Ten minutes later, the battle for a bridge near the Iraqi town of Samawah was over.

“It was the fastest 10 minutes of my life,” said Heaton, who earned a Bronze Star and Army Commendation Medal.

Heaton, who serves with the 3rd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, part of the famed 82nd Airborne Division, saw action eight hours after being airlifted into Iraq from Kuwait.

Ordered to take a bridge, Heaton’s 39-man platoon moved forward on March 27 as the temperature hit 110 degrees.

They were 250 yards away when a mortar flashed in the distance and an airburst detonated. They hit the ground.

“Boom. Boom. Boom. More pops went up and mortar rounds went off all around us,” the soldier said.

“Then came the storm. We looked up and could hear people shooting at us.”

Heaton’s forward observer called in artillery fire, while the platoon opened up with smaller weapons.

Heaton was ordered to pull back and resisted. After the second order, his platoon pulled back. Later, under cover of the darkness, the paratroopers returned and took the bridge without a shot.

On Sunday, Heaton came back to his home town and a hero’s welcome from friends and family members at the home of Cianbro Corp. president and chief executive officer Peter Vigue.

He was one of many battle-hardened soldiers who’ve returned in recent weeks.

Late last week, Marine Cpl. Eric Verhille sat on his parents’ deck in Randolph and reflected on two months of battle in Iraq, which included 13 days of heavy fighting in the city of Nasiriyah.

Verhille, part of the 3rd Battalion, Second Marine Division, served on a four-man sniper team trained to go ahead of friendly lines to scope out suspicious buildings in cities and villages that troops planned to raid.

Verhille said some of the Iraqi citizens were happy to see the American troops. The children were especially glad. “It was nice to see the kids,” he said. “You kind of feel sorry for them, the way they live.”

Leeann Verhille said the war had a profound impact on her son.

“He’s very mature. He’s very grounded,” she said. “He has a better respect for good ol’ Randolph, Maine.”

While some soldiers have returned home, other Maine parents of troops still overseas are anxious about their return.

Dangerous conditions, limited communication and rumors of return dates continue to color the way Maine families and soldiers view the war in Iraq – and the battle to uproot terrorism in Afghanistan.

And with a new commitment to remain in Iraq until a government is established, there does not seem to be an end in sight for the deployed troops.

Spouses and parents say it is the unknown that makes the war so difficult. Families sometimes don’t know the condition of their child or spouse, where they are and when they are going to return.

“You can’t really believe what you hear. That’s kind of frustrating” said Sally Boardman of Scarborough, whose son, 1st Lt. Jeremy Boardman, is serving in Iraq. Her husband, Richard, said morale among the troops is getting low because of all the uncertainty.

“It’s extremely hot and I guess morale isn’t very good overall. Not just him, but with others,” he said.

The approximate time of deployment for the Army is one year, but exact return dates are never really known.

Kathleen Smith, whose son, Lt. Christopher Smith, is serving in Afghanistan, said it’s almost futile to think about a return date.

“We have decided that we’re not going to try and envision when he’s going to come home because it’s such a letdown,” said Smith, of Westbrook. “We just have to wait and just be thrilled when we get the word.”

AP-ES-07-22-03 1016EDT

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