PORTLAND (AP) – A small two-engine airplane skidded off one of the runways at the Portland International Jetport when its landing gear collapsed Friday evening, officials said.

The Cessna 421B veered off the runway and hit one of the runway lights after the right landing gear gave way, said Jim Peters, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman in New York.

Neither of the two people aboard the plane were hurt, Peters said.

The incident happened at 7:36 p.m. The leased airplane, which was manufactured in 1973, was scheduled to land in Portland but it’s unclear where the flight originated, Peters said.

Husband charged in wife’s shooting

LEE (AP) – Investigators on Saturday returned to the scene of what they described as a domestic shooting that left a 52-year-old woman critically wounded and her husband behind bars.

Rosemarie Dyer was listed in critical condition at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, where she was being treated for a shotgun wound in the leg.

Carl Dyer, 50, was being held at the Penobscot County Jail and faces preliminary charges of aggravated assault, police said.

Penobscot County sheriff’s deputies responded Friday afternoon to a 911 call from the husband, said Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety.

“It’s not clear as to what sparked the violence,” McCausland said.

The shooting took place at the couple’s home on a dirt road about a quarter mile off Route 168.

Huge flag flies over Fort Gorges

PORTLAND (AP) – A huge American flag that will fly high above Fort Gorges between Memorial Day and Labor Day was dedicated Saturday in a ceremony overlooking the entrance to Portland harbor.

The raising of the flag capped a two-year effort by ex-Marine William Whitten of Yarmouth to raise $11,500 for the project and win the approval of the City Council.

Critics had complained that the display of the flag was intended as a show of support for the war in Iraq, but Whitten maintained that he had no such purpose.

At the dedication ceremony in Fort Allen Park, Whitten said he hopes the 12-by-15-foot flag atop a 50-foot pole on the fort built in 1865 on a ledge at the mouth of Casco Bay will inspire pride in America.

“I just ask, from me to you, to think about the value of the American flag and what it means and what it stands for,” he said.

In addition to the pole and six flags, each of which is expected to last a year, Whitten provided solar panels to light the flagpole.

VA program helps new war veterans

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) – New combat veterans returning from war won’t have to wait long if they seek help dealing with the horrors they’ve survived, thanks to a new priority system at the VA Medical Center.

“They are our highest priority. If they need services, they will get them as soon as possible,” said Terrie Raposo, who coordinates mental health services for veterans from New Hampshire, southern Maine and northern Massachusetts.

The VA has set up a system that allows for almost immediate response to calls for help with stress-related problems, usually with an appointment on the day of the call, Raposo said. She began working with veterans following the first Gulf War. She said she and colleagues have learned that the quicker they help, the quicker veterans can get on with their lives.

But veterans are slow to seek help. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine this week found that nearly one out of 20 U.S. troops returning from the war may be affected with stress-related disorders, but less than half of them seeking help.

Raposo told The Telegraph of Nashua that almost 2,000 reservists from units in Lon

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