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REGIONAL DIGEST.

The following correction was published Aug. 16, 2007:

TEMPLETON - Robert W. Thompson III was the driver of a GMC pickup truck that was involved in a collision with another pickup truck in the Baldwinville section of town Friday. His name was incorrect in a story in the Telegram & Gazette Saturday.

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COLUMN: REGIONAL DIGEST

Trucks collide in Templeton

TEMPLETON - Danielle Griffis was working the cash register at the Cumberland Farms store in the Baldwinville section of town when a wild scene unfolded before her eyes.

Two trucks collided, one truck, a black Ford F350, then shattered a telephone pole and careered across Route 202 toward the convenience store/gasoline station she was working in.

"I was petrified," she said. "It was crash, boom, and then there was a truck headed toward me."

The truck crossed the road, but was prevented from smashing very far into the store's lot by a telephone pole guide wire it was entangled with.

Ms. Griffis said that as soon as she saw the accident, she reached for the telephone and called 911.

Then, realizing liquid was pouring from the truck, she backed away from the store's front window, concerned the vehicle might blow up.

Police said Mark Anderson of Templeton was driving the Ford F350 north on Route 202. Robert Thompson II (SEE CORRECTION) of Winchendon was driving the other truck, a black GMC pickup, entering the highway from the store's parking lot.

Police said Mr. Anderson, a 16-year-old male passenger in his truck and Deborah Draleau, 37, a passenger in Mr. Thompson's truck, suffered minor injuries.

They were taken by Templeton Rescue Squad and Winchendon Fire Department ambulances to Heywood Hospital. Information on their conditions was not available last night.

The telephone pole, located between Grace Baptist Church and Baldwinville's post office, was broken in three pieces, causing a power outage. Police are investigating the cause of the accident.

Northboro man charged in sex case

NORTHBORO - A 58-year-old Northboro man was arrested Thursday in the Wal-Mart parking lot, after police said he planned to pay an investigator he thought was an 18-year-old man to engage in sexual conduct.

John J. Lake of 135 Whitney St. was arrested about 6 p.m. According to a police statement, Detective Brian T. Griffin initiated an investigation after information was given to police in May.

Mr. Lake allegedly expressed interest in online communications to meet someone he believed was an 18-year-old man. He allegedly wrote and offered himself as a "generous older guy looking to hook up with a young guy ... are you up for some good oral and some cash," according to the statement.

On Thursday, he provided his telephone number to undercover officers over the Internet and agreed to meet the undercover officer in the Wal-Mart parking lot to engage in sexual conduct for a fee, and offered to pay $100, according to the police statement.

He was arrested and charged with agreeing to pay another person to engage in sexual conduct. Mr. Lake is to be arraigned Monday in Westboro District Court.

Worcester man faces drug charges

WORCESTER - Police arrested Fernando Davis last year in connection with a shooting, but when witnesses refused to come forward, the case fell apart.

Yesterday, Mr. Davis was arrested on a warrant charging him with trafficking in cocaine and possession of marijuana. The arrest followed surveillance and a series of controlled drug purchases by police.

Mr. Davis, 23, of 7 Egan Ave., was being held on bail at the police lockup pending arraignment Monday in Central District Court.

Vice Squad Sgt. Eric A. Boss said Officer Darnell McGee, in the culmination of a monthlong investigation, applied for the warrant and arrested Mr. Davis at 8:15 yesterday morning at his home. Police allegedly found 23 grams of crack cocaine near some drainpipes in his basement, along with packaging materials and $760 in cash.

Police also found small amounts of marijuana in several locations of the home, they said.

"He's very, very well-known to the Worcester Police Department," Sgt. Boss said.

Mr. Davis was arrested in connection with a July 2006 shooting near an Interstate 290 underpass on Seymour Street. The 25-year-old victim was subsequently driven to a Cambridge Street apartment, rather than a hospital.

On Nov. 16, the charges against Mr. Davis were dismissed.

Man acquitted of sexual assault

WORCESTER - A jury has acquitted a Warren man of charges of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl.

Ernest C. Kendall, 48, whose address is listed in court records as 20 Carpenter St., Warren, was found not guilty by a Worcester Superior Court jury Thursday of child rape and indecent assault charges.

The 12-member jury acquitted Mr. Kendall, who had a prior sexual assault conviction, on three counts of child rape and two counts of indecent assault and battery, according to court records.

The sexual assaults were alleged to have occurred Sept. 18, 2004, in Warren.

In 1997, Mr. Kendall was found guilty of indecent assault and battery after a jury trial in Western Worcester District Court in East Brookfield and was sentenced to jail, according to court records.

Mr. Kendall, who was discharged from his arrest after the not-guilty verdicts were returned Thursday, was represented by lawyer Bruce E. Hopper. Assistant District Attorney Maura K. McCarthy was the prosecutor and Judge Francis R. Fecteau presided over the trial.

CME planner joins farmland board

WOODSTOCK - John P. Guszkowski, a senior planner at CME Associates, has been appointed to Connecticut's Farmland Preservation Advisory Board.

The newly created 12-member board is charged with evaluating and making recommendations on the purchase of development rights for agricultural land; encouraging participation by municipalities and farmers; and planning for acquisitions. The board also helps identify prime land for agricultural preservation and outreach strategies.

Since 2003, Mr. Guszkowski has served as president and CEO of the nonprofit Eastern Connecticut Resource Conservation and Development Area Inc., in which he initiated the Connecticut Tour Des Farms bicycle ride to support Connecticut farmland.

$150,000 raised for HealthAlliance

LEOMINSTER - More than $150,000 raised in a golf tournament Monday will go to the 2008 HealthAlliance health care career opportunity scholarship program and to help pay for the HealthAlliance Emergency Department.

The event was sponsored by Fidelity Bank, The Shine Initiative, the HealthAlliance medical staff, Shields Health Care Group, and Siemens Medical Solutions.

Gregg Lisciotti of Lisciotti Development also donated a match of $25,000 of the $60,000 raised during the event's evening auction. The tournament was held at The International golf club in Bolton, with 252 golfers participating.

The hospital awarded nearly $80,000 in scholarships in May to students pursuing careers in the medical field.

Over the years, the HealthAlliance golf tournament has raised more than $1.1 million.

ART: PHOTOS

PHOTOG: (1) GEORGE BARNES; (2) T&G Staff/MARK C. IDE

CUTLINE: (1) "It was crash, boom, and then there was a truck headed toward me," said Danielle Griffis, who was working in the Cumberland Farms store in Baldwinville when this accident occurred. (2) ART FROM THE MILL: Pieces of personal effects that have been recovered from the Bernat Mill fire were on display yesterday at the Alternatives Art Gallery on Main Street, Uxbridge. Laura O. Cenedella, left, and Pamela W. Murphy look at some of the art.
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Title Annotation:LOCAL NEWS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Aug 11, 2007
Words:1208
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