Maine man who drove SUV into couple in their driveway sentenced to 20 months

Dakota Brann

AUGUSTA — A West Gardiner man accused of deliberately running his sport utility vehicle into two people in their driveway last April pleaded guilty Wednesday to two felony charges of reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon.

Dakota L. Brann, 21, who also has an address in Augusta, was indicted in July on two counts of elevated aggravated assault and two counts of aggravated assault for causing serious injuries to two people with his vehicle, as well as one count of leaving the scene of an accident involving personal injury.

On Wednesday at the Capital Judicial Center, those charges were dismissed and the reckless conduct charges were added.

No explanation was offered in court for why the altercation occurred, and District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said afterward that there was no clear indication of why it happened, but it might

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When it’s worth flying to buy a used car

DETROIT – If you’re willing to fly, you can save — perhaps thousands of dollars — when you buy a used SUV, car or truck.

Used vehicle prices vary wildly between U.S. metro areas, sometimes over $3,000. So with some careful research and a plane ticket, it might be worth the time it takes to travel.

“For the adventurous deal-seeker looking to save some money, it’s a viable option,” said Lisa Rosenberg, a data analyst with, an online sales site. “The savings can be pretty extreme.”

Flying to buy isn’t for everyone. There’s a big risk in buying a car sight-unseen, and not everyone wants to trust a used car salesman who’s 1,000 miles away.

Dealer takes on auto industry over selling recalled cars

Rosenberg, who has analyzed used-car variances between metro areas, said Miami generally has the lowest prices in the country, followed

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GM faces federal probe over faulty brakes on 2.7M pickups, SUVs

The U.S. government is investigating more than 100 complaints of poor brake performance on 2.7 million General Motors big pickups and SUVs.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says a brake vacuum pump can deteriorate, causing increased braking effort and longer stopping distances.

The agency has 111 consumer complaints including nine crashes and two injuries.

The investigation covers 2014 through 2016 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups. Also involved are Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe, the GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade SUVs.

The agency will determine how often the problem happens and whether a recall is necessary.

GM is monitoring complaints and warranty claims about the brakes and is working with NHTSA to evaluate them, spokesman Tom Wilkinson said Friday.

Any owner who has a problem with brake performance should have them examined by a GM dealer or independent repair shop, Wilkinson said.

They should keep receipts because they could be reimbursed for repairs if

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On the Road Review: Lexus LX570

This time of year brings out the worst of Maine’s roads, especially the shaded, narrow, worn two-tracks that rural drivers experience on their daily commutes.

Undulating heaves, water-filled potholes, rutted ice dams and frozen ditches often populate the drive, creating specific test-track circumstances that new-car chassis engineers probably lust for.

The cabin is covered in rich leathers, the seats are pliably soft, and the ride is hushed. Photo by Tim Plouff. The cabin is covered in rich leathers, the seats are pliably soft, and the ride is hushed. Photo by Tim Plouff.

TIm Plouff, automobile reviewer for the Ellsworth American. TIm Plouff, automobile reviewer for the Ellsworth American.

A succession of wintry storms regularly renders salt, sand, and more salt, until a special patina embraces your beloved vehicle.
Our Eminent White Lexus LX570 proved competent, but didn’t demonstrate a

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At Portland’s Cars & Coffee, the Ford Mustang still means America

At a gas stop at a Chevron in Lakehead, California, I stop in the middle of the candy aisle to read email.

“Hey! Why does your license plate say DIE?” The voice from the front of the store asks.

He says it again, then again, before I realize he’s talking to me.

“It doesn’t,” I explain. It’s a Michigan manufacturer’s license plate with a special code. “It says DTE and then some numbers.”

I burrow back into email next to the Snickers. He calls out again, and this time he wants to know what’s really going on with the blood-red Mustang parked outside.

“So, how’s that thing drive?”

The cashier’s name is Mike Spencer, and he’s a car guy. A car guy, not normally a Ford guy. His brother has a Dodge Challenger Hellcat, his dad has a 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle with a 396 small-block V-8, and he has a 1979 Chevrolet Camaro

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Alec Baldwin agrees to plea deal in altercation over parking spot in New York

NEW YORK — Days after appearing as President Trump in a “Deal or No Deal” parody on “Saturday Night Live,” Alec Baldwin took a deal of his own, agreeing Wednesday to attend an anger management class to resolve a criminal case stemming from a skirmish over a parking spot.

Actor Alec Baldwin has pleaded guilty to harassment last fall outside his home in New York.

Baldwin, who was accused of striking another driver in the face during the dispute last fall outside his New York City home, pleaded guilty to harassment and will have his case record sealed once he completes the one-day class. The charge is a violation, the lowest level of offense.

A misdemeanor attempted assault charge was dropped.

Prosecutors offered the compromise after reviewing video of the incident, looking at medical records and talking with

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2016 Lexus RX 350 comforts, but doesn’t innovate

The 2016 Lexus RX 350 (I give it four out of four stars) is likely to continue the luxury SUV’s track record of sales leadership.

When it went on sale in 1998, the first RX defined a new kind of upscale SUV intended for on-road use rather than towing and off-road excursions. Lexus has sold 2.1 million RXs, a figure that makes other luxury brands envious. Competitors focus obsessively on the RX when they develop new luxury SUVs.

The new, fourth-generation RX is likely to remain the best seller, thanks largely to high fuel economy and Lexus’ seemingly permanent position atop studies of quality and customer satisfaction.

Still, I was struck by a distinct lack of technical and design leadership in the loaded, all-wheel-drive RX 350 F Sport that recently carried me in comfort more than 600 miles from the hills of Appalachia to the shores of the Great Lakes.

With the exception of

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Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen arrives at federal prison

NEW YORK — Michael Cohen took a last swipe at President Trump as he reported to a federal prison Monday to begin a three-year prison sentence for crimes including tax evasion and campaign finance violations related to hush-money payments made to protect his former boss.

“I hope that when I return to my family that the country will be in a place without xenophobia, injustice and lies at the helm of our country,” Cohen said. “There still remains much to be told and I look forward to the day where I can share the truth.”


Michael Cohen, former attorney for President Trump, leaves his apartment building in New York on Monday before beginning his prison term. Associated Press/Kevin Hagen

Cohen, 52, arrived around 11:45 a.m. at the Otisville federal prison, which is about 70 miles

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UPDATED: 2016 Chevrolet Volt To Launch In January: What We Know So Far

For most of 2014, there was very little news about the Chevrolet Volt range-extended electric car, and its sales in 2013 and 2014 have been stagnant at roughly 2,000 cars a month.

The most recent item of note was a $5,000 price reduction on the 2014 Volt in August 2013, to bring it closer to the center of the volume-car market, along with a battery-pack upgrade for the 2015 model.

But behind the scenes, Chevrolet has been busy preparing the next iteration of its pioneering plug-in car.

Based on published articles, a host of private conversations with industry analysts, electric-car advocates, and–yes–a few General Motors employees, here’s what we know so far about the next Volt.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: We first published this article in March 2014. As the debut of the 2016 Volt approaches, Chevy has released selective details, including a peak at the front styling, some charging updates, and an overview of

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Dodge Gives Us Challenger SRT Hellcat Ringtone And Wallpapers

Not everyone can get their hands on the most powerful production muscle car ever. But don’t feel like you’re missing out on all the 707-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat fun, as a few seconds on a PC or mobile device can at least bring you closer to the action.

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SRT has made a bunch of awesome wallpapers and even better, a Hellcat ringtone available on its website. If there’s one disadvantage it’s that the ring tone will make your phone calls sound a heck of a lot better than your daily driver, but it’s indiscriminate of smartphone choice, available to download for iPhone, Android, and Blackberry users.

MUST SEE: Clear Valve Covers Make For Mesmerizing Machine Action: Video

It helps if you like Chrysler’s classic Tor Red shade as that’s the only shade each wallpaper is available in–but

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