A South Thomaston man is going to jail for robbing a Rockland pharmacy. As part of a plea agreement, Michael Willis, 29, will be in jail for less than two years. He was sentenced Monday to seven years in jail with all but 21 months suspended. His lawyer, Erick Morse, tells TV 5 that Willis apologized in court on Monday. Willis said in court that he was a drug addict and the drugs controlled his life. Willis robbed Jensen’s Pharmacy of pills in July 2012.
More than 60 car burglary complaints have been reported to the Bangor Police Department since August 1st. Police say the most common factors are that the cars are left unlocked and valuable items are stolen. According to a press release sent by Lt. Paul Edwards of the Bangor Police Department, most of the crimes are happening during the overnight hours. Police are reminding people to lock their car doors and make sure no valuable items are left in cars. Police also suggest taking pictures of any high value items and put your initials on items for easy identification.
BANGOR, Maine (AP) – Former state treasurer Bruce Poliquin says he’s running for Congress. Poliquin announced Monday he’ll seek the Republican nomination for the 2014 election for the 2nd Congressional District. The seat’s now held by Democrat Mike Michaud, who’s running for governor. Poliquin is a fiscal conservative who favors smaller government and lower taxes. He announced his candidacy on a morning talk show on WVOM-FM in Bangor. Other Republicans in the race are state Rep. Alex Willette of Mapleton and former Navy officer Blaine Richardson of Belfast. On the Democratic side, Sen. Emily Cain of Orono, Sen. Troy Jackson of Allagash and former Navy officer Alden Smith of Sangerville say they’re in the race. Poliquin had unsuccessful bids for governor in 2010 and the U.S. Senate in 2012.
Skowhegan Police are searching for a man who’s been missing since Friday.Skowhegan Police Chief Ted Blais says 40-year-old Vaughn Giggey was last heard from Friday night around 10:00 p.m. when he left his apartment to walk to his mother’s house on Chamberlain Street in Skowhegan just a few blocks from his home.Blais says according to family members he never showed up.The Maine Warden Service is now mobilizing to search the wooded areas around that location.Anyone who has seen Vaughn Giggey is asked to call the Skowhegan Police Department at 474-6908.
Bangor police are investigating reports of a gunshot on Middle Street. Early Sunday morning someone called police saying a person had been shot on Middle Street. When police got there, they found a handgun magazine in the road and were told someone ran down the street. According to a press release sent by Lt. Paul Edwards with the Bangor Police Department, a woman told officers her male friend was in a fight with several African American men in the parking lot of the Tavern. The woman told police say tried to get her friend away from the fight, but she was punched in the face. According to the release, the woman said her friend chased a man onto Middle Street, and then she heard a gunshot. When the woman caught up with her friend, he was reportedly on the ground, but not hurt. Police are looking for an African American man, medium to heavy build, wearing glasses and a blue ball cap with either ” New York” or “NY” on it. If you have any information about what happened, call police at 947-7382.
A pumpkin weighing nearly half a ton has taken top honors at a Maine fair’s annual giant pumpkin contest. Edwin Pieront’s entry tipped the scales at 962 pounds in Sunday’s contest on the first day of the Windsor Fair. The second-place pumpkin weighed 818 pounds. Pieront, who’s from Jefferson, is no stranger to giant pumpkins. The Kennebec Journal, reports that he’s the state record-holder, with a 1,471-pound pumpkin that he grew in 2010. The Windsor Fair is expected to draw about 100,000 people. Now in its 125th year, the fair continues through Labor Day.
Libraries across Maine are collecting donations to help rebuild the library destroyed when a runaway train exploded in Canada earlier this summer. Farmington Public Library Director Melanie Coombs launched the effort because the Maine community is the sister city of Lac-Megantic (lak-may-gahn-TEEK’), Quebec. The July 6 explosion and fire killed 47 people. Coombs tells the Sun Journal, the community’s library lost its entire collection of 60,000 books, except for the few that customers had borrowed. It also lost irreplaceable records and photos documenting the town’s history. Coombs reached out to libraries across Maine, including at schools and colleges, and they agreed to put donation cans at their circulation desks. The cans, that say “Libraries are the heart of the community,” will be out until mid-September.
Passenger numbers at the Portland International Jetport have slowly started to climb after four consecutive years of declines. There was a 1.4 percent increase in passengers passing through the jetport in the first six months of this year when compared to the same time-period last year. Portland’s passenger traffic is ahead of the national figure, which increased by about 0.3 percent in the first half of 2013 compared with the year-ago period. Jetport director Paul Bradbury tells The Portland Press Herald, that although modest, the gains are good news. He says the region does not have a lot of population growth, so the goal is to capture a larger share of the market. The jetport is owned and operated by the city but is funded without taxpayer revenue.
Prices at the pump in Maine have fallen by a little more than a penny in the past week, but a gallon of gas remains a dime above the national average. Price-monitoring website MaineGasPrices.com reports Monday that the average retail cost of a gallon of gas in Maine is now $3.67, compared to the national average of $3.57. Maine prices are now more than 17 cents per gallon lower than the same day a year ago and nearly 11 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. A company analyst says prices may inch up slightly due to a decline in gasoline inventories. The Maine price is based on a survey of more than 1,200 gas stations.
Sagadahoc County residents are gearing up for a special election. Residents of Sagadahoc County and the town of Dresden in Lincoln County will cast tallies Tuesday to determine who’ll fill the Senate seat vacated by Seth Goodall, who resigned to serve as New England chief of the Small Business Administration. There are three candidates on the ballot: Republican Paula Benoit of Phippsburg, Democrat Eloise Vitelli of Arrowsic and Green Independent Daniel Stromgren of Topsham. The race is considered a tossup. The GOP traditionally has been strong in Sagadahoc County, with Goodall winning the last election over Benoit by just 162 votes.
Maine lawmakers are heading back to Augusta this week for a special session to consider a state borrowing package and possibly a bill designed to help a state-run psychiatric hospital in danger of losing funding. The Democratic-controlled Legislature will return Thursday to vote on the $149.5 million bond package slated for the November ballot. The proposal requires two-thirds majority support. It would then be placed on the ballot for voter approval. Lawmakers may also take up legislation to create a mental health wing at the state prison. Gov. Paul LePage’s administration says the bill is needed to ensure patient and worker safety at the Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta. The center may lose $20 million in federal funding Sept. 2 if it doesn’t address problems like overcrowding and inadequate staffing.
Maine’s bear-hunting season is getting underway Monday. Jennifer Vashon, a state bear biologist, says hunting is the primary tool for controlling the population of bears, which has grown 30 percent since 2004 to more than 30,000. Maine’s bear population is one of the largest in the country, and Maine offers a three-month season. Last year, more than 10,000 hunters purchased permits, with 3,207 bears killed. A coalition called Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting wants to limit the types of hunting for bear. It’s collecting signatures for a referendum aimed at banning the use of bait, traps and dogs to hunt bears.