A plan to renovate the field house and a gym at the University of Maine is getting a big boost courtesy of a $5 million donation from the Boston-based athletic products company New Balance.In return for the $5 million gift, the field house will be renamed the “New Balance Field House” and the student recreation and fitness center will be known as the “New Balance Student Recreation and Fitness Center.”It is reportedly the largest corporate gift in school history.The deal was approved Monday by the trustees of the University of Maine System.The school has a year to raise $2 million as part of a matching grant.
The state Legislature has approved a bill to ban text messaging while driving, sending the proposal to Governor Paul LePage for his signature.After several weeks of delays, the House unanimously approved the bill on Monday, and the Senate followed suit with final approval hours later.The bill’s sponsor, Senator Bill Diamond, a Windham Democrat, says Maine would become the last New England state to ban texting if the governor signs the bill.Two years ago, Maine lawmakers approved a distracted-driving law sponsored by Diamond that targeted a variety of activities, but Diamond said it didn’t go far enough.
Governor Paul LePage says 11 oil-to-wood heating projects will receive $3,200,000 from the federal government in the final round of heating conversion grants.Grants ranging from $25,000 to $500,000 are going to Maine institutions, including four schools, four towns, one college, one university and one hospital.The grants are expected to support around 110 jobs through the construction phase of the projects.LePage says it’s all about harvesting, processing, transporting, and consuming more Maine wood.
Governor Paul LePage has nominated a retired chief justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court to lead the Maine Turnpike Authority Board.Daniel Wathen had served 20 years on the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, including 10 years as chief justice.LePage said yesterday that Wathen would bring integrity and impeccable credentials to an authority whose reputation is recovering from revelations of fiscal impropriates.The Legislature’s accountability office uncovered lavish spending and more than $160,000 in gift cards that couldn’t be accounted for.
A foundation is offering $1.5 million to allow students from Maine to view exhibitions and galleries in Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts for free.The Portland-based Lunder Foundation created the Lunder Maine Student Membership Program to allow Maine students of all ages in public and private school, as well as those who are home-schooled, to visit the museum free of charge beginning in July.The foundation also created a Lunder Summer Internship Program to provide paid internships to Maine college students starting a year later.The foundation was created by Peter and Paula Crane Lunder, formerly of Waterville, Maine, who’re lifetime art collectors and patrons of the Museum of Fine Arts.
A car owned by the state of Maine and a dump truck collided head on in Belfast on Monday.The driver of the car, a state employee, was killed.It happened on Route 52 a little after one in the afternoon.Police say a Ford Focus driven by Janice Brown of Rockland, crossed into the path of a loaded dump truck, brown was killed in the collision.Both vehicles ended up catching fire because of the accident.Belfast’s police chief said they’ve seen many accidents on that stretch of road which features hills and curves.The truck driver was shaken by what happened but reportedly was not seriously injured.The initial investigation indicates no charges will be filed against the driver of the truck.
Funeral services for the six year old boy who’s body was dumped in Maine are expected take place Saturday in Texas.Camden Hughe’s body was found May 14th in South Berwick.His mother, Julianne McCrery, 42, is facing second degree murder charges in New Hampshire in connection with his death.Over the weekend, some of Camden’s family members were in Maine.Sunday, a memorial was held in New Hampshire for Camden.Those who attended released green balloons which was Camden’s favorite color.In a phone interview, Camden’s older brother expressed gratitude for the continued support he’s received from complete strangers.
Nathaneal Nightingale, dressed in a suit at the Penobscot County Judicial Center, is a man prosecutor Andrew Benson calls classically penniless.According to Benson, Nightingale owed thousands of a dollars to a man he considered distant family, Michael Miller, also known as “Big Mike.””The motive I think was to get out of his debt to Big Mike as well as to get money for himself.”Nightingale is accused of shooting Michael and his wife Valerie to death in the couple’s home in Webster Plantation in November of 2009.The first witness to take the stand was Allen Richardson, a close family friend who discovered the bodies.
A Parkman man whose home was raided by the FBI last week was in court, Monday.Forty-three year old Michael DeMaria was hoping to be released on bail, but a federal judge decided she needed more time to decide.DeMaria is facing federal charges for unlawfully possessing guns.His defense attorney argued those charges stem from incidents as recent as January and his client has had no issues since then.A court affidavit shows that when DeMaria’s home was searched in January, police found weapons concealed in the walls of his home.DeMaria was supposed to have turned over all firearms following an order of protection against him.The U.S.
The folks at the Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter are hard at work trying to raise enough money to build a new facility in Waterville.They hosted an event Monday where they announced their new fundraising campaign they hope will generate the rest of the money that’s needed.Officials from the shelter say they need $2.7 million and they’re almost half way there.People who have stayed at the shelter and taken advantage of the programs they have to offer were on hand at Monday’s ceremony.
Two people from Washington County accused of a weekend crime spree centered around drugs pleaded not guilty Monday to a total 47 charges.Michael Bailey of Calais and Amanda Fowler of Robbinston, both 27, are each charged with armed robbery, burglary and criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon.Bailey is also facing weapons charges.Police say in February, Bailey went into a trailer in Baring with a gun and threatened to shoot the residents.Police say during that robbery, a gun went off and Bailey ran off with some money.He and Fowler were arrested two days later after a report of gunshots at a home in Baileyville.Court paperwork says in that case the homeowner shot Bailey in the ear.Bailey remains in the Washington County Jail on 100-thousand dollars cash bail.
A Bass Harbor man was in court Monday.26-year old Jacob Russell was arrested for operating while his license was suspended and operating a stolen vehicle.Charges against Russell include two felonies–aggravated criminal mischief and theft.Russell was stopped by police officers in connection with a hit and run and stolen vehicle, after a pick up truck hit a home on Riverside Drive and both the vehicle and residence caught fire.