The economy may be down in Maine, but business is up for the state’s debt collectors. The number of debt collectors is growing and debt-collection agencies are beefing up their staffs as the amount of bad debt rises. William Lund, superintendent of Maine’s Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection, said the rise in bad debt — and in the number of debt collectors — is a reflection of the poor economy. Lund said there are 809 collectors in Maine who are licensed to recover consumer debt, with credit card and medical debt leading the way. In 2003, there were only 477 licensed debt collectors in the state.
Maine’s Roman Catholic bishop is supporting an appeal to the Vatican of a church tribunal’s finding that sexual abuse accusations against an 81-year-old priest were not proven. At issue are allegations against the Rev. Thomas Lee, who was suspended from ministry in 2003 and resigned six months later following an investigation into allegations regarding sexual abuse of minors. The tribunal made up of three priests from outside the Diocese of Portland ruled this summer that the accusations were not proven but acknowledged that Lee’s actions were imprudent. Lee served in parishes in Millinocket, Boothbay Harbor, Bath and Lyman and spent 15 years as a hospital and prison chaplain. He remains out of ministry until the case is resolved.
Forty-five workers at a Maine auto parts plant are being furloughed for three to four weeks because of the downturn in the car manufacturing industry. The temporary layoffs at the ZF Lemforder plant in Brewer were precipitated by shutdowns by General Motors and Mercedes, said Bryan Johnson, spokesman for ZF Group in Northville, Mich. With no cars being manufactured, there is no demand for the steering components made at the Brewer facility, he said. Johnson said Friday’s announcement that President Bush would give U.S. automakers $17.4 billion in emergency rescue loans is good news for auto parts manufacturers, but there will be a lag time in startup.
Maine’s top leaders are applauding President-elect Obama’s selection of venture capitalist Karen Mills of Brunswick to head the Small Business Administration. Calling her a close adviser and friend, Gov. John Baldacci noted that Mills chaired his Council on Competitiveness and the Economy. He credited her with playing a key role in supporting economic development, investments in innovation and small business growth. Two years ago, Mills led the initiative for a $50 million research and development bond that won voter approval. Members of the state’s congressional delegation also weighed in with praise for Mills. Mills is the wife of Bowdoin College President Barry Mills.
A 16-year-old boy has died at his home in Millinocket, the apparent victim of exhaust fumes from the family’s plow truck. Lt. Robert Young of the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Department said the parents of Matthew Cesare found their son’s body at about 11 a.m. Thursday. The teen was a student at the Maine School of Science and Mathematics in Limestone and was home for Christmas break. Young said Cesare had been trying to warm up an older plow truck in the small garage when he apparently fell ill from the truck’s fumes.
The crash happened on Route 7, Thursday afternoon.
A tractor trailer truck hauling logs was heading south when it left the road crashing into a tree in front of a home.
Steve and Shelly Spivey opened Dilligaff’s in Stonington a little more than three years ago.
They catered mostly to local fishermen and their families. But with fishermen receiving less and less for their catches, there’s been less spent at the store.
Thejury returned the verdict inAugusta this afternoon.
Both the defense and the prosecution agreed that Okie bludgeoned and stabbed 19-year-old Alexandra Mills at her home in Wayne before fatally stabbing 59-year-old John Okie in Newcastle six days later.
Police say the vehicles were stolen from French Street, Warren Street, Wing Street, and 2nd Street overnight Wednesday.
Three of the cars are still missing.
Those three are: a 2002 gold Mazda Protg 4-door, a 1994 blue Saturn SL 4-door, and a 2003 green Mercury Sable 4-door.
State Police brought 38-year old Derwin ":Tiger": Springer, Junior, from Passadumkeag, to the Penobscot County Jail Friday morning.
Springer is accused of breaking into a Pleasant Street home on October 29th, and forcing the woman who lived there to have sex with him.
MPBN is also imposing temporary wage reductions in response to cuts in state and federal funding.
The publicly funded station is also eliminating a television tower, and two of its seven radio towers.
Fire investigators will be in Plymouth on Thursday, trying to figure out what sparked a fire in a mobile home Wednesday night.
The people who lived at the Condon Road residence called for help around 7:40 pm, we’re told they all made it out safely.
Two women from P.E.T.A.: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, stood outside the restaurant at noontime, dressed only in yellow bikinis.
They say that they braved the elements to protest what they say is ":abusive treatment": of chickens on factory farms and in slaughterhouses.
CJ Banks, a store located in the Bangor Mall will be hosting a sale all day Friday with all donated proceeds going to CMN.
The store will be open from 8am until 10pm. Everything is 50% off. Gift wrapping is free with a donation to the Children’s Miracle Network.
More than 259,000 eggs were stolen from an egg farm in Turner.
The eggs were scheduled for shipment to Asia when they disappeared.
They were stolen from the Quality Egg Farm of New England, and were taken in two separate incidents.
A Winslow man accused of dealing drugs within 1,000 feet of a school is behind bars.
28-year-old Emanuel Reynolds was arrested on Tuesday, after a Winslow Police officer stopped Reynolds on a routine check due to bail conditions from a prior assault charge.
Tolls on the Maine Turnpike are going up as of February 1st.
In a unanimous vote, the turnpike’s board gave the green light on Tuesday raise tolls by an additional $20,000,000 per year for road and bridge repairs.
State Police are assisting Hallowell Police, and say the suspect robbed the Gardiner Savings Bank on Winthrop Street.
It happened around 9:30. The suspect is described as a white male, six feet tall, and heavy set. Police say he was wearing a black coat and a black hooded sweatshirt.
2 cups Flour
2/3 cup Water
1/3 teaspoon Salt
2 tablespoons Dry Yeast
4 tablespoons Olive Oil (must be Olive Oil for taste)
Oven 450* (must be hot)
Pizza pan 16in perforated (spray with pan spray)
28-year-old Joseph Dougherty and 49-year-old Anthony Merchant will both be facing theft charges when they appear in court.
The crime allegedly occurred over the period of 10 to 12 weeks while Dougherty was warf manager for the company.