PORTLAND, Maine (AP) – A man charged in the shooting death of afriend during a night of sex play in a “dungeon” has beenconvicted of manslaughter by a jury in Maine’s largest city. Defense lawyer Tom Hallett told jurors Wednesday that three menhad been using guns as part of their sexual play and that thevictim may have put a bullet in a revolver to increase the thrill.Defendant Bruce Lavallee-Davidson told police the shooting was anaccident. Assistant Attorney General Lisa Marchese (mahr-KAY’-zee) says itwas still Lavallee-Davidson’s responsibility to make sure the gunwasn’t loaded before handling it. The trial has shed light on a dungeon in victim Fred Wilson’sSouth Portland home filled with sex toys. Wilson died from a singlegunshot to the head.
More than $2 million is on its way to the Greater Bangor area to help retrain local workers for green construction jobs. Eastern Maine Development Corporation is getting $2.1 million in federal stimulus money. EMDC will work with a number of local partners, including Eastern Maine Community College and the United Technologies Center, to create the retraining program.More than 100 workers will learn how to construct more energy efficient buildings. In addition to being re-trained, they’ll also build seven energy efficient homes in the area.
A Presque Isle doctor will no longer practice medicine because of drug abuse.Holly Arato surrendered her medical license to the Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine. Arato agreed that the Board could conclude she suffers from mental or physical conditions which may result in practice that endangers the health and safety of patients. Arato was placed on probation in a December 2005 Consent Agreement after the Board found she had used poor judgment in attempting to manage her own pain. In Decmeber 2008 the Board reviewed information indicating that Dr. Arato, was at high risk for inappropriate drug use and determined that she presented an imminent danger to the public.
A Presque Isle firefighter charged with arson was indicted by the Aroostook County Grand Jury Tuesday.24 year old Timothy MacFarline of Easton is accused of starting a fire that destroyed the Northeast Packaging Storage Warehouse in Presque Isle on November 13th.MacFarline was arrested the day after the fire.He was employed by Northeast Packing and was a paid on-call firefigher in Presque Isle.Over 50 firefighters from at least six different departments battled the blaze.
The local chapter of the American Red Cross is holding off on sending volunteers to Haiti in the wake a devastating earthquake.But it is collecting donations for those in need. Officials with the Pine Tree Chapter say they’re waiting for the national headquarters to let them know when volunteers from Maine might be able to go to Haiti to help. Authorities say thousands of people, perhaps as many at 100,000, may have been killed by the magnitude 7 earthquake that struck Tuesday. They say it’s too soon to get an accurate count.Before sending volunteers, Red Cross disaster relief specialists are trying to assess the situation with the Haitian Red Cross. They’re also using cots, blankets and water from a Red Cross warehouse in Panama to help victims and survivors.Mainers interested in finding out about heading to Haiti can contact the Pine Tree Chapter 941-2903.Donations for earthquake relief can be made on-line at www.pinetree.redcross.org.The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland is also responding to the disaster by taking up a special collection this weekend. Officials with the diocese are trying to get word on the status of people with Catholic Relief Services working in Haiti, as well as local missionaries serving in the country.
A local tax preparer wants to give folks a break on their taxes, while helping others in need. H&R Block is collecting food for Manna Ministries in Bangor. Anyone who brings in a donation to one of the three locations in Bangor and Brewer will receive $25 off their tax preparation fees.This is the first year for the food drive. Organizers say they know the economy is hurting a lot of people and they hope giving a donation to Manna will make difference. Office manager Stacey Hussey says, “Some of the things they need are cereals, kids snacks, canned meats – like canned spaghetti-o’s or canned spaghetti. Things of that nature. Basically non-perishable goods that they can hand out.”Again, taxpayers can visit one of the three H&R Blocks in the area to get in on the deal.You’ll find them in Bangor at 15 Perkins Street and inside Sears, at the Bangor Mall. They’re also in the Twin City Plaza in Brewer. The offer runs until the last day of tax season, April 15th.
Former Husson University president William Beardsley has filed paperwork to run for governor on the Republican ticket.Beardsley left Husson December 31st, after leading the school for 23 years.He’ll make a formal announcement about his candidacy later this week.Nearly two dozen people have registered to run for governor.The party primaries are held in June, the general election is in November.
Maine’s anti-tobacco report card has taken a hit.Four years ago, our state was tops in the nation: scoring straight A’s on the American Lung Association’s report card.But last year, Maine scored just one “A.” It was in the category, “protection from second hand smoke.”Maine got C’s in the other three categories: tobacco prevention, helping smokers quit, and cigarette taxes.The lung association’s Ed Miller says the falling grades translate into premature deaths and preventable illnesses.He believes lawmakers should hike the cigarette tax to further discourage smoking.
If you fill out your own tax forms you just might be missing out on some substantial tax credits.As it turns out, thousands of people in eastern Maine are missing out on a key tax credit.It’s called the Earned Income Tax Credit, and it’s available to low-income workers and families.It’s estimated that one in four taxpayers nationwide who is eligible isn’t even aware of the money available to them. “The EITC program is the largest anti-poverty program in the U.S.” Said the director of Casey Family Services, Mark Millar. “More dollars come to the most vulnerable and needy families throughout the US through this program, but we also know that up to 20% is left on the table.”Cash Maine is a statewide network with programs that offer free tax preparation to low-income workers and their families.Last year more than 3,000 households were helped.To learn more on how to take advantage of those services dial 211 to find out more about a program in your area.
Maine dairy farmers are getting a boost from Hannaford supermarkets.The grocery chain will stock locally produced dairy products, with a sticker that says “keep local farms.”It’s an effort, they say, to help New England’s struggling dairy farmers make more money and stay in business.
Fire fighters spent part of the night battling a fire in Washington.Crews from four departments were called to the Augusta Road around 10:45 Tuesday night.We’re told the homeowner was slightly injured when he escaped from the burning mobile home.He was able to run to a neighbor’s house, where they called 911.Fire fighters were on the scene for about two hours.There has been no word yet on damages or a cause.
Five people are under arrest in connection with a burglary that netted about 22,000 doses of prescription drugs.Authorities say the Pleasant Point Health Center was broken into on Friday, Jan. 8th.On Sunday morning, police searched a home in the town, and say they found quite a few of the missing drugs.Further investigations lead them to a residence in Princeton, where more of the medications were recovered.The following individuals were arrested in the investigation:33-year-old Sugum Francis, 39-year-old William Smith, and 30-year-old Jillian Francis, all of Pleasant Point.40-year-old John Moholland, and 28-year-old Rachel Brown of Princeton are also facing charges related to the burglary. So far officials say they ave recovered about 80-85% of the missing drugs.Police say even more arrests are anticipated.
A drunk driver who ran over and killed a summer camp counselor in Mount Vernon was sentenced on Tuesday.35-year-old Joseph Rouleau was sentenced to 8 years in jail and four years probation.He pled guilty to manslaughter in December after he struck a deal with prosecutors.21-year-old Corrie Lazar of Seattle, Washington was a college senior working a summer job at Camp Laurel.She was walking when she was struck by Rouleau’s car.Police say his blood alcohol level was nearly three times the legal limit.
On Tuesday the U.S. Department of Energy announced that it is awarding nearly a half-million dollars to Auburn and to the county to help communities improve their energy efficiency.According to Congressman Mike Michaud, the city of Auburn will receive 1-hundred-five-thousand dollars, while Aroostook County is slated to get 3-hundred-six-thousand From the fund.Projects eligible for the funds include conservation strategy programs, energy audits, transportation, financial incentive programs, and the installation of energy efficient technologies on municipal buildings.
A local radio station is helping new mothers in need.The Lighthouse Radio Network, which includes Bangor-based FM radio stations 88.5 and 105.7, is collecting diapers through the first of February. The diapers will be given to pregnancy resource centers in Bangor, Ellsworth, Houlton, and Saint Stephen, Canada. “These moms come to these crisis centers in a crisis situation.” Said Joe Polek from Lighthouse Radio Network. “They’re worried and they’re stressed out, and they don’t know what to do. And so these centers are able to offer them help and hope. And hopefully we can do that too, with offering them these diapers.”Diaper drop off locations include The Growing Place located on Broadway and Hammond Streets in Bangor.The Acadia Christian school in Ellsworth.The Greater Houlton Christian Academy. And at Border Town Subz in Calais.They say gift card and cash donations are also appreciated.
Forecasting the future of Maine’s economy, that was the topic of a presentation at a business breakfast sponsored by the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce Tuesday.James Breece is the Vice Chancellor of Academic and Student Affairs at the University of Maine System.He says there are a lot of positive signs that our state’s economy is recovering from the recession. Holiday sales were strong, and employment is more stable.But he sees problems with the long term prospects for our state. “If you look at our industry mix, unfortunately a lot of manufacturing jobs have disappeared. We lost one third of our manufacturing jobs. If you look into the future, the future growth in occupations are really in low wage, low skilled jobs.”Breece also says we can all have a big impact on our economy.He says our leaders need to find ways to add value to our raw materials and concentrate on exporting our products.Plus, he says they need to ensure a positive business climate in Maine.
Bangor’s police chief says changes might need to be made to some of the services the department provides.During budget talks with the city, Ron Gastia told councilors eliminating some services would help officers do their jobs more effectively. Tuesday, he’s presenting those ideas to the Government Operations Committee. “The City of Bangor during the daytime swells to over 100 thousand people. Typically, I have 5 or 6 officers on patrol out there,” says Police Chief Ron Gastia. He says right now, officers are spending too much time on tasks that don’t use their time effectively– everything from taking simple complaints, to transporting stray cats when the animal control officer isn’t on duty. And, serving subpoenas. “It’s not uncommon at all for us to get over 100 subpoenas in a day that need to be served. And that means going and banging on doors whenever the officers have time,” he says. “Sometimes they’re there and sometimes they’re not and we have to go back again, again and again, and that’s valuable officer time.”Gastia has identified nearly a dozen tasks he says could be changed or eliminated, including who takes down the reports in the case of complaints of criminal mischief, thefts of property valued less than a certain amount, or in which there is no suspect.”Not that we didn’t want those crimes reported, but that we’ll find alternate ways for them to be reported,” he says.Gastia says that could mean having members of the public make reports over the telephone or online, giving officers more time for complaints that require follow-up.The Government Operations Committee will hear his ideas Tuesday night. Gastia says no changes will be made without due consideration.”I’m hoping that I’ll get some comments tonight and that in the relative near future, I’ll be able to make some decisions,” he says. “But I want all the information I can get before I make those decisions.”
A group of small business owners spoke directly with Senator Olympia Snowe at a gathering in Ellsworth today. About 100 people were at the town hall style meeting at city hall.Senator Snowe fielded questions on topic ranging from from healthcare to energy independence. What was on most of their minds was how to get small businesses in Maine thriving again.”I think Maine is a laboratory of small business,” said Senator Snowe, “and I’ve learned that what works for Maine works for America because small businesses are job generators. Obviously here in Maine but it’s true for the country. Two-thirds of all the new jobs created are created by small businesses so we need to make sure the well being of small businesses.”On the issue of healthcare Senator Snowe said there’s no need to rush the bill, stressing the importance of getting it right. The Senator also said she believes there will eventually be a bipartisan bill that can unite America.
A local food pantry in Prospect is being forced to relocate. The couple that manages the pantry is asking for your help to build a new home. Richard Patterson has been running the food pantry with his wife since the mid 1990’s. “We started out at the Community Club building up the street here and we were asked to vacate that building,” he says, “they needed it for the Community Club so we moved down here and we’ve been here ever since.”Now, they’ve been asked once again by the town to find a new home. “Two months ago, we were asked to vacate this building,” says Patterson, “the historical society needs the building.”Patterson says the town doesn’t feel the food pantry provides an important service, he disagrees. “I feel it’s very important. We serve 60 or 70 families every month. It’s a good asset for people.”Since they’ve been asked to move again, Patterson says they need to take matters into their own hands, but they need a lot of help. “We decided that we would have to put up our own building and that’s going to cost a lot of money and we’re hoping we can get people to open their hearts and wallets and help us out with this.”Patterson says his attempts to raise money have been successful so far. “We do have a parcel of land that my mother-in-law donated to us so that’s the beginning.” They also have an architectural firm working with them. He says losing this food bank is not an option. “We need this here in town. We have a lot of people from Stockton springs, Frankfort, Swanville, Belfast, Montville, a lot of people come here.”
Testimony continued Wednesday in the trial of a Bangor man accused of stabbing his ex-girlfriend.David Archer is charged with attempted murder.Police were called to Hudson Street in Bangor in April 2008.They say they found a 22-year-old woman who had been stabbed.The woman identified her attacker as her ex-boyfriend, David Archer.Archer’s mother took the stand today.The state played segments from three recorded phone calls that took place between Archer and his mother while he was in jail.The defense then requested all the phone calls be played in their entirety, arguing that pieces of the conversations could lead the jury to think a particular way.Assistant District Attorney Greg Campbell says he was happy with Archer’s mother’s testimony.”She was in a very difficult position, after all this is her son’s 35th birthday and she was asked to come in and testify in the case. But she testified consistently with what she’d told the police. And she testified that she had seen her son on the afternoon of the stabbing and that he had a knife, he was flicking the knife and that if he saw his girlfriend he would stab her.”The state rested their case this afternoon.The defense is expected to call several witnesses tomorrow, including a psychiatrist.