Central Maine Power Company has ordered one of its contractors to stop work while an accident that killed a worker is being investigated.John Plante, 44, of Oakland was on a utility pole in Saco when he fell from as high as 50 feet.He was working for a company out of New York State hired by CMP.Investigators have said the death appears to be accidental. The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the state medical examiner are investigating.
Six members of the same Dixfield family are getting precautionary rabies shots after their dogs came in contact with a rabid skunk.Jamie and Nancy Milledge were hosting a birthday party at their home on Jan. 8 when a diseased skunk came into their yard. Their two dogs came in contact with the animal, which Jamie Milledge eventually shot and killed.Even though no members of the family had direct contact with the skunk, they all petted the dogs’ saliva covered coats.Testing at the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the skunk was carrying the rabies virus, which can be passed onto humans through saliva.Jamie Milledge tells the Sun Journal that the shots’ side effects have taken a toll on their bodies.
A Democratic legislator is asking the attorney general’s office for a formal opinion on whether state Treasurer Bruce Poliquin’s business dealings are in violation of the Maine Constitution.Rep. Mark Dion of Portland says the Constitution prohibits the treasurer from engaging in commerce while serving in office. Poliquin, a Republican, owns Dirigo Holdings LLC, which has a housing development in Phippsburg that is marketing condominiums that come with memberships to Poliquin’s beach club.Phippsburg officials last month granted Poliquin an amended business license for his beach club over objections from neighbors. Dion said Poliquin’s business activities appear to conflict with the Constitution, but that it’s up to the attorney general to decide. His request was first reported in the Portland Press Herald.Poliquin was not immediately available for comment Wednesday.
Occupy Maine and the city of Portland will square off next week in a courtroom over whether the encampment will remain in Lincoln Park.John Branson, attorney for Occupy Maine, said Tuesday that the parties agreed that oral arguments and testimony will be presented Jan. 24 in Superior Court. Occupy Maine is seeking an injunction to continue the demonstration after the city ordered protesters to leave.Meanwhile, Occupy Maine demonstrators reported all of their signs stolen over the weekend.Jen Rose, one of the demonstrators, said officers chuckled when they told her no crime was committed since the signs had no monetary value and protesters were in the park illegally. City officials reviewed the videotape and said the officers treated the demonstrators respectfully.
A man accused of setting his girlfriend’s car on fire while she was inside appeared in court via video in Houlton today.Police say Shawn Birtz was high on bath salts at the time of his crimes.He entered no plea to arson and pled not guilty to domestic violence and reckless conduct. Bail was set at 5-thousand dollars cash.Birtz remains in an Aroostook county jail. His next court appearance is set for May.
Police say they have solved a string of home burglaries that have plagued Caribou for several months.Police Chief Mike Gahagan says 22-year-old Cody Rogers was arrested last week by local and state police.Gahagan says thousands of dollars’ worth of jewelry had been stolen from 15 area residences since July 2011.Police tell the Bangor Daily News that Rogers was in possession of some stolen items.He is being held on $25,000 cash bail on burglary and other charges.
A worker at a Maine food pantry has been charged with having sexual contact with a child at his home.Police say 41-year-old Jonathan Dubay of Gray was arrested Monday at the Good Shepherd Food-Bank in Auburn where he is manager of safety and facilities.Authorities say he is charged with unlawful sexual contact for an alleged incident involving a child under the age of 12 at his home on Christmas Day. Police began investigating on New Year’s Eve after getting a report from the Department of Health and Human Services.Dubay was jailed overnight and is expected to appear in court in Portland on Tuesday. It was unclear if he had a lawyer.
Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington has launched a review into an ambulance crew’s actions while transporting a man who died on the way to the hospital after a skiing accident at Sugarloaf resort.David Morse of Nova Scotia, Canada died en route to the hospital after striking a tree at the ski area last Thursday. His wife told a Canadian newspaper that the ambulance crew did not provide her husband with proper care and left her on the side of the road en route to the hospital.Officials at Franklin Memorial tell the Morning Sentinel that as of Monday they had not heard directly from the man’s wife, Dana Morse. But they say they have launched a review after learning of her concerns through mediareports.
A Lewiston woman is in trouble after police say she stabbed her boyfriend. Liberty West, 24, is charged with domestic violence aggravated assault.Police say she stabbed her boyrfriend in the back Sunday at their apartment. The man has been released from the hospital.
A Texas woman who suffocated her 6-year-old son in a New Hampshire motel room and left his body along a dirt road in Maine has been sentenced to 45 years in prison. Forty-two-year-old Julianne McCrery of Irving, Texas, spoke tearfully at her sentencing Friday, calling her son beautiful andbrilliant. She said he did not deserve what she had done to him. McCrery pleaded guilty in November to kneeling atop 6-year-old Camden Hughes as he laid face-down on their motel room floor. She told investigators she covered his mouth with her hand as he struggled to survive. The discovery of Camden’s body last May set off a nationwide effort to identify him. McCrery’s family members – including a son on leave from the Navy – attended the sentencing.
A Texas woman who suffocated her 6-year-old son in a New Hampshire motel room and left his body off a dirt road in Maine is expected to make a statement about the crime at her sentencing.The mother of 42-year-old Julianne McCreary told the Associated Press her daughter will make a statement before being sentenced to 45 years in prison on Friday.Julianne McCreary pleaded guilty in November to kneeling atop 6-year-old Camden Hughes as he laid face-down on their motel room floor. She told investigators she covered his mouth with her hand as he struggled to survive. Discovery of Camden’s body last May set off a nationwide effortto identify him.McCrery’s family members, including a son on leave from the Navy, will attend the sentencing.
Maine’s supreme court has upheld the conviction and two life sentences for a Biddeford man who shot two brothers outside his home in a late-night confrontation.Rory Holland maintained he acted in self-defense when he fatally shot 19-year-old Gage Green and his 21-year-old brother, Derek, at about 1 a.m. on June 30, 2009.Among other things, Holland argued that the evidence at the trial was insufficient to disprove his claim of self-defense. He also claimed the judge rejected evidence that would have helped him.But the state supreme court ruled Thursday that the trial judge committed no error in conducting the trial or in imposing the sentence. The trial was moved to Bangor because of pre-trial publicity.
Some Central Maine Power customers continue their fight against smart meters.They’ve filed an appeal with the Maine Supreme Court after the public utilities commission dismissed their complaint.The group says smart meters can create health problems and are an invasion of privacy because of the information they collect.CMP says smart meters are safe, cut energy use and let utilities more quickly pinpoint problems during power outages.The PUC lets CMP customers opt out of using smart meters, providing they pay an extra $12 per month.
State police are hoping a $40,000 reward will bring in tips that lead them to the person who killed a Woodland man nearly four years ago.The body of 56-year-old Darrel Smith was found by his wife in February 2008 inside the small sawmill he operated adjacent to his home in northern Maine.Police say he had been robbed, then shot. Smith’s wallet was taken and a safe was missing from the residence.Detective Sgt. John Cote,tells the Bangor Daily News,there have been no substantial developments in the past year, but hopes the reward will bring in information.Cote says police have always believed the killer or killers were familiar with the sawmill, which was a cash only business and relied on word of mouth for customers.
Police say a man attending his son’s basketball game at a Maine elementary school went to the cafeteria and stole $40 in student lunch money.Police say 46-year-old Christopher Cope of Dresden told them that he needed the money to buy kerosene to heat his home.Authorities say Cope was at the Hall-Dale Elementary School in Hallowell on Jan. 4 for the high school game when he went to the kitchen area and took the money.Police told the Kennebec Journal that school employees noticed the money was missing on Monday. Cope was identified through video surveillance and charged Tuesday.He has been summoned to court next month to face theft charges. It was not clear if he has a lawyer. (The Associated Press, The Kennebec Journal).
Maine police have seized nearly 1,000 prescription painkillers from a Portland woman they say was trying to sell them on the streets.Police say 23-year-old Brianna Roberts was ordered held on $20,000 property or $5,000 cash bail after her initial court appearance on Monday on a charge of trafficking Oxycodone.Maine drug agents and Portland Police arrested Roberts on Friday following complaints of suspected drug activity. A search of a home turned up 998 Oxycodone pills hidden on her body as well as 19 grams of suspected cocaine in a bedroom packaged for resale with an estimated street value of $1,900.(The Associated Press)
Their January cleanup complete, Occupy Maine protesters are holding a “grand re-occupation” of Lincoln Park.Sunday’s event follows a cleanup in the Portland park where demonstrators have camped out since Oct. 3.Jennifer Rose, one of the demonstrators, told the Portland PressHerald, that the weekend cleanup was focused on clearing away unoccupied tents and refurbishing the area, in preparation for Occupy protesters making their way by bus from Florida.The newspaper says protesters took down unoccupied tents, stacked unclaimed blankets and piled up discarded pillows and mattresses on Saturday.The group aims to call attention to growing economic disparity in the U.S. The city has ordered the protesters to leave the park, but they’re suing to stay put.(The Associated Press)
State fire investigators are looking into a chimney fire at the former Carriage House CafÃ© in Livermore.It happened Tuesday night. The owner of the building reported it.Fire crews were on scene until after midnight.No injuries were reported.
A New Hampshire man convicted of murdering his fiancee in her home in Maine is asking for a new trial.An attorney for Jason Twardus says the state of Maine failed to provide his client with evidence that might have implicated another man in the strangulation death of Kelly Gorham, 30, in 2007.In August, Twardus was sentenced to 38 years in prison for her murder.Gorham’s body was found on property owned by Twardus’s father. Prosecutors deny they withheld any evidence.
A nearly 90-year-old bridge connecting New Hampshire and Maine is closing to all pedestrian and bicycle traffic on Monday, Jan. 9, as contractors get ready to demolish it for a replacement.Electronic message boards are in place at the bridge advertising the pending closure. The bridge was closed to motor vehicle traffic in July.The Memorial Bridge project will replace the bridge that carries U.S. Route 1 over the Piscataqua River between Portsmouth and Kittery, Maine. Archer Western Contractors of Canton, Massachusetts will be the general contractor for the $81.4 million project.The Portsmouth Herald reports that a new, daily shuttle bus service between Portsmouth and Kittery will start on Jan. 9. A website will be available later this week including a shuttle route map and full schedule. (The Associated Press, The Portsmouth Herald).