A 24-year-old Sanford man has been convicted of manslaughter and several other charges for causing a traffic accident in town that killed one person and sent five to the hospital. A York County Superior Court judge found Zachary Bubar guilty on all nine counts following a two-day bench trial last week. The Journal Tribune, reports that sentencing has not been scheduled. Authorities say Bubar was behind the wheel of car in July 2010 that crashed into a van. Police say a speeding Bubar pulled into the northbound lane around a car that was signaling to make a right turn and slammed into a van headed north. Shawn Beaulieu of Sanford was in the front passenger seat of Bubar’s vehicle. He was taken to the hospital where he died.
School bells will ring extra early at Southern Maine Community College next semester. The South Portland school will offer 10 early-morning classes in the spring 2013 semester, with start times of 7 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. The college says the added flexibility in the schedule is designed to serve two purposes. It will provide more options for the college’s increasingly diverse student population, many of whom are working professionals or have family demands. The change will also help to ease traffic congestion on Broadway, the main South Portland artery to SMCC, during the morning commute.
Police are investigating a motorcycle crash in Kittery that killed a New Hampshire man. Kittery police say 53-year-old Christopher Flayhan of Somersworth, N.H., was killed when his Harley-Davidson motorcycle collided with a pickup truck on Brave Boat Harbor Road about 11:25 a.m. Saturday. Officials say the pickup was driven by 60-year-old Tim Pickett of Eliot. The accident remains under investigation.
Regulations that are believed to impede business growth will be the topic at a public meeting in Portland. The Maine Regulatory Fairness Board is inviting public testimony on regulatory and statutory issues that impact Maine businesses, at its meeting on Friday at the Portland library. The board is holding hearings across the state to invite testimony that highlights regulations in need of a closer look or changes. The Legislature last session passed a regulatory reform law aimed at reducing red tape and unreasonable regulations, but the effort continues to enhance Maine’s business climate. The Board is chaired by Secretary of State Charlie Summers and has four members who are, or have been, business owners or operators.
A legally blind Rumford man who pleaded guilty to stealing $11,000 worth of items from a neighbor’s home has avoided jail time, upsetting his victim. Charles Hamilton was given a two-year deferred disposition in Oxford County Superior Court on Wednesday. He has to pay $1,200 in restitution and refrain from committing a crime during that period. If he meets the conditions, the case would be dismissed. If he fails, he faces up to five years in prison. The Sun Journal, reports that Jodi McKenna, who identified herself to the judge as the single mother from whom Hamilton stole, said the restitution does not come close to replacing the items stolen, which included everything from jewelry and electronics to pitchforks and blankets. Hamilton claimed he was given permission to take the items.
Police say a 79-year-old Brunswick woman has been killed in a two-vehicle crash in Topsham. Lt. Fred Dunn said it appears a Toyota Camry driven by Sally Lemieux pulled out of a restaurant parking lot at about 3 p.m. on Wednesday and was struck on the driver’s side by a Jeep Wrangler driving south on Topsham Fair Mall Road. Despite rescue efforts, Lemieux died at the scene. Police tell The Times Record of Brunswick, that the Jeep was driven by 25 year old Renne Ettinger of Topsham. Lemieux died at the scene. Ettinger was unhurt. The crash remains under investigation and no charges have been filed.
An autopsy showed that the Harvard University graduate student who fell into Portland Harbor and drowned in May just days before his graduation had a blood-alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit to drive in Maine. The Portland Press Herald, reports Thursday that 31-year-old Nathan Bihlmaier had no drugs in his system, but a blood-alcohol level of 0.22 percent. Authorities have previously called his death an accidental drowning. Bihlmaier was celebrating his pending graduation when he was asked to leave a waterfront bar for being visibly intoxicated. His body was recovered two days after he went missing. His wife was expecting their first child. He was a native of Osborne, Kan., and a University of Kansas graduate. Police say criminal charges are unlikely in the case.
Portland’s Christmas tree is due to be delivered. Keely Crane Services and Shaw Brothers Construction have donated staff, crane and transportation services for Thursday’s delivery of the 65-foot tree to Monument Square. Jeff Tarling, city arborist, says the city conducted an exhaustive search for the tree but in the end the tree was close by, on the property of Alan Betters in South Portland. The tree will be adorned with more than 3,000 LED lights donated by Efficiency Maine for the city’s tree-lighting ceremony on the day after Thanksgiving.
Investigative journalist Bob Woodward is speaking in Maine about the successes and failures of U.S. presidents from Nixon to Obama. Woodward is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and author who works at The Washington Post. Early in his career, he and fellow Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein covered the Watergate scandal that brought down the presidency of Richard Nixon. Woodward is speaking at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Hannaford Lecture Hall at the University of Southern Maine. Tickets are $20 each, and $10 for students, with seating on a first-come, first-served basis. The speech is sponsored by South Portland-based Wex Inc., formerly Wright Express On Sunday, he was honored by Colby College in Waterville for his contributions in protecting freedom of the press with the Elijah Parish Lovejoy award.
A Federal Appeals court has reversed some of the convictions against a former top Drug Prosecutor in Maine, who was sentenced to 16 years for child pornography.The appeals court in Boston upheld convictions against James Cameron of Hallowell on seven counts, but vacated convictions on six counts. Cameron was convicted in 2011 of 13 counts of sending, receiving and possessing child pornography. In his appeal, Cameron’s attorney argued certain technical evidence should not have been admitted during Cameron’s trial. The case now goes back to Federal Court in Maine for re-sentencing or for a new trial.
Republican leaders in Augusta elected their floor leaders for the upcoming session Wednesday.Newport Republican Ken Fredette was elected as the house minority leader.Fredette is entering his second term and beat out former Speaker of the House Robert Nutting of Oakland and Representative Paul Davis of Sangerville for the job.Representative Alex Willette of Mapleton has been elected as Assistant House Minority Leader.
A Berwick man federal prosecutors say amassed a large collection of child pornography on his computer has been sentenced to seven years in prison. Jack Moore was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Portland. The 52-year-old Moore pleaded guilty in April to a single count of possession of child pornography. The judge called Moore’s child pornography crimes an “addiction” and labeled the content of the 10,000-plus pornographic images and dozens of videos as “sadistic.” The judge said Moore continued to collect pictures of child pornography even after he knew he was subject to a federal investigation in 2008. The Portland Press Herald, reports that Moore’s attorney sought a three-year sentence, saying his client never harmed a child himself and looks at what he did with “disgust.”
Police investigating an early-morning stabbing in Portland say the victim is not cooperating. Police say the man walked into a Forest Avenue convenience store at about 2 a.m. Wednesday and asked a clerk to call an ambulance. Authorities say the victim was taken to Maine Medical Center with ten stab wounds to his back. His injuries are not considered life-threatening. The victim’s name was not immediately made public and there was no word on arrests. Police say he will not tell them what happened.
The trial of Lewiston man charged with killing his neighbor has been delayed after the presiding judge was involved in a car crash. Police say Justice MaryGay Kennedy was taken to the emergency room at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston with neck pain after the head-on crash Tuesday morning about a block from the courthouse. Kennedy is presiding over the trial of 31-year-old Buddy Robinson, who has pleaded not guilty to beating and drowning 22-year-old Christiana Fesmire, who disappeared in July 2011. Her body has never been found. They lived in different units of the same building. Police tell the Sun Journal, another car crossed the centerline and collided with Kennedy’s car. Kennedy then struck a parked car. The driver of the other vehicle did not require medical treatment.
A judge has ordered separate trials for the two defendants in the alleged Zumba prostitution case in Kennebunk, Maine. The lawyer for Mark Strong said Tuesday that the judge put Strong’s case on the January trial list, while defendant Alexis Wright will be tried at a later date. Wright, of Wells, has pleaded not guilty to 106 counts including prostitution and invasion of privacy. Strong, of Thomaston, has pleaded not guilty to 59 misdemeanor counts. Strong’s lawyer, Dan Lilley, said he’s looking forward to having the evidence scrutinized by a jury. Also Tuesday, the website for the Portsmouth Herald reported that four men have pleaded guilty to engaging a prostitute. That brings the total number of men charged with engaging a prostitute to 58.
Behind closed doors, Congress is holding a briefing on the deadly attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, and there’s a hearing scheduled for Thursday.Former CIA Director David Petraeus was set to testify at that hearing, but he resigned his post last week when admitting to an extra-maritial affair.Some members of Congress say they still need to hear from Petraeus, including Republican Senator Susan Collins.”I will say that I think it is absolutely imperative that General Petraeus come and testify. He was CIA Director at the time of the attack. He visited Libya after the attack. He has a great deal of information that we need in order to understand what went wrong, how this attack occurred, why four Americans lost their lives and most of all what we can do to lessen the chances of this kind of attack on American citizens happening in the future,” Collins commented.For now, the CIA’s acting director, Mike Morell, is scheduled to testify in Petraeus’ place.Lawmakers could still subpoena Patraeus at a later date.
Workers on the new Memorial Bridge connecting New Hampshire and Maine have installed a concrete deck on the Portsmouth side and plan to have the sidewalks ready before Thanksgiving. The contractor working on the bridge says the approach will serve as the entryway to a new span to the south to be put in place in January. On the Kittery, Maine, side, four new concrete piers have been completed and some beams have been installed for four out of five spans of a new approach. The new bridge is expected to be completed by July 2013. The old Memorial Bridge connected the two communities for nearly 90 years.
A trial involving murder, drugs and sex is resuming in Auburn. Testimony resumes Tuesday for the fifth day in the trial of Buddy Robinson, of Lewiston. Robinson has pleaded not guilty to murder in the killing of 22-year-old Christiana Fesmire, who disappeared in July 2011. Prosecutors say the 31-year-old Robinson beat and drowned Fesmire in her bathroom, then dumped her body in a swampy area in the woods. Her body has not been found. Robinson’s attorney has said there’s no direct evidence linking Robinson to Fesmire’s death, and has pointed to an alternate suspect – Robinson’s twin sister, Brandi. Court documents portray Fesmire as part of an online prostitution ring led by Robinson’s sister, who told police that her brother confessed to the killing.
An 8-year-old Caribou girl had to be flown all the way to a Portland hospital after she suffered severe burns when her clothing caught fire. State Fire Marshal’s office investigator Tim Lowell says the girl was injured at her home sometime between 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. Sunday. Lowell tells the Bangor Daily News, the girl was taken to Cary Medical Center in Caribou before being flown to the Maine Medical Center burns unit in Portland. He did not specify the exact nature of her injuries or her name. His office and Caribou police are trying to determine exactly what happened.
Industry officials say new home construction in southern Maine has jumped 35 percent in 2012, but warn that the rest of the state remains stagnant. Larry Duell, president of the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Maine, tells The Portland Press Herald, there is growth in coastal areas of York County but new home permitting in the rest of the state remains weak. Construction Data New England says from January through September, builders took out 802 permits in 37 communities from Lewiston to Kittery. That compared with 594 permits for the same period last year. Builders say while the market in southern Maine is stronger, it still faces challenges, including tight financing by banks. Also, values of existing homes have fallen, making it cheaper to buy than to build.