Steel work on a new Memorial Bridge connecting New Hampshire and Maine is coming along. Contractor Archer Western says the work is expected to be completed on the Portsmouth side of the bridge by mid-October. Once that’s done, carpenters will start preparing for a concrete deck. Work on concrete columns that will support the new approach in Kittery, Maine, is expected to start soon. It’s estimated that work would be done by the end of the month. The new bridge is expected to be completed by July 2013. The old Memorial Bridge connected the two communities for nearly 90 years.
Authorities say a Maine doctor has agreed to pay more than $321,000 to settle claims that he falsely billed federal health care programs. Federal prosecutors say Dr. Peter File, an osteopathic physician with offices in Freeport and Alexandria, Va., has agreed to pay back money he billed Medicare and Tricare for providing osteopathic manipulative treatment, evaluation and management services to patients in violation of billing guidelines. Authorities say the false billing took place from October 2004 through June 2011. File’s lawyers said in a statement that the complaint had nothing to do with patient care or safety, but rather with “complex federal regulations.” File admits no liability and settled to avoid a lengthy and costly legal process.
A candidate for Maine House District 146 has been charged with burglary and domestic violence stalking involving a woman with whom he’d had a relationship. Police say 52-year-old David Burke was arrested early Friday on the woman’s property in Eliot after violating a protection order for the second time. Police Chief Theodor Short says the woman locked herself in her bathroom and called police after Burke came into her home uninvited. The Portland Press Herald, says burglary and domestic violence stalking are felonies. Burke, a South Berwick town councilor, couldn’t be reached immediately at home or at the town hall on Monday. He’s running against Democratic incumbent Rep. Mark Eves and Republican Burnell Bailey in House District 146.
Two people are in custody after at least 12 rounds were fired in an exchange of gunfire outside a Yarmouth home over the weekend. No one was hurt during the shooting at about 1 a.m. Sunday, but bullets struck a parked car and the house. Police say 47-year-old Michael Lovering of North Yarmouth was charged with aggravated reckless conduct with a firearm, while 31-year-old Samantha Newton of Yarmouth was charged with carrying a concealed weapon. Police say the shooting was sparked by a dispute between Lovering and the home’s resident, who know each other. Police did not identify a male resident of the house who is also believed to have fired a gun. He was not charged. Police recovered a revolver and a semi-automatic pistol.
The race for Maine’s 1st district congressional seat has been a low-key affair compared to the high-profile U.S. senate race.Republican State Senator Jon Courtney is trying to unseat two-term democratic incumbent, Chellie Pingree, in a district that has become a democratic stronghold in recent years.Out of the past 13 elections, a republican has won only once.Courtney admits he sometimes feel like David going up against Goliath, but says he’s raising money “one handshake at a time” and visiting towns throughout the district to meet voters.
You may remember earlier this week, we told you about a dog stolen from a shelter in Brunswick.Last Friday a couple interested in adopting a dog took Shadow, a 1 1/2-year-old male Beagle, for a walk, but they never came back.Thursday, Shadow was returned after the couple saw media coverage about the dog, according to the shelter.Officials say, they were extremely apologetic, telling shelter representatives they couldn’t afford the adoption fees.The Beagle is being treated for lyme disease, and appears to be in good health.
A Saco woman accused of stabbing a man she described as her best friend has been sentenced to eight years in prison. Pamela Young was sentenced this week after pleading guilty to elevated aggravated assault for the December 2010 stabbing of Dale Berube. Young and Berube were roommates. Berube was found my emergency responders in a bathtub with 29 stab wounds to the face, neck, head, chest, sides, arms and hands. Prosecutors say wound one barely missed his jugular. The Journal Tribune, reports that the 51-year-old Young apologized in court, saying she did not realize how bad her substance abuse and mental health problems were. Berube said he would have liked to see a more lenient sentence and described Young’s attack as a “meltdown.”
A Livermore woman accused of obtaining more than $10,000 worth of welfare benefits she was not eligible for has pleaded not guilty. Tiki Thomas was released on personal recognizance after pleading not guilty to 20 counts of theft, welfare fraud, forgery and other charges Thursday in Androscoggin County Superior Court. Authorities say the 35-year-old Thomas obtained state and federal benefits over a four-year period that ended last year by saying she wasn’t getting child support when she really was, or that she was working in a low-paying job. The Sun Journal, reports that the theft charge carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison. The indictment said she falsified a six-month report for the food stamps program.
A Bath man accused of what authorities called a “vicious” knife attack on his girlfriend that nearly killed her is scheduled to plead guilty. Prosecutors say 29-year-old Matthew Wycoff has agreed to plead guilty Friday to a charge of elevated aggravated assault. Sagadahoc County District Attorney Geoffrey Rushlau tells The Portland Press Herald (http://bit.ly/TLcgnG ) the negotiated plea agreement calls for a sentence of 15 years, with eight to serve. In exchange, a charge of attempted murder will be dismissed. Police say Wycoff stabbed the victim about the neck and shoulders with a steak knife in February after the pair had argued in their home. Wycoff fled the apartment but was arrested a short while later at a gas station in Topsham. Sentencing will be at a later date.
Maine’s Catholic Diocese is holding its annual “Red Mass” for lawyers and judges. This year’s Red Mass takes place Friday at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland. The Red Mass is a tradition started centuries ago in Europe to celebrate the official opening of the judicial year. Church officials are inviting judges, lawyers, government officials and people of all faiths to the ceremony. The name of the Mass comes from the red vestments worn by the Mass celebrants.
Lewiston’s mayor is drawing criticism for remarks he made in a radio interview about Somali refugees in his city. Robert MacDonald told the British Broadcasting Corp. this month that immigrants are costing the city a lot of money and that they should “accept our culture and leave your culture at the door.” The BBC’s segment focused on the resettlement of nearly 6,000 Somalis to Lewiston over the past decade. Houda Daud, a 23-year-old Somali who arrived in Lewiston a dozen years ago, said the mayor’s comments are disturbing and divisive. She told Maine Public Broadcasting Network, that the Lewiston community has been welcoming – except for the mayor. MacDonald said he has a good rapport with the Somali community and that his comments are being overblown.
A longtime employee of the Cumberland County Jail was arrested on a drunken driving charge last weekend in Gorham.Sgt. Jennifer Slocum was stopped by police early Saturday morning.We’re told the 42-year old is still on the job and an internal affairs investigation will be conducted once the criminal case is resolved.Slocum has worked at the jail for 10 to 15 years.
Police say a home health nurse has been charged with stealing thousands of dollars’ worth of jewelry from a client’s Bath home. Stephanie Walker of Phippsburg was charged Tuesday with theft by unauthorized taking and receiving stolen property. Chief Michael Field says an investigation was launched in July when a resident reported the disappearance of the valuables at a time when a resident of the home was receiving home nursing care from a company that employed Walker. Police think Walker sold some of the stolen jewelry to a local gold and silver exchange company. Walker has been released on bail and is scheduled for arraignment Dec. 11.
The mother of a Minot boy is suing a substitute teacher for negligence after her son was assaulted by another student in the classroom while the teacher was out of the room. According to the complaint filed Wednesday in Androscoggin County Superior Court, Joel Clavet attended Lewiston Middle School in May 2011 when he was assaulted by a classmate referred to only as John Doe. The Sun Journal, reports that Clavet’s mother, Maureen, says in the suit the assault occurred when the substitute teacher was out of the classroom talking to another teacher in the hallway. The teacher knew John Doe had “behavioral issues,” including “a proclivity for violence.” Joel Clavet suffered a facial cut that required stitches. Maureen Clavet is seeking damages, including attorney’s fees.
U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine is bringing the ranking Democrat on the U.S. House Armed Services Committee to Bath Iron Works for a tour. Maine Democrat Pingree and Rep. Adam Smith of Washington plan to tour BIW and a Navy ship under construction there on Thursday. Pingree, who’s also a member of the House Armed Services Committee, says she wants Smith to get a first-hand look at a modern and efficient shipbuilding facility. The congresswoman says the future of shipbuilding funding is at issue because the Budget Control Act could mean substantial, mandatory cuts in government spending starting in January.
A Maine man has been convicted of trying to burn down his ex-girlfriend’s house while she and her grandparents were asleep last December. A jury found 22-year-old Andrew Freeman guilty on Wednesday of two charges of aggravated attempted murder, arson and burglary, following over an hour of deliberation. Assistant District Attorney Joseph O’Connor told the Bangor Daily News, that Freeman is a “very dangerous individual,” with an extensive criminal record, including convictions of stalking and criminal trespass. He said five different young women had filed protective orders against Freeman at the time of the fire. Freeman is charged with setting the fire in the basement, which woke up the 17-year-old girl’s grandmother. The family managed to put the fire out.
A Houlton youth hockey coach has been charged with possessing Sexually Explicit Material of a minor under the age of 12.44 year old Peter Alden of Houlton was arrested Monday in SkowheganAccording to Houlton Police chief Butch Asselin, police discovered numerous sexually provocative images of girls under the age of 12 on Alden’s IPod.Police also seized Alden’s cell phone and laptop.The investigation began in July after the Veterans Hospital in Augusta indicated Alden may have had a sexual encounter with an underage female.Police are not disclosing the age of the victim or any details relating to the alleged sexual encounter.There’s no indication any of the images were of children from the youth hockey team.
The investigation into burglary, assault, and shooting at a woodland home continues.Early Saturday morning, a resident on New Sweden Road called 911. He reported his door was kicked in and a man had entered his home. The homeowner asked the suspect to leave but when he allegedly resisted, the resident shot him.Authorities with the Aroostook County Sheriff’s office report, they have not been able to speak to the suspect, who remains at a hospital in Bangor.
Gorham police have charged a Scarborough man with two counts of unlawful sexual contact stemming from an alleged incident with a child at a campground 10 years ago. Police say the charges against 45-year-old David C. Dougherty stem from an alleged incident in 2002 at Wassamski Springs Campground that police say involved a 12-year-old boy. Police say Dougherty was staying at a site at the campground and was acquainted with the boy, who also was staying there. The Portland Press Herald, reports that the alleged victim, now in his 20s, is the only victim police are aware of. The incident was reported to police in April and the arrest concludes a five-month investigation. Dougherty was released on $2,500 bail. He is scheduled for arraignment on Nov. 14.
A harness racer has been taken to the hospital after falling onto the track just before a race at the Cumberland Fairgrounds. Mike Timmons, President of the Cumberland County Fair, identified the driver as 65-year-old Leigh Fitch of Sebago. Timmons says Fitch appeared to have suffered some type of medical issue before falling out of his seat and onto the track just before 8 p.m. Monday. Fitch was taken to Maine Medical Center where he was listed in critical condition. Timmons described Fitch as a veteran driver.