Regional News

Mark Strong to Lose His Lawyer

Updated 2 years ago

A man accused of being connected to a prostitution ring in Kennebunk is losing his lawyer.Dan Lilley has been representing Mark Strong.Lilley told the judge he hasn’t been paid and doesn’t have the resources to properly prepare for Strong’s trial, so he’s removing himself from the case.Strong is accused of promotion of prostitution, violation of privacy and conspiring with Alexis Wright.Wright is accused of running a prostitution operation from her fitness studio in Kennebunk and will be tried separately.

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Livermore Falls Teen Involved in Car Crash Dies

Updated 2 years ago

Police say a Livermore Falls teenager injured in a weekend car crash has died. Chief Larry White Sr. says 17-year-old Megan Baril died at about 11 a.m. Monday at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston of injuries sustained in Sunday’s crash. Police say Baril was a front-seat passenger in a car driven by 17-year-old Alyssa Lamontagne that struck a utility pole. White says Baril was not wearing a seat belt. Lamontagne, and a second passenger, 16-year-old Sheila Jordan, were taken to the hospital with what were described as non-life threatening injuries. All three teens are from Livermore Falls. White tells the Sun Journal, says speed appears to be a factor, but the crash remains under investigation and no charges have been filed.

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Georgia Based Company Bids to Buy Closed Hostess Bakery

Updated 2 years ago

Hostess Brands’ shuttered bakery in Biddeford could soon have a new owner, but it’s not clear whether it would reopen or rehire any laid off employees. Georgia-based Flowers Foods has signed an agreement to buy the plant as part of its effort to acquire some assets of the bankrupt company, which made Wonder Bread, Twinkies and other baked goods. A spokesman for Flowers wouldn’t say Monday whether it would reopen the plant or rehire any of its 370 workers, who were laid off late last year when Hostess Brands Inc. ceased operating. Former employees, however, tell The Portland Press Herald (http://bit.ly/VXWwwH ) that they consider the sale a good sign. A Hostess spokesman said the auction will likely happen in late February and a sale could be completed by mid-March.

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Rape Suspect Agrees to be Tried as an Adult

Updated 2 years ago

A Maine teenager charged with rape who resisted efforts by prosecutors to be tried as an adult has given up his fight. The Portland Press Herald, reports that Mohammed Mukhtar withdrew his objection to the prosecution’s motion to try him as an adult during a hearing Monday. Mukhtar is charged with breaking into a 50-year-old woman’s home in May and raping her. He denies the charge. The case has bounced between adult and juvenile court because of confusion over Mukhtar’s birth date. Prosecutors say the Somali refugee was born Jan. 1, 1994, which made him 18 at the time of the alleged rape. His attorney says the birth date was assigned him by immigration officials and his real birth date is Oct. 25, 1994, which made him 17 at the time.

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Section of the New Memorial Bridge to be Put in Place

Updated 2 years ago

A section of the new Memorial Bridge connecting New Hampshire and Maine is moving to its new location. The bridge’s new south span is expected to be transported by barge from the State Pier in Portsmouth onto rebuilt piers in the Piscataqua River on Tuesday. Crews will then be adjusting the 300-foot-long span’s elevation with a temporary jacking system onto the bearing on the top of each pier. The barge is expected to be moved out from the under the bridge during low tide on Tuesday night. Workers will then start to assemble the north span which is expected to be put in place in March.

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Small Earthquake Strikes Southeast Brunswick

Updated 2 years ago

A small earthquake has shaken the ground near Brunswick, Maine. Julie Dutton from the National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colo., says the 2.4 magnitude quake hit at 1:19 p.m. Monday, about 18 miles southeast of Brunswick. She says it was felt in Wiscasset and Bath. There were no reports of injuries or damage. Such small earthquakes aren’t uncommon in Maine. Occasionally, there are bigger ones like a 4.0 magnitude quake in October that rattled southern Maine was felt as far away as Connecticut.

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Zumba Prostitution Suspect Seeks Trial Delay

Updated 2 years ago

The business partner of a Zumba instructor charged with running a prostitution ring from her dance studio in Maine is seeking a delay of his trial. An attorney for 57-year-old Mark Strong Sr. of Thomaston has asked a York County judge to allow him more time to prepare for the trial that is scheduled to begin next week. Defense attorney Daniel Lilley is seeking a new trial date of Feb. 19. Strong is charged with promotion of prostitution, violation of privacy and conspiring with Alexis Wright, whom authorities say ran a prostitution operation out of her Zumba studio in Kennebunk. Wright is being tried separately.

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EMMC in Talks of Merger with Portland’s Mercy Hospital

Updated 2 years ago

The owner of Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor has struck a deal to merge with the parent company of Portland’s Mercy Hospital.If approved by regulators, Mercy Health System of Maine will merge with Brewer-based Eastern Maine Health Care.Mercy Hospital would remain non-profit, and would retain its Catholic identity.Besides approval from state and federal regulators, the merger also needs the Vatican’s blessing.It could take up to nine months to seal the deal, which would result in a health care company with nearly ten thousand employees.

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Two Accused in Narwhal Smuggling Ring Plead Not Guilty

Updated 2 years ago

Two men accused of being part of a ring that smuggled narwhal tusks from Canada to Maine have pleaded not guilty. Andrew Zarauskas of New Jersey and Jay Conrad of Tennessee each face 29 smuggling and money laundering charges. Prosecutors say two Canadian men smuggled the tusks across the border in a trailer and Zarauskas and Conrad bought the tusks.

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Massachusetts Man Found Guilty in Maine Double Murder Case

Updated 2 years ago

A Massachusetts man has been found guilty of killing two people in Maine. A jury found 31-year-old Joel Hayden guilty of shooting and killing the mother of his four children, as well as a longtime friend.Hayden pleaded not guilty to killing his girlfriend, 27-year-old Renee Sandora, and his childhood friend, 28-year-old Trevor Mills, of Massachusetts, at Sandora’s home in New Gloucester in July 2011.Evidence presented at trial included the 911 call in which Sandora can be heard saying “my boyfriend just shot me,” and testimony from the couple’s 8-year-old son, who said he saw his father shoot his mother.Hayden’s attorneys told jurors DNA evidence points to another possible killer.

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Closing Statements Expected in Double Murder Trial

Updated 2 years ago

The trial of a Massachusetts man charged with killing the mother of his four children as well as a longtime friend in Maine is winding down. Closing statements in the trial of Joel Hayden of New Bedford, Mass. are scheduled for Monday in Portland. The 31-year-old Hayden has pleaded not guilty to killing his girlfriend, 27-year-old Renee Sandora, and his childhood friend, 28-year-old Trevor Mills, of New Bedford, at Sandora’s home in New Gloucester in July 2011. Evidence presented at trial included the 911 call in which Sandora can be heard saying “my boyfriend just shot me,” and testimony from the couple’s 8-year-old son, who said he saw his father shoot his mother. Hayden’s attorneys told jurors that no gun was ever found and DNA evidence points to another possible killer.

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Madison Man Charged with OUI

Updated 2 years ago

A Madison man charged with driving drunk with two children in his car is headed to court. Authorities say 26-year-old James Labonte is expected to be arraigned Monday on several charges in connection with his weekend arrest, including operating under the influence and endangering the life of a child. Police say they originally tried to stop Labonte for a traffic violation on Saturday afternoon, but he refused to pull over. Instead, police tell the Morning Sentinel, he continued driving another mile and a half, then jumped out of his still moving vehicle and fled on foot. The vehicle hit a building. Police say Labonte did not have a driver’s license. Police did not say how old the children were.

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Flu Virus Reaching Epidemic Proportions in Maine

Updated 2 years ago

Influenza is reaching epidemic proportions in Maine and there’s no sign it’s hit its peak.That’s according to state epidemiologist Doctor Stephen Sears.He says it’s not too late to get a flu shot, and the vaccine supply is holding up.Sears urges people not to visit friends in hospitals or go to work if they’re sick.Officially, they’re been 70 reported cases of the flu and one young girl died from it.

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Mount Abram Makes Strides to Stay Family and Wallet-Friendly

Updated 2 years ago

Mount Abram is the first ski area in America to join a new group called “The Mountain Riders Alliance.”The goal is to help it remain a place that’s family-friendly, and wallet friendly.At $49, Mount Abram’s lift ticket is one of the least expensive in Maine.Jamie Schectman is here to help keep it that way.”I’m a 25 year ski bum, and I’ve grown dissatisfied with the direction the ski industry has taken.”So, Schectman founded Mountain Rider’s Alliance, hoping within five years to create a partnership between five or six medium sized ski areas around the country, areas touting an emphaisis on community and the environment.”We can do best shared practices: we can market in between the different areas,” said Kevin Rosenberg, general manager of the mountain.”It’ll help by giving skiers and riders possibly some more benefits at other mountains, as well as helping the industry out as a whole by sharing costs and working together as a team.”Now, the first amenity any skier will notice here, next spring an acre’s worth of solar panals will be installed here so Mt. Abram can make more power than it uses.”Energy and electricity is your number two expense in the ski industry after payroll, so if you’re creating your own energy you’ve just eliminated that expense.” And with fewer expenses, Mount Abram says it can continue offering cheaper lift tickets. The very reason so many skiers come here in the first place.(robert oddo/mt. abram skier)”I think it’s very important: I’ve been many places,” Robet Oddo commented, a skier of Mt. Abram’s. “This is a nice place. It has a lot to offer. It’s a really good value.”Schectman says he’ll look to the core skiing community here for input, creating what he envisions as a value-based, environementally friendly “mountain playground,” which he says points Mount Abram in the right direction..

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Update: Lawrence High School Intruder Charged with Assaulting Hospital Staff

Updated 2 years ago

A man who was tasered by police at a school in Fairfield Wednesday morning is now accused of assaulting workers at the Waterville Hospital where police took him.48-year-old Ronald Brousseau was taken to Maine General’s Thayer campus in Waterville after his arrest at Lawrence High School.Police say he assaulted two hospital workers Wednesday night.Police say he had been subdued by hospital staff by the time they arrived. He was charged with criminal tresspass and resisting arrest for the high school incident.He’ll be charged with assault when released from the hospital.

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Prostitution Sting Results in Three Arrests

Updated 2 years ago

An undercover prostitution sting in Kittery results in the arrests of two women from Maine and one from New Hampshire.Police say they set up meetings with the women at a Kittery hotel.34-year-old Mary Boutin of Biddeford, 30-year-old Nedra Levasseur of South Portland and 26-year-old Ryanne McCann of New Hampshire are charged with engaging in prostitution.Boutin and Levasseur are also accused of having drugs.

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Lewiston Woman Indicted with Several Charges

Updated 2 years ago

A Lewiston woman accused of running over her ex-boyfriend’s foot with her car, then throwing a molotov cocktail out the window and leading police on a chase has been indicted.21-year-old Heather Kullson is charged with two counts of criminal use of explosives, aggravated assault, criminal mischief, arson, driving to endanger and eluding police.She’s scheduled for court in late March.

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Snowmobile Festival to go on as Planned Despite Tragedy

Updated 2 years ago

A nearly quarter-century old snowmobile festival will go on as planned in Rangeley despite the presumed deaths of three sledders who apparently rode into open water on Rangeley Lake last month. The Rangeley Lakes Snowmobile Club, organizer of the annual Snodeo, decided to carry on with the festival scheduled for Jan. 24 through 26 after meeting with the Maine Warden Service and town officials. The Warden Service has been leading recovery efforts. A woman riding separately died when her snowmobile fell into the lake at about the time the men went missing. Snodeo Chairwoman Sandi Dumont tells the Sun Journal, the loss of the men is “unfortunate,” but many people plan vacations around the event, which provides an economic boost to town. From 3,000 to 6,000 people are expected to attend.

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Three Women Arrested on Prostitution Charges

Updated 2 years ago

Two women from Maine and one from New Hampshire have been arrested in an undercover prostitution sting in Kittery. Police say officers working undercover contacted the women online and arranged meetings at a Kittery hotel. The three agreed to meet with an undercover police officer and allegedly solicited sex. All three were charged with engaging in prostitution. They were identified as 34-year-old Amy Boutin of Biddeford: 30-year-old Nedra Levasseur of South Portland: and 26-year-old Ryanne McCann of Rollingsford, N.H. The two Maine women are also facing drug charges for allegedly being in possession of prescription drugs. Interim Police Chief Ted Short says the sting was meant to send a message that prostitution will not be tolerated in town.

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Poland Fire Station Expansion Collapses

Updated 2 years ago

An unfinished, 8,000-square-foot addition to the Poland Fire and Rescue building has been knocked down by high winds. Fire Chief Mark Bosse says the structure fell at about 4 a.m. Thursday. No one was hurt. He tells the Sun Journal, the collapse caused thousands of dollars in damage and likely will delay the project by about two weeks. The collapse occurred just as firefighters were returning from responding to a car crash. Bosse says they heard a loud noise and thought it was snow sliding off the metal roof. The $2.3 million expansion was being built for storage space, offices, a locker room and a bunk room.

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