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.
Drivers who spot a house in the middle of Route 1 in Wells won’t be seeing things. The road is scheduled to be closed for a couple hours Friday as the historic Storer Garrison House is moved just a couple hundred feet. The Portland Press Herald, reports that a section of Route 1 will be closed from 9 a.m. until at least 11 a.m. Central Maine Power Co., FairPoint, Time Warner and Maine Fiber will lower lines during the move, which may cause brief interruptions in service. The Storer Garrison House was built in 1816 with timbers from the garrison that protected residents during a three-day attack in 1692. The house is being moved to the new owners property.
Angus King will go to Washington as the second independent senator, joining Vermont’s Bernie Sanders.He entered the race when Republican Senator Olympia Snowe decided not to seek re-election, blaming Washington’s partisan atmosphere as the reason why.The race for Maine’s coveted and pivotal Senate seat was called earlier than many predicted. Angus King is the winner.With Van Halen playing in the background and chants of Angus, he addressed his supporters for the first time as their Senator-Elect. “Maine is leading by saying that we are tired of the political divisions that are keeping us from solving real problems. We’re tired of politicians whose main purpose is to divide us instead of unite us.”King then spoke about the direction he hopes Maine is heading, “people don’t care who gets the credit. They don’t care who’s winning and losing from year to year. What they want is a strong economy, a fair settlement to our debt crisis, strong defense, care for our veterans, schools that work, and they’re tired of the false choice that always seems to confront them.”A big focus of the night from King and his supporters was the barrage of negative ads that flooded Maine airwaves, many of them paid for with out of state money. “The state of Maine, the voters of the state of Maine, have said to all those millions of dollars that were spent trying to persuade us that he was someone else, we know him, we like him, we trust him and we want him to be our senator.”King says those ads energized his campaign and he thinks they backfired on those responsible, but the message on election night, ending the partisan gridlock and bickering in Washington, and King says Maine can lead the way. “I am deeply humbled. I am firmly resolved. I am fervently thankful to all of you and to the people of Maine. God bless the state of Maine and the United States of America.”
Voter turnout has been high in Waterville so far today.From the time the polls opened folks were waiting in line to cast their ballots.It’s been a busy day so far in Waterville where in-person voting is up from 4 years ago.Voters have a lot of choices to make.There’s a State Representative seat and a State Senate seat up for grabs.In the race for the house seat, Democratic incumbent Henry Beck is being challenged by Republican challenger Mark Andre.Meanwhile Republican State Senator Tom Martin, the incumbent is being challenged by Demcorat Colleen Lashowicz.Folks in Somerset and Kennebec county are also choosing a new district attorney to replace Evert Fowle.Democrat Meaghan Maloney and Republican Darrick Banda are vying for that job.”It’s been very busy today. It was extremely busy this morning it leveled off a little at lunch time. I would expect another push around 5:00.”You can keep track of results on our website www.wabi.tv.
Retiring US Senator Olympia Snowe was in Maine to cast her ballot today, the final time as a member of Congress.She voted this morning at Falmouth High School.Snowe has endorsed Kevin Raye in the race for US House from Maine’s second district. Raye worked as an aide to Snowe for many years.Snowe announced in February she would not run for re-election after 34 years in congress, 18 of them as a senator. “I’ve loved public service, I always have. I love people and I love the institution of the Senate and Congress overall. I just regret not doing the job that’s necessary for these consequential times and that’s my deepest and most abiding concern, and I feel I can best contribute outside the system right now and move it in a different direction.”Snowe using her three-million dollars in campaign funds to start a leadership institute for high school girls.She’s also going to create a political action committee to support consensus-building candidates for the future.
Congressman Mike Michaud will be casting his ballot tonight in East Millinocket. He spent the day talking with voters throughout the second district, making stops in Lewiston, Gardner, Brewer and Bangor. He said he’s excited that election day is finally here. It hasn’t been all campaigning for him though, he’s also been keeping up with his congressional duties. “I’ve been doing my congressional work as well. There’s still a lot of work we have to do there and tomorrow morning I’ll be back on the road again meeting with constituents and getting ready to meet with the Undersecretary of the Veterans Administration, which will be coming to visit Togus this Thursday. We still have a lot of work that we have to do on the congressional side.”Michaud will be in East Millinocket tonight , waiting for the results with a group of family, friends, and supporters.
Officials in Lewiston are telling residents to be prepared for reduced and slowed city services on Election Day. City Clerk Kathy Montejo says the city uses many city employees to help work at the seven polling places to assist voters with election services on Tuesday. Those workers staff the polls from 7 a.m. through 8 p.m. and as a result, services in various city departments will be slower due to limited remaining staff coverage. She suggests that people needing to do business with the city wait until Wednesday when city departments are fully staffed again. For those who just can’t wait. All city operations will be functioning, just with a smaller staff than usual. Residents with questions can call City Hall at 513-3000.
The Maine Ethics Commission has ruled that a Republican candidate for the state House of Representatives and his campaign treasurer violated state election law when the treasurer spent money on the candidate’s behalf through an outside group. The commission on Monday held off on assessing penalties pending further investigation. The commission met in a special session Monday after the Maine Democratic Party filed a complaint alleging illegal coordination between the campaign for Mike Nadeau of Fort Kent and an outside group that spent nearly $1,500 on his behalf. Nadeau’s campaign treasurer, Philip Soucy, is also treasurer for that group, Citizens for Effective Government. The Bangor Daily News, reports that Soucy denied any coordination. Nadeau is challenging Democratic Rep. John Martin of Eagle Lake for an Aroostook County seat.
A standoff in the parking lot of a Shaw’s grocery store in Auburn ended safely Monday afternoon.State police officials say 45 year-old Randolph Nutter surrendered just before four.According to police, the standoff was actually started by an incident in a Walmart parking lot where a man grabbed a woman’s purse.She gave police a description of the car he took off in and that led them to the Shaw’s lot.Stores and two nearby streets that were forced to close down during the standoff were in the process of being reopened once it ended.