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.
The University of Maine System Board of Trustees approved a proposal today to continue to freeze in-state undergraduate tuitition for two additional years. Earlier this year, trustees voted to freeze tuition levels for the current academic year. In order for it to happen, the state would have to keep the system’s funding at its current level of 176 million dollars.
Independent Senate candidate Angus King’s campaign is threatening legal action if TV stations don’t stop airing a pair of ads accusing King of backroom deals. According to King’s campaign the Republican National Senatorial Committee’s ads aren’t true. The ads in question accuse King of backroom deals and profiteering on a wind project in Maine. The King campaign is airing an ad that aims to set the record straight.
There’s going to be a lot of commotion in Augusta Tuesday, but don’t worry, it’s just a test. VA Maine Healthcare System is holding a full-scale mass casualty exercise at the Togus VA Medical Center.The event is a joint effort between area hospitals, fire departments and the Maine National Guard.
Two juveniles are charged with arson following a fire in Springvale Sunday afternoon.Fire fighters were called to the Nasson Community Center building on Main Street for a fire in a locker room in the basement.Crews were able to control the flames with an extinguisher and there was minimal damage.Authorities say, two people in the building at the time of the fire gave good descriptions of the suspects, which led to the arrests.Investigators believe the suspects pulled the fire alarm as they left the building.
The Maine Marine Patrol says a 63-year-old Brunswick man was killed in a boat collision off Little John Island in Yarmouth around 5 p.m. Friday night.The Portland Press Herald reports that the victim was operating a small aluminum skiff when it collided with a 38-foot motor yacht.Sgt. Robert Beal identified the victim as Charles W. Whetham.The yacht was carrying several passengers.The victim was pulled from the water shortly after the collision by the crew of a U.S. Coast Guard auxiliary boat. He was unable to be revived.The crash is under investigation. No charges have been filed.
Maine’s Labor Department says the state’s unemployment rate was 7.6 percent in August, unchanged from July.It’s also not much different from a year ago when it was 7.5 percent.The figures reflect seasonal fluctuations in the labor market.The national unemployment rate in August was 8.1 percent.
An Eliot man accused of breaking into his ex-girlfriend’s house, then assaulting and raping her was in court Friday.31 year-old Paul Olsen did not enter a plea.Police say he broke into the house Tuesday night and attacked the woman while her two young children were home, then didn’t leave until the next morning.He was arrested at his grandmother’s house in Warren.Bail was set at 100 thousand dollars.
An Eliot man is scheduled to make his initial court appearance on charges of breaking into his ex-girlfriend’s house then assaulting and raping her. Paul Olsen is scheduled to appear Friday in Biddeford District Court on charges of attempted murder, kidnapping, burglary and rape. Police say the 31-year-old Olsen broke into the house at about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday and attacked her while two young children were at home. Police said it appears Olsen is the children’s father. The Portland Press Herald reports that Olsen allegedly choked the woman until she lost consciousness, hit her, and raped her. Chief Theodor Short says Olsen did not leave the house until 6 a.m. Wednesday. He was arrested at his grandmother’s house in Waldoboro. The woman was treated at a hospital.
City records show that nearly 80 percent of the restaurants that Portland inspected in the past year failed because of health code violations. Portland hired its first health inspector devoted to restaurants in August 2011. Since then, inspector Michele Sturgeon has inspected 49 restaurants and failed 39. Six failed initial follow-up inspections and three failed multiple follow-ups. The city has about 800 eating establishments. The Portland Press Herald, obtained copies of inspection reports through a Freedom of Access request filed in August, weeks before the city shut down three restaurants for violations that included a “rat infestation.” Sturgeon said she isn’t surprised by the failure rate because of a lack of understanding about state food codes. Common violations include lack of cleanliness, improper storage of utensils and moldy ice machines.
School officials in Gray are investigating after a 5-year-old kindergartner was left alone outside her empty house by a school bus driver. Katie Capponi says she followed procedure and wrote a letter to her daughter Abigail’s school telling them to drop her off at a day care center and not at home on Thursday. Capponi tells WMTW-TV, she even verbally informed the substitute bus driver on Thursday morning to take the girl to day care. Capponi says she got a call from the day care center telling her Abigail was never dropped off. Capponi’s husband raced home and found the girl crying on the porch. The family estimates she was alone for about 40 minutes. Superintendent Bruce Beasley says the school is investigating and reviewing procedures.