Regional News

Red Tape Hearings: Southern Maine

Updated 3 years ago

You have two chances this week to voice your opinions on how Maine’s business climate can be improved.on Monday at the Sanford town hall, the meeting with the Joint Select Committee on Regulatory Fairness and Reform.And Wednesday they will be at Southern Maine Community College in South Portland.These public meetings are being held as part of a series of 7 meetings to give Mainers a chance to share their views with legislators and let them know your feelings about state regulations.

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Brunswick Base Redevelopment

Updated 3 years ago

The U.S. Navy has given the green light to plans for the redevelopment of the Brunswick Naval Air Station property after it closes later this year.The announcement was the final step in the process of evaluating the environmental effects of the plan, which calls for the redevelopment of the airfield, 43 buildings, and 3,200 acres of land.Of that, 1,570 acres would be reserved for recreation, open space and natural areas.The base will close for good may 31st.

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Teacher Facing Child Porn Charge Resigns

Updated 3 years ago

A Maine kindergarten teacher facing child pornography charges has quit his job. The school board for Jackman’s Forest Hills Consolidated School accepted the resignation of 41-year-old Rob Mocarsky at a special meeting on Tuesday. The resignation was worked out by Mocarsky’s lawyer and the school district. It is effective February 19th. Mocarsky is facing felony charges of sexual exploitation of a minor and possession of sexually explicit materials, both involving children younger than 12. Police say Mocarsky had hundreds of pornographic photos of children on his home computer. The investigation began after a mother told school officials he had made a student dress in a French maid’s costume and photographed her. Mocarsky’s attorney tells the Morning Sentinel the resignation was a “mutually satisfactory agreement.” (AP)

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Northern Maine College Receives Generous Financial Gift

Updated 3 years ago

Northern Maine Community College says a $1.2 million gift it’s received from a California woman is the largest donation so far to an Aroostook County higher education institution. California resident and Presque Isle native Mary Smith made the donation in memory of her late husband, Rodney Smith, who was a pioneer in the semiconductor industry. Despite an impoverished youth in England, Rodney Smith was very successful in the United States as a businessman. The money will allow for the expansion of the college’s wind power technology program. The college will be able to double its enrollment of first-year students in the program from 18 to 36. Rodney Smith was the first chief executive officer of Altera Corp., which invented the world’s first reprogrammable logic device in 1984. (AP)

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Hypnotist Accused of Having Sex With 14 Year Old Girl

Updated 3 years ago

Maine prosecutors say a 37-year-old hypnotist used his craft to keep a 14-year-old girl quiet about a sexual relationship they were having. But the attorney for Aaron Patton of Jay told a jury Monday that the girl was 16 when the two had a consensual sexual relationship. In Maine the age of consent for sexual activity is 16. Patton began treating the girl, now 17, with hypnotism when she was 8 years old to break her of a nail-biting habit. The girl testified Monday that when she was 14 they began having sex and afterward Patton would hypnotize her to keep quiet about their encounters. ThE girl testified she was in love with Patton and kept it secret for two years. (AP)

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Oldest American Dog Found In Texas

Updated 4 years ago

A University of Maine researcher might have found remains from the oldest-known domesticated dog in the Americas.Graduate Student Samuel Belknap III found the piece of bone while analyzing a dried out sample of human waste unearthed during a scientific dig in Texas in the 1970s. He says it appears the dog was eaten by humans.Tests indicate the dog lived 9,400 years ago.

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Snowmobile Crash in Southern Maine Send Two to Hospital

Updated 4 years ago

A man and a woman in Casco were injured, after the snowmobile they were riding crashed on a lake. Game Wardens say the pair was riding a snowmobile on Thomas Pond near the man’s home Sunday.They hit the shoreline and the snowmobile tipped.The 47-year-old man hit his head on an aluminum boat lift. He suffered a broken neck, broken collarbone and head lacerations.He’s now hospitalized in critical condition.A 41-year-old woman from Naples was bruised in the crash. According to two ice fishermen, the man was sitting behind the woman on the snowmobile but was driving. Authorities say the man was summonsed for operating under the influence and refusing to submit to a blood-alcohol test.

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State To Recieve Piece of Dannon Settlement

Updated 4 years ago

The makers of Activia yogurt have settled up with Maine and 38 other states in a lawsuit that accused the company of making unsubstantiated claims about the product’s benefits.Nationwide, Dannon agreed to pay states $21 million. Maine stands to receive $425,000 of it.Dannon ads claimed Activia yogurt helps relieve irregularity and that Danactive dairy drink helps people avoid catching colds and flus. The Federal Trade Commission says there is not enough evidence to back those claims.Dannon denies any wrongdoing and says it settled to avoid further litigation and expense.

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Remains Found In New York Could Be Maine Woman

Updated 4 years ago

A woman from Maine who worked as an escort on Craigslist might be one of four bodies found dumped along a beach on New York’s Long Island.That’s what the mother of Megan Waterman, 22, of Scarborough has been told by police.Waterman was last seen in June in New York where she went with her boyfriend.Police in New York are considering the possibility that a serial killer may have dumped the four bodies along a quarter-mile stretch of road not far from Long Island’s Jones Beach. That’s about fifteen miles from where Waterman went missing.

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National Guard Personnel Get One Month Reprieve

Updated 4 years ago

Sen. Susan Collins says National Guard personnel in Maine, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and New Jersey are getting a 30-day reprieve as the Air Force reconsiders cuts of aerial refuelings of military aircraft headed to and from Iraq, Afghanistan and Europe.Gen. Raymond Johns of the air mobility command will visit Bangor in a Thursday to assess the air bridge program.The Air Force had notified more than 400 personnel, including the 101st Air Refueling Wing in Bangor, that they would stand down at the end of October under a budget-cutting directive. Collins says their orders are now being extended until November 30th.

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Gang Member Involved in Canaan Shooting Takes Stand in Virginia

Updated 4 years ago

A former Outlaws motorcycle gang member was a key witness Tuesday in federal court in Virginia.Michael Pedini says he and Thomas Mayne ambushed a fellow gang member last year in Canaan, on orders from the national president of the Outlaws.That president, as well as three other gang members, are charged with racketeering and other crimes.Pedini claims the shooting was revenge for an assault on two other outlaws.The victim is partially paralyzed because of the attack.Pedini pleaded guilty to conspiracy last month. Mayne was killed in a gun battle with federal agents at his Old Orchard Beach home last June.

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Greenwood Plant up and Running

Updated 4 years ago

Many people gave the Saunders Brothers manufacturing plant up for dead when it closed its doors and went to auction last spring in the western Maine town of Greenwood, a victim of the sour economy and cheap imports.Less than five months later, machines are humming again as a skeleton crew puts out rolling pins, brush handles, dowels and other wood products.Maine’s wood products industry has been on the slide for years, with numerous plants going out of business.Now, a Portland woman and her partners have bought not only the shuttered Saunders Brothers factory, but three other plants as well, all in hardscrabble areas of Maine. Louise Jonaitis says she intends to bring the plants back to life in regions where times are tough and jobs are scarce.

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Bridge Repair Grant

Updated 4 years ago

A deteriorating bridge connecting Maine and New Hampshire will be getting a multimillion-dollar replacement.Top elected officials from the two states joined U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on Wednesday as he formally announced a $20 million grant to help pay for the replacement of the aging Memorial Bridge that links Kittery, Maine, and Portsmouth, N.H. The grant will help New Hampshire partner with Maine to replace the bridge.The two states jointly own three bridges over the Piscataqua River.In 2009, the metal truss bridge made it to a national list of endangered properties.Maine Governor John Baldacci, New Hampshire Governor John Lynch, and members of the states’ congressional delegations attended theevent.

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Portland Gubernatorial Debate

Updated 4 years ago

A gubernatorial debate was held at the University of Southern Maine Monday night.The debate, sponsored by Portland television station WMTW, saw the five candidates answer questions and have a spirited back and forth about their differences of opinion.All of the candidates spoke about the issues that they believe are most important to the state — including jobs and the economy, welfare reform, the size and cost of state government, as well as health care and energy costs.The three Independents also tried to differentiate themselves from the Democrat and Republican front runners.Some of those in the crowd who were undecided voters said the opportunity to witness the debate first hand helped them make up their mind. “You get to see what they have to say on their feet and quick quick and I’m sure some of what they say is prepared, but ultimately it comes down to hearing what they have to say and the fact that they came to USM is really important,” said Ashley Williams-Phaneuf.Swaying those undecided voters is important. And according to at least one recent poll there are still quite a few people who have not made up their minds. In that poll the percentage of undecideds is in the double digits.

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Central Maine Medical Center Bed Bugs

Updated 4 years ago

One of Central Maine Medical Center’s surgical units in Lewiston was closed this month after a patient was found to have bedbugs.The patient was cleaned and all patients on that medical surgical unit were moved on October 8th to another part of the hospital, said a C.M.M.C. spokesperson. C.M.M.C. custodial staff worked with an outside pest control agency to fumigate the floor.The medical surgical unit is scheduled to to reopen on Monday.

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Appalachian Trail Extends Overseas

Updated 4 years ago

A planned extension of the International Appalachian Trail is getting a major boost.Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, England, Ireland, and Wales all signed Thursday as I.A.T. chapters. The I.A.T. is an extension of the Appalachian Trail.Greenland and Scotland joined the Trail last year.

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Maine N.H. Create Bridge Task Force

Updated 4 years ago

A task force consisting of two states is being created to find ways to pay for replacing or rehabilitating bridges across the Piscataqua River.Governor Baldacci and New Hampshire Governor John Lynch announced the orders Tuesday in Portsmouth, N.H. Both states share the responsibility of Maintaining the three bridges that connect Maine and New Hampshire.

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Flags at Half Staff for Fallen Soldier

Updated 4 years ago

U.S. and state flags across Maine will be a at half-staff on Tuesday, in remembrance of a fallen soldier whose father lives in Maine.Private first class Clinton Springer, the second died in September while serving in Afghanistan. He was stationed at Fort Drum, NY.Springer’s father lives in Sanford.The funeral service is planned for Tuesday at St. Patrick’s church in Falmouth, MA.

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Balloonist with Maine Connections is Missing

Updated 4 years ago

Organizers of a long-running balloon race say they’ve lost contact with two U.S. pilots over the Adriatic Sea and are very concerned. The 54th Gordon Bennett Gas Balloon Race says that Richard Abruzzo and Carol Rymer Davis were last detected flying between Italy and Croatia earlier Wednesday and have not been heard from in at least six hours.Richard Abruzzo lifted off for a different balloon race from Bass Park in September 1992. Race director Don Cameron described the weather over the Adriatic as quite poor, with reports of thunderstorms. He said Italian and Croatian officials had been notified. The race, which kicked off Saturday in the British city of Bristol, has a simple goal – to see who can fly the furthest on a maximum of about 1,000 cubic meters (35,300 cubic feet) of gas. (AP)

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Pingree Cleared by Ethics Committee

Updated 4 years ago

The House ethics committee has cleared Representative Chellie Pingree’s use of her fiance’s corporate jet for personal travel.It says transportation qualifies as a gift and that House members may accept gifts from family members. The committee further states that a fiance is treated as a relative.The issue erupted after a video surfaced of Pingree walking off a jet owned by Wall Street financier S. Donald Sussman. Sussman and Pingree have been engaged since 2008.Pingree had previously criticized the use of corporate jets by members of Congress.

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