Regional News

Probe of Maine Legislative Campaign Spending Requested

Updated 3 years ago

The Maine ethics commission staff is recommending an attorney general’s investigation into campaign spending by a legislator from Alfred.According to The Journal Tribune of Biddeford, the recommendation will gobefore the Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practiceson Nov. 30.An audit of freshman Rep. David R. Burns’ publicly funded campaign includes allegations of misuse of Clean Election Act funds, including falsified receipts and false expenditure claims.The ethics commission website says Burns was authorized to spend $9,066 in public funds for his election, and the audit report says he should repay $2,285. Burns, a Republican, represents House District 138.Burns’ attorney, William Logan, is limiting his response because the audit report’s been submitted to the attorney general. But Logan says many of the alleged violations can be explained. (The Associated Press).

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Augusta Rules to Ban Fireworks

Updated 3 years ago

Augusta has banned fireworks. Thursday night city councilors voted against them. A new state law takes hold January 1st that legalizes fireworks sales in Maine, but municipalities have the option to ban them.Other cities that have done that include Portland, Lewiston and Bangor.Brewer voted to legalize the use and sale of fireworks.

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Zumwalt Milestone at Bath Iron Works

Updated 3 years ago

Maine’s Bath Iron Works is marking a milestone in construction of the Zumwalt, the largest ship built in more than two decades at the shipyard. Two daughters and son of the warship’s namesake, the late Adm. Elmo “Bud” Zumwalt, participated in Thursday’s keel-laying ceremony at Bath Iron Works. Traditionally, the ceremony marks the setting of the keel, the massive beam that served as the foundation of the wooden hull. In modern times, there’s no keel, so the ceremony marks the first completed hull segment. In this case, the hull segment is 180 feet long and weighs 4,000 tons. When it’s completed, the stealth destroyer will displace 14,500 tons, making it the biggest Navy ship built in Bath since delivery of an oil tanker to the Military Sealift Command in 1984. (AP)

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Portland Man Pleads Guilty To Murder

Updated 3 years ago

A Portland man with a history of mental illness has pleaded guilty in the deadly stabbing of a friend.The killing took place in August of last year in the apartment of 26-year-old Shawn Garland.In an agreement with prosecutors, Garland pleaded guilty to murder today. He killed 58-year-old Richard Meyers back in 2010. Sentencing is scheduled for January. Prosecutors say they’ll push for a 35-year sentence.

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Bill to Exempt Small Fishing Boats from Regulations Passes House

Updated 3 years ago

Representative Chellie Pingree says the House has adopted a bill to exempt smaller fishing boats from EPA rules regulating discharges.Pingree says the bill is good news for operators of fishing boats under 79 feet in length because it spares them from extensive permits. Without the legislation, vessels of any size with so-called “gray water” discharges would soon have to be permitted under the Clean Water Act.Pingree, who sponsored a similar measure last year, says those rigorous point source pollution standards represent an “unneeded level of regulation.” The legislation was included in the Coast Guard Reauthorization Act. There has been no Senate action.(The Associated Press)

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Franklin County Inmates Reach Settlement on Tainted Food

Updated 3 years ago

Two former Franklin County jail inmates who claimed guards tainted their food have settled their lawsuit.Robert Ayer of New Sharon and Stephen Wing of Industry claimed that in 2008 corrections officers contaminated veal patties and spaghetti with pepper spray or mace, then laughed when they became sick and asked for medical attention.A lawyer for the ex-inmates says a confidentiality agreement forbids him from disclosing terms of the deal.An attorney for the county says the settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing.

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Augusta Police Investigating Assault and Robbery

Updated 3 years ago

Augusta police are investigating a robbery.A 64-year-old man said Saturday he was assaulted and robbed in the parking lot of the CVS Pharmacy on Capitol Street.He told police he just left the store when a man approached him from behind and hit him on the head.He told police the robber took his wallet and car keys.Police described the robber as six feet tall male and weighing between 165 and 190 pounds. He was wearing jeans, a navy style pea coat and a black cap. If you have information you’re urged to call Augusta Police at 626-2370.

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Police Continue to Investigate Body Found in Lewiston Freezer

Updated 3 years ago

Work continues in the quest to identify the woman whose remains were found last month inside a freezer in a storage unit in Lewiston.Police think they might be those of Kitty Wardwell.She disappeared 28 years ago when she was 29.Her former boyfriend Frank Julian died early last month at age 80.Police say the remains were in a storage unit rented by Julian.They say his relatives found the body when they were cleaning it out.Police say more DNA testing needs to be done, which could take several weeks.

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Lewiston Man Enters Not Guilty Plea to Murder Charges

Updated 3 years ago

A Lewiston man accused of murdering a neighbor who advertised her escort services on the Internet was in court Thursday.30-year-old Buddy Robinson pleaded not guilty to the charges of murdering 22-year-old Christiana Fesmire last month.She was last seen in July.Her body has not been found.Police say Robinson drowned Fesmire in the bathtub of her apartment, which was in the same building where he lived. Police records say Fesmire was part of an online prostitution ring led by Robinson’s sister, who told police that he confessed to the killing. (AP)

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Body Found in Lewiston

Updated 3 years ago

A young woman’s body was found in an apartment in Lewiston. Police are trying to figure out what happened to her.26-year-old Samantha Folsom’s parents hadn’t heard from her recently.So they went to check on her, and discovered her body.Police say Folsom lived in greene before moving to Lewiston about a year ago.Police call the death suspicious.An autopsy was scheduled for Thursday at the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Augusta.This is the fourth suspicious death involving a woman in lewiston in the past five months.

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Teen’s Statements In Daughter’s Death Admissible

Updated 3 years ago

A Superior Court justice has rejected a request by a Limestone teenager accused of manslaughter in the 2009 death of his 3-month-old daughter to have statements he made to police dismissed.The Bangor Daily News reported Tuesday that the ruling in the case against 19-year-old Nicklas Jones was issued in September but not registered in court until late last month.Prosecutors say the then 17-year-old Jones threw his baby at her crib because he was frustrated by her cries. Authorities say the baby missed the crib, hit her head and died days later.He has pleaded not guilty and is free on bail. His lawyers argue statements he made to police were not voluntary, were made before he was read his rights, and without the presence of a requested lawyer. Prosecutors say police followed protocol. (The Associated Press).

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Lewiston High Speed Chase Ends With Arrests

Updated 3 years ago

A high speed chase in Lewiston ended in gunfire Tuesday with an officer being run into and another person shot.Lewiston’s Police Chief says officers chased a car through Lewiston, into New Auburn and back into Lewiston before it crashed in an alley near a parking garage around 1:30 Tuesday morning. Several shots were fired.One of the people in the car was shot and taken to a hospital with what we’re told are non-life threatening injuries. The other person in that car was taken into police custody.During the incident, a police officer was hit by the stolen car. He was not seriously injured.

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Employer in Sewer Tank Deaths Pays Penalties

Updated 3 years ago

The owner of a Monmouth company has agreed to pay nearly $17,000 in federal penalties for safety violations stemming from the deaths of two workers who died after inhaling sewer gases at a job site in Kennebunkport. Tim Stevens of Stevens Electric and Pump Service agreed to pay the penalties assessed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration after the citations were amended to indicate that the company had provided proper safety equipment, but had not taken steps to assure workers used it. Stevens had said he was thinking of contesting the penalties because his workers had chosen not to use safety equipment. Fifty-eight-year-old Winfield Studley of Windsor and 70-year-old Richard Kemp of Monmouth died from inhaling hydrogen sulfide while working inside a sewer tank at a motel in September. (AP)

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Farmington Woman Going To Prison For Daughter’s Methadone Death

Updated 3 years ago

A 48-year-old woman is going to prison for two years for furnishing a fatal dose of methadone to her daughter.Valerie Webb of Wilton sobbed Tuesday during her sentencinghearing in Franklin County Superior Court in Farmington.The Sun Journal of Lewiston reported that Webb pleaded guilty in June to giving some of her methadone pills to her 23-year-old daughter, Alysha Webb, in May 2010. The daughter was found dead the next day in her mobile home.Defense attorney Christopher Berryment said Webb initiallydeclined her daughter’s repeated requests for methadone to relieveher pain, but eventually gave in.Justice Michaela Murphy also ordered Webb to undergo substanceabuse counseling when she leaves prison. Murphy said it was clearthat Webb was taking large amounts of prescription drugs. (The Associated Press).

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Sanford Man Dies in Fire

Updated 3 years ago

Authorities say a 74-year-old man has died in a fire in Sanford, Maine. Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland says Armand Talbot died Tuesday night after he entered his burning home and was likely overcome by smoke. The body was found by firefighters inside his Armand Lane home. McCausland says Talbot discovered the fire after arriving home from a town meeting. He went to neighbors’ home to have them call the fire department and then went into the burning house in an apparent effort to put the fire out. Fire investigators say the fire started in the laundry room of the small home and they will return to the fire scene today to pinpoint the cause. The house, a former camp converted into a year-round residence, was gutted in the blaze. (AP)

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Vermont & FairPoint Reach Settlement On Service Woes

Updated 3 years ago

The state of Vermont and FairPoint Communications say they believe a $1.6 million settlement will be a good way to resolve future service quality issues. The Public Service Department’s James Porter says FairPoint hasfixed many of the service problems experienced after the companytook over the landline telephone system from Verizon in 2009. Earlier this year, FairPoint agreed to a nearly $7 million settlement from past service problems, which it hopes to use to expand broadband services. The $1.6 million would be the maximum amount the company could be liable for if there are service problems this year. FairPoint’s Vermont President Michael Smith told Vermont PublicRadio that the settlement should allow the company to compete successfully against other telecom providers.The settlements must be approved by utility regulators. (The Associated Press).

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CEO of MaineToday Media Inc. Resigns

Updated 3 years ago

The head of MaineToday Media Inc. is stepping down at the end of the year.CEO Richard Connor announced Friday that he is resigning effective Dec. 31. MaineToday Media owns The Portland Press Herald, the Kennebec Journal in Augusta and the Morning Sentinel in Waterville.Connor headed up an investment group that bought the papers from The Seattle Times in June 2009.In a prepared statement, Connor said it was time for a change for him, his family and for the company.He said the company has revised its online products, launched a new digital division and recently reported the first increase in paid newspaper circulation in nearly five years. He said he remains a “significant” investor in the company and “believes in its future.”(AP)

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Police Say More Testing Needed on Storage Unit Body

Updated 3 years ago

Maine State Police say additional DNA testing has been necessary to identify the remains of a woman found in a freezer at a Lewiston storage unit.Police believe the remains discovered a week ago were those of Kitty Wardwell. Wardwell has been missing for 28 years.The storage unit was rented by her boyfriend Frank Julian, who died October 1 at the age of 80. Julian had told investigators he last saw the 29-year-old Wardwell after an argument in 1983, when he dropped her off at a motel in Salem, New Hampshire.Spokesman Steve McCausland says the work will continue into next week. He said DNA comparisons being examined by the state police crime lab have been complicated because of the condition of the remains, so additional testing was needed. (AP)

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Occupy Augusta Protester in Jail for Threatening Man with Knife

Updated 3 years ago

A protester with Occupy Augusta has been charged with threatening another man with a knife.Police say 27-year-old Anthony Williams was at a gas station about a mile from the protest site Saturday night when he asked the other man for a ride.The other man told police when he said no, Williams held a 9-inch knife to his stomach and demanded a ride.Williams says it was a joke. He remains behind bars Thursday night.

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Former Massachusetts State Trooper Behind Bars for Rape

Updated 3 years ago

A former Massachusetts State Trooper is going to prison for raping a woman in Maine.Joseph Silva was sentenced Thursday to ten years for gross sexual assault and seven years each for two counts of aggravated assault. Prosecutors say Silva met a Portsmouth, New Hampshire woman on a dating website and arranged to meet her for dinner in November 2009.They say he lured her to a Kittery hotel room and raped her.

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