Drivers may have gotten a chuckle out of an electronic message board in Maine warning of zombies, but city officials were not amused. The sign at a Portland road construction site was changed by a hacker to read “Warning Zombies Ahead!” on Wednesday morning. It originally read “Night work 8 pm-6 am. Expect delays.” City spokeswoman Nicole Clegg says the signs are a safety precaution and changing it could have led to driver distraction. She tells The Portland Press Herald, tampering with a safety device is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. She says it’s not clear who changed the sign, but it’s not the first time it has happened.
A federal appeals court has rejected the appeal of a former Auburn music teacher convicted of inappropriately touching a young girl. James Raymond Jr. was convicted in 2010 of two felony counts of transporting a minor with intent to engage in sexual activity and sentenced to 12 years on prison. Authorities say he drove the 11-year-old girl and her 9-year-old sister to a New Hampshire amusement park in 2007 and touched the older girl for sexual gratification. The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston on Thursday rejected his appeal. The 31-year-old Raymond’s lawyer said in the appeal that, among other things, the trial judge improperly admitted evidence and didn’t allow proper cross-examination of a police investigator. The Sun Journal, reports that the appeals court rejected those arguments.
Maine State Police say a 22-year-old Mars Hill man is in the hospital with injuries from an accident involving a machine that moves potatoes into storage bins. Police say Gregory Cousins was working at County Farms LLC potato house in Mapleton Wednesday morning when his clothing became caught in a bin piler, a machine that moves potatoes from a truck to storage bins. The accident caused asphyxiation around Cousins’ neck. Cousins was taken to Aroostook Medical Center in Presque Isle, where he remained Wednesday evening. Police credit quick actions of Cousins’ co-workers for getting him cut loose from the machine.
The Maine Marine Patrol has seized a 39-foot cabin cruiser as part of a criminal probe into a fatal boat collision. The seizure was based in part on statements from witnesses who said the boat appeared to speed up and change course just before the collision with a small aluminum skiff off Littlejohn Island in Yarmouth on Sept. 21. The Portland Press Herald, reports that according to court documents, a witness said it appeared the larger vessel tried to overtake the skiff. The skiff’s operator, 63-year-old Charles Whetham, died. The larger boat was being operated by its owner, who has addresses in Scarborough and Foxborough, Mass. The Marine Patrol filed a search warrant in Cumberland County Court indicating that it had seized the cabin cruiser and its contents.
Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and his family are giving 50-thousand dollars in support of the effort to legalize same-sex marriage in Maine.The family spends summers near Boothbay Harbor.Tagliabue says his son and his son’s partner have been together for twenty years.He served as NFL Commissioner for seventeen years, retiring in 2006.
Police have made in arrest in connection with gunfire at a Lewiston apartment complex last week. Police and federal agents arrested 27-year-old Tyone Jones, originally of Brooklyn, N.Y., in Turner on Tuesday and charged him with reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon. No one was hurt as a result of the gunfire last Friday at the River Valley Village apartments, but residents say they were rattled. Witnesses tell the Sun Journal, it appeared bullets hit the side of an apartment building and struck a nearby trash bin. The motive for the shooting is under investigation, and police say there may be more arrests.. Jones was taken to the Androscoggin County Jail.
A Maine state trooper is being recognized for his quick thinking when he stopped an elderly man who was driving the wrong way on a Portland interstate highway at the beginning of rush hour. U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree is presenting a “congressional statement” Wednesday to Trooper Douglas Cropper. Officials say Cropper used his cruiser to stop an elderly driver who was heading north in the southbound lane of Interstate 295 on June 29. Cropper raced ahead of the wrong-way driver and pulled in front of him so his car crashed into the cruiser and came to a stop before he could crash into oncoming motorists. In her statement to Congress, Pingree said Cropper put his life on the line to prevent what could have been a terrible tragedy.
Some residents of Auburn are being urged to boil their tap water before using it for cooking or drinking after a water main break sent millions of gallons gushing into the street. The break Monday afternoon was caused by a construction crew that hit the 16-inch water pipe while preparing for the upcoming installation of a gas main. Water District Superintendent John Storer said the break on Court Street occurred near Russell Avenue drained about three million gallons in an hour. Residents witnessed a geyser for part of that time. As of Monday evening, about 30 area homes were still without water and residents were urged to boil their water until further notice.
A nationwide program that places yellow stickers on the back windows of vehicles to indicate that an occupant has a medical condition is coming to Maine. The Yellow Dot program is being launched in Gorham and Westbrook and organizers say they would eventually like to see it used throughout Cumberland County, and eventually the entire state. The purpose is to help emergency responders treat accident victims who can’t provide information about their medical conditions or the medications they’re taking. The yellow dots indicate that the medical information is in the car’s glove box. Gorham police Officer Ted Hatch became aware of the program last year after USA Today published an article about its growing popularity. He tells The Portland Press Herald, the program could save lives.
Three U.S. Senate candidates are squaring off for the first time in three weeks. Republican Charlie Summers, Democrat Cynthia Dill and independent Angus King are appearing at the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce’s monthly “Eggs and Issues.” Chris Hall, senior vice president for government relations, is moderating Tuesday’s program, which will focus on issues affecting the business community. It’s the first time Dill, King and Summers have faced each other in a debate since Sept. 17 in Lewiston. King has accused Summers of ducking debates, but Summers says there are plenty of debates between now and the election.
A 29-year-old fitness instructor is being arraigned on charges she ran a prostitution business out of her Kennebunk Zumba studio and secretly filmed her encounters. Alexis Wright of Wells is due in a Portland courtroom on Tuesday on 109 counts including prostitution and tax evasion charges. Mark Strong Sr., a 57-year-old insurance agent and Wright’s alleged business partner, is also being arraigned on 59 counts of promoting prostitution, invasion of privacy and conspiracy. Police say they found video footage of Wright having sex with men who were unaware they were being filmed, and meticulous records suggesting the sex acts could have generated $150,000. Police say they’ll be issuing summonses to Wright’s alleged customers. Strong’s attorney says he’s seen a list of about 150 customers, some of whom are well-known.
Police are asking for witnesses and the public’s help in solving a deadly hit-and-run from late Friday night.Russell Frechette, 31, of Auburn was struck by a newer model tan-colored pickup truck under the train trestle on Turner Street around 10:20 p.m. Friday, investigators said.Police are trying to determine if Frechette fell off of the trestle prior to being struck by the truck.According to a witness, the truck did not stop after striking Frechette. Frechette died from injuries earlier Saturday at Central Maine Medical Center.Police are asking anyone who might have been in the area at the time of the accident or may have information regarding the accident to call the Auburn Police Department at 333-6650.
An organization that’s developing a backcountry network of huts along 180 miles of trails in Maine’s western mountains is opening the fourth of 12 lodges that are planned for the trails. Maine Huts and Trails says the Stratton Brook Hut is opening Dec. 21 in Carrabassett Valley, with views of both the valley and Sugarloaf Mountain. The hut will have 10 rooms and be able to sleep up to 44 people. The planned 180-mile hut-to-hut trail is open for hikers, mountain bikers, cross-country skiers and other outdoor enthusiasts. Each shelter has a main lodge, rooms with beds, hot showers and home-cooked meals. So far, Maine Huts has developed 50 miles of trails with three huts.
The law that governs the nation’s fisheries was passed 36 years ago to oust foreign boats from U.S. waters. Today, New England fishermen wonder if it will soon oust them. The fishermen face colossal cuts in their 2013 catch limits, and lawmakers are pushing $100 million in aid to sustain the fleet. Among the causes of the fishermen’s strife are certain controversial mandates of the fishery law. One is a 10-year timeline for rebuilding a species. Critics say it’s unscientific and puts needless pressure on fishermen. But environmentalists say some deadline is essential, or fish recovery will be endlessly delayed. Also, the law now requires an immediate end to overfishing, forcing steep cuts fishermen say they won’t survive. But environmentalists say the practice of phasing in needed cuts wasn’t working.
A Waterville woman will spend two and a half years in prison after pleading guilty to robbing a TD Bank in South Portland last summer.Jamilee Kus entered her plea today in Cumberland county. Prosecutors say she walked up to a teller at the bank near the Maine Mall in July and demanded money. Kus also was ordered to repay the almost 17-hundred dollars she stole.
A Lewiston man is under arrest, for allegedly stabbing another man in the chest.Police charged 43-year old Tony Leonard with elevated aggravated assault yesterday. 41-year-old Vincent Turner was found in a Bartlett Street apartment just after 5 Wednesday evening, with knife wounds to his chest. His roommate called police.Turner is listed in serious condition at a hospital in Portland.Leonard is being held at the Androscoggin County Jail on 100-thousand dollars bail.
Both suspects in August’s triple murder in Bangor are behind bars Thursday night.34 year-old Randall Daluz was arrested in New Bedford, Massachusetts Tuesday.31 year-old Nicholas Sexton was nabbed in Brockton, Massachusetts Thursday morning.Both are charged with three counts of murder for the deaths of Daniel Borders, Nicolle Lugdon, and Lucas Tuscano.Police say the three were shot to death. Their bodies were found in a burning car in a Bangor industrial park.Daluz was brought to Maine last night and arraigned in court in Bangor today.Daluz didn’t say much in court today, other than enter his not guilty pleas to all three counts of murder, and one count of arson.The arraignment was over fairly quickly, but for the families of the victims, it was difficult. Many of them became emotional as they saw Daluz walk in.Daluz’s attorney, Jeff Silverstein, described his client’s demeanor as sad and said he understands the significance of the charges against him.Silverstein said he only had a few minutes to talk to Daluz before the court proceedings today, so he couldn’t comment much on the case.During the arraignment, though, Silverstein expressed concern about the state’s wish to try Daluz and Sexton together. He plans to contest that motion.Assistant Attorney General Lisa Marchese explained that it only makes sense though for the court to do so.”In any sort of case you need the same evidence to prove them both guilty and the courts favor trying people in these circumstances together where they were together that evening and they are accomplices to one another.””That presents a situation that the Supreme Court has addressed as being an impediment to adjoiner. So, I need to look into that. Again, I only know what has been reported, but I think that issue has been generated and it’s something that needs to be explored.”Daluz is being held without bail at the Penobscot County Jail.His co-defendant in this case, Nicholas Sexton, who faces the same charges, is still in Massachusetts.Sexton was arrested around 4 Thursday morning in Brockton.He was arraigned today in Brockton District Court on a fugitive from justice charge, but he is fighting his extradition to Maine.That means he’ll be staying in Massachusetts until Maine prosecutors can get a governor’s warrant to bring him back here.Prosecutors in Massachusetts said Sexton has a pre-trial hearing scheduled down there for October 31st.He’ll be held without bail until then.There’s no word yet on when he could be brought back to Maine.
Critics are seeking the ouster of a Maine mayor who said his city’s Somali immigrants should “accept our culture and leave your culture at the door.”The Maine People’s Alliance on Thursday delivered about 1,400 petitions calling for Lewiston Mayor Robert Macdonald to step down over his comments to the British Broadcasting Corp.About 6,000 Somali immigrants have settled into this former mill town and a neighboring city in search of affordable housing and a safe place to live. One of them, 26-year-old Nimo Yonis, described the mayor’s words as “derogatory and inflammatory” during a rally at City Hall.Macdonald has since attempted to clarify his comments, saying immigrants should try to assimilate into American culture, not that they need to give up their language, religion or traditions.
The founder of the Dead Poets Society of America is halfway to his goal of visiting the gravesites of 500 bards. Walter Skold on Thursday is visiting the gravesite of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s brother Samuel at Portland’s Western Cemetery. Skold says Samuel Longfellow was a hymn writer, pastor and poet. It’ll be his 251st burial plot visit, marking the kickoff of events leading to Dead Poets Remembrance Day on Oct. 7. Skold, who’s from Freeport, Maine, pushed for a national holiday after he discovered that the graves of many of the nation’s literary forebears have been neglected. Highlights this year will include a tribute to the poetry of John Updike and a special midnight reading of “The Raven” at Poe Corner in Boston, Edgar Allan Poe’s hometown.
A Maine woman has been indicted on 106 counts involving prostitution and violation of privacy and 15 tax-related counts for allegedly engaging in prostitution at her Zumba studio in Kennebunk and secretly videotaping her encounters. A York County grand jury returned the indictments late Wednesday against 29-year-old Alexis Wright of Wells. The Journal Tribune, reported that the grand jury also indicted 57-year-old Mark Strong Sr. of Thomaston on 59 misdemeanor counts involving prostitution for his alleged role in Wright’s business. Police have said they found video footage of Wright having sex with men who were unaware they were being filmed and meticulous records suggesting the sex acts would have generated $150,000.