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)
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).
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)
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)
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.
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.
The state Gambling Control Board has ruled that releasing the names of the investors behind a casino under construction in Oxford would not be a violation of trade secrets or of the owners’ privacy. Black Bear Development is the group of investors behind thecasino on Route 26.The control board ruled Tuesday that the names, as well as theirpercentage of ownership, could be made public, despite theobjections of lawyers for Black Bear, who claimed disclosing theinformation would violate privacy.The board’s decision is effective Nov. 8, giving Black Bear timeto appeal the decision in court. The casino is scheduled to open next year. (The Associated Press).
A husband and wife have been ordered to stop holding what town officials in Sanford, Maine, are describing as sex parties for swingers. The town’s code enforcement officer wrote a certified letter toJim and Susan Colley after undercover police attended a party on October15th at a former Knights of Columbus hall. Police Chief Thomas Connolly stated that the officers observed people “in full nudity and engaging in a variety of sex acts.” Town officials say the parties violated town codes, including those pertaining to obscenity. The Colleys used to operate a catering business at the location,but Susan Colley said she’s no longer involved in catering. (The Associated Press)
A fire that destroyed a Freeport business has been ruled an arson.21-year-old Christopher Veysey has been arrested.Police say he’s a transient originally from Hartland.The fire destroyed a building housing Bob Mile’s Plumbing & Heating on Route 1.Veysey was arrested by a fire investigator around nine Tuesday morning as he was boarding a bus in Portland bound for South Carolina.Police say he broke into nine vehicles in the parking lot of the Freeport business and set fire to four of them.The fires spread to the building.Police say he’s a suspect in break-ins Monday in Guilford.
A messy crash involving a pick-up and a tractor-trailer in Auburn Tuesday.Police say an 85-year-old man was driving along Turner Street when he drifted over the center line by Saint Philip’s Church and crashed head-on into a big rig that was hauling demolition debris.The truck hit another vehicle then crashed into a house.The elderly man was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.The homeowner said she just left the house to walk to her mother’s house when she heard the crash and saw smoke.She says her kitchen is destroyed and the foundation is damaged. The DEP says about a hundred gallons of diesel fuel spilled from the truck.
A father and son from Turner who face hunting and drug charges in Maine have pleaded guilty to deer hunting violations in northern Pennsylvania. Sixty-year-old Everett H. Leonard and his son, 31-year-oldEverett T. Leonard, face fines and possible prison sentences whenthey’re sentenced in December. The Sun Journal reports that the younger Leonard pleaded guilty earlier this month to 11 illegal killings and 14 other game offenses. His father pleaded guilty to five illegal killings and a dozen other violations in October and December of 2010. Bradford County, Pa., District Attorney Daniel Barrett calledthe Leonards’ actions selfish and senseless. In May, the father and son pleaded not guilty in a Maine courtto a total of 35 charges of illegal hunting, drug trafficking,criminal trespass and indecent conduct. (AP)
Maine legislators are working on bills aimed to help local businesses affected by the shutdown of the Memorial Bridge, which connected the state to New Hampshire.Foster’s Daily Democrat reports one bill allows signs along Interstate 95 for businesses in Kittery.The signs are expected to provide directors to locations that are no longer accessible by the bridge.The other bill allows shuttles from New Hampshire to Maine using the COAST bus system out of New Hampshire.The 88-year-old bridge closed permanently to traffic on July 27th following an inspection that revealed it was no longer safe. A new bridge is not expected to be in place until 2014. (AP)
Maine authorities have arrested a 38-year-old man on a sexual assault charge, stating the investigation involves a 14-year-old girl. Michael Marston of North Yarmouth was arrested at 10:20 a.m.Wednesday. Capt. Shawn O’Leary of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Officesays Marston may face additional charges.Marston is being held at the Cumberland County Jail.
The Senate has voted to block an Obama administration proposal that would limit potatoes in school lunches.The Agriculture Department proposal is aimed at reducing the amount of french fries on school lunch lines. It would limit schools to two servings a week of potatoes and other starchy vegetables.The Senate voted Tuesday to accept an amendment by Republican Sen. Susan Collins that would block USDA from putting any limits on serving potatoes or other vegetables in school lunches. Collins is from Maine, a potato-growing state.Potato advocates say critics should focus on the preparation of potatoes, which can be a source of fiber and potassium. Health advocates and government officials say children get enough potatoes already and should have more diversity in their diets.(The Associated Press)
Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy says he and legislative leaders agree on 90 percent of the details of a bill that’s supposed to help grow jobs in the long- and short-term.But Republican lawmakers said Tuesday they have questions about a second bill, scheduled for a vote during next week’s special legislative session. It authorizes a $192 million forgivable construction loan and $99 million in research funding for a new laboratory at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington.The Jackson Laboratory, a Maine-based genetic research institute that’s behind the project, said it will create 300 new jobs over 10 years at the campus. Republicans said they want guarantees and more detail. Informational hearings are planned for Thursday on the two bills.The special session is on Oct. 26.(The Associated Press)
Maine’s U.S. senators hope to fight on behalf of the potato at the Senate floor this week.The U.S. Department of Agriculture has proposed new guidelinesthat would eliminate potatoes from school breakfasts and drastically reduce the amount of potatoes served in school lunches. Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe have called the planflawed and misguided. They joined Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colorado, infiling an amendment to an appropriations bill that would bar USDAfrom implementing the rule. Snowe says she supports an increase in fruits and vegetables available in school cafeterias, but believes the crackdown onpotatoes goes too far.Senator Collins, who picked potatoes as a girl in Maine, agrees thatwhile french fries aren’t a great food choice for children,potatoes can be very healthy when prepared in other ways. (The Associated Press)
New Hampshire Fish and Game officials are holding a public hearing next month on whether to expand a reciprocal agreement allowing Vermont to ride on New Hampshire’s trails one weekend to include Maine snowmobilers.The Nov. 7 hearing in Concord would establish the fourth full weekend in January as the time when all snowmobiles registered in Maine may ride on New Hampshire trails. Fish and Game intends to adopt the rule if Maine allows New Hampshire snowmobilers to ride on Maine’s trails the same weekend.Vermont and New Hampshire already have a reciprocal agreement covering the weekend.(The Associated Press)
(AP) – A 50-year-old New Hampshire man who was struck by an Amtrak downeaster train in Dover has died.Dover police Lt. Brant Dolleman says the southbound train tried to stop but couldn’t before striking the man just north of the Washington Street overpass at 2 p.m. Thursday. He says the Dover man was alive at the scene but died minutes after arriving at a hospital.Dolleman says it’s dangerous but not uncommon for pedestrians to use the tracks as a shortcut.Police and Amtrak officials are investigating the man’s death.The train makes five trips daily between Portland, Maine, and Boston. It was delayed in Dover for an hour.
A former school bus driver already facing charges of sexually assaulting a child in Maine and possession of child pornography in New Hampshire is now also facing federal indictments.Prosecutors say 45-year-old John Allen Wright, who used to work for Provider Enterprises Inc. transporting disabled children, was arraigned Wednesday in federal court in Concord on charges of possessing child pornography and five counts of sexual exploitation of children. A not guilty plea was entered on his behalf. Authorities in Maine have alleged just one victim, but federal authorities say there may be three victims.The Milton man was ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation at the request of his lawyer.Federal prosecutors say at least two alleged victims were in Wright’s care, and explicit videos were made. (AP)
A man charged in connection with a triple murder in Amity last year was in Houlton Superior Court this morning for a hearing to revoke bail. 64 year-old Robert Strout has changed his plea from not guilty to guilty. Today Strout pled guilty to hindering apprehension and arson. According to court paper, Strout helped Thayne Ormsby after the killings in June of 2010.Ormsby is facing three counts of murder for the stabbing deaths of Jeffrey Ryan, Ryan’s 10-year-old son and a neighbor Jason Dehahn. Strout told detectives he took Ormsby to a field where Orbsby set Ryan’s truck on fire, then he helped him dispose of a knife and also drove him to New Hampshire. Strout is being held pending bail, he’ll be sentenced in March.