A LaGrange man pleaded guilty Wednesday to distributing oxycodone. Tony Woodard had previously pleaded not guilty to the charge.Court records say he distributed a mixture containing the drug in 2010. He has not been sentenced yet.
The first New England-wide lottery game will hold its initial drawing next month.The top prize winners in the “Lucky for Life” game will receive $1,000 a day for the rest of their lives.The $2 tickets will be sold at lottery outlets in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine. Drawings will be held on Mondays and Thursdays, with the first drawing scheduled for March 15.Massachusetts Lottery Director Paul Sternberg said Tuesday that it was the first time all six New England states have collaborated on a game.A similar version of “Lucky for Life” has been played in Connecticut for the past few years, with top prize winners receiving $2,000 a week for life.In Massachusetts, the game replaces “Cash WinFall,” which is ending after about seven years.
The Maine Department of Transportation is preparing to install cameras on a stretch of Interstate 295 around the Forest Avenue ramps during construction.An agency spokesman says drivers will be able to view the cameras on the department’s website to determine whether there is traffic congestion and if they need to seek alternate routes.The Portland Press Herald reports the cameras will also be used by the work crews to monitor traffic and determine when equipment can be moved around. They will also watch out for emergency vehicles so they can make it easier for them to pass through.The work includes bridge and overpass repair and maintenance. The cameras will not go online until a couple of weeks before work gets under way, expected to be mid-April.
Police say a Turner woman crashed the same vehicle twice on the same road over the weekend.The second crash, which occurred at about 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, landed the woman in the hospital.Police say 54-year-old Maria Alleano drove her SUV into a snow bank on Route 117 in Buckfield just before 2 p.m. Sunday. She was apparently unhurt, because about 45 minutes later she fell asleep at the wheel, crossed the center line and crashed into a tree in Paris.Police tell the Sun Journal that Alleano was taken to Stephens Memorial Hospital after the second crash.Police are still investigating, but believe her medication played a factor. Police say she told them she had no memory of striking the tree.
Fire investigators are investigating the cause of a fire at a mill in Strong. Firefighters say they were first called to Geneva Wood Fuels at 30 Norton Hill Road at about 8 a.m. on Thursday. The factory makes wood pellets. First responders say there was fire in the wall on the third floor of the factory. Crews from seven towns fought the fire. No one was injured. The fire happened in a part of the building that’s used for storage so officials say the plant should be able to operate again in about a week. An investigator from the State Fire Marshal’s Office estimates that the plant employs between ten and 15 people. He tells News 8 that those workers shouldn’t miss any work because there is plenty of clean-up work to do until the plant is fully operational again. The fire investigator says it is too early to determine the cause of the fire.
Two fishermen were rescued from their sinking boat off the coast of Kennebunkport.They were onboard the 81-foot “Plan B” and called the Coast Guard Tuesday morning to say it was taking on water and pumps couldn’t keep up with the flooding.They told the Coast Guard they were putting on survival suits.A rescue boat and helicopter were sent.Meanwhile the crew of another fishing boat heard the call and was able to help the two men off the sinking boat.
An Arundel couple who went to visit their son in jail ended up behind bars themselves when the young man’s mother allegedly passed him drugs.Authorities at the York County Jail say they saw 45-year-old Lisa Croteau pass something to her 20-year-old son, Joshua, during a visit Sunday.A guard investigated and found a balloon containing a marijuana cigarette, prescription painkillers and drug paraphernalia. Mother and son were charged with trafficking in prison contraband.When deputies went to the parking lot to tell 46-year-old Marc Croteau that his wife had been arrested, a deputy found a small amount of marijuana in his vehicle and arrested him for that and violating conditions of release.Lisa Croteau was released after posting $1,000 cash bail. Joshua Croteau is behind bars facing burglary charges.
Police worked quickly to nab two suspects in a Lewiston bank robbery, and authorities are now looking into whether the pair is involved in other heists.A branch of the Auburn Savings bank was robbed by somebody who showed a gun at about 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday. No one was hurt. A witness gave police a description of the getaway vehicle, and the car was pulled over about an hour later in Windham.Police arrested 29-year-old Paul Sans and 30-year-old Maria Mattson, both of Westbrook, and charged them with robbery.Windham police are investigating whether Sans and Mattson are connected to a bank robbery in that community last week.Federal authorities are expected to join the investigation.
A Windham man accused of shooting another hunter to death in November has been charged with manslaughter.Authorities say William Briggs, 61, shot Peter Kolofsky, 46, in the woods. The men were in separate deer hunting parties.Briggs’ lawyer has said his client fired after seeing what he thought were antlers.Authorities say Kolofsky was wearing bright orange.
The end of the New England shrimp fishing season is looming.Regulators are expected to set a closure date for the fishery during a conference call Wednesday to review how much shrimp has been caught since the season began Jan. 2.Fishermen this season are allowed to catch 4.9 million pounds before the season is brought to an end. Regulators estimate the catch limit was probably reached two days ago, meaning the season will be shut down very soon.Fishermen and shrimp processors have protested this year’s limit, which is well under last year’s catch of 13.3 million pounds.Shrimp provide a small but valuable fishery for hundreds of New England fishermen. The fleet this year has comprised 225 boats from Maine and 31 from New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
An Augusta man, his sister and his girlfriend are accused in a string of burglaries in central Maine.93 charges have been filed against 25-year-old John Grotton.22-year-old Emily Allen-Perry of Jefferson faces 46 charges.23-year-old Kiley Grotton is charged with eight crimes.Police say John Grotton stole jewelry and electronics from homes in at least 15 communities, then sold or traded them for drugs.Allen-Perry is accused of being the getaway driver.
The pastor of a non-denominational Christian church in Windham has been arrested on domestic violence charges.Police say they were called to the Falmouth home of Kendall Libby, 57, at about 11:00 p.m. Sunday for a fight and determined probable cause to charge him with domestic assault on his wife.She did not require medical treatment.Libby was booked at the Cumberland County Jail and released on$150 cash bail.Libby started the Grace Church congregation in 2009. It meets at Windham High School.An associate pastor at the church declined comment on Libby’s arrest.
A man accused of robbing a pair of convenience stores in Augusta has been indicted by the Kennebec County Grand Jury.Ricky Lane, 25, was arrested in September.Police say he robbed a Big Apple Store in August and a Mobil On the Run store in September.Lane’s also accused of breaking into the home of an elderly couple in Manchester and robbing them.He’s being held on a half-million dollars bail.
A Bath man already facing several counts of sexual abuse of a minor for allegedly molesting an underage girl he met on a social media website is now facing additional charges.Authorities say 21-year-old Andrew Mank was arrested last week by the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department and charged with four additional counts of sexual abuse of minors.The new charges stem from the investigation launched by Sagadahoc County detectives. That probe determined that Mank allegedly used Facebook and other social networks to meet underage girls.The new charges involve two victims both younger than 15. Mank knew both alleged victims.Police tell The Times Record that Mank had used social media and Internet sites, including Facebook, to meet the girls.Mank is free on bail.
A Maine company says it’s made a record-setting bridge beam that will go to Missouri.Harbor Technologies LLC of Brunswick says the 105 foot, 7 inch beam is the world’s largest vehicular composite bridge beam. It’s 6 feet wide and 5 inches deep.The so-called hybrid composite beam will be part of a Missouri Transportation Department project which is repairing and replacing 802 bridges over five years. The Maine-made beam is one of three Harbor Technologies is providing for the project.The contractor for the bridge work says the Fiberglass-coated composite beams, which also are made of Styrofoam and some steel and concrete, have advantages over standard steel or concrete beam forms. They’re much lighter, just as strong and are corrosion resistant.
A former Presque Isle woman has given Northern Maine Community College a $5-million dollar gift.Mary Barton Akeley Smith now lives in California.Her donation will proved most of the $6-million dollars needed to renovate two buildings on the Presque Isle Campus.School officials say what’s now the dining commons will be transformed into a fitness center, and the college gymnasium will be turned into a student center.Last year Smith gave the college $1.2-million dollars to advance its alternative energy program. She also gave a million dollars to expand the Presque Isle Public library.
The former head of the Maine Turnpike pleaded guilty to theft charges Thursday afternoon in a Portland courtroom. Paul Violette appeared in court around 3 p.m. He is charged with unauthorized use of turnpike gift cards and using turnpike authority credit cards for personal travel, meals and other expenses. Violette’s attorney said his client agreed to plead guilty in exchange for a prison sentence not to exceed five years. Violette resigned last March after 23 years as executive director amid allegations of lavish spending and misappropriation of turnpike funds.
A Lewiston man is going to jail for two years after pleading guilty Wednesday to assault, criminal threatening and violating a protection order.Robert Vicino’s sentence was part of a plea deal.Last June, a woman reported Vicino grabbed her, choked her, dragged her into the living room and threatened her with a knife.
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney will pay his first campaign visit to Maine.Maine GOP Chairman Charlie Webster says the former Massachusetts governor is expected to speak Friday evening at a rally at Portland Yacht Services, a day before caucus results are announced on Saturday.The only other candidate to visit Maine was Ron Paul late last month.State party officials have encouraged Republicans to hold caucuses between Feb. 4 and Feb. 11. Results of the nonbinding straw poll are to be released Saturday night.Both Paul and Romney have strong organizations in Maine that are left over from their campaigns four years ago when Romney won the caucus and Paul came in third.
Maine’s highest court has upheld the conviction of a Portland man who is serving 60 years in prison for strangling his girlfriend and cutting off her head.The Maine Supreme Judicial Court on Tuesday rejected Chad Gurney’s appeal of his conviction for killing 18-year-old Zoe Sarnacki on May 25, 2009, in his apartment and setting fire to her body to cover up the crime.In the appeal, Gurney’s attorney told justices that Gurney wasn’t criminally responsible because he was suffering mental problems and having a psychotic episode that made him delusional.In a unanimous decision, the supreme court agreed with prosecutors that Gurney knew what he was doing at the time of the crime and knew it was wrong.