The Maine Warden Service announced this afternoon that Major Gregory Sanborn, the second in command of the Maine Warden Service, passed away after a long battle with a rare form of cancer.Sanborn, a native of Fryeburg, was 47-years-old.He had been with the Warden service for 23 years.
AARP is offering free help with tax returns.This is the 46th year for the group’s tax-aide program for low to moderate income taxpayers.For more information call 1-888-AARP-NOW, or log on to the AARP website.
The Maine Supreme Court has upheld a 45-year prison sentence for a man who admitted to shooting two men to death in Rumford.Eric Hamel, 22, challenged the sentence, saying he shouldn’t have received a sentence that’s longer than that of his co-conspirators. Maine’s highest court rejected his appeal on Tuesday, saying the differences among the three sentences reflect the differences in conduct.Prosecutors say Hamel shot and killed Victor Reed Sheldon and Roger Leroy Day Junior in August 2009. Richard Moulton was sentenced to 40 years after pleading guilty to two counts of murder for his role in the killings. Moulton’s girlfriend was sentenced to 15 years for helping to plan the killings.
A judge has sentenced a man convicted of murdering the mother of his children and a longtime friend in New Gloucester nearly two years ago.Joel Hayden of New Bedford, Mass. was sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday. He shot Renee Sandora and Trevor Mills in the head in July 2011 at Sandora’s home in New Gloucester.During his trial, prosecutors said Hayden thought Mills and Sandora were having a relationship and killed them out of jealousy.Hayden and Sandora’s 7-year-old son witnessed the murders and testified against his father.The prosecution is asking for life in prison. The defense is asking for 50 years.Several family members of Sandora and Mills spoke at the sentencing, calling Hayden a coward and a monster.
The Portland City Council has voted unanimously to ban smoking public parks and city-owned open spaces. The ban takes effect on March 6. City Councilor Edward Suslovic says the ban approved 7-0 on Monday is aimed at protecting the health of nonsmokers and is not to punish smokers. Smoking is already prohibited within 20 feet of playgrounds, beaches and athletic fields. The ban does not apply to sidewalks and streets. A first offense will bring a warning, but violating the rules a second time can result in a $50 fine. Several people spoke out against the ban, saying the city should put more effort and money into smoking cessation programs.
A Livermore Falls woman prosecutors say offered $4,000 to burn down her convenience store so she could collect the insurance money has pleaded guilty. Erica Poland-Rolfe was sentenced Monday to serve 90 days of a two-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to aggravated criminal mischief. Prosecutors say she offered money to burn down the JP Corner Store in Livermore Falls in July 2011 so she could collect the insurance money and open a day care center. The Sun Journal, reports that Nicole Hennessy of Wilton also pleaded guilty Monday to aggravated criminal mischief. Prosecutors say she supplied the gasoline and acted as a lookout for a man who unsuccessfully tried to burn the store. Sentencing is scheduled for March. The man who tried to burn the building has been convicted.
The assistant coach of the women’s ice hockey team at Bowdoin College is out on bail after crashing her car into a campus building and being charged with drunken driving. Police charged 24-year-old Holly Lorms after her sport utility vehicle left the road, hit a utility pole and crashed into Stanley Druckenmiller Hall on Sunday evening. Brunswick Police Chief Richard Rizzo said there was minor damage to the building but that the impact was enough to deploy air bags. Lorms, who was released Monday on bail, didn’t immediately respond to a message. A Bowdoin College spokesman declined to comment, saying it was a personnel matter. Lorms joined the Bowdoin staff in August. The 2011 Boston University graduate was captain of her team, which finished second in the NCAA Division I.
For those of you who want to know more about the inner workings of Maine’s state government, MPBN has your answer.Maine Capitol Connection is a new free TV channel, kind of like C-Span, that will show House and Senate coverage, hearings, news conferences and State House events.It hits the airwaves Tuesday morning on the sub-stations of Maine Public Broadcasting.The station will also air on Time Warner and they hope to have other cable systems joining in.
The annual Maine Manufactured Housing Show was held at the Augusta Civic Center through the weekend.More than 30 vendors took part in this year’s event.Many of them say, after a tough couple of years, business is bouncing back.Their products are particularly popular with young families and retirees, looking to downsize.”They want comfort, they want convenience, they certainly want energy efficiency and rather than try to streamline an old home, often times its easier to come here, make a choice of a home that will satisfy their needs,” said Bob Cole of America’s Best Show.Organizers expected more than 5,000 people to attend the three-day event.
Senators Susan Collins and Angus King are co-sponsoring a bill intended to create more businesses.They want to expand historically underutilized business zones, known as hubzones.They’re located on former US military bases.
Lobstermen are worried there could be a repeat of last summer’s low prices for their catch.They’re not sure what the answer is, but they oppose limiting lobstering to three days a week.Maine lobstermen caught 123 million pounds of lobster last year, up 18 million pounds from the year before, but, all those lobsters were worth nearly $3.7 million less than the catch from the previous year.
The Maine Marine Commissioner lifted time-of-day restrictions for shrimp trawling.The daily catch limit when fishing begins tomorrow has been lowered.The shrimp season got under way January 23rd with the catch lowered to 1.4 million pounds, down from last year’s 5.3 million pounds.Shrimp trappers will be allowed to haul traps around the clock Monday through Saturday when their season begins, but their daily limit has dropped from 800 pounds to 500.
Lots of winter fun for disabled veterans at Sunday River in Newry over the weekend.Maine Adaptive Sports and Recreation sponsored the ‘Veterans No Boundaries’ program.Vets took part in alpine skiing, snowmobiling, and the biathlon, which combines cross-country skiing and target shooting. Two time Olympic athlete Kristina Sebas-tean-ski was on hand to help.”You get to fit right in and it is just wonderful when you come here and everyone else there is to support you,” said Justin Galipeau, a disabled veteran at the event. “So, even with every other organization I am with here in Maine, we are on the same level, there is no segregation.” The Veterans No Boundaries program is a four-day event that continued Sunday with more downhill skiing at Sunday River.
Gas prices took a big leap in Maine this past week.Mainegasprices.com says the average price shot up 14 cents and is now $3.70/gallon.The national average is $3.48/gallon.
A transportation official says a lift bridge connecting New Hampshire and Maine that was out of commission for a few days last month is deteriorating at a steady pace. Douglas Gosling, director of bridge maintenance for the New Hampshire Department of Transportation, tells the Portsmouth Herald, the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge should last until its replacement is completed in 2017. But he says he can’t guarantee that. The 73-year-old bridge connecting Portsmouth, N.H., to Kittery, Maine, was shut down last month after its center span got stuck during a routine test. Gosling said the center span isn’t the biggest problem – it’s the rusting floor beams and supports.
A Maine resident who served as the inaugural poet at President Barack Obama’s ceremonial swearing-in is giving a free poetry reading in Portland. Richard Blanco will appear Feb. 26 at Merrill Auditorium in Portland. Blanco drew wide praise for his inaugural poem, “One Today,” that paid homage to the American experience. Blanco grew up as a Cuban exile in New York City and Miami, and moved to the small Maine town of Bethel several years ago. He told the Portland Press Herald he’ll read several of his works, including his inaugural poem, at the Portland event. Admission is free, but tickets are required and are available beginning Monday through PortTix, the ticketing arm of Merrill Auditorium. The reading is being arranged by the Creative Portland Corp. nonprofit organization.
Police fired tear gas into a trailer in Jay to capture a man who had been on the run all weekend. The State Police tactical team entered the home at the Pine Haven Trailer Park at about 4 p.m. Sunday and found Michael Gatcomb hiding under the bathroom sink. Police feared he may have been armed, but he did not have a gun. The tear gas was used only after hours of attempts to reach Gatcomb in the trailer via bullhorn and cellphone failed. Authorities had been looking for Gatcomb since Friday when he fled a traffic stop on foot. He is currently on bail for felony theft and was wanted on several warrants, including domestic assault.
A new stamp goes on sale Monday to honor of civil rights activist Rosa Parks. February 4th marks what would have been her 100th birthday. She was arrested in 1955 in Alabama for refusing to give up her seat on a public bus to a white man. Her act inspired thousands of people to join the civil rights movement.
Local fishermen say new quotas on cod will have a devastating impact on an already struggling business.Regulators drastically cut the catch limit on groundfish on Wednesday.The “New England Fishery Management Council” imposed a 77% reduction in the cod catch in the Gulf of Maine, and a 50% cut for cod caught in George’s Bank.Many fishermen say it means the end of their careers. “Probably most vessels will be out of business. We can’t survive. 70%, that’s ridiculous,” commented one fisherman.Scientists say the new catch limits are necessary to rebuild a severely depleted cod population.
A day long discussion on poverty took place at Thomas College on Friday.Panelists spoke to students, faculty and community members on a wide range of poverty-related topics.They spoke about poverty education in Maine and delved into the strengths and weaknesses of Maine’s safety net for the less fortunate.