Regional News

Two Hurt and Three Vehicles Totaled in Gorham Crash

Updated 2 years ago

Police say proper use of seat belts prevented more serious injuries in a pileup in Gorham that destroyed three vehicles. Two people were taken to the hospital with injuries not considered life threatening after the crash just before 5 p.m. Sunday at Main Street and Libby Avenue. Police say a vehicle driven by 42-year-old Ronnie Willey of Gorham failed to yield and was broadsided by an SUV driven by 20-year-old Garrett Beesley. Willey’s vehicle rolled over and came to rest on the hood of a car driven by 31-year-old Nikki Sproul of South Portland. At least two of the vehicles had child passengers. Police say “seat belts and properly installed child safety seats played a vital role” in preventing more serious injuries. The accident remains under investigation.

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LePage Signs Concealed Weapons Permit Bill into Law

Updated 2 years ago

Governor LePage has signed into law a bill to keep confidential names and other information about gun owners who obtain concealed handgun permits.The bill was approved Thursday by lopsided votes in the House and Senate.The issue was pushed to the forefront in February after the Bangor Daily News made a Freedom of Access request for information on concealed weapons permits issued by the state.Republican Representative Corey Wilson of Augusta, the bill’s sponsor, says the bill would shield legitimate gun owners from having sensitive information about them open to the public.

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State Budget Faces $60-Million Shortfall by July

Updated 2 years ago

A new revenue estimate finds a shortfall of about $60-million in the state budget come July.Sharp drops in sales and corporate income taxes are the biggest reasons for the shortfall.It would be worse if not for increases in individual income taxes and other sources of revenue.The governor has asked department heads for ideas on ways to cut spending.

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Maine Prescription Drug Take-Back Day this Saturday

Updated 2 years ago

It’s prescription drug take-back day in maine this Saturday.Police departments across the state will be open from 10:00AM to noon to collect unused drugs.A large drop box will be at each site.Anyone can safely drop prescription drugs off with no questions asked.

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Angus King Gives First Floor Speech as US Senator

Updated 2 years ago

Senator Angus King gave his first floor speech on Wednesday. He talked about the nature of conflict and the need for lawmakers to rise above it. King told fellow senators that the great accomplishments of government have rarely been victories for one party or the other, but instead have been base on “hard-fought battles and grudging compromise.”

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Elver Dealers No Longer Able to Pay for Eels in Cash

Updated 2 years ago

Elver dealers can no longer pay for the baby eels with cash.That law went into effect Monday.The goal is to prevent people from buying or selling them without a record of the transacton, and should help catch people who fish illegally.Some fishermen and dealers are concerned with the new law, saying many dealers don’t have the funds in a checking account to cover the costs of buying from fishermen and then selling to customers.

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New York Man Returned to Maine to Face Murder Charge

Updated 2 years ago

A New York City man charged with killing a Maine woman and leaving her body in a vehicle in a Portland motel parking lot is back in Maine. Authorities say 19-year-old Anthony Pratt was brought to the Cumberland County jail on Wednesday. The Queens, N.Y., man is scheduled to appear in Cumberland County Unified Criminal Court on Friday for his initial appearance on a murder charge. Police say Pratt fatally shot 29-year-old Westbrook resident Margarita Fisenko Scott, whose body was discovered Jan. 17 in an SUV in a Motel 6 parking lot. Authorities allege Pratt shot Scott elsewhere in November and brought her body to the parking lot, where it had been for “an extended time” before it was discovered. Police say the couple had been dating.

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Mechanic Falls Woman Gets Six Months in Jail

Updated 2 years ago

The former manager of an Auburn-based group home for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities has been sentenced to six months in jail for stealing from the nonprofit and at least one client. Terri Arsenault of Mechanic Falls was sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty last month to two felony theft charges. Prosecutors say she used the John F. Murphy group home’s credit card to buy gas, groceries and other household goods, and to take her daughters on an outing to Boston. She also hired her husband’s construction company to do work that was never done. The Sun Journal, reports that a tearful 41-year-old Arsenault apologized in court and said she was “ashamed” of her actions. She was sentenced to two years of probation and has paid $15,000 in restitution.

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Pilots Family and Homeowners Sue Over 2001 Biddeford Crash

Updated 2 years ago

The family of a North Yarmouth man who died when his plane crashed into a Biddeford home, as well as the owners of the house that was destroyed, are jointly suing the companies that maintained and inspected the aircraft. Retired Air Force pilot Edward L’Hommedieu (LA’-muh-doo) was flying the twin-engine Cessna on April 10, 2011. As he approached Biddeford Municipal Airport, the plane lost partial or total power in its right engine, and crashed into the home of Stephen and Kim Myers. The Portland Press Herald (http://bit.ly/10eMTY0 ) reports that the lawsuit filed this month in Cumberland County Superior Court names as defendants nine companies that manufactured parts or maintained or inspected the 71-year-old L’Hommedieu’s plane. The National Transportation Safety Board determined that engine trouble and pilot error caused the crash.

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Stonyfield Farm Co-Founder to Speak at Bates College

Updated 2 years ago

Bates Colleges says the co-founder and chairman of the Stonyfield Farm organic yogurt company will deliver the school’s commencement address at next month’s graduation ceremonies. The Lewiston college says Gary Hirshberg also will receive an honorary degree at the May 26 event. Hirshberg co-founded New Hampshire-based Stonyfield Farm in 1983, helping grow it from a seven-cow operation into a $400 million company. Bates also is conferring honorary degrees on scholar William Cronon, former Bates College president Elaine Tuttle Hansen and prominent physician Dr. Vivian Pinn.

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Man Deported to Italy after Illegally Entering US

Updated 2 years ago

A man who entered Maine illegally over the weekend has pleaded guilty and will be deported to Italy.Leandro Bettiol, 26, has dual citizenship from Brazil and Italy.Authorities say he was arrested after he walked around the Coburn Gore border crossing to enter Maine.On Monday, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to time served.

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Former CEO Accused of Misappropriating Funds

Updated 2 years ago

The parent company of the Portland Press Herald and two other Maine newspapers are accusing its former CEO of misappropriating more than $500,000 of company money.In a letter to employees Wednesday, MaineToday Media publisher Lisa DeSisto said the company had received a $488,000 check from its insurance company under its employee theft policy for funds that former CEO Richard Connor allegedly took for personal use from June 2009 to October 2011.DeSisto said the unauthorized spending totaled $538,000, including $287,000 in salary increases and bonuses, $90,000 in personal expenses charged to company credit cards, and $36,000 for a vehicle.Connor, who’s now CEO of Foster’s Daily Democrat in Dover, N.H. , told the Portland Press Herald the allegations are wrong and that most of the expenses were legitimate.

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Sarah Long Bridge Replacement Cost Less Than Initial Estimate

Updated 2 years ago

The Maine Department of Transportation says the estimated cost of replacing the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge between Maine and New Hampshire has been reduced to $160 million.Officials say the original estimate was for $172 million. The department said Wednesday that a team working on the replacement of the bridge has found $12 million in savings.The new figure includes the cost of the design, engineering, property acquisition and construction of the new bridge.The bridge across the Piscataqua River between Kittery and Portsmouth, N.H., is scheduled to be replaced in 2014. It’s currently closed for repairs after an oil tanker hit it. And a new Memorial Bridge is scheduled to open this summer.The only bridge open between the two communities is the Piscataqua River Bridge on Interstate 95.

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Lawmakers Look to Restore Millions in Head Start Funding

Updated 2 years ago

A group of lawmakers in Augusta want to restore millions of dollars in funding cuts to Maine’s Head Start program.The group including state and local officials and Head Start providers held a rally urging all lawmakers to support the measure.Last session more than $2-million was cut from Head Start, cuts these folks say are having a devastating impact on Maine’s kids.”The state funding that is provided is combined with federal funding in order to serve additional children,” said Executive Director of Child and Family Oppurtunities, Doug Orville. “I would like to point out as well, the funding we receive doesn’t come anywhere close to serving all of the children who are eligible for Head Start services.”According to Head Start providers at Tuesday’s rally, more than 4,000 children in Maine, at or below the poverty line, are eligible for Head Start. Right now, roughly half of them are being served by the program.

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Communications Factory to Shut Down in June

Updated 2 years ago

A factory that makes antennas is shutting down in southern Maine.SPX Communications Technologies, formerly known as Dielectric Communications, will close at the end of June.The plant opened in Raymond nearly sixty years ago.Fifty-five people will lose their jobs.

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Students to Remember Classmate at New Hampshire High School

Updated 2 years ago

High school seniors in one New Hampshire town will be attending school on an upcoming Sunday. The Plaistow students will be participating in a Day of Compassion on May 5 to honor Evan Dube, a 2011 graduate of Timberlane Regional High School. He died in Scotland last year. The Eagle-Tribune reports, teachers, students and community members will speak on the theme of compassion. John Dube, Evan’s father and a history teacher at Timberlane, will be the keynote speaker. Dube was attending Bates College and was in Scotland as part of a study-abroad program. He was at a beach cookout near Lerwick in the Shetland Island when he went for a swim last May. He collapsed after returning from the water and later died.

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UPDATE: South Portland Police Search for Bank Robber

Updated 2 years ago

Police have charged Joseph Morrill, 23, of South Portland with robbery for allegedly robbing a bank. Morrill was arrested late Monday and charged with robbery. He’s being held on $150,000 bail. Police say Morrill was wearing a mask and armed with a handgun when he robbed the TD Bank branch on Market Street at about 5:30 p.m. Monday. He was given what authorities described as a small amount of cash and left.

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NH Governor Asks for Through Review on Pipeline Issue

Updated 2 years ago

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan has asked Secretary of State John Kerry for a thorough environmental and permitting process before allowing any existing pipelines in the state to transport tar sands oil. Two conventional crude oil pipelines owned by the Portland Pipe Line Corporation travel through five New Hampshire towns and end in Montreal. Portland Pipeline has considered changing the contents of those pipelines to tar sands oil. Critics say tar sands oil poses greater environmental and safety risks than conventional crude, but oil industry representatives disagree. Under federal law, the Secretary of State has the authority to issue permits for the construction, connection, operation, or maintenance of pipelines at the borders of the United States with Canada.

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Newtown Police to Attend Emergency Preparedness Conference

Updated 2 years ago

Police from Newtown, Connecticut will be at Maine’s annual Emergency Preparedness Conference this year. They’ll talk about their reaction to the deadly attack at Sandy Hook elementary school. The two-day conference at the Augusta Civic Center is Tuesday and Wednesday.More than 500 people are expected to be there.

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Many Big Ticket Bills Still Pending in Maine Legislature

Updated 2 years ago

The current legislative session is more than half way complete with some of the biggest bills still pending.Lawmakers still need to pass a state budget, and they have to resolve a $484-million state debt to Maine’s hospitals.More than fifty bills have been sent to Govenor LePage.He’s signed a little more than half of them and let the rest become law without his signature.Legislators are scheduled to go on summer recess in mid-June.

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