Regional News

Portland’s Oxford Street Homeless Shelter Eases Overcrowding

Updated 2 years ago

Officials have alleviated crowding problems at Portland’s Oxford Street homeless shelter by tightening the rules that previously allowed people to stay indefinitely. Director Josh O’Brien says residents can no longer stay indefinitely unless they also agree to work on a plan to find permanent housing. He tells The Portland Press Herald, the new policy is already a success, with 54 people placed in permanent housing in March, a 30 percent increase over the previous month. At times, the shelter was so crowded that people were sleeping in conference room chairs in the city’s Refugee Services office. The new policy also applies to the Florence House, an emergency shelter for women. Some homeless people think the plan might backfire, just putting more homeless people on the streets.

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Georgetown Man Killed in Single Vehicle Accident

Updated 2 years ago

Alcohol is being blamed as a contributing factor in a single-vehicle accident that killed a 24-year-old Maine man. The Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Department says Henry Gilliam III, of Georgetown, was killed when his pickup truck veered off a road in Georgetown and struck several trees Saturday night. Sheriff Joel Merry said in a press release that the crash was discovered by a passing motorist who saw headlights down an embankment. Police were called shortly before 10 p.m., but it’s unclear exactly when the accident occurred.

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Boston Bombing Chronology

Updated 2 years ago

Key moments related to the search for the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, based on reports from the Massachusetts governor, the Middlesex County district attorney, Massachusetts State Police and Boston police. – At 5:10 p.m. Thursday, investigators of the bombings release photographs and video of two suspects. They ask for the public’s help in identifying the men. – Around 10:20 p.m., shots are fired on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, just outside Boston. – At 10:30 p.m., an MIT campus police officer who was responding to a disturbance is found shot multiple times in his vehicle, apparently in a confrontation with the Boston Marathon bombing suspects. He is later pronounced dead. – Shortly afterward, two armed men reportedly carjack a Mercedes SUV in Cambridge. A man who was in the vehicle is held for about a half hour and then released unharmed at a gas station on Memorial Drive in Cambridge. – Police soon pursue the carjacked vehicle in Watertown, just west of Cambridge. – Some kind of explosive devices are thrown from the vehicle in an apparent attempt to stop police. The carjackers and police exchange gunfire. A transit police officer is seriously injured. One suspect, later identified as Suspect No. 1 in the marathon bombings, is critically injured and later pronounced dead. – Authorities launch a manhunt for the other suspect. – Around 1 a.m. Friday, gunshots and explosions are heard in Watertown. Dozens of police officers and FBI agents converge on a Watertown neighborhood. A helicopter circles overhead. – Around 4:30 a.m., Massachusetts state and Boston police tell people living in that section of eastern Watertown to stay in their homes. They identify the carjackers as the same men suspected in the marathon bombings. Overnight, police also release a photograph of a man believed to be Suspect No. 2 wearing a gray hoodie-style sweatshirt. The image apparently is from surveillance video taken at a gas station. – Around 5:50 a.m. authorities urge residents in Watertown, Newton, Waltham, Belmont, Cambridge, Arlington and the Allston-Brighton neighborhoods of Boston to stay indoors. All mass transit is shut down. – Around 6:35 a.m., The Associated Press reports that the bomb suspects are from a Russian region near Chechnya and lived in the United States for at least a year. – Around 6:45 a.m., The Associated Press identifies the surviving Boston bomb suspect as Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, who has been living in Cambridge. – Around 8 a.m., Boston’s police commissioner says all of Boston must stay in their homes as the search for the surviving suspect in the bombings continues. – Around 8:40 a.m., a U.S. law enforcement official and the uncle of the suspects confirm that the name of the slain suspect is Tamerlan Tsarnaev, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s older brother. – Around 10:20 a.m., Connecticut State Police say a car believed to be linked to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been recovered in Boston. They initially call it a Honda CRV, but authorities later say it was a Honda Civic. – Around 10:35 a.m., the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth says it closed its campus and ordered an evacuation after confirming that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is registered there. The school says it closed the campus “out of an abundance of caution” as the search continued. – Around 11:30 a.m., Massachusetts State Police explain that the brothers suspected in the bombings were in the Honda when they carjacked the Mercedes SUV. For a while, each drove one of the two vehicles, but then ditched the Honda and reunited in the Mercedes. – Around 12:35 p.m., state police in Watertown say officers are searching door-to-door but still have not found the bombing suspect. – Around 6:30 p.m., Massachusetts Gov. Patrick Deval announces that mass transit is resuming and the “stay indoors” order is being lifted even though one suspect remains on the lam. State police say that suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, fled on foot and there is indication he has a vehicle. They believe he is still in the state because of his ties to the area. -Around the time the order is lifted, a flurry of gunfire breaks out in the same community that was being searched. Law enforcement officials locate Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in a boat parked behind a home. -Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is taken into custody by police at approximately 8:45 p.m. Spontaneous applause breaks out among police and onlookers surrounding the scene and residents take to the streets to cheer police.

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Boston Manhunt Comes to an End in Watertown, MA

Updated 2 years ago

The suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings was taken into custody Friday night, bringing to an end a massive manhunt that virtually shut down the Massachusetts capital amid warnings the man was possibly armed with explosives.Law enforcement officials say that authorities have confirmed the man in custody is 19-year-old Dzhokar Tsarnaev, who escaped a shootout with police in suburban Watertown that left his older brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev — the other man wanted in the bombings — dead.The younger Tsarnaev was in need of undisclosed medical care, the officials said.The arrest came less than a week after two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, shocking the nation and leaving a city on edge.Tsarnaev was cornered late Friday on a boat in a yard of Watertown, a suburb of Boston.Authorities “engaged” Tsarnaev just minutes after authorities indicated a manhunt for the suspect appeared to come up empty.Witnesses heard about two dozen gunshots fired, but it was not clear if the shots were fired by the suspect, authorities or both. A number of small explosions, believed to be stun grenades, also were heard.Authorities, using a bullhorn, called on the suspect to surrender: “Come out with your hands up.”The development came after authorities cast a wide net for the suspect that virtually shut down the Massachusetts capital amid warnings the man was possibly armed with explosives.Gov. Deval Patrick has lifted an order that confined an estimated one million residents to their homes, urging people to “remain vigilant.”

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Border Officials on Heightened Alert During Bomber Search

Updated 2 years ago

Border officials are on heightened alert while authorities search for the second bombing suspect.A spokesperson for the Canada Border Services Agency, says Canadian officials are working closely with their US counterparts, but couldn’t say if people crossing the border would notice the heightened security.A spokesperson for US Customs and Border Protection referred questions about any heightened border security to the Department of Homeland Security.

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Watertown Residents React to Lockdown

Updated 2 years ago

It’s been a chaotic scene in the Boston suburb of Watertown and the surrounding communities. Imagine being locked in your home while police hunt for a suspected terrorist who’s armed, dangerous and desperate.It began late Thursday night, after authorities released pictures of the two men suspected of carrying out the deadly bombing at the Boston Marathon earlier this week. Within a few hours, police had chased the two men, brothers, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, to Watertown, a Boston suburb. Residents we talked to describe how the scene unfolded, including former Bangor resident Merideth Lambert. “I could see cop car lights and hear things going on. I was almost scared to even look because, then we did hear what we weren’t sure were gunshots or explosives, but we heard loud noises and there just a stream of cop cars going by and it was just scary. It was really scary.””This was about 3:00 in the morning and it was completely lit up. Just police cars, news trucks, people just a lot of activity going on but I’ve never seen so many police cars on one street before in my life.”As dawn broke SWAT teams took to the streets in search of the fugitive.”I was standing at the front door and I could see tactical teams what looked from my vantage point approaching a car there was a streetlight there. It was instead teams that were progressively moving closer to us, and going through every backyard, every porch, every garden, every garage. Very methodically moving down and eventually ended up in our backyard.”Residents were told by police to remain locked in their homes like prisoners while a suspected terrorist who’s thought to be armed, dangerous and desperate was loose on the streets of their town.”There’s nothing I can do: we can’t leave. There’s no cars that can enter or leave Watertown, so my only option is to stay in my house. You know if I hear anything or see anything at least I won’t be caught off guard. I think that’s all you can do right now.””To wake up this morning and have this happen in my backyard. I don’t have hate, I don’t hate things, I don’t hate people, but I hate what this has done to how I feel and how I approach things, and how I look at things and I hate these people.”

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The New Memorial Bridge Still on Track to Open this Summer

Updated 2 years ago

The new Memorial Bridge connecting New Hampshire and Maine is still on track to open this summer. But the exact date is still to be determined. Transportation officials say when the contractor in charge is satisfied the lift bridge is operating smoothly, maintenance crews will need specialized training to take over operations. Even when the bridge opens, its approaches and other areas will still be under construction into the fall. The bridge is replacing a nearly 90-year-old bridge connecting Portsmouth to Kittery, Maine. With the bridge under construction and Sarah Mildred Long Bridge closed for repairs, the only bridge between the cities open to traffic is the Piscataqua River Bridge on Interstate 95.

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Portland Teen Pleads Guilty to Rape

Updated 2 years ago

An 18-year-old Portland man has pleaded guilty to breaking into a 50-year-old woman’s apartment as she slept and raping her. Mohammed Mukhtar had sought to be tried on the charges as a juvenile. But under a plea agreement reached Thursday, the refugee from Somalia will face eight years in prison and could be deported after release. He is being held without bail pending sentencing next Thursday in Cumberland County Unified Criminal Court. The Portland Press Herald, reports that Mukhtar pleaded guilty to charges including gross sexual assault, burglary and aggravated criminal trespassing. The case went back and forth from juvenile court to adult court because of confusion over Mukhtar’s age. His lawyer said he was 17 at the time of the attack.

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TD Bank Plans to Hire 94 Workers at Auburn Contact Center

Updated 2 years ago

TD Bank plans to hire 94 customer service and sales specialists in the next three months to fill job openings at its Auburn Contact Center. Details of an informational career fair about the jobs are to be released Friday at an event to be attended by Congressman Mike Michaud. The Auburn Contact Center is the site of TD Bank’s 24-hour, 365-days-a-year live customer service, and is one of three U.S. based contact centers that support TD Bank’s customers from Maine to Florida. The Auburn facility is recognized for its green, energy-efficient features.

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Maine’s First Lady Ann LePage to Speak at York County Job Fair

Updated 2 years ago

Maine first lady Ann LePage is delivering the opening remarks at a job fair in southern Maine featuring more than 60 employers. The third annual York County Job Fair runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday at the Nasson Community Center in Sanford. Employers at the fair include manufacturers, construction companies, retailers, health care organizations, the U.S. Army and Navy, the York County Sheriff’s Department and real estate firms, among others. Attendees can talk to prospective employers as well as career counselors and veterans’ representatives. The event is free and open to the public.

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Bar Harbor Fire Chief And His Step-Daughter Witness Explosions At Boston Marathon

Updated 2 years ago

The Bar Harbor Fire Chief’s instinct and training set in Monday when the Boston Marathon bombs exploded. He and his step-daughter were caught up in the chaos as they waited for his wife to cross the finish line.”I didn’t want them there. I really didn’t. A friend of mine got them the credentials so they could be in area in the stands where they were and there’s some guilt over that. A lot. Well, they were there to see me, and if I wasn’t there…,” said Lori Bartlett of Bar Harbor.Nervous running her first Boston Marathon, Lori didn’t want her husband and daughter waiting at the finish line. She hoped they would cheer her on at mile 25, with the Dana Farber Cancer Research team Lori was running for, but they didn’t listen.”I just wanted to see her finish the marathon. It’s such an accomplishment,” said her husband, Bar Harbor Fire Chief Matt Bartlett. “Everybody was just so exited. Everybody was cheering on everybody, no matter who it was. You know and it was really fun. High-fiving people that go by: everybody was happy,” said Lori’s sixteen year old daughter, Anna Busker. With Lori just a few miles from 26.2, the celebrations turned into chaos.”You could see the fireball and the smoke, and then you know just everybody running in different directions,” said Chief Bartlett. A first responder by nature, the Fire Chief’s first reaction was to get his stepdaughter to a safe location. “First I told her to get down. I didn’t want us to get wrapped up into the rushing crowd. When we started to leave is when we heard the second one go off. She was obviously terrified, and you know, I was trying to keep her reassured. Trying to make her think everything was alright, even though there was complete chaos around us,” said Chief Bartlett. “When we were first leaving the bleachers, the first thought in my head was, ‘we’re gonna die and the buildings are going to fall down,’ and I thought, ‘where’s mom and is she okay,’” said Busker. After a number of disconnected phone calls and texts, the trio eventually reunited. “She came running down the hill, flying her shoe off, and giving me a hug, and after that I just wanted to get out to Boston and go home,” said Lori Bartlett. But will she run again?”In a heartbeat. You can’t let this kind of thing affect you in such a way that it shuts down everything that you love to do. Yeah, I’ll do it again, and I’d like to do it again for Dana Farber. I want to finish for myself and for them,” said Lori Bartlett.

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Boston Makes Strides in Healing Process

Updated 2 years ago

While the investigation continues into the bombings at the Boston Marathon, people made big strides on Thursday in the healing process.In Boston, an interfaith service was held to remember those who were killed, and to lift up the wounded. Through song, through prayer, and through reflection, people from the Boston community and beyond gathered Thursday to remember the three who died in Monday’s attack and those still battling to survive, vowing to stand strong in the midst of so much grief.”We are one Boston. No adversity, no challenge, nothing can tear down the resilience and heart of this of this city and its people.”The president and first lady brought condolences from the entire country.”We also come together today to reclaim that state of grace, to reaffirm the spirit of this city is undaunted and the sprit of this country shall remain undimmed .”Many in the crowd were the first responders who rushed to the scene in the moments following Monday’s attack.Not far from the cathedral, the site of the explosions is still a crime scene. There is increasing pressure on the investigation. Who is responsible? And why did they do it?A law enforcement official says investigators have passed around images of two men who showed up at the finish line moments before the blast the FBI would like to speak with. “I would not characterize as ‘suspects,’ under the technical term, but we need the public’s help in locating these individuals.”

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FBI Releases Photos of Suspects in Boston Marathon Bombings

Updated 2 years ago

The FBI has released photos of two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings and is asking for the public’s help in identifying them. You can see the pictures and video by clicking here. FBI Agent Richard DesLauriers said the photos came from surveillance cameras near the explosion sites.If you have any information call 1-800-CALL-FBI. The explosions Monday killed three people and injured more than 180. The images were released hours after President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama attended an interfaith service at a Roman Catholic cathedral in Boston to remember the victims, including an 8-year-old boy.

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Inmate Briefly Escaped Cumberland County Pre-Release Center

Updated 2 years ago

An inmate serving out the final days of his sentence at the Cumberland County pre-release center has been charged with escape. Authorities say 35-year-old Jamie Allen Irish, whose last known address is New Gloucester, reported to a work site in Freeport on Wednesday. After Irish completed work, a co-worker dropped him off in Portland. When Irish failed to return to the Community Corrections Center at about 6:30 p.m., jail staff began a search for him. He was located on Free Street in Portland at about 10 p.m. Irish is serving a 6-month sentence on a domestic violence conviction and was scheduled to be released on April 25. He now faces a charge of escape. Irish was in a facility for people with less than 90 days to serve.

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Work on the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge Progressing

Updated 2 years ago

Work is progressing on a bridge connecting New Hampshire and Maine that was damaged by an oil tanker. The New Hampshire Department of Transportation says a barge, crane and other materials are being floated to the site of the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge on Thursday. Damaged steel is being replaced on the bridge, which has been closed to vehicle traffic since the tanker struck it April 1 after breaking away from a pier. With the bridge closed and the new Memorial Bridge under construction, the only bridge between Portsmouth and Kittery, Maine, open to traffic is the Piscataqua River Bridge on Interstate 95.

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Beware of Scammers in Light of Boston Marathon Tragedy

Updated 2 years ago

In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing, be aware of scams.The Better Business Bureau reports that at least one phony charity has already emerged.A fraudster set up a Twitter account minutes after the bombing that claimed to be associated with the Boston Marathon Organization.It was quickly shut down.For more giving tips or to report a scam, visit

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Possible Boston Marathon Suspect Identified

Updated 2 years ago

Authorities have reportedly identified a possible suspect in the Boston Marathon attack.Sources identified the person as a man wearing a white baseball cap, a light-colored hooded sweatshirt and a black jacket.Investigators are looking for the individual, but have not identified him yet.The news comes on a day when authorities have made “significant progress” in the case, but no arrests.Earlier reports that a suspect had been arrested turned out to be false.

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Lewiston Appears in Court on Murder Charge

Updated 2 years ago

A Lewiston man charged with murder was in court on Tuesday. Michael McNaughton, 23, is accused of killing Romeo Parent, 20, and dumping his body in a stream in Monmouth. Police say McNaughton killed Parent in Greene last Tuesday.His body was recovered three days later.A bail hearing has been scheduled for next month.

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Republican Liberty Caucus Convention to be Held in Portland

Updated 2 years ago

A conservative Republican organization says its 2015 national convention will be held in Maine. The Republican Liberty Caucus says the convention will be held at the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland. Caucus officials say Maine Gov. Paul LePage wrote a letter in December encouraging the organization to award the convention to Portland. In all, four cities expressed interest in hosting the event, which is held every other year. Previous RLC conventions have been held in the Washington, D.C. area: Gatlinburg, Tenn.: Las Vegas: Atlanta: Fresno, Calif.: Orlando, Fla.: and Jacksonville, Fla. The 2013 convention is slated for Austin, Texas. The caucus describes itself as a volunteer grass-roots wing of the Republican party that favors small government and individual liberties.

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Attorney General’s Office Taking Over Berwick Fatal Crash Investigation

Updated 2 years ago

The Maine Attorney General’s Office has taken over the investigation into a fatal collision that killed a special education teacher in Berwick last week. The Portland Press Herald reports, Attorney General William Stokes said his office was asked by York County District Attorney Kathryn Slattery to oversee the investigation because the surviving driver is related to her family. Stokes said he is not allowed to identify the 17-year-old male driver because he is a juvenile and has not been charged with any crimes. Thirty-four-year-old Amy Harris died on April 10 after her collided with a sport utility vehicle that crossed the center line on route 4. Her children, ages 7 and 4, were in the car. The 7-year-old is recovering from surgery for a broken vertebra and torn intestine.

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