A Zumba fitness instructor who pleaded guilty to using her Maine studio as a front for prostitution is due to be sentenced, bringing to an end a scandal featuring sex videos, exhibitionism and pornography. Under a plea agreement, Alexis Wright is due to be sentenced Friday to 10 months in jail for 20 counts including prostitution, conspiracy, tax evasion and theft by deception. The 30-year-old Wright was accused of conspiring with an insurance business owner to run a prostitution business in which she videotaped clients without their knowledge and kept detailed records over an 18-month period indicating she made $150,000 tax-free while collecting welfare. Under the agreement, prosecutors will seek restitution of $57,280. Prosecutors say Wright cooperated with them and spared the state an expensive trial.
A bridge in Milford will be getting a new home. The bridge is on County Road and will be moved north.Officials say the bridge is old and the steel frame is salted and worn from use.During the project drivers should expect delays and closures.“There will be one lane traffic throughout the bulk of the project for the days they work. On weekends and nights while they’re not working on it until the bridge is moved it will be two way but once the bridge is moved north it will be single traffic throughout the duration of the project,” said Mike Gladu, Public Works Director, Milford.Officials plan to move the bridge on June 18th.
Police are looking for a man they say wore a mask and brandished a knife during a robbery at a Lisbon Falls convenience store. Detective Bill Tapley says the suspect entered the Big Apple store at about 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday, showed a knife and demanded cash from the clerk. Police tell The Times Record, the suspect left the store on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash. No one was hurt. The suspect was described as a white male possibly in his early 20s, approximately 5-foot-6-inches to 5-foot-8-inches tall, weighing between 150 and 160 pounds. He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans and his face was covered by a gray mask.
A New Hampshire man has been charged with trying to kidnap a 2-year-old boy at a Maine park-and-ride. James Graham of Newmarket is accused of grabbing the child by the arm and trying to take him away from his grandmother at the Bowdoinham park-and-ride last week. He’s being held at the Two-Bridges Regional Jail on $250,000 bond. Police said a 911 call was made from the park-and ride. Graham was arrested a short time later by Maine State Police. Police say they seized a loaded handgun, knives, parachute cord, cable ties and maps of the White Mountains from Graham’s vehicle.
A Minot man charged with burning down his home, his estranged wife’s new home, and ramming her minivan, has been held on $500,000 bail. An Androscoggin County Superior Court judge ordered Wednesday that if Michael Callahan should post bail, he have no contact with his wife or two children, and is prohibited from possessing weapons. The Sun Journal, reports that the 44-year-old Callahan is facing multiple arson and other charges in connection with the fires last Friday. Authorities say in addition to burning down the family’s Minot home, he burned down his wife’s Mechanic Falls home, rammed her vehicle, and tried to run down a sheriff’s deputy. Callahan was already facing charges in connection with an armed standoff with police in December. His lawyer had no comment.
Supporters of legalizing marijuana possession in Maine’s largest city say they’ve collected more than twice the number of signatures needed to put the question up for a vote. Organizers say they’ll submit petitions with more than 3,000 signatures to Portland city officials on Wednesday to get a question on the ballot in November seeking to make possession of up to 2 1/2 ounces of marijuana legal for adults 21 and over. The ordinance would not legalize the smoking of marijuana in public. The petition drive was supported by a coalition that included the Portland Green Party, the Marijuana Policy Project, the Libertarian Party of Maine and the ACLU of Maine.
The unemployment rate in New England is 6.8%. Last year at this time it was 7.2%.Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts have much lower jobless rates than the national average. Here in Maine, the unemployment rate is 6.9%.
Overall crime decreased in our state last year, according to officials with the Maine Department of Public Safety.Robberies and domestic violence cases did increase though.The commissioner says 56 pharmacy robberies are the reason the robbery rate went up, if not for those, it would have decreased.Domestic violence assaults increased by more than 4 percent.In 2012 there were 34 fewer arsons than 2011, and 23 fewer rapes that were reported.In 2012 there were 26 homicides in Maine, down from 28 in 2011.
A longtime Cumberland County sheriff’s deputy embroiled in a legal dispute with the department has been fired. County Manager Peter Crichton informed 34-year veteran Gerard Brady last week that he no longer has a job. Crichton says Brady has been on leave for more than a year and the union contract allows the county to terminate his job. Brady’s attorney tells The Portland Press Herald, the termination appears to be part of an ongoing campaign against Brady. The decision was made about a week after an arbitrator ruled Brady should be reinstated as a detective. Brady was demoted for what he says in a lawsuit was retaliation. The county said it acted against Brady because he was working on his private business on county time.
The oldest Roman Catholic church in Lewiston has been sold to a hospital, which plans to tear it down and turn it into a parking lot. Central Maine Healthcare bought the long-vacant St. Joseph’s church for $125,000. Hospital spokesman Chuck Gill says the church is in such poor condition that it’s not worth renovating. Gill tells the Sun Journal, the hospital group plans to be respectful of the church’s history, probably installing a historical marker on the site. He says it will be turned into parking for 50 to 60 vehicles to accommodate the hospital’s expanding staff. The 156-year-old church has been unused since October 2009 when it was closed because it had become too costly to operate. The building has been deconsecrated.
The widow of a Maine hunter shot to death last fall has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the other hunter charged with firing the fatal shot, seeking $500,000 in compensation. Authorities say Christopher Austin shot and killed 49-year-old Gerard Parent last November while the two were hunting separately in Wales. The Warden Service said they were shooting at the same deer. Parent’s widow, Becky Ann Brown, sued in Androscoggin County Superior Court asking a judge to attach Austin’s property to ensure her wrongful death claim. The Sun Journal, reports that according to the lawsuit, Brown is under a doctor’s care because of “the emotional turmoil” of Parent’s death. Austin has pleaded not guilty to criminal charges in the case, including manslaughter. His lawyer did not immediately return a call.
A former Maine teacher of the year has been laid off as expected from her current job as an assistant principal at a Portland elementary school. Gloria Noyes was one of 17 teachers and administrators whose layoffs were approved at Tuesday night’s school board meeting. Noyes was a fifth-grade teacher in Westbrook’s in 2009 when she was named the state’s top educator. She more recently worked as assistant principal of Hall Elementary School. Casco Bay High School Principal Derek Pierce says laying off former teachers of the year puts the district at risk of “driving quality leaders out of the district.” Portland voters recently approved a $96.4 million school budget that included deep staff cuts to pay for raises and other increasing costs. The budget cuts 32.6 teaching positions.
Organizers of Boothbay Harbor’s annual Windjammer Days Festival say 11 tall ships are participating in this year’s event. The 51st annual Windjammer Days is being held June 25 and 26. The festival is an annual celebration of the region’s rich maritime history. The Boothbay Harbor Region Chamber of Commerce says this year’s windjammers include American Eagle, Alert, Bowdoin, Nathaniel Bowditch, Eastwind, Lazy Jack, Lewis R. French, Timberwind, Heritage, Sherman Zwicker and Windfield Lash. Besides the historic windjammers, the festival features an antique boat parade, a street parade, fireworks over the harbor, boat excursions, concerts, arts and crafts, food and more.
A man who lived as a hermit in the woods of central Maine for nearly 3 decades has told authorities his eyeglasses are the only thing he owns.Christopher Knight, known as the North Pond Hermit, appeared in Kennebec County Superior Court Tuesday for a status conference on his case.The 47-year-old Knight was arrested in April while allegedly breaking into a camp to steal food.Authorities say he may be responsible for more than 1000 burglaries in the years he lived in alone in the woods of Rome.
The way maple syrup is graded in our state is going to change. Governor LePage signed a bill replacing Maine’s existing syrup grading system with one proposed by the International Maple Syrup Institute. The change will create a uniform grade of maple syrup worldwide.
A quadruple amputee veteran got the chance to participate in a road race *named* in his honor Monday.The second “Miles for Mills” race took place at Cony High School in Augusta.Travis Mills is a 26-year old veteran injured last April by a bomb in Afghanistan.He is 1 of only 5 *quadruple amputees* from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to survive his injuries.His family started the 5-k run last year while he recovered.This year, Mills not only participated, he’s also donating all proceeds to fund a new goal. He’s starting a fully accessible camp in Maine for disabled veterans and their families.”It’s gonna have people from all over that are veterans, not just from Maine, and they are gonna do adaptive sports and hang out with their families and just do some really great things so I am humbled and excited for the experience,” said Travis Mills, Veteran Quadruple Amputee.First Lady Ann LePage joined 200 others at Monday’s race.
There was a deadly crash involving a car, an SUV and a school bus in Limington Tuesday.Police say 76-year-old Ronald Tripp of Waterboro appeared to roll his care through a stop sign around 6:30am this morning and collided with an oncoming SUV.Police believe he died instantly.The impact caused the SUV to strike a school bus that was stopped.There were 2 elementary school children on the bus and a driver, they were not hurt.
A woman died in an apartment fire Tuesday morning in Auburn. Firefighters say 82-year-old Marilyn Bonney was found dead in the burning building. She was the only person inside, her pets died too. The fire is not considered suspicious.
This article is courtesy of our sister station WMTW News 8. A 73-year-old Limington man who had been missing for more than 14 hours was found Tuesday morning after he walked up to a WMTW News 8 crew.Robert McDonough approached WMTW News 8 anchor/reporter Norm Karkos shortly after 6:30 a.m. after Karkos delivered a live update. McDonough began speaking with Karkos and identified himself as Robert McDonough. The News 8 WMTW crew, including videographer Rob Benica and satellite truck operator Keith Kettelhut, immediately notified the Maine Warden Service.Game wardens spent the night searching for McDonough, who was reported missing around 4 p.m. Monday.Karkos had been providing live reports from Gammon Road, where McDonough lives, throughout WMTW News 8 This Morning.Wardens said McDonough suffers from dementia.Karkos said McDonough appeared to be in good condition, although he said he did spot some blood on McDonough’s hand.
A Bath man has been sentenced to nearly two years in prison for putting together what authorities call child pornography collages. Federal prosecutors say 62-year-old Joseph Finocchiaro was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Portland last week to 21 months in prison. The Times Record, reports that Finocchiaro had pleaded guilty to the charge of possession of child pornography on Feb. 6. Prosecutors say in October investigators executed a search warrant at Finocchiaro’s home and seized several collages made from printed photographs of child pornography. Authorities say Finocchiaro printed the images from an internet photo-sharing website and assembled them into the collages. He had faced up to 10 years in prison.