Signs are being put up to ask motorists in southern York County to be aware of rare turtles crossing area roads. The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the Nature Conservancy are marking the turtle crossing areas in Wells, South Berwick and York with hopes of reducing highway deaths of two of the state’s rarest species, Blanding’s and spotted turtles. Motorists encountering the roadside turtle signs should reduce their speed and be on the lookout for jaywalking turtles. Drivers who see a turtle crossing the road and want to help are asked to safely pull over to the side of the road and, only if it is safe to do so, move the turtle to the side of the road in the direction it was headed.
Portland’s mayor is meeting with immigrant business owners to discuss the role that immigrants play in the city’s economy. Michael Brennan and Portland’s economic development director are visiting businesses on Thursday, two days after the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee approved a far-reaching bill to remake the nation’s immigration system. The Maine People’s Alliance says Brennan’s tour will begin with a ride in a taxi owned by a Burundi man to a grocery store/export business owned by men from Sudan and Nigeria. The tour ends at a restaurant owned by brothers from Iraq. Brennan will listen to the business owners and others give their thoughts on immigration reform and other issues.
A man convicted of raping three women in Massachusetts faces sentencing more than three decades after he fled the state and began living a secret life in Maine. Gary Alan Irving was a teenager when he was convicted of raping three women. When authorities finally caught up with him in Maine in March, he was a 52-year-old man with a wife and two grown children. Irving is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday in Norfolk Superior Court. He faces a possible life sentence. Irving, who lived in Rockland, fled Massachusetts in 1979 after a judge allowed him to return home to make final arrangements before sentencing. He was on Massachusetts’ Top 10 Most Wanted list for decades.
There was a debate last night in Portland over a bill that would let people carry concealed weapons without going through a permitting process.”Point blank: this is a bad piece of legislation and one that I don’t support,” said Chief Michael Sauschuck, Portland Police Department. Flanked by police chiefs from surrounding communities, Portland chief Michael Sauschuck explains his opposition to a bill that would let Mainers carry concealed weapons without going through a permitting process. “To eliminate that process in general is a disservice to the citizens of the state of Maine and, certainly, to the safety of our law enforcement officers that are out there on the street,” said Chief Michael Sauschuck, Portland Police Department. These chiefs say the permitting process lets them connect with and educate people who want to carry concealed weapons.South Portland chief Ed Googins says it’s not uncommon for his department to deny people permits. “It’s a very thorough process and to just throw that out the door just does not make sense,” said Chief Ed Goggins, South Portland Police Department. Representative Aaron Libby is the bill’s sponsor. “It’s not stopping any criminals because the criminal’s not going to get the concealed weapon permit. They’re not going to go through the process,” said Representative Aaron Libby (R) Waterboro.Both Libby and David Trahan of the Sportman’s Alliance of Maine say resources departments use for the permitting process would be better spent elsewhere. “When I hear the state police say to me that it’s cumbersome. ‘We don’t know if we see any value in it.’ …and they’re quite supportive of repealing the concealed carry requirement, that’s who I listen to,” said David Trahan, Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine.
USA Telephone customers got their service back today, but it won’t be up for very long.Tuesday their service was shut down.USA Telephone leases its network from Fairpoint Communications.Fairpoint says the service was cut because USA failed to make payments.Fairpoint turned service off to the 2,300 USA customers in Maine, but then restored it Wednesday as a courtesy to give those customers a little more time to look for a new phone service provider.
Regulators have postponed a decision on new regulations on elver fishing in maine.The Eel Management Board of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission decided to delay the vote until August to gather more information about baby glass eels.Options include keeping things as they are now, establishing quotas or shutting the fishery down.The proposed regulations are the result of a stock assessment concluding the american eel population is too depleted.
The next commander of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is about to take charge. After 3 ½ years at the helm, Capt. L. Bryant Fuller is stepping down in a ceremony Friday. He is to be relieved by Capt. William Greene, who serves as the military deputy for shipyard operations at the Naval Sea Systems Command. Greene, a native of Ann Arbor, Mich., has served in numerous engineering and combat systems assignments, including postings at Puget Sound, Wash., and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The Portsmouth Herald reports, Fuller is leaving for Washington, D.C., where he will be deputy commander for ship design, integration and naval engineering at Naval Sea Systems Command.
The former executive director of a Maine nonprofit that serves the poor has been sentenced to 2 ½ years in federal prison for stealing $900,000 from the organization. Thomas Nelson was also ordered Tuesday to pay more than $1.3 million in restitution and back taxes. Prosecutors say the 56-year-old Nelson embezzled the money from the Sanford-based York County Community Action Corp., which provides fuel assistance, food and other services to low-income families. Most of the agency’s budget comes from federal grants. He took the money from 2004 until 2010. The Portland Press Herald, reports that the judge called Nelson’s actions “shameful.” His lawyer says he stole the money to feed a gambling addiction. Nelson apologized in court. He pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy, embezzlement and tax evasion.
Two more Maine municipalities have been designated as “business-friendly” by the state. The Department of Economic and Community Development says Presque Isle and Richmond have made the grade to be certified as business-friendly communities. Twenty Maine towns and cities have earned the designation since the program was launched a little over a year ago. Those deemed as business-friendly are given a certificate and two road signs to tout the award. They’re also promoted by the state as being business-friendly. Communities are evaluated on whether they have a business-friendly approach in terms of things like customer service, licensing and permitting, business involvement and collaboration.
A Lewiston man facing up to 30 years in prison for allegedly stabbing his friend in the chest with a barbecue fork has been freed after the victim refused to testify against him in court. In a move that surprised the entire courtroom, Vincent Turner on Monday invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Authorities say the 42-year-old Turner was stabbed in the chest by 43-year-old Tony Leonard during a drunken brawl in October. Prosecutors say the two-pronged barbecue fork penetrated so deeply into Turner’s chest that it scraped his aorta and landed him in the hospital in critical condition. The Sun Journal, reports that after testifying Monday that he and Leonard were friends, Turner clammed up. Leonard pleaded no contest to assault and was sentenced to time served.
Maine Coast Memorial Hospital will be able to perform many more free breast cancer screenings thanks to a nice gift from the Maine Affiliate of the Susan Komen Organization.The hospital is getting a $40,000 grant.It will be used to help more than a 100 under-insured or uninsured women in Hancock and Washington counties get free screenings.Some of the money will go to other cancer programs and the Beth C Wright Center.If you’d like more information on the program, call 664-5337.
State lawmakers have given final approval to a bill that aims to strengthen the skills of Maine workers. It will allow seamless credit transfers between the UMaine system and Maine Community College system. It will also create 4 additional degree programs for high demand and high wage jobs.It will restore funding to the Maine Apprentice Program too.
LL Bean’s grandson is retiring as company chairman of the company and will be succeeded by his great-grandson.78-year-old Leon Gorman has headed up LL Bean for more than 50 years.His nephew, Shawn Gorman, will take over as chairman.Chris McCormick, the first CEO of the company from outside the family, retains his position.The company began in 1912 when LL Bean sold rubber-soled hunting boots.It sells a lot more than that now and does more than $1.5 billion dollars in annual sales.
Police are investigating a deadly car crash in York.48-year-old Timothy Gerald of York died saturday afternoon after his pickup truck crashed into a tree. His dog survived and was taken to a local vet.
Police say a 17-year-old Leeds girl is “lucky to be alive” after suffering only minor injuries in a spectacular rollover crash in Wayne. The girl was taken to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston with what were believed to be non-life threatening injuries after the crash at about 1:30 p.m. Sunday that sent her SUV hurtling end over end. Sgt. Scott Taylor of the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office says the teen was “mostly shaken up” and complained chest and shoulder pain. He tells the Kennebec Journal, she was alone in the vehicle. He says the driver got distracted and went off the road before her SUV rolled and came to rest on its roof. She was wearing a seat belt. Her name was not released.
The Portland Museum of Art has announced the dates for its summer tours of the Winslow Homer studio in Scarborough. The museum says it will offer tours twice daily on Mondays and Fridays from June 23 through Sept. 4. Tickets for museum members are now on sale, while tickets for the general public become available May 31. The museum bought the building in 2006 and opened it to the public last September following a multi-million dollar renovation. The studio overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and is where Homer lived from 1883 until his death in 1910 and where he produced some of this most notable work.
Governor LePage is hailing Maine’s dropping unemployment rate, now at its lowest since 2008.Maine Labor Commissioner Jeanne Paquette said Friday that the preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate estimate for Maine was 6.9% in April, down from 7.3% a year ago. The unemployment rate was below 7% for the first time since December 2008.LePage says the lower unemployment rate shows Maine’s economy is improving. But he said he and the Legislature “need to keep working to grow our economy and ensure that we do not slip backwards.”The U.S. unemployment rate was estimated at 7.5%, down from 8.1 percent one year ago. The New England unemployment rate was 6.8%.
Authorities say a Dixfield teenager is expected to survive after riding on the roof of a car that flipped over, pinning him underneath. Police say the teen was on the roof of the car in Mexico at about 4:30 p.m. Thursday when the 15-year-old driver lost control on a dirt road. Rumford Deputy Fire Chief Richard Coulombe tells the Sun Journal, the driver backed toward a curve, got into the soft shoulder on the outside of the curve and flipped the car over, landing upside down in a drainage ditch. The teen on the roof had his leg pinned. Firefighters from several departments lifted the vehicle so ambulance crews could free the boy. He was taken to the hospital with injuries not considered life threatening. No names were released.
Game Wardens have recovered the body of a boater from West Grand Lake.Wardens say the body of 65-year-old Vincent bartolomeo was recovered in 28 feet of water around noon Thursday.Bartolomeo was ejected and went below the surface of the water after two boats collided Wednesday, we’re told he was not wearing a lifejacket.They say 3 men were involved, the 2 men on the other boat are ok.
The African Children’s Choir is returning to our area.The performers are orphans from Africa.They’ve performed for presidents, heads of state, and most recently, the Queen of England.The African’s Children’s Organization is a non-profit humanitarian relief group dedicated to helping Africa’s most vulnerable children.The kids are in concert Sunday at the Messiah Baptist Church in Bangor and the Faith Community Fellowship in Ellsworth.For more information visit www.africanchildrenschoir.com.