Authorities in Maine are investigating the death of a man who fell about 80 feet from a lift in Dayton. Shawn Hutchins was pronounced dead at the scene on Wednesday night at Dayton Sand and Gravel. Major William King of the York County Sheriff’s office said in a statement that Hutchins, a 41-year-old Dayton resident, was an employee at the facility but the plant was not in operation at time and it’s not known why Hutchins was in the lift. King said one witness has been interviewed but no details were available. Maine state police are assisting in the investigation.
Monhegan Island is getting a $420,000 federal grant to upgrade its power system. The Department of Agriculture grant will fund a 13-kilowatt solar power system, a new 40-kilowatt generator and a new switching system that will allow the Monhegan Plantation Power District to switch between different power sources and incorporate renewable energy sources like solar or wind power. U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree says Monhegan residents pay about 70 cents per kilowatt hour, more than four times the average mainland rate and among the 20 highest rates in the country. She says the grant will improve the reliability and efficiency of the island’s power grid. Monhegan is about 10 miles off the coast and is a summer haven for artists. It has a year-round population of about 70.
Emergency planning for schools was the topic of discussion in a meeting between Maine’s education commissioner, police and emergency officials.”We’re looking at the possibility of taking some of those evacuation drills, we actually require quite a few in the early grades K-to-4, we require ten a year. Could we take some of those and turn them into lockdown drills?” Commented David Connerty-Marin, spokesperson for Maine’s education department.The group will focus on where the Department of Education might be able to offer more help to make Maine schools safer.
The grandmother of an 18-month-old boy who was attacked by the family dog in their Livermore Falls home last weekend says the child is recovering well. Destiny Enman tells the Sun Journal her grandson was bitten on the top of his head and forehead by the dog, an American bulldog and husky mix. The dog was previously reported to be a pit bull-wolf hybrid. Enman was also bitten as she rushed to help the boy. The child and the grandmother were taken to a hospital in Lewiston where they were treated and released. Enman says the boy is not expected to have any permanent injuries. The animal was euthanized and tests showed it did not have rabies. Enman said she did not know why the dog attacked.
Heating oil prices remain unchanged from last week.The governor’s energy office says oil’s going for an average of $3.64 a gallon statewide.Propane is averaging 2.74 a gallon, kerosene 4.08.
Authorities are searching for a hit-and-run driver whose car struck and injured a 13-year-old girl who was shoveling snow away from her family’s mailbox in Leeds. The Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Department says in a statement released early Tuesday that the girl suffered non-life threatening injuries Monday afternoon. Investigators are seeking help from the public in locating the driver and vehicle involved in the crash. They describe the car as a blue smart car that was last seen driving west on Church Hill road toward the town of Turner. The vehicle should have some noticeable damage on the passenger side after hitting the girl and the mailbox.
Members of the Portland City Council have unanimously approved a 1.5 percent pay increase for themselves together with Mayor Michael Brenna and City Manager Mike Rees despite objections from some city residents. The Portland Press Herald, reported Tuesday that residents urged the officials meeting Monday night to reject a pay hike in solidarity with many in the city who are struggling in a down economy. City councilors will see an increase of just under $100 in their current annual compensation of $5,600. The mayor’s annual salary of $65,400 will increase by $981. The city manager will see his $143,000 annual pay increase by $2,145. The increases are retroactive to July 1. Resident Kevin Casey said it is disconcerting that city officials get to vote on their own pay increase.
It was a record-setting year for the sale of state park passes in Maine.The Division of Parks and Public Lands says it sold nearly 11,000 vehicle passes and more than 1,300 individual passes for state parks, the most ever sold in the park system’s 77-year-old existence.2013 park passes are now available online.It’s 35-dollars for an individual pass and 70-dollars for a vehicle pass, which allows entrance to everyone in a vehicle.
A federal judge has rejected a former Chelsea town officials’ efforts to keep statements she made to police out of her fraud trial.Carole Swan is accused of extorting money from a contractor while she served as a selectwoman, and she’s accused of inflating the cost of road projects awarded to her husband.She also faces fraud charges related to income taxes and federal workers compensation benefits.The judge questioned Swan’s claims that she’s functionally illiterate and can’t read or write, which swan planned to use as part of her defense.
An Anson man accused of killing another man in a drug dispute three years ago will find out his fate Tuesday.Prosecutors say Robert Nelson shot and killed 60-year-old Everett Cameron in North Anson on Halloween three years ago.The victim suffered from cancer and his family admits he was selling his prescription pain killers for extra money.Nelson was one of his customers.Testimony and closing arguments in the non-jury trial wrapped up two weeks ago.Superior Court Judge John Nivison says he’ll announce his verdict Tuesday morning in Skowhegan.
Ayla Reynolds’ mother continues to call attention to her daughter’s disappearance.Trista Reynolds say she wants to do whatever she can to keep Ayla’s face and story in the public eye. She’s still in touch with police but the last contact she had with Ayla’s father, Justin Dipietro, was a text message from August. Trista hopes by sharing Ayla’s story, someone will offer police information that will lead them to her.She knows it’s unlikely her daughter will be found alive, but she still prays for a miracle. “No matter what, I always have to keep that little bit of faith and that little bit of hope that Ayla’s out there and that she is alive, but it’s really hard when you still don’t have any news.”Trista says she still sees Ayla every day in her son, Raymond, Alya’s half-brother, who looks just like her.She also says she’s frustrated with state police because she feels like the investigation into Ayla’s disappearance has become less of a priority as time passes, even though police say the case is still an open and active one.
Six more Maine communities have received the state’s business friendly seal of approval.Lewiston-Auburn, Ellsworth, Fairfield, Kennebunk, and Topsham all recevied the distinction at a state house ceremony this afternoon.The award is presented to communities that make things easier and more attractive to business owners.”The process they go through to apply for this certification opens their eyes to whether or not they are business friendly,” said George Gervais of the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development. “It either puts a stamp of approval on where they’ve been headed anyway, or it makes them realize there are changes that they need to make.”Each town receives a road sign designating it as business friendly and a certificate.So far, eighteen Maine towns have made the grade.
Tens of thousands of volunteers laid wreaths at veterans’ graves at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia Saturday. About 110-thousand wreaths were placed throughout the cemetery as part of the 21st Annual Wreaths Across America. The event honors fallen men and women from the US military during the holiday season.
A 1-year-old boy is hospitalized with severe facial injuries and his mother is also recovering from injuries after authorities in Livermore Falls say they were attacked over the weekend by the family’s dog. The Lewiston Sun Journal, reports the town’s animal control officer ordered the dog, a pit bull-wolf hybrid mix, quarantined in a room at family’s home on Friday. But on Saturday, police Lt. Thomas Gould said the dog was able to grab the child by the head and maul the boy. When his parents rushed to his aid, the boy’s mother was also attacked by the animal. The child was rushed to Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington, where he underwent surgery on Sunday for facial injuries. The boy’s mother was treated for injuries to her arm. The dog was euthanized.
A candlelight vigil in Portland brought expressions of sympathy and support for the victims of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., along with calls for stricter gun control laws. More than 100 people attended the Sunday night vigil in Portland’s Monument Square, which was organized by the Maine Citizens Against Handgun Violence. Bill Harwood, a founding member of the group, called on the state to do more regulate gun sales and keep weapons away from people who may be mentally ill. Portland Mayor Michael Brennan also said the Connecticut tragedy shows the need for tougher laws. He said people do not need to own assault rifles to hunt or protect themselves. School superintendent Emmanuel Caulk told the gathering that Portland schools have taken steps to make students are safe.
Maine public safety spokesman Steve Mccausland had this reaction to what happened in Connecticut:”All of the school shootings that have happened around the country have been far away. This is New England. It’s a horrible tragedy and our hearts go out to everyone affected down there.”Mccausland says Maine state police are thoroughly trained for this kind of situation, including sixty new officers who graduated from the police academy today.
Watch CBS coverage here: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=2nNEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) – Police say 27 people were killed in the shooting at a Connecticut elementary school, including the gunman, and one person died at another scene. The dead at the school include 20 children. The gunman opened fire Friday morning inside a school where his mother worked. He blasted his way through the building as young students cowered helplessly in classrooms while their teachers and classmates were shot. The gunman killed himself. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says someone who lived with him also died. Young students crying and looking frightened were escorted by adults through a parking lot in a line after the shots rang out in Newtown, 60 miles northeast of New York City. The attack comes less than two weeks before Christmas and appears to be the nation’s second-deadliest school shooting, exceeded only by the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007.
The mayor of Lewiston is under fire again, this time for suggesting the city’s schools are overcrowded because families from Massachusetts and New York move to Maine to take advantage of the state’s generous welfare system. Mayor Robert Macdonald said Wednesday at meeting with parents and school officials to discuss redistricting that there ought to be laws putting limits on how long families can collect welfare benefits. He says there are 1,000 children of welfare seekers in city schools “who could care less about going to school” because “they don’t feel like they’re going to work anyway.” The Sun Journal reports that School Committee member Sonia Taylor called the mayor’s comments “offensive.” Macdonald was criticized in October for suggesting that the city’s large Somali refugee population should abandon their culture.
A Massachusetts supermarket chain has announced its first expansion into Maine. Biddeford city officials say Tewksbury, Mass.-based Market Basket is scheduled to open a store next fall. Economic Development Director Daniel Stevenson tells The Journal Tribune the family-owned company plans to invest $11 million to redevelop the former Lowe’s store at The Shops at Biddeford Crossing. The building has been empty since Lowe’s closed in 2011. Stevenson says the store will bring up to 150 full-time jobs and hundreds of part time positions. Market Basket has 69 stores in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
Sally Struthers has entered a not guilty plea on charges she drove drunk in Maine, where she was performing in a musical.The Portland Press Herald reports the 65-year-old Struthers did not appear in York District Court on Thursday, and entered the plea through her lawyer.Police arrested Struthers on Sept. 12 on U.S. Route 1 in the resort town Ogunquit (oh-GUHNG’-kwit). She was charged with criminal operating under the influence.Struthers is best known for her role as Gloria Stivic in the 1970s TV sitcom “All in the Family.” She had been performing at the Ogunquit Playhouse in the musical “9 to 5.”Struthers is scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 13 for a bench trial.