Four Maine school districts have forfeited a total of nearly $1 million in grants over a technicality.The grants awarded to programs in Portland, Biddeford, Auburn and Fryeburg were withdrawn earlier this month after an organization that was denied a grant appealed the decision.The appeal brought to light a mistake in the wording of the request for proposals.A spokesman for the Department of Education said the mistake occurred because of staff turnover in the agency. The staff member who drafted the request for proposals left the department shortly before it was issued.The school programs can re-apply in early July.State Sens. Nancy Sullivan of Biddeford and Lois Snowe-Mello of have sent a letter to Commissioner of Education Stephen Bowen urging him to reconsider the decision.
A Brownfield man who shot his neighbor during a domestic dispute has been sentenced to 60 days in jail.Keith Brain was sentenced last week after pleading guilty to elevated aggravated assault for shooting James Walsh in the arm and the leg in July 2010. The 44-year-old Brain was also ordered to pay up to $7,500 to cover Walsh’s medical bills.The Sun Journal, reports that at the request of his lawyer, Brain won’t have to start serving his sentence until Thanksgiving so he can use vacation and holiday time to avoid losing his job.Police say the shooting was sparked by a dispute between Walshand his ex-girlfriend.The ex-girlfriend had been storing belongings on Brain’s property, and Walsh came to the property where a confrontation ensued.
A New Hampshire man is scheduled to plead guilty in the disappearance and death of a Maine mother last year.Attorney General Michael Delaney says Anthony Papile will enter a guilty plea and be sentenced in Carroll County Superior Court.Papile is charged with second-degree murder in the death of 20-year-old Krista Dittmeyer of Portland, Maine.Dittmeyer’s car was found idling in the parking lot of a North Conway ski area in April 2011 with her 14-month-old baby unharmed inside. Dittmeyer’s body was found nearby four days later.Senior Assistant Attorney General Jane Young would not say what charge Papile will plead to.Prosecutors say Dittmeyer was lured to a friend’s apartment and clubbed by two men who plotted to steal drugs and money from her.
The U.S. Coast Guard has terminated the voyage of a Maine-based commercial fishing vessel for allegedly having no lifejackets on board.The Coast Guard says a boarding team conducted a routine at-sea inspection of the Corea, Maine-based, 38-foot fishing vessel Calypso on Monday and found several safety violations.There were allegedly no personal flotation devices, no visual distress signals and no life rings aboard. All are all required by law.The Coast Guard terminated the crew’s voyage at approximately 12:30 p.m., and escorted the vessel back to Port Corea.Coast Guard Lt. Adam Schmid says lifejackets can keep the crew alive during an emergency while rescuers conduct a search.
A Maine man whose decades-long battle to save New England’s tallest elm tree has died at age 103.Two years ago Frank Knight said “nothing is forever” when a 217-year-old elm tree named Herbie was cut down in Yarmouth.Knight was the town’s tree warden when Dutch Elm Disease began its assault on the town’s trees in the 1950s. He decided he couldn’t save all the elms, so he focused on saving Herbie. A friend says Knight died Monday day in hospice care in Scarborough and will be laid to rest in a coffin made of wood from Herbie.
An Arundel man accused of murdering his 2-and-a-half-month old son last weekend was in a York County courtroom Friday morning.23-year-old Gordon Collins-Faunce did not speak and did not enter a plea.His case will go before a grand jury in June.He’s accused of assaulting his son, Ethan Henderson, last weekend.The little boy died after being taken off a ventilator at Maine Medical Center.Irving Faunce, the adoptive father of Gordon Collins-Faunce, was at the court proceeding and spoke to reporters.He talked about holding Ethan during the child’s final moments.Faunce said it was important for him to be present at the court proceedings for his grandson and to make sure his son gets good legal representation.
A North Carolina man authorities say became disoriented and tried to open a cabin door on a US Airways Express commuter jet from Maine to Philadelphia is scheduled to face a judge. Massachusetts state police say 40-year-old Michael J. Ensalaco, of Mooresville, N.C., was held on a charge of interfering with a flight crew and was being questioned after the pilot diverted the flight to Boston on Thursday.Ensalaco is expected be arraigned Friday in East Boston District Court.Friends and family members say Ensalaco is a married father of five who has a history of seizures and likely had some sort of medical episode.A family friend says Ensalaco works in the food service industry and was headed home from a business trip.
A seventh grader has been charged following a third bomb threat at Bath Middle School this year.The 13-year-old Phippsburg boy is charged with terrorizing for a message he’s accused of leaving in a rest room Monday.He was released to his parents and is scheduled to appear in court in early July.In February a 12-year-old sixth grade girl and a 14-year-old eighth grade girl were charged with terrorizing because of written threats left on a restroom wall at the school.
Portland police say a woman has been shotand that a response team has been attempting to get the suspectedshooter to come out of an apartment house. Police Chief Michael Sauschuck said a woman was shot in thechest by a man from a building while walking on Cedar Street around10:30 a.m. Saturday. She was taken to Maine Medical Center withnon-life-threatening injuries. Sauschuck told The Portland Press Herald that based on the woman’s wound, the shooter may have fired apellet gun. Armed officers cordoned off the neighborhood and tried topersuade the suspected shooter to surrender. The shooting took place while 200 students took their SAT testsat nearby Portland High School, which was put into lockdown beforepolice led students out a rear exit.
A hearing on a new trial for a New Hampshire man convicted of strangling his former fiancee in her Maine home has been delayed because a key witness failed to show up in court.Jason Twardus of Rochester, N.H., was sentenced to 38 years in prison in August for killing Kelly Gorham in her Alfred home. Prosecutors said Twardus could not accept their broken engagement.His lawyers are asking for a retrial based on what they say is evidence that suggests someone else was responsible for her death.One of those men was required to testify in court in Maine on Tuesday, but never showed up.Calvin DeGreenia was arrested by police from Nashua, N.H., for failing to appear in court.The hearing is scheduled to resume May 11.
Residents of Auburn, Maine, can now report certain crimes or complaints online.The Auburn Police Department’ has launched a web-based, non-emergency reporting system that will allow citizens to file certain incidents over the Internet at their convenience.The public can file reports at a time that is best for them, without having to wait for an officer to respond or call them back.The system allows users to submit the incident then print a copy of the temporary police report for free.The system is designed for reports such as animal complaints, crime tips, harassment, thefts, vacant house checks and vandalism.
Testimony continues today in a hearing to determine whether a New Hampshire man convicted of strangling a nursing student, should be granted a new trial.Jason Twardus was convicted in 2010 of murdering 30-year old Kelly Gorham, then burying her body on property owned by his father in New Hampshire.Twardus’ attorney claims new evidence discovered after the trial could change the verdict.Another man who also lived on the same property as Gorham is being offered as an alternative suspect.That man pleaded guilty to an attempted strangulation assault in August of 2011.Twardus’ attorney argues the alternative suspect was present the night Gorham disappeared.The state believes evidence presented at the first trial was overwhelming and new evidence would not change the outcome.Twardus is currently serving a 38-year prison sentence.
Fishermen in the Gulf of Maine won’t be able to use stationary nets called gillnets for two months of the year.Federal regulators say porpoises are getting tangled in those nets and drowning.So the feds will close the fishing grounds for two months, the first closure will be in October.
Down East Community Hospital in Machias has reached a contract agreement with its nurses and technical staff.Union nurses had been working without a contract since the beginning of the year.As part of the three year deal, salaries competitive with similar positions across the state are being implemented.The hospital will also cut back on temporary workers.
A former Decoster Egg Farm employee has filed a lawsuit claiming he wasn’t paid overtime while he worked at the Decoster Farm in Turner.The Lewiston man says he regularly worked more than 40 hours per week, but wasn’t paid time-and-a-half for the extra hours.He’s seeking $100,000. The former owners of the farm could not be reached for comment.
Police say a Maine man charged with murder in the fatal stabbing of a longtime friend said he snapped after the victim hit and choked him outside an Old Orchard Beach bar. Michael Swenson of Scarborough made his first court appearanceWednesday in York County Superior Court in Alfred on charges hekilled 49-year-old Roger White outside the Whaler bar and hid hisbody under some mattresses outside a nearby apartment house. The44-year-old Swenson did not enter a plea. A police affidavit says Swenson told a friend that White hit himon the head and choked him when they left the Whaler together afterplaying pool Friday night. The friend told investigators thatSwenson said he went “ballistic” or “berserk” and stabbedWhite. Swenson is being held without bail.
The U.S. Senate late Wednesday afternoon passed a postal reform bill that includes a provision that would keep the Hampden mail processing facility open.The postal service wanted to stop processing mail in Hampden, shifting the work to a plant in Scarborough to save money.Senator Susan Collins put language in the reform bill regarding overnight delivery that would keep the Hampden facility and about 100 others across the country open.About 180 people work at the Hampden plant.The bill still needs to be approved by the house.
Maine authorities are trying to find out who’s been jamming the radio transmissions of several southern Maine fire and rescue departments, a problem that could lead to dangerous situations and even criminal charges.Jason Cole, assistant chief of Lebanon’s rescue department, said his transmissions were blocked Sunday when he responded to an emergency, delaying ambulance response by a few minutes.He says transmissions have also been jammed in North Berwick, Acton, Shapleigh and Limerick in the past several months.Emergency responders have been working around the blocked transmissions by using cellphones.Cole told The Portland Press Herald he has filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission and was told that if jamming were to result in a person’s death, the jammer could be charged with manslaughter.
Maine State Police say a South Portland man has died in an early morning car crash on Interstate 295 in Falmouth.Police say an SUV driven by 42-year-old Christopher Black was headed north on Wednesday morning when his vehicle left the highway, rolled over and came to rest about 100 yards into the woods.A passing motorist reported the accident at 2:30 a.m.Police say Black’s SUV may have been in the woods for some time before it was spotted.Black was the only person in the vehicle. He was ejected and pronounced dead at the scene.The investigation is continuing but police say speed was a factor.
Two state universities in Maine are getting new presidents.University of Maine System trustees on Tuesday approved the appointments of new presidents at the University of Maine at Farmington and the University of Maine at Presque Isle.Kathryn Foster, who is a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., will become president of the Farmington school. She is replacing Theodora Kalikow, who is retiring after 18 years on the job.Linda Schott will take the top job in Presque Isle. She is currently a dean at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo., and is replacing Donald Zillman, who is returning to teaching at the University of Maine School of Law in Portland.Foster and Schott start July 1 and will receive annual salaries of $160,000 each.