The Saco City Council has reached a compromise in the controversy over dogs on city beaches. The council voted 6-0 on Tuesday to allow dogs on city beaches leashes from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in July and August only if they are leashed. Dogs had previously been allowed on the beaches unleashed, prompting complaints from some people about aggressive dogs and too much waste left behind. The Baywood Condominium Owner’s Association that said Saco has become a “mecca” for dog owners across southern Maine because most other towns bar dogs from their beaches during the summer months. Dog owners disputed those claims. Baywood resident Sally Sea called the ordinance a fair compromise.
Churches, museums and schools are taking part in a bell-ringing in New Hampshire to mark the 107th anniversary of the Treaty of Portsmouth, which ended the Russo-Japanese War. In 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt invited envoys of Russia and Japan to the United States to negotiate an end to the war. The peace conference was held at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in nearby Kittery, Maine, that summer. The Treaty of Portsmouth was signed at 3:47 p.m. on Sept. 5. Roosevelt won the 1906 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts. The anniversary is being noted at 3:47 p.m. Wednesday by the simultaneous bell-ringing in Portsmouth. A talk is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Discover Portsmouth Center to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Portsmouth’s cherry trees – a gift from Japan.
The nation’s top transit official is in Maine to announce funding for the expansion of express commuter bus service at Maine’s Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and New Hampshire’s Pease International Tradeport. Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff will join U.S. Navy and local officials Wednesday to announce the service expansion aimed at making it easier for civilian and military personnel to get to work at the shipyard, located in Kittery, and the Pease business and aviation industrial complex in Portsmouth. Rogoff will be announcing funding for the expanded service.
A 13-year-old Maine boy has been charged with arson, accusing him of starting a fire that gutted the back of a Bath home. Maine State Fire Marshal’s investigators say the boy started the fire on Thursday night. Sgt. Joel Davis of the Maine State Fire Marshal’s Office told the Bangor Daily News, that he thinks the teen acted alone. He would not comment on the motive for the alleged crime. The fire destroyed the rear of the building, which is owned by a woman who lives there with her 16-year-old son.
The Senate Labor Committee voted 10-0 today to recommend the governor’s appointment of Jeanne Shorey Paquette as Maine Labor Commissioner. She currently serves as Deputy Commissioner.Several of the governor’s nominees for new terms on Maine’s court benches also won committee support.The Judiciary Committee endorsed the renomination of Justices Jeffrey Hjelm of Rockland, Thomas Humphrey of Portland and Thomas Warren of Portland to the Superior Court Bench.The full senate still must confirm all the nominations. Those votes are scheduled for Thursday.
The state of Maine is suing the federal government for failing to act on its waiver request seeking to eliminate Medicaid coverage for more than 20,000 residents.The centers for Medicare and Medicaid services told the state last week more time was needed to review the request.Medicaid serves 361 thousand Maine residents.The governor says Medicaid has grown faster than the state’s ability to pay for it.The Republican-controlled legislature reduced coverage during the last session.
For the fourth time in less than two months, an inmate has escaped from state custody.Justin Ross was reported missing from his work release site in Leeds last night.The 35 year-old was being held at the Central Maine Pre-Release Center in Hallowell.Ross is described as 5 feet 11 inches tall, 185 pounds with brown hair and hazel eyes.He’s originally from Farmington and was serving a sentence for a domestic violence assualt.He was due to be released in October.
Lobster prices are inching up in Maine.Lobstermen have been hauling in fewer lobsters the past couple of weeks as compared to the previous several months.Marine resources lobster biologist Carl Wilson says the lull in the harvest is coming a few weeks ahead of usual, but he says that’s not surprising given that the lobster catch was higher than usual beginning in the spring.
Governor Lepage is leading a Maine delegation on a trade mission to China.Business professionals, school recruiters and government officials are part of the group.The eight day, mostly privately funded trip includes stops in Hong Kong and Shanghai.The goal is to boost Maine’s businesses overseas.
Firefighters from several towns battled an early-morning fire at a home in Durham.The call for help came in early Monday Morning.Two people inside the home and their dog got out safely.Flames damaged the home and destroyed a nearby barn, according to fire fighters on the scene.The State Fire Marshal’s Office has been called to the scene to investigate a cause.
An early morning fire in a residence hall at the University of Southern Maine in gorham was intentionally set, that’s according to school officials.The fire was reported around 2:30 Monday morning, when a sprinkler system went off inside a recycling closet in Upton-Hastings Hall.The 200 students were evacuated from the hall for about three hours.Authorities say, the fire was contained to the closet.The State Fire Marshal’s Office and USM police are investigating.
Police believe speed and alcohol may have been factors in a crash in New Portland that killed a man from Embden and injured two others.It happened on Wire Bridge Road around 9:30 Friday night.Authorities say 24 year-old Ryan Nile was driving and lost control of the car, hitting a tree. He was pronounced dead at the scene.20 year-old Nichole Nichols and 27 year-old Christopher Woodward, also from Embden, were hurt.
Police are investigating the attempted abduction of a worker at Range Ponds State Park in Poland, Maine. The Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Department says a woman was working the booth at the main gate when she said a motorist attempted to pull her into his van before driving away. The employee described the van as a rust-colored 1980s van with square headlights and no rear license plate. Police say the event was reported Saturday afternoon.
A judicial appointment for a top aide to Gov. Paul LePage is among more than 70 nominations by the governor that lawmakers are set to take up this week. Daniel Billings is a longtime Republican activist and chief legal counsel to LePage. He faces a review by the Judiciary Committee and a confirmation vote by the Senate to be a District Court judge. Committees will review 72 nominees for judicial appointments and reappointments and other state boards, commissions and executive posts on Tuesday and Wednesday before making recommendations to the Senate, which will hold confirmation votes Thursday. Also among the nominees are Col. James Campbell as defense, veterans and emergency management commissioner, and former Conservation Commissioner William Beardsley to the Board of Education.
Ski resort operators in northern New England are looking past their zip lines and water parks to the winter ahead and like what they see: The pent-up demand for skiing after last year’s snow drought is producing brisk sales of early-bird season passes. New Hampshire’s Loon Mountain reports sales up 20 percent over last year. Maine’s Sunday River reports season pass sales are up 10 percent from last year. Vermont’s Magic Mountain in the month of April sold half of last year’s total season pass sales. But winter revenues are no longer the make-it-or-break-it barometer for New England resorts, which pioneered summer attractions like zip lines, water parks and mountain coasters. Moose tours at Maine ski areas are in the mix as well.
A former GOP state committeewoman who was rebuked for challenging the election of Maine’s Ron Paul delegates says Paul’s supporters have no interest in hearing her side of the story. The state committee met Saturday in Waterville to approve several resolutions attacking Jan Staples, a long-time GOP activist and member of the national and state rules committees. Jonathan Pfaff, who helped draft the resolutions, said the votes put the committee on record as saying the state convention elections were run fairly. But Staples told The Associated Press on Sunday that there were multiple problems at the state convention and that she was obligated to point them out. She said Paul supporters in Maine are fired up but that there’s “a lot of passion and not a lot of wisdom.”
Police say a Rhode Island man has been charged with vehicular manslaughter and felony drunken driving following a crash that claimed the life of his passenger in Biddeford, Maine. Biddeford police say 20-year-old Anthony Ciccone of Pepperell, Mass., was killed when the Ford Explorer crashed into a utility pole early Sunday. Deputy Chief JoAnne Fisk says the driver, 20-year-old Christopher M. Bennett of Johnston, R.I., was booked into the York County Jail on $300,000 bailafter being treated at a hospital. Police say the episode unfolded when two men suspected of being intoxicated tried to force their way into a dorm room at the University of New England and then drove away, at one point hitting 80 mph in a 30 mph zone. Fisk says Bennett and Ciccone were visiting friends at UNE.
It’s news that has shocked Mainers. A 10 year-old girl charged with manslaughter in connection with the death of a three month-old baby from Clinton.Authorities say she is the youngest person to be charged with manslaughter in Maine in at least the past 25 years.Police say the mother of Brooklyn Foss-Greenaway left her baby in the care of friend and co-worker, 30 year-old Amanda Huard of Fairfield, July 7th.Huard called 911 later that night to report the child was not breathing and unresponsive.Brooklyn later died at a local hospital.For now, the case is proceeding against the ten year old, but the baby’s mother wants more done.”She neglected my daughter. She allowed abuse to my daughter. She never went and checked on her. I was told that she had been crying quite a bit which was unusual, but still never went to check on her. Those are the biggest questions are why? Why would any person not check on a 3 month old if they’re crying?” “Obviously I’m not going to speculate about who exactly will be charged in connection with the case, but, I can tell you my office is reviewing all the evidence in the case to determine if any other charges are appropriate.”Greenaway says the 10 year-old is Amanda Huard’s daughter, and authorities told her Brooklyn had been suffocated, had bruises on her body and had ingested medication used to treat Attention-Deficit Disorder.Police are not releasing the name the 10-year-old — she’s in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services.She’s expected to appear in juvenile court in October.In Maine, the juvenile justice system is geared toward rehabilitation. The maximum punishment for a child is incarceration until age 21.
Maine is getting 2.7 million dollars as part of a nationwide settlement with the drug company Johnson & Johnson.Maine and 33 other states claim Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson, improperly marketed certain anti-psychotic drugs.The drug company is paying out 181 million dollars. It’s believed to be the largest multi-state consumer protection settlement ever.
If you are on Mainecare, the state’s version of Medicaid, and you want to quit smoking, it’s going to cost you.A new law took effect Thursday that eliminates all funding for prescription drugs that help people quit smoking.The only exception is for pregnant women.The Maine chapter of the “American Lung Association” says this move is counter-productive and will cost more in medical costs down the road.the “Maine Department of Health and Human Services” says – they cut the duplication and there are still programs out there to help smokers quit.Jim Keithley reports.The struggle to quit smoking just got more difficult for those Mainers on Medicaid.430 thousand dollars was slashed from the smoking cessation program during the last legislative session.It allowed Mainecare recipients to get reimbursed if they chose to go on anti-smoking medications – such as Chantix.”You’re taking one of the most cost-effective services in the Medicaid program, smoking cessation, and you’re eliminating that benefit. It is penny wise and pound foolish.”Ed Miller is with the American Lung Association here in Maine and says the state’s record of helping Mainers quit is outstanding.He says the anti-smoking medications can help avert astronomical medical cost down the road when patients get sick due to smoking-related illnesses.”We’ve got to make some tough decisions and this unfortunately was one of them.”Stefanie Nadeau is the Director of Mainecare Services at the DHHS. She says the 15 thousand people taking part in this program will not be left out in the cold. “There are services available through the Maine Center for Disease Control. There is a quit help line. There is some funding available for nicotine replacement therapy. So there are funds available when individuals do make the decision that they are ready to quit, there are funds still available.” Ed Miller says nicotine replacement therapy such as the patch, inhalers and gum – don’t work to the extent that prescription drugs do.”Really what we should be doing here is making it easier for people to quit smoking if they’re on the Medicaid program if we really want to save money, not make it harder, not put more barriers and not eliminate funding for something as critical as the medications which we know work.”Critics say this decision to cut the smoking cessation program will distinguish Maine as “the only state in the nation” to eliminate Medicaid coverage for prescription drugs that help smokers quit, while proponents say others states will likely follow.