A Missouri man prosecutors say drove to Maine with a car full of guns intending to kill his estranged wife has waived his right to a detention hearing and will be held until trial. Benjamin Lee appeared in U.S. District Court in Portland on Monday to face two counts of interstate stalking. The Portland Press Herald, reports that when the judge asked him whether he was sure he wanted to waive a right to a detention hearing, Lee replied “that’s fine” and said he came to Maine to “re-establish” himself. The 52-year-old Lee was ordered to undergo a competency evaluation. Lee’s attorney says his client is disabled. Lee was arrested in September after driving past his wife’s home. Police say he had five guns and other weapons in his car.
Marijuana-laced cookies taken by a student to a Maine high school on a day ethics and values were being discussed have sickened some classmates. Nine students have been suspended, and police are investigating. Cape Elizabeth schools superintendent Meredith Nadeau says it’s unclear if all the students who ate the cookies were aware they contained marijuana. Some of them felt ill and went to the nurse’s office. The Portland Press Herald, reported Monday the episode unfolded Friday during a daylong event featuring speakers addressing the school district’s guiding values of “Community, Academics, Passion and Ethics.” School policy calls for a student who distributes or sells drugs to be suspended for 10 days and face possible expulsion, an action requiring a hearing before the School Board. The names of the students aren’t being released.
An 89-year-old man has been killed after his pickup truck ran off the road and struck a utility pole. The York County Sheriff’s Office says Jack Shangraw of Kennebunkport was dead on arrival at Southern Maine Medical Center on Sunday. The accident happened at about 8:40 a.m. Authorities say speed was among the factors in the accident.
An invasive moth that can damage hardwood and fruit trees has been spreading in Maine. State officials are asking residents to be on the lookout for winter moths, which have spread into Maine from southern New England, where they have caused widespread damage. The moth was first detected along the Maine coast in 2006 and has been spotted in the past year in Harpswell and Vinalhaven. The Maine Sunday Telegram, says state officials have reported 13 sightings of moths in Cape Elizabeth, as well as scattered reports from Scarborough, South Portland, Portland, Falmouth, Woolwich, Westport Island and Brunswick. Residents are being asked to keep an eye out for the moths, which are likely to be flying in swarms this time of year, and capture some specimens if they can.
Six endangered and very rare “loggerhead” turtles are getting a second chance, thanks to the University of New England in Biddeford.The turtles were rescued after being found freezing in Cape Cod Bay.They’ve been recovering at UNE’s marine animal rehabilititation center.Folks there are thrilled to help.”Having these guys up here and being able to help out is just a whole new experience for the staff here for the students you know how to handle them. They’re much different than the marine mammals we deal with most of the time. It’s very rewarding to be able to help out an endangered species and make a difference.”Their stop in Maine is just the first phase of their recovery. Friday the Coast Guard is flying the turtles to a recovery center in Florida.
A New Hampshire man was arrested after calling police to report that a prostitute had ripped him off.Police say 34-year-old Scott Pipher told them a prostitute cut him short by ten minutes and he wanted his money back. We’re told Pipher responded to an ad on Craigslist. He’s charged with engaging in prostitution.Police also arrested 28-year-old Krystal Harmon of Old Orchard Beach. She’s also charged with engaging in prostitution. Old Orchard Beach police say the incident sparked an investigation leading to more arrests.”We made another arrest that was completely separate from this particular situation and we’re continuing an ongoing investigation into any prostitution that may be taking place in the town of Old Orchard Beach,” said Lt. Timothy Deluca of the Old Orchard Beach Police Department.Police have created a special enforcement team to continue the investigation.
Two York County men charged with stealing an arsenal of 10 guns from a Waterboro home are headed to court. Authorities say 22-year-old Travis Wakefield of Lyman, and 22-year-old Nathan Desfosses of Shapleigh, are scheduled to be arraigned in Biddeford District Court on Friday. Police tell The Portland Press Herald, the homeowner returned Wednesday afternoon to find the men fleeing from his house. The homeowner notified authorities, who used a state police dog to track the suspects. Trooper Matt Williams and his dog found the 10 handguns hidden in woods near the home. The dog then flushed out the suspects. Both men are charged with burglary and are being held on $10,000 bail.
An Old Orchard Beach man accused of beating and stabbing his grandmother to death in the home they shared, then setting it on fire, has been indicted on murder and arson charges. Derek Poulin, who lived with his 61-year-old grandmother, Patricia Noel, has been in custody since his initial court appearance on Oct. 30. The Portland Press Herald, reports that according to documents, Noel described in letters and in conversations with relatives that the 23-year-old Poulin had been disrespectful toward her, called her names, and “gotten physical” with her. Authorities say Noel died from multiple blunt impact injuries to the head, skull fractures and multiple stab wounds. Police found a golf club handle and shaft, a golf club head, a wrench and a knife in the home.
A Lewiston hospital is eliminating jobs as part of a restructuring effort. Executives at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center say some positions are being eliminated, departing employees are not being replaced and layoffs are expected as the hospital’s parent company undergoes restructuring. The Sun Journal, reports that about 25 positions could be eliminated, but that number was described as “fluid.” Lee Myles, president and CEO of St. Mary’s Health System, said in a statement that charges are being made to prepare for health reform and to make adjustments for reductions of MaineCare reimbursement. He says the state owes the company $23 million and can no longer absorb that debt.
An exhibition of Winslow Homer works helped to break the Portland Museum of Art’s attendance record for November. The museum says the popularity of the exhibition Weatherbeaten: Winslow Homer and Maine drew more than 22,000 visitors and quadrupled the number of new members for the month. Weatherbeaten stands to be the most popular fall exhibition in the museum’s history. The exhibition also generated revenue through the sale of limited edition Winslow Homer products. Due to the show’s success, the museum’s hours will be extended until 8 p.m. on Thursdays and Saturdays, Dec. 13 through the last day of the exhibition Dec. 30. The Weatherbeaten exhibition showcases masterpieces that American artist Winslow Homer created during the final decades of his life, when he lived and worked in Maine.
The Fryeburg Water District has won bragging rights and a trip to the national water tasting championships at Maine’s 26th annual drinking water taste test competition. Fryeburg was named the overall winner at Thursday’s competition, held by the Maine Rural Water Association in Freeport. For the testing, water districts compete in chlorinated and non-chlorinated categories. The winners in each category then compete in a “taste-off” to determine the winner, which represents the state in the National Rural Water Association’s Great American Water Taste Test in Washington, D.C., in February. The New Portland Water District was the winner in the non-disinfected category, while Fryeburg was tops for disinfected water.
FairPoint Communications is ready to move forward with a five-year contract worth $32 million to provide the next-generation 911 system in Maine. Following two appeals, the Public Utilities Commission awarded the contract for a third time to FairPoint on the day before Thanksgiving, and the window for filing further appeals passed on Wednesday. FairPoint will provide the system and support for Maine’s 26 Public Safety Answering Points, which answer 911 calls in their coverage area. The Emergency Services Communication Bureau oversees implementation and operation of the statewide Enhanced 9-1-1 service that FairPoint currently provides. The process for the new contract was contentious, with Colorado-based Intrado and Maine-based Oxford Networks two appealing the PUC’s decision in favor of FairPoint.
They’re calling it “the future of firefighting,” and it’s made right here in Maine.Two brothers have developed a tool which allows firefighters to battle the most dangerous fires from a safe and secure distance.Their latest design is called “The Thermite.” It’s the latest twist on technology first built for the battlefield.”What it does, it takes away the firefighter from the real hazardous situation,” said Geoff Howe, co-founder of Howe & Howe Technologies.Unveiled this past summer, the Howe’s began developing The Thermite 18 months earlier.Launching the project only days after witnessing one of the world’s “worst” hazardous situations, the catastrophic nuclear meltdown in Fukushima, Japan.”We turn on the news, couldn’t believe it. Two or three days later you have Japanese guys running into dangerous situations,” Howe said.”We were upset because we had the technology here. If it was in place at the time, it could have been used, we could have saved lives,” said Mike Howe, co-founder of the same company.Working now to save lives in the future, this latest design basically retrofits the Howe’s well proven remote controlled war tank, with a high powered water gun and high definition camera. Imagine this small demonstration fire as some highly explosive or other potentially deadly situation. “We’re able to send a robot in, address it, literally recon, send information back to the fire and rescue but also address it as in put the fire out,” said Geoff.”Not only is it a reduction in risk and you’re managing your risk a lot better, but it’s also a reduction in cost because insurance premiums will be a lot lower and less people will be hurt and injured,” Mike added.On the market only since August, already, the company has orders for four Thermites, made in Maine by Mainers, this project helping to keep more than two dozen workers employed here full time, and the materials, 90% manufactured by Maine companies.”This is a dream come true for us. Not only are we living in Maine, employing in Maine: we’re employed in Maine and we’re building things in Maine,” Geoff commented.And they’ll keep building they say, as long as there’s still the question:”What do we need in society that we don’t have that nobody else has thought of that we can build?”Over the past decade the Howe brothers have developed an array of rugged, remote controlled vehicles, mostly for the military.
The human remains found Tuesday in Lisbon still have not been positively identified, but family members of murder victim Christiana Fesmire have been told by police that investigators are all but certain the remains are hers.A forensic anthropologist from the State Medical Examiner’s office was on the scene as the human remains were removed. Fesmire’s former co-worker and neighbor Buddy Robinson was convicted a few weeks ago of her murder.In court, prosecutors say Robinson beat and drowned Fesmire in her own bathtub.”It’s a horrible thing for somebody to be murdered,” said Kayla Leet, a friend of Fesmire, “but to not have somebody to have closure with it is a horrible thing for parents, friends. She was well-known, well-liked so it would just make me feel better if there was somebody to put to rest.”>Lewiston police received a tip in connection to the Fesmire case, which led them to the scene where the remains were found.Buddy Robinson has not yet been sentenced.
A Jay logger could be on the hook for more than $100,000 for cutting down about 1,250 trees on Livermore town land without permission. The select board is waiting on one more estimate before making a decision on how much to ask John Korhonen to reimburse the town. Town administrative assistant Kurt Schaub tells the Sun Journal, the town is seeking fair compensation for the trees cut down in Memorial Forest. Officials say Korhonen cut down trees on his own land then harvested timber on about 10 acres of town land that does not abut his land. Scahub says it is a logger’s responsibility to know where property lines are. Korhonen has not responded to two letters from the town and has not responded to media requests for comment.
A medical clinic that provides free care to Portland-area residents without health insurance is expected to run out of money at the end of February and may have to close unless it finds a partner to help pay the bills. The Portland Community Free Clinic has been funded by Mercy Hospital and the city. But Mercy last year stopped its annual contribution of $210,000, citing shifting priorities and its belief that Portland had other resources to serve the uninsured. Clinic officials tell The Portland Press Herald, the clinic, which relies on doctors and nurses volunteering time, is operating on an annual budget of $100,000 and its cash reserves are running out. The clinic serves about 600 people who earn too much to qualify for government health care, but can’t afford insurance.
A Missouri man federal authorities say drove to Maine with a car full of guns intending to kill his estranged wife has been ordered held without bail. Benjamin Lee was ordered held pending a detention hearing at his initial appearance Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Portland on a charge of interstate stalking. The 52-year-old Lee was arrested in September. Authorities say Lee was stopped after his estranged wife called police to say she saw him drive past her home in Limerick. Police say they found five guns and more than 200 rounds of ammunition, a machete, a bayonet, a folding knife, handcuffs, duct tape, rubber gloves, camouflage face paint, a map of Maine with Limerick circled, and other items in his car. Lee’s lawyer could not be reached.
Bragging rights and a trip to the national water tasting championships are at stake as water utilities square off at Maine’s 26th annual drinking water taste test competition. The Maine Rural Water Association is holding the taste tests Thursday at its yearly conference and trade show in Freeport. For the testing, water districts compete in chlorinated and non-chlorinated categories. The winners in each category then compete in a “taste-off” to determine the winner, which represents the state in the National Rural Water Association’s Great American Water Taste Test in Washington, D.C., in February. The Kingfield Water District was the winner in last year’s contest in Maine.
The first of dozens of men charged with paying for sex with a woman who allegedly used her Zumba dance studio in Kennebunk as a front for prostitution are scheduled to appear in court. Just three of the 21 men summoned to appear in Biddeford District Court on Wednesday are expected to show up. The Portland Press Herald, reports that lawyers for 18 other men facing one count each of engaging a prostitute have already filed not guilty pleas for their clients. A total of 62 men have been charged in the case, which has drawn international attention. Twenty-nine-year-old Alexis Wright of Wells has pleaded not guilty to 106 counts including prostitution, invasion of privacy and tax evasion. Her alleged business partner also has pleaded not guilty.
A Bath husband and wife ordered out of their home by city officials say they have nowhere to go. Alan and Yvonne Orchard were issued an eviction notice last week because their home of 19 years has a two-foot diameter hole in the roof. A city engineer says the home is structurally unsound and a heavy snow storm could cause the roof to collapse. The Orchards say the tarpaulin-covered hole has been there several years and is not a problem. Yvonne Orchard tells The Times Record, they can’t afford to move. Her hours at a local supermarket have been cut to fewer than 20 per week. Her 81-year-old husband has diabetes. Joanne Marco, executive director of Bath Housing Authority, says she’ll work with the Orchards to find them a place.