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.
Road work on Bond Street in Augusta this week will detour drivers for the next few days.The street’s eastbound lane will closed through thursday.Drivers using Bond, State and Boothby streets are asked to find alternative routes.The work will spread into Water Street on Wednesday.Crews are expected to be working from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day.
The sister of a man found dead in Old Orchard Beach over the weekend says police told her that her brother was stabbed to death.An autopsy on the body of Roger White, 49, was performed by the state medical examiner’s office in Augusta. He was found Saturday morning behind a bar called “The Whaler” where he had been seen Friday evening. White’s sister tells the Portland Press Herald her brother was a lifelong resident of the town who made a living doing odd jobs for contractors.
There’s been another arson fire in Gorham.Maine fire investigators say someone intended to burn an unoccupied house and set the grass on fire but the wind shifted, so the fire missed the house.The Maine Department of Public Safety says it’s the fifth arson fire in the past three weeks in Gorham.
A man who was hospitalized with burns led Maine Drug Enforcement Agents to a suspected methamphetamine lab in Presque Isle.Agents searched an apartment on Blake Street after a man who was there was badly burned Tuesday and taken to a Portland hospital. MDEA Division Commander Darrell Crandall says it’s believed the burns were caused by a fire that flared up during the manufacturing of meth. No charges have been filed.
Friends and family gathered in York County to remember Brittany Tibbetts Sunday night.The 26-year-old Maine woman was killed Thursday in Greenland, NH. Investigators said Cullen Mutrie, her on-again, off-again boyfriend, shot and killed her before killing himself.This was after police say he shot and killed Greenlandâ€™s police chief.In a vigil at Nubble Light Sunday, a large group gathered to celebrate Tibbetts’ life.Mourners lit candles and sangBrittanyâ€™s mother Donna asked that her friends and family keep Brittanyâ€™s memory alive.Zebra-print balloons were released in the air, because they were Brittanyâ€™s favorite.Her friends say Brittany used to hang out at Nubble Light after work, which is why they chose the location to remember her.
The police chief of Greenland, New Hampshire was shot and killed Thursday night.Michael Maloney, 48, served 12 years as police chief and was in law enforcement for 26 years. He was due to retirement in one week.The Attorney General says police were attempting to serve a search warrant when they were confronted by an armed suspect, identified as Cullen Mutrie.Four other officers were injured in the shooting as well…two of them remain in intensive care.A standoff occurred after the shooting at 2:00 a.m. We’re told the bodies of Mutrie and a woman were found inside the home.Both reportedly died of gunshot wounds.
An ice cream truck driver is facing charges in Maine after police say they found marijuana on his truck while he was making his rounds.Richmond Police Chief Scott MacMaster says an officer stopped the truck at about 11 a.m. Saturday after a resident called to report a suspicious ice cream truck was traveling in a neighborhood without any children.MacMaster told The Times Record that the officer smelled marijuana when he pulled over the truck as it was about to turn into Richmond High School.The driver, 24-year-old Travis Wilson of Gardiner, was issued a summons for marijuana possession.
Maine’s highest court hears arguments this week in the appeal of a Maine woman serving a 16-year sentence for beating her husband with a baseball bat and staging it to look like a home invasion.The Maine Supreme Judicial Court hears arguments Wednesday from an attorney representing Linda Dolloff, who was convicted in 2010 of attempted murder, elevated aggravated assault and filing a false report.Dolloff is accusing prosecutors of misconduct. She further claims the judge erred in allowing certain evidence and statements at her trial.Dolloff was convicted of beating her husband in April 2009 while he slept at their Standish home. Prosecutors said she then shot herself in the stomach to make it look like a home invasion. The couple was going through a divorce at the time.
An 81-year-old woman who was struck by a jeep last week while walking on a sidewalk in Augusta has died.The family of Ruth Epperson says she died yesterday at a Portland hospital.Police say the jeep hit a parked car before striking Epperson.No charges have been filed.
Bath Iron Works might have to pay more than $171,000 in fines.The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says an inspection revealed a lack of fall protection as well as mechanical and electrical hazards at BIW.A spokesman for the shipyard says the problems cited by OSHA have been fixed.
University of Southern Maine faculty members are circulating a petition aimed at forcing a no-confidence referendum vote for President Selma Botman.William Steele from the university’s theater department says many faculty members believe Botman’s campus-wide reorganization was misguided. He also says faculty think Botman isn’t doing enough to stem declining enrollment and has cut classroom spending by $3.5 million.Botman told the Bangor Daily News that she understands that faculty members are frustrated.The petition follows the revelation that USM spent $242,000 for discretionary pay raises last year while the university is facing more than $5 million in budget cuts and union faculty members have gone since 2009 without a cost-of-living pay increase.
The Vermont Senate has passed a bill that would change the grading system for maple syrup.Supporters of the bill say it would unify the classification system across the U.S. and Canada.The Vermont House still needs to vote on it.Similar bills are pending in New York, New Hampshire and here in Maine.
Pay raises have been cancelled for two top administrators at the University of Southern Maine.The school’s president rescinded the pay hikes given to her chief of staff, and the school’s public affairs director.Both got raises of about 20% to bump their annual pay to $106,000.They were among dozens of employees who got pay hikes while most workers’ wages were frozen and with the school facing $5 million in budget cuts.