Regional News

Zumba Prostitution Case Customers Scheduled to Appear in Court

Updated 2 years ago

The first of dozens of men charged with paying for sex with a woman who allegedly used her Kennebunk Zumba dance studio as a front for prostitution are scheduled to appear in court this week. The names of the 21 men scheduled to face a charge of engaging a prostitute on Wednesday were released in mid-October. Since then police have released dozens of other names bringing the total to 58. The Portland Press Herald, reports that four other men have pleaded guilty before police could issue a criminal complaint, avoiding being named in the police’s bi-weekly blotter that has drawn national attention. 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.

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Shrimp Regulators Recommend Calling Off Upcoming Season

Updated 2 years ago

Regulators say the Gulf of Maine shrimp population is in such poor shape that the upcoming shrimp-fishing season should be called off. In its 2012 assessment report, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s shrimp technical committee is recommending that a fishing moratorium be enacted for the upcoming season. If a season is allowed to go forward, the committee says it shouldn’t start until at least half of the shrimp have hatched their brood, which typically happens around mid-February. The commission’s shrimp-regulating panel, which includes representatives from Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, is scheduled to meet Monday in Portland and decide what the season should look like or whether to have one. Shrimp provide a small but valuable fishery for hundreds of New England fishermen, mostly from Maine.

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Bangor Hydro-Electric and Maine Public Service Company Take Big Step to Merging

Updated 2 years ago

Bangor Hydro-Electric and Maine Public Service Company have taken another large step toward becoming one company.Both are owned by Emera, incorporated of Halifax, Nova Scotia, which has filed merger paperwork with the Maine Public Utilities Commission.The two utilities have been merging their operations since Emera bought Maine Public Service two years ago.Bangor Hydro serves electric customers in Eastern Maine. Maine Public serves customers in northern Maine.

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Search Continues for Former Maine Drug Prosecutor

Updated 2 years ago

Maine’s former top drug prosecutor remains on the run.James Cameron disappeared two weeks ago after learning he was likely heading to prison for having child porn.US Marshals continue a nationwide search.”I think they’ll apprehend him sooner rather than later.” A private investigator for nearly four decades, Joe Thornton is pretty confident federal investigators already know right where to start looking for James Cameron. “They should have a pretty good idea of what he’s done since he’s been out and they should have a pretty good trail.”Cameron’s been out for more than a year on bail waiting for his appeal to be heard before US Marshals say he cut off his bracelett.”It’s unusual for the federal court to grant bail.” While noted defense attorney Steve Schwartz says he’s surprised Cameron was freed from prison, it most likely proves the appeals court had doubts about the original conviction, and, at the time, he was not considered a flight risk.”The evidence showed that Mr. Cameron was not a high bail-risk, he’d been out on bail on more than one occassion,” Schwartz added.”His problem with this conviction is behind bars.” Thornton contends that Cameron is running not so much scared of prison but his fellow prisoners, a former prosecuter convicted of child porn makes him a target. “Being in population would be very uncomfortable for him which probably factored into his decision to run”.Thornton’s convinced Cameron won’t be on the run for long. He, himself, has tracked down many missing persons and Cameron poses no match for trained federal marshals.”This guy is not a criminal, he may have been a prosecutor but it takes a criminal mind with some cunning and some financial resources to stay at large for any length of time.”At this point the US Marshal’s office is not releasing any information other than they continue to search for Cameron.

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Norridgewock Man Serves Five Years After Paper Mill Standoff

Updated 2 years ago

A Norridgewock man who held a paper mill manager hostage during a nine-hour armed standoff in Jay is going to prison for five years.Francis Smith III pleaded guilty Friday to kidnapping, criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, terrorizing, and assault. Prosecutors say Smith was angry at losing his job and upset over the treatment of workers at the Verso Paper Mill in Jay.Authorities say he had a shotgun and a handgun when he went to the paper mill on March 14th and took the manager hostage.

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Residents of Rangeley Authorizes Board of Selectman to Settle Lawsuit

Updated 2 years ago

Residents of Rangeley have authorized the Board of Selectmen to pay $145,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by the town’s former highway foreman. The money is to be taken from the town’s unreserved fund. Town Clerk Ethna Thompson tells the Sun Journal, the vote was taken Wednesday and 20 to 25 residents voted at a half-hour meeting. Former highway foreman Everett Quimby was fired in 2010 after 14 years. He responded with a lawsuit, saying he was terminated without due process, in violation of town policy and in violation of the Maine Whistleblowers’ Protection Act and the Maine Human Rights Act. The lawsuit was settled for $175,000. The town’s share was $145,000 while former Town Manager Perry Ellsworth must pay $30,000.

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Houlton Man Charged With Burning Kids

Joy Hollowell

Updated 2 years ago

A Houlton man who claims he was trying to teach his two boys meditation, is accused of burning them with a cigarette.28-year old Adam Maguire was arrested Sunday afternoon.According to Houlton Police, Maguire is charged with Violating Conditions of Release (Class E), two (2) counts of Domestic Violence Assault (Class D), two (2) counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Class D). Authorities say Maguire burned his 12 and 13 year olds in an attempt to show them pain compliance while meditating. Police found marks on their upper back and neck areas. They’re described as superficial.Maguire reportedly told a detective that he has a history of self-mutilation.  Houlton police say Maguire’s girlfriend told them the couple was showing the two boys meditation techniques. They thought meditation would be helpful because the 13 year old boy had been diagnosed with ADHD. The boys were informed that when you clear your mind, you are no longer susceptible to pain. The matter was referred to the Houlton Police Department by the Department of Health and Human Services, according to Houlton Police Chief Butch Asselin. The two children are now staying with relatives. We’re told Maguire is currently on probation for the December 2008 Andy’s IGA burglary. 

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No New Trial For New Hampshire Man Sentenced to Prison for Killing Former Fiancee

Updated 2 years ago

A judge has rejected a request for a new trial for a man who’s serving a 38-year prison sentence for strangling his former fiancee in her Maine home and burying her body in northern New Hampshire. The lawyer for Jason Twardus of Rochester, N.H., contended prosecutors delayed interviews with an alternate suspect until after the trial. The man, who was the victim’s landlord, died last year. The Portland Press Herald, says Judge G. Arthur Brennan rejected the request on Thursday in York County Superior Court. It was the second time Twardus had requested a new trial. Nursing student Kelly Gorham was living in Alfred, Maine, when she disappeared in August 2007. Her body was found a month later. Prosecutors said Twardus was upset over their broken engagement.

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New Hampshire Town Gets Approval to Send Students to Maine School

Updated 2 years ago

The New Hampshire Board of Education has given the town of Rollinsford permission to move forward with a plan that could result in the town’s older students going to school in the state of Maine. The board’s unanimous vote last week approved Rollinsford’s request to opt out of an agreement that sends the town’s students in grades 7-12 to schools in Somersworth. If Rollinsford voters approve the change in March, the town would begin sending students to Marshwood High School in 2015. But it would be three years before students in grades 7-12 are attending the Maine school. Sarah Browning, of the Department of Education, tells Fosters Daily Democrat, Rollinsford voters want to make the change because they were unhappy that some of their proposals were overruled by Somersworth.

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Lewiston Woman Arrested After High Speed Chase

Updated 2 years ago

Police say they have arrested a Lewiston woman who led them on a 20-mile car chase through several communities that reached speeds of 80 miles per hour. Authorities say 21-year-old Heather Kullson was finally apprehended in Auburn at about 7:15 p.m. Tuesday. The chase began at about 6 p.m. when Kullson allegedly fled a traffic stop in Lewiston. The chase went through New Gloucester and Poland and state police entered the chase when she drove onto the Maine Turnpike. Kullson was charged with two counts of eluding police, two counts of arson and one count of aggravated domestic violence assault. Police did not elaborate on the charges saying the incident is still under investigation. No one was hurt, but several law enforcement vehicles suffered minor damage.

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Dresden Woman Charged in Connection With Sting of Burglaries in Kennebec County

Updated 2 years ago

A Dresden woman has been charged in connection with a string of burglaries this summer in Kennebec County. State police say 23-year-old Sabrina Marino is charged with three counts of burglary and one count of theft by receiving stolen property stemming from break-ins in Augusta, Manchester and Wayne. Police say about $5,000 worth of property was taken during the home burglaries, and none of it has been recovered. Police tell the Kennebec Journal, that Marino was apprehended Nov. 20, when she was a passenger in a car stopped by Kennebec County sheriff’s deputies and Gardiner police. Marino’s boyfriend is also facing charges.

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Lewiston Man Sentenced to 16 Years in Prison for Shooting an Elderly Man

Updated 2 years ago

A Lewiston man police say lured a 63-year-old meat salesman to an abandoned building with a text message, then shot and tried to rob him, has been sentenced to 16 years in prison. Steve Anctil pleaded guilty in Androscoggin County Superior Court on Tuesday to robbery for the May 23 shooting that left Kristopher Klimek of Naples with a bullet wound to his abdomen. The 26-year-old Anctil was sentenced to 25 years in prison with nine years suspended. The Sun Journal, reports that Anctil’s lawyer says his client accepted the plea deal from the state, in part, because he was facing federal gun sentences that might have lasted just as long. Prosecutors say Anctil planned to rob Klimek, but ran away empty handed after shooting him.

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Nominee for President of Kennebec Valley Community College Has Been Chosen

Updated 2 years ago

A nominee for president of Kennebec Valley Community College has been chosen and will be announced to the college system’s trustees. The board is scheduled to meet on Wednesday at Northern Maine Community College in Presque Isle. During the meeting, the board is to vote on college system President John Fitzsimmons’ nominee for president of Kennebec Valley Community College in Fairfield. Three candidates were considered. The trustees will also take up other business including acceptance of several gifts to the colleges, amendments to a number of system-wide policies and changes to the academic inventory.

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Restraint Rules on Teachers Put Many in Way of Danger

Updated 2 years ago

The Maine Education Association says a teacher let herself be scratched, bitten and thrown against a wall rather than use force on a student to avoid violating new rules on restraint.MEA President Lois Kilby-Chesley says there have been dozens of such incidents across Maine and that teachers are fearful that if they do so much as touch a child’s arm to keep them from throwing a book, they’ll lose their jobs.She says she’s written to Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen to express concerns about what she describes at inadequate training for teachers.

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Border Patrol Agents Justified in Using Deadly Force

Updated 2 years ago

Two border patrol agents involved in a deadly shooting in Jackman in June were justified in using deadly force.That conclusion by the Attorney General’s office which investigated the shooting of 75-year-old Charles Robinson.The agents entered his home and returned fire after Robinson fired a shotgun blast that injured one of the agents.The agents thought a woman was still inside the home and in danger, when she had actually already left the building.Police say Robinson had threatened the woman after she called them to say Robinson was drunk and had hurt himself in a fall.

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First Upgrade in Years for Casco Bay Ferry Terminal

Updated 2 years ago

Changes are coming for the Casco Bay Ferry Terminal in Portland.It’s the first signigicant upgrade to the facility since it opened nearly twenty-five years ago.”If you can imagine at night with all the lights on, all the glass,” General Manager Hank Berg points to the spot the new waiting room will be located. “The view will be great.”Beyond simply the great view however, Berg says the ferry lines has outgrown its current configuration, a building which opened back to 1988.25-years ago, the ferries carried about 500 thousand passengers a year, now it’s more than one million.”In the summer when it’s jam packed full of people it gets very crowded in the current waiting room.”The “new” waiting room will double in size from 3,000 to 6,000 square feet. The picture windows allowing passengers to know exactly when their boat has arrived.”Much better,” says Denise Feeney, a resident of Little Diamond Island, “especially when you have friends and family coming down for a visit, it’ll be easier for them too. When they’re not sure what docks to go to or where their boat is, it’ll be a lot more visible to them.”Phase one of the project also includes upgrading the pier’s infastructure, shoring up docks and pilings underneath the terminal, and though Berg admits it will be a challenge, the construction will not interfere with the ferry schedule.Regular passengers, like Mary Lavendier-Myers of Peaks Island, say they’re just anxious to see a more modern facility. “I always called this the Dog Kennel, because of the way it looked. Shepherding dogs in between fencing like that.”

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Yoga Instructor’s Conviction Upheld by Maine Supreme Judicial Court

Updated 2 years ago

Maine’s highest court has upheld the conviction of a Maine yoga instructor who’s serving a 16-year sentence for beating her husband with a softball bat and staging it to look like a home invasion.The Maine Supreme Judicial Court rejected the apeal of 51-year-old Linda Dolloff on Tuesday.She claimed the prosecutor misrepresented facts and expressed personal opinions, and the judge made mistakes allowing certain evidence at her trial two years ago.She was convicted of attempted murder for attacking her husband while he slept at their home in Standish then shooting herself to make it look like she had also been attacked. The couple was going through a divorce at the time.

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Maine State Police Sergeant Avoids Jail Time in OUI Case

Updated 2 years ago

A Maine State Police sergeant accused of showing up to work in her department cruiser while drunk has avoided jail time. Sgt. Julie Bergan on Monday lost her license for 90 days, was fined $500 and was ordered to take part in a first offender OUI alternative sentencing program. Prosecutors had asked for a seven-day jail sentence. The Bangor Daily News, reports that several of the 24-year department veteran’s colleagues testified on Monday that she showed up for work on June 28 acting erratically and out of character. A breath test showed her blood-alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit to drive. Bergan said in court that she did not know she was intoxicated that morning when she woke up and has not had a drink since.

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Victoria Mansion Decorated for Holidays

Updated 2 years ago

The Victoria Mansion in Portland is decked out for the holidays. This year’s theme is the Gilded Age.It celebrates the late 19th century period, when big fortunes were made and the décor was lavish.Each year, local designers decorate rooms in the house. “They come in and they bring in their own decorations and they’re free to be inspired by the rooms and to interpret the theme however they wish so you always see something a little bit different. This year because the theme changes to a certain degree the designers change as well.”It’s the mansion’s major fundraiser.

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Lobster Scientists Meet in Maine This Week

Updated 2 years ago

Top lobster scientists are meeting in Maine this week to look at things that have affected lobsters in recent years.The Maine Sea Grant Program is hosting a conference in Portland focusing on things such as warming oceans, the changing food web and seafood economics. Scientists from the US, Canada and Europe are among those involved.UMaine research professor Rick Wahle says the lobster industry has reached a critical point, with the Maine harvest huge but the fishery virtually collapsed in southern New England.

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