PORTLAND

Suspect in fatal shooting held without bail until trial

The man accused of fatally shooting another man on Park Avenue on Feb. 10 is being held without bail until his trial. Bail for his alleged accomplice was set at $150,000.

A judge ruled Monday in Cumberland County Superior Court that Daudoit Butsitsi, 24, will be held in the Cumberland County Jail without bail, charged with murder. He is accused of shooting Serge Mulongo six times at close range as Mulongo left the apartment building at Park Avenue and Weymouth streets.

Bail for Moses Okot, 21, was set at $150,000 on a charge of felony murder. He is accused of driving the getaway car and providing latex gloves that Butsitsi used in the shooting.

 

Resident reports intruders at Stevens Avenue home

Police are investigating a home invasion in which two masked men broke into a home on Stevens Avenue and demanded money that they said they were owed.

Police said the men broke into 550 Stevens Ave. and demanded money from the woman who was there. The woman was not injured and did not report the crime until Friday afternoon, police said.

 

Police investigate robberies targeting women overnight

Police are investigating street robberies that targeted women Thursday night and early Friday.

Police said at 3:15 a.m. Friday, a man flagged down a passing driver on Clark Street. When the 38-year-old Portland woman stopped, the man grabbed her purse from the car.

The man ran through the Reiche School property. An officer saw a man matching the description on Dow Street and approached him; the man dropped the stolen pocketbook and ran away.

At 5:30 p.m. Thursday, a woman who was walking on Mellen Street was grabbed from behind and punched in the stomach, and money was stolen from her front pocket.

At 10:45 p.m. on Portland Street, a man ran up behind a woman and grabbed the purse she was carrying over her shoulder. The man ran to a waiting silver and black car, then dropped the purse after taking out a wallet, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 874-8533.

LEBANON

Car and motorcycle collision leads to highway closures

An accident involving a car and a motorcycle on Carl Broggi Highway led to two incidents involving tractor-trailers that tied up several roads Friday.

The first accident was reported about 1 p.m., when the driver of a Hyundai Elantra coming off Blaisdell Corner Road apparently didn’t see a motorcyclist riding west on Carl Broggi Highway and the two collided.

The operator of the motorcycle, a 57-year-old woman from Waterboro, was taken to Frisbie Memorial Hospital in Rochester, N.H., with serious, but not life-threatening, injuries.

The driver of the Hyundai, a 17-year-old girl, and her passenger, a 17-year-old boy, both from Lebanon, were evaluated by rescue personnel but were not taken to a hospital.

While rescue crews and police dealt with the accident, a tractor-trailer that was going around it got stuck in a ditch, forcing the highway’s closure.

Traffic was routed down Blaidsell Corner Road, where a tractor-trailer pulled down low-hanging power, cable and telephone wires. That road had to be closed and traffic on Route 202 was stopped for about 15 minutes.

Traffic on Route 202 backed up about 5 miles, said Jason Cole, assistant chief of the Lebanon Rescue squad. The roads were reopened around 3 p.m.

SANFORD

Maine Manufacturing LLC receives Governor’s Award

Maine Manufacturing LLC is among several Maine companies that have been awarded the 2010 Governor’s Award for Business Excellence. The award is made annually for commitment to sustainability, employees and community.

Founded in 2007, the company took on many of the employees who were laid off last year from the Whatman Division of GE Healthcare, just down the road from Maine Manufacturing. Maine Manufacturing makes disposable laboratory supplies.

SOUTH PORTLAND

Search of man’s apartment results in drug charge

A South Portland man was charged with drug trafficking after police reportedly found 20 ounces of cocaine, worth $24,000, and two guns during a search of his apartment.

Police pulled over a car driven by Marquise Trant, 21, on Gorham Road on Wednesday. That led police to search Trant’s apartment in the 900 block of Broadway.

 

New plate reading system proves helpful, police say

Police are citing nine incidents in which the department’s new license plate reading system has been helpful.

Police said the system, which includes three cameras mounted on a cruiser, helped them find a vehicle that had been involved in a property damage hit-and-run incident and a vehicle that had been involved in a disorderly conduct report.

They say it also helped them clear an unauthorized-use-of-vehicle report and arrest or charge six people for driving after license suspension.

Those results came in the two months that police have used the system.

The system reads about 62,000 license plates in a month, said Lt. Frank Clark.

Legislation moving through the State House would limit the storage of information captured by the system to 21 days. The police department now stores data for 30 days, Clark said.

AUGUSTA

Law prohibits importing firewood from other states

Gov. John Baldacci has signed into law a bill barring importation of firewood from other states.

The ban is meant to protect Maine’s hardwood trees from the spread of the Asian longhorned beetle and the emerald ash borer. Destruction of trees by those insects could hurt wood-products industries that employ thousands of Mainers.

The bill’s sponsor, Democratic Rep. Jeff McCabe of Skowhegan, said the insects have been found in neighboring states and across the country. Baldacci signed the bill Thursday.

As amended, the bill does not include wood chips, wood pellets, fuel for biomass boilers, pulpwood or other wood sold or transported for manufacturing.

 

Deceptive free-trial offers targeted by new state law

Attorney General Janet Mills is calling a new law to protect consumers from deceptive free-trial offers the first of its kind in the nation.

Mills joined Gov. John Baldacci on Thursday to cheer his signing of the legislation in early March.

Under the new law, any company that offers free trial periods of goods or services must confirm billing information directly from the consumer at the time the consumer accepts the offer.

Mills said her office has received hundreds of complaints from consumers who have accepted free trial offers and unknowingly committed to monthly or annual credit card charges.

 

Pesticide-spraying notice wins legislative approval

Mainers who live in agricultural areas may get a new pesticide-spraying notification system.

The House and Senate have given final approval to a bill to replace Maine’s current preseason notification system with a comprehensive, single notification registry for all outdoor pesticide applications.

The bill, which awaited Gov. John Baldacci’s signature, also keeps a registry for aerial and air carrier agriculture pesticides intact.

The bill was passed after a year of intense negotiations including farmers and residents.

Its sponsor, Democratic Rep. Andy O’Brien of Lincolnville, said he’s confident that the bill strikes an adequate balance on pesticide notification law for the time being.

 

Bill bolsters state law against animal cruelty

Gov. John Baldacci has signed a bill to bolster the state’s law against animal cruelty.

The bill signed Wednesday provides an expedited schedule for hearings when animals have been seized without a court order.

The bill was amended to remove a provision that would have made it a more serious crime when 25 or more abused or neglected animals were involved.

It also removed the term “puppy mills,” which dog breeders find offensive.