Mother, daughter, 15, killed in accident with 18-wheeler

Police say a 48-year-old Maine woman and her 15-year-old daughter were killed Wednesday when their car went out of control on a snowy country road and slid into the path of an oncoming 18-wheeler.

Chief Deputy Bob Keating of the Waldo County Sheriff’s Department told the Bangor Daily News that Laura Breault of Knox was driving her daughter Jessica to school when she lost control around 7:50 a.m. on the Bailey Road in Knox. Officials believe the victims died instantly.

The driver of the truck, 44-year-old Daniel Crockett Sr. of Rome, was not injured. The truck was hauling milk.


UMaine student, 18, dies when car hits utility pole

An 18-year-old college student driving to school for an exam died late Wednesday morning when his car skidded of the road and slammed into a utility pole.

David E. Brown, 18, of Unity was driving a 1994 Jeep Cherokee and headed north on Route 9/Bangor Road when the accident occurred at 10:58 a.m. Brown, a student at the University of Maine, was on his way to take a final exam, said Chief Deputy Bob Keating of the Waldo County Sheriff’s Department.

Brown passed another car on Route 9 and had returned to the travel lane when his vehicle began to skid, Keating said. It slid sideways into a utility pole on the driver’s side.

Brown died at the scene, Keating said. The vehicle was registered to his parents, who live in Missouri, Keating said.


IT company plans to lease two buildings, creating jobs

An information technology company that focuses on secure data storage, network communications and cyber security plans to establish its headquarters at Brunswick Naval Air Station.

Resilient Communications Corp. plans to establish a state-of-the-art secure data center; a data disaster recovery center; and a composite manufacturing facility for portable data centers. Gov. John Baldacci said the company will create up to 150 jobs.

The Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority says Resilient has signed a long-term lease to utilize the former high-security fleet communications building, as well as a building used for training.

The base is due to close in May, and will become Brunswick Landing: Maine’s Center for Innovation. Other outfits planning to use the property include aircraft maker Kestrel Aircraft Co. and Southern Maine Community College.


Man arrested after eluding police since Nov. 5 chase

A man who had avoided law enforcement for more than a month following a high-speed chase in New Gloucester and North Yarmouth has been arrested.

Deputies with the Cumberland County Sheriff Office arrested John Fox, 31, of New Gloucester at the Dunkin’ Donuts in Bridgton at noon Wednesday. Fox was charged with driving with a suspended license and violating bail conditions, as well as charges stemming from the Nov. 5 chase: eluding an officer, violating probation and driving with a license suspended for being a habitual offender.

He is being held without bail at Cumberland County Jail.


Three teens face charges of torching vacant house

Three 13-year-olds have been charged with arson in connection with a fire that destroyed a vacant house over the weekend.

Investigators with the state Fire Marshal’s Office and the New Gloucester Fire Department charged three boys from Gray and New Gloucester Monday with setting fire to the raised ranch-style house.

The fire broke out at 9 a.m. Saturday at 5 Missy Lane, a house that had been vacant for more than three years. The fire started in the basement, investigators said.

The boys have been released to their parents.

The building has been demolished.


Recount upholds defeat of plan to hire manager

Revisions to Buxton’s charter that would have resulted in the town hiring its first manager have been defeated.

John Myers, Buxton’s Town Clerk, said a recount that was conducted Monday upheld the Nov. 2 results in which voters narrowly defeated a proposal that would have led to changes in the town charter.

Myers said the final tally showed the question being defeated by a 32-vote margin. The final tally was 1,760 against revising the charter and 1,728 in support.

Myers said the Maine Municipal Association has told Buxton that it is the largest community in Maine without a town manager. The town is now governed by a five-member Board of Selectmen.


Hannaford recalls packages of ground beef sold locally

Hannaford has recalled some of the Nature’s Place ground beef sold at its Westbrook store.

Store officials advised customers today to inspect packages of Nature’s Place ground beef for possible contamination.

During a production run Monday, about 10 pounds of beef may have been mixed with fragments of packaging.

The ground beef is 85 percent lean, produced Dec. 13, with a sell by date of Dec. 15.

Customers who purchased the beef are asked to return it to the Westbrook store for double their money back.


DHHS orders nursing home to fix problems by February

State officials have told a southern Maine nursing home to make changes after being cited for forgetting to give patients pain medication, failing to change the bedding of incontinent patients and not having enough hot water for showers.

The Department of Health and Human Services said the Kennebunk Nursing Home and Rehab Center has until February to clear up the deficiencies. Otherwise, DHHS said it will recommend that the federal government pull the nursing home’s license.

Patients said employees often brought in blankets to keep patients warm because the building was cold and there were no clean blankets.

WMTW-TV reported that nursing home administrator told DHHS that the problems would be corrected.


Konbit Sante art sale raises $4,000 for Haitian efforts

An art sale held Saturday at the St. Lawrence Arts Center in Portland raised more than $4,000 to benefit Konbit Sante Cap-Hatien Health Partnership’s continuing efforts to improve the health system in northern Haiti.

The sale was prompted by the recent outbreak of cholera. About 6,300 cases of cholera and 260 deaths in the north where Konbit Sante operates led the organization to try to raise awareness and prevent further spread of the disease. Two Maine members of Konbit Sante are in Cap-Haitien with a water engineer who has volunteered to work on water-quality problems.

The art sold Saturday was crafted by Haitians from recycled oil drums. Konbit Sante purchased the art from craftspeople at fair prices and transported it back to Maine for the sale.

For more information about Konbit Sante, visit

Maine trade center planning spring trip to South Korea

The Maine International Trade Center has organized a trade mission next spring to South Korea to promote the state’s educational institutions and its renewable energy assets.

Trade center president Janine Bisaillon-Cary said South Korea has emerged as a major player in the wind and renewable energy industry, with many Korean companies seeking investment opportunities.

Trade mission participants will take part in business-to-business matchmaking opportunities, while a seminar will promote Maine as a place where South Korean companies might want to invest.

The trip will also give Maine schools an opportunity to promote the state as a good destination for students seeking an education in the U.S.

The trade mission will run from April 3 to 9 and visit the cities of Seoul, Daegu and Busan.


Maine will receive $425,000 in settlement with Dannon

Maine Attorney General Janet Mills says the state will receive $425,000 to settle a multistate lawsuit that alleged The Dannon Co. made unsubstantiated marketing claims about its Activia and DanActive products.

In a statement Wednesday, Mills said Maine joined 38 other states in the lawsuit.

Nationwide, Dannon agreed to pay $21 million.

The company had claimed in its marketing that Activia yogurt helps relieve irregularity and that its DanActive dairy drink helps people avoid catching colds or the flu. The Federal Trade Commission says there is not enough evidence to back those claims.

Dannon denies any wrongdoing and said it settled the suit to avoid further litigation and expense. 

Tribal commission will ask for ban on Indian nicknames

The Maine Indian Tribal State Commission will ask the Legislature to ban schools from using American Indian nicknames.

At a meeting Monday, commission members asked the Maine Human Rights Commission to co-sponsor the legislation.

Tribal Commissioner Chair Jaimie Bissonette Lewey said some Native American children have to attend schools with mascots such as “warriors” or “braves.” And she says sometimes fans from opposing schools will yell things such as “scalp them.”

She said most offensive school names are at Wiscasset and Sanford high schools, both of which call athletes “Redskins.”

Wayne Mitchell, a nonvoting tribal member of the Maine Legislature, told the Bangor Daily News he expects the measure to be filed next month.

The Human Rights Commission didn’t act on the request. 

Maine ranks second in U.S. for laws defending animals

Maine has been ranked second in the nation for its laws defending animals based on a comparative analysis of animal protection laws by the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

California, Illinois, Michigan and Oregon are among other states in the top five. Kentucky, North Dakota, Idaho, Mississippi and Iowa were identified as having the worst animal protection laws.

Maine’s anti-cruelty laws apply to most animals and include felony penalties for cruelty, neglect, abandonment and sexual assault of animals, as well as increased penalties for repeat abusers and mandatory reporting by veterinarians of suspected aggravated animal cruelty.

The state also allows courts to order counseling, cost recovery measures, forfeiture of animals and restrictions on the future ownership of animals by abusers.


Former teacher cleared of possessing child porn

A jury in Maine has cleared a former junior high school teacher of charges of possessing child pornography on his school-issued laptop computer.

A Sagadahoc County jury deliberated two hours Tuesday before finding 43-year-old Michael J. Douglas not guilty.

Douglas, of Augusta, was formerly a science teacher at Mount View Junior high School in Thorndike. He resigned in April 2009.

According to the Kennebec Journal, defense attorney Walter McKee told jurors that Douglas viewed child pornography but did not possess it. He said when someone goes on the Internet and looks at an image, it isn’t the same as possessing it.


Condo association changes bylaws to allow U.S. flags

A Maine woman is proudly flying her American flag at her condominium after the condo association changed its bylaws allowing her to do so.

Darla Coombs put the flag up at her Highland Ridge condo in Hampden last spring after her son joined the Army. But the association voted against allowing flags on the front of condos in the complex.

Coombs kept the flag up for a while, but eventually relented to avoid controversy.

The matter became public last week when the Bangor Daily News ran a column about Coombs’ plight.

Gary Goldberg, one of Highland Ridge’s developers says the condo association will now let owners fly flags.


Bridgton bookkeeper faces charges of stealing $16,000

A Maine woman is facing charges she stole more than $16,000 from a Conway, N.H., company where she worked as a bookkeeper.

Conway police said 47-year-old Cheryl Graves of Bridgton was arrested Monday.

Police said they began investigating a report that a large amount of money went missing from Hanson Excavating between January 2004 and October 2009. During that time Graves was a bookkeeper for the company.

She faces a felony charge of theft by unauthorized taking.

Graves is free on bail. She’s due in court next month. If convicted, she could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison.


Lawmakers urging Congress not to fund fishery program

A group of Massachusetts lawmakers is urging congressional leaders not to fund the federal “catch shares” fishery management program until fish catch limits are raised.

Some New England fishermen say catch limits are set too low to allow them to make a living. Last month, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick asked U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke for emergency increases.

Patrick said a report by state scientists showed fishermen faced an “economic disaster,” but could safely catch an additional 14,500 metric tons of groundfish.

U.S. Rep. John Tierney, who spearheaded the letter, said it’s “unacceptable” that Locke hasn’t acted.

In the letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the lawmakers urged Congress to “assert itself” to protect fishermen.

An e-mail request for comment to a Commerce spokesman wasn’t immediately returned.