Senate rejects bill to require photo identification at polls

The Maine Senate, on an initial vote Monday, rejected a bill that would have required voters to show photo identification at the polls.

The 19-15 vote followed a debate in which supporters said L.D. 199 would improve the integrity of the voting process and opponents said it would disenfranchise voters.

It followed a vote Friday in favor of a bill to end same-day voter registration in Maine.

Sen. Nichi Farnham, R-Bangor, said college students and everyone who flies on airplanes or rides on buses must show photo ID. “Any of those things are not half as important as providing our ID when we go to vote,” she said.

But Sen. Justin Alfond, D-Portland, said voter fraud is not a problem in Maine and the new requirement would cost cities and towns money.

“Requiring a voter ID is going to be costly and it’s going to be a burdensome solution to a problem I don’t believe exists,” he said.

Five Republican senators voted with Democrats and independent Sen. Richard Woodbury of Yarmouth against the bill: Roger Katz of Augusta, Brian Langley of Ellsworth, Chris Rector of Thomaston, Richard Rosen of Bucksport and David Trahan of Waldoboro.

The House passed the bill last week. The bill faces further votes.


Police continue investigation of fatal weekend stabbing

Authorities said little Monday about their investigation into the death of David Cox, 46, whose body was found in his apartment Saturday morning.

“The cause of death was a stab wound to the chest,” said William Stokes, chief of the criminal division of the Attorney General’s Office. He would not characterize it as a homicide.

“We are not releasing any of the details,” Stokes said. “We are still gathering information about him and his family situation.”

Cox’s roommate, Michael Young, 40, called 911 to report the stabbing early Saturday morning.

Young was being interviewed by investigators Monday and is cooperating with authorities, said Steve McCausland, spokesman for the state police.

The landlord said the men had been living in the apartment on Green Street for more than two years, and there had been no problems.

Bird-watchers get new site to share sightings, trends

Maine bird-watchers are getting a website to advance their hobby.

The state Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, the Maine Birding Trail and Cornell University have launched a state-specific version of eBird, where bird-watchers share information about sightings, trips and trends.

The new Maine eBird site can be accessed at, or from the wildlife department’s website,

Birders can submit their observations, look at data that’s been collected, read articles and consider volunteer opportunities on the site.


Federal regulators propose new protections for sturgeon

Federal regulators are proposing new protections for the Gulf of Maine sturgeon population until a decision is made on whether to list the fish as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Monday it is proposing to ban the taking of any sturgeon except for scientific research, assisting stranded fish or for salvage purposes while officials consider a proposal listing the population as threatened. A decision on the listing proposal is expected in the fall.

The slowly reproducing fish were once abundant along the East Coast and sought for their salty eggs. They were driven nearly to extinction by the caviar industry at the end of the 19th century.


Nonprofit art center loses four computers in break-in

Brunswick police are investigating a break-in that occurred last weekend at a nonprofit art center for adults with disabilities.

Police received a call at 2:53 p.m. Sunday from an employee saying that someone had broken into Spindleworks on Lincoln Street and had stolen four laptop computers, which contained digital archives of several years of work by Spindleworks’ artists. Also taken in the break-in was an undisclosed amount of cash.

According to Spindleworks’ website, more than 35 disabled artists work in a variety of media and write poetry and stories at the center.

Their work is exhibited at Spindleworks as well as in local and national art shows.


Brunswick Landing tenant breaking ground June 21

One of Brunswick Landing’s first tenants will break ground on its new facility June 21.

Sweden-based Molnlycke Health Care plans to build a 79,000-square-foot manufacturing facility on the former Brunswick Naval Air Station property.

Gov. Paul LePage will join officials from the company for the ceremony, which is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.

Molnlycke operates offices and manufacturing plants in several countries. Among its operations is Rynel Inc., a subsidiary in Wiscasset. The Wiscasset facility will continue to produce medical foam.

The Brunswick manufacturing plant will fabricate and package wound-care products. The facility will employ about 100 workers.

The company plans to invest about $37 million on the facility, machinery and equipment.


New shipyard gearing up on city’s working waterfront

A shipyard being built in Belfast should create jobs and help revive the community’s working waterfront.

Front Street Shipyard has already demolished the crumbling and long-abandoned Stinson Seafood sardine processing plant.

Front Street eventually hopes to open a comprehensive boat repair, retrofitting and shipbuilding operation. The Bangor Daily News says the facility would be capable of servicing everything from smaller recreational and fishing vessels to commercial boats and mega-yachts.

Front Street’s J.B. Turner says the new yard now employs about a dozen people, but could employ between 100 and 150 within five years.


Police ask for public’s help to find restaurant robber

Police are asking for help from the public in finding the man who robbed a restaurant on Main Street.

Police say the suspect went into Sam’s Italian Foods just after 11 a.m. Sunday and demanded money from the person at the register. No weapon was shown.

The suspect fled with an undisclosed amount of cash toward Bates Street. The suspect is described as white, about 5 feet 5 inches tall, with a medium to husky build and a goatee.

WMTW-TV says the suspect was last seen wearing blue jeans and a blue hooded sweatshirt with black and white lettering.


‘Buy local’ proponents celebrating year of growth

South Portland Buy Local will celebrate its first anniversary with a party tonight at the Snow Squall Restaurant.

Local businesses will have displays and giveaways, and restaurants will offer samples of food and drinks from 6 to 8:30 p.m. The organization also will unveil its new local business directory, which will be mailed to South Portland and Cape Elizabeth residents this summer.

The group has grown to 180 members since its launch in March 2010, according to a news release.

“The idea was to create public awareness campaigns about the benefits to our community of purchasing local goods and services, create a network for businesses for advertising and promotional purposes and to create a policy advocacy group as a presence in our local governments,” the release said.


Former Morse music teacher hits a high note at age 105

Carrie Shaw Day, the 105-year-old former Morse High School music teacher, performed two piano renditions of the school song “Blue and The White” at Saturday’s annual alumni association banquet.

Her son, James Day, said she performed in front of more than 800 people.

As he wheeled her in front of the piano at Bath Middle School, Day said his mother looked at him and said, “Now what?”

Everyone remained seated during her first performance, but during the second the audience stood and sang along.

“There were a couple of little hiccups along the way, but no one seemed to care,” Day said. “At the end she received a standing ovation.”

Day is the oldest living alumna in the alumni association, having graduated from Morse High School in 1924. This is the third consecutive year she has played at the banquet.