Regulators set starting date, trim harvest for shrimpers

Fisheries regulators have set the start date for the shrimp season and halved the target for the amount of shrimp to be caught for New England fishermen.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission on Friday set a target of 2,000 metric tons, compared with 4,000 metric tons the year before.

Bob Beal, director of the Interstate Fisheries Management Program, said the season will begin for trawlers on Jan. 2, with fishing on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Regulators will reassess the season on Jan. 18 before trap fishermen start fishing seven days a week on Feb. 1.

Deer hunters hit the woods for 25-day firearms season

Maine hunters took to the woods Saturday for the start of deer hunting season.

The 25-day firearms season began Saturday for residents, with non-residents allowed to start hunting on Monday.

The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is projecting that hunters will take about 4,800 antlerless deer and another 12,000 bucks.

The department this year issued 26,390 any-deer permits, a sharp decrease from last year, when more than 40,000 permits were issued.

Officials have cut back on the number of permits to give the deer population a chance to recover following harsh winters in 2008 and 2009 that thinned the herd.


ATV driver killed in accident along northern Maine trail

Officials say a 46-year-old man was killed in an all-terrain vehicle accident in this northern Maine town.

The Maine Warden Service said deer hunters discovered the body of Bruce Johnson of New Sweden lying next to his ATV on a trail at 9 a.m. Saturday.
Johnson was last seen at 4 p.m. Friday.

Officials say he apparently lost control when he came upon a fallen tree during a nighttime ride and flipped his ATV.

Johnson appeared to have suffered severe head trauma, the warden service said. He was not wearing a helmet.


Ex-postal worker sentenced to two weeks in drug case

A former U.S. Postal Service employee has been sentenced to two weeks in jail for taking packages with prescription drugs intended for veterans and giving them to a co-worker.

Heather Buck, 40, was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Bangor. She pleaded guilty earlier this month to a federal misdemeanor charge of obstruction of the mail.

The Bangor Daily News reported that Buck took packages containing prescription drugs off a conveyor belt and gave them to a co-worker at the postal sorting facility in Hampden where they worked.

The co-worker, 39-year-old Christopher McBride of Bangor, pleaded guilty in September to theft of mail by a U.S. postal employee. He said he stole the drugs for his own use.

– From news service reports