THOMASTON

Lawmaker gets death threats over tweet about Dick Cheney

A state lawmaker says he has received death threats over what he now calls a poor attempt at humor in a tweet several months ago about former Vice President Dick Cheney.

Democratic Rep. Chuck Kruger said he was in a Twitter conversation in August about a soldier who had died after returning from Iraq, and in one post he suggested Cheney should meet the same fate as former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

The comment went virtually unnoticed until a conservative Maine news wire posted a headline last week that said Kruger was urging Cheney’s execution.

Kruger told the Bangor Daily News he has received 350 to 400 critical emails and voice mails since then, a couple of which called for his execution.

The state GOP has called for Kruger’s resignation.

SOUTH PORTLAND

I-295 ramps to be closed for work tied to new bridge

Exit 4 on Interstate 295 northbound, which leads to Veterans Memorial Bridge, will be closed from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday and Tuesday.

In addition, the ramp from Route 1 in South Portland that leads to the bridge will remain closed around the clock until May 4.

The closings are required to allow workers to build the south approaches to the new Veterans Memorial Bridge, which is expected to open this summer.

Detour signs will be posted for drivers to find their way around the closed ramps.

More information is on the project’s website at www.VeteransMemorial Bridge.org.

PORTLAND

Take-Back initiative enables residents to dispose of drugs

Maine Medical Center will join the national Drug Take-Back campaign this month.

The fourth nationwide effort to collect unused and unwanted medications for safe disposal will be held April 28. Prescription and over-the-counter medications will be collected across the state, with no questions asked and no requests for identification.

Maine has led the country in the amount of old medicines collected per capita, a result of efforts to prevent pills from ending up in the wrong hands or getting flushed into the environment.

Maine has had the nation’s highest rate of residents seeking treatment for prescription drug addiction, and fatal overdoses in the state now exceed deaths from traffic accidents each year.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency coordinates the collections. Police departments and other groups will set up collection sites in police and fire stations and at pharmacies and supermarkets. To locate collection sites near you, go to the National Take-Back Initiative website at www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_ disposal/takeback/ or call your local police.

Maine Medical Center will have two collection sites — one in Portland and one in Scarborough — on April 27 and 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. People can turn in unused or expired medication at the hospital’s parking lot on 141 Chadwick St., near the hospital’s south entrance, or at the parking lot of its Scarborough Campus, 100 Campus Drive, just off Route 1.

BRUNSWICK

Nature Conservancy starts effort to raise $100 million

The Nature Conservancy is using Earth Day to launch a fundraising campaign to protect Maine’s lands and waters.

The “Sustainable Maine, Sustainable Planet” campaign is an effort to raise $100 million to help conserve areas stretching from Moosehead Lake to Washington County, and from the Gulf of Maine to Mount Agamenticus and beyond.

Projects include helping the Gulf of Maine regain its status as one of the most productive marine ecosystems; restoring a river system via the Penobscot River Restoration Project; finalizing the Moosehead Forest Project to protect more than 400,000 acres in western Maine; and providing opportunities for urban youths to experience conservation work in the state.

ELLSWORTH

Ex-employee, bank sue lobster distribution company

A lobster distribution company with several facilities in Maine is the subject of two lawsuits that shed light on why it hasn’t operated in nearly a month.

A former Live Lobster Co. Inc. employee and TD Bank claim in lawsuits filed in Massachusetts that the company has failed to live up to contractual agreements and owes them $235,000 and $3.4 million, respectively.

The lawsuits raise the question of whether the Chelsea, Mass.-based company, which operates in Maine as Lobster Web Co., will be able to resume operations in Phippsburg, Rockland, Spruce Head and Stonington, where it has buying stations, or in Gouldsboro, where it purchased the former Bumble Bee sardine cannery.

The Bangor Daily News reported that repeated attempts to reach company officials have failed.

— From staff and news services