PORTLAND

Support Solutions settles over health-care billings

A nonprofit that helps adults with developmental disabilities and mental health challenges has agreed to pay $74,720 to settle allegations that it improperly billed Medicare and MaineCare.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Support Solutions, which has offices in Lewiston and Saco, hired a program manager who had been barred from participating in federal health care programs.

The names of people who are barred from involvement with federal health care programs are disclosed to providers, including Support Solutions, so the organization should have known that the program manager was barred, said the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The repayment covers bills submitted to MaineCare and Medicare from May 2006 to May 2007 for services provided by the program manager. Support Solutions fired the program manager when it learned that the government was investigating allegations involving the organization.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Support Solutions cooperated in its investigation.

Milestone birthday raises $2,500-plus for food bank

Greg Martens finally knows exactly what his birthday present was this year: more than $2,500 for the Good Shepherd Food-Bank in Auburn.

Martens, a Maine-based entrepreneur and former concert merchandise dealer, has been putting on a fundraising birthday bash for himself the past decade or so to raise money for Good Shepherd.

He calls it F.O.G. (Friends of Greg) Festival, and invites musicians friends to play fundraising shows.

This year’s F.O.G. Fest in Portland, held in the first weekend of March, featured four concerts at city venues, with performances by Blues Traveler’s John Popper and Spin Doctors’ Chris Barron.

Martens, who turned 50 during one of those shows, has just tallied the money made during this year’s festival.

He said Tuesday that money raised this year from ticket sales, a foul shooting contest, raffles and individual donations totals $2,545.50.

FAIRFIELD

Community College cancels classes after bomb scare

Police say the word “bomb” written in a bathroom stall led to the evacuation of Kennebec Valley Community College and cancellation of classes for the day.

Joe Massey, Fairfield’s interim police chief, says a student reported the discovery, and the entire campus was evacuated Tuesday morning.

State police brought in bomb-searching dogs, but no bomb was found. A notice on the community college’s website said the campus was reopening at 5 p.m.

MACHIASPORT

Young man gets year term for sexual abuse of toddler

A Machiasport man has been sentenced to a year in prison for sexually abusing a 3-year-old girl he was babysitting.

WABI-TV reported that Kyle Howard, 23, was sentenced Monday on a charge of unlawful sexual contact.

Prosecutors say he abused the girl while he was taking care of her at her house in August. In addition to his prison sentence, he will have to serve three years of probation upon release and register as a sex offender.

AUGUSTA

‘Mudders’ advised against any reckless activities

With mud season around the corner, Maine officials are urging “mudders” to use caution and common sense this spring.

Officials say this is the time of year when drivers of four-wheel-drive pickup trucks and other vehicles look for muddy roads and fields where they can slip, slide and spin their wheels. Forest rangers say they’ll be on the lookout for illegal “mudding” that causes damage to private property.

The Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry says rangers investigate numerous complaints each spring of damaged roads, ATV trails and forest and crop lands.

Causing mudding damage also is a Class E crime punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.