PORTLAND

Second porn conviction to net man long sentence

A Lewiston man who already had one child pornography conviction on his record pleaded guilty Friday in U.S. District Court in Portland to another charge of transporting child porn.

Fredrick Butler, 44, sent two emails on April 10 to an individual in Oregon containing 25 images, most of which depicted minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct, according to court records.

Butler had been convicted in 2001 in federal court of receiving child pornography. As a result of the prior conviction, he faces a sentence of at least 15 years and up to 40 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and supervised release of up to life, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The date of his sentencing was not immediately available.

Virginia man pleads guilty to emailing child porn

A Virginia man who emailed pornographic images of children to an undercover federal agent in Maine in September pleaded guilty Friday in U.S. District Court in Portland to a charge of transportation of child pornography.

Stewart Thornton Reed Jr., 49, of Fredericksburg, Va., told the agent via email on Sept. 21 that the girl in the sexually explicit images was 2 years old, according to court records.

Reed has been in custody since his arrest in Virginia on Oct. 17. Authorities seized a cellphone that also contained multiple images of child pornography, court records state.

He faces five to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced. The date was not immediately available.

GRINDSTONE

AG clears police officer in fatal shooting in August

An East Millinocket police officer acted in self-defense when he fatally shot a man during an armed confrontation, the Maine Attorney General’s Office says.

Robert Bellfleur of Grindstone was fatally shot the night of Aug. 17 by Officer Seth Burnes.

Tim Feeley, special assistant in the Maine Attorney General’s Office, said Friday that Burnes and a Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office deputy were called by Bellfleur’s neighbors who reported that Bellfleur was harassing them.

Feeley said the 78-year-old Bellfleur was ordered back to his home, but then returned with a shotgun and engaged in an armed confrontation with the officers. That’s when Burnes shot Bellfleur, who died at the scene.

Feeley said it was reasonable for Burnes to believe he had to use deadly force to protect himself and other officers at the scene.

HOULTON

Man to serve 40 years for killing woman in 1998

A 76-year-old pawnshop owner convicted of killing a woman in 1998 in northern Maine has been sentenced to 40 years in prison.

George Jaime Sr. of Presque Isle was sentenced Friday in Superior Court in Houlton, WAGM-TV reported. He was accused of murdering Starlette Vining, burning her body and disposing of her ashes in a river.

Jaime didn’t testify at his trial last month.

Vining, who was in a relationship with Jaime, worked at a grocery store in Presque Isle when she stopped coming to work in October 1998. She was known to move frequently and wasn’t reported missing until years later.

AUGUSTA

State employees union rejoins Maine AFL-CIO

The union representing Maine state employees has rejoined the Maine AFL-CIO, the statewide labor group.

The Maine State Employees Association, which represents about 12,000 Maine workers, is rejoining the federation after splitting from it seven years ago. Maine AFL-CIO is made up of about 150 local unions and represents about 42,000 workers.

MSEA President Ginette Rivard said in a statement that the two groups will work together on legislative issues such as pushing to expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act. She said the two groups are also united in backing Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud for governor.

Brent Littlefield, political adviser for Republican Gov. Paul LePage, said labor leaders are trying to control state government, raise taxes and hurt small businesses.

Task force seeking ideas for improving family court

A task force appointed by the Maine Supreme Judicial Court will hold a series of public hearings in January on ways to improve the family division of the state’s courts.

Each of the public hearings will be held from 4:15 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the following locations: Presque Isle District Court on Jan. 6, Calais District Court on Jan. 7, Bangor District Court on Jan. 8, Rockland District Court on Jan. 9, Lewiston District Court on Jan. 13, Portland District Court on Jan. 14, Springvale District Court on Jan. 15 and Augusta District Court on Jan. 16

The task force has requested that comments not make reference to specific cases.

Written comments may be emailed to lawcourt.clerk@courts.maine.gov, or mailed to State of Maine, Administrative Office of the Courts, 171 State House Station, 24 Stone Street, 1st Bldg., 1st Floor, Augusta, ME 04333-0171. Comments will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Jan. 24.

LEWISTON

Car left running in garage forces evacuation of school

Lewiston officials say a car left running in a garage was the source of a carbon monoxide leak that sent nearly a dozen people to the hospital.

A building that houses Bernard’s School of Hair Fashion was evacuated on Thursday after a number of students showed symptoms of exposure to high levels of carbon monoxide.

The city’s fire department said three people were taken by ambulance to Central Maine Medical Center and eight others were able to drive themselves to the hospital. All are expected to recover.

The leak was traced to a vehicle that had been left running in a garage attached to the building.

LINCOLN

Paper mill that laid off 200 losing largest tissue account

Mill officials who blamed a boiler explosion for a decision to lay off about 200 workers now say the mill also had lost an important contract.

Lincoln Pulp and Paper filed a petition for federal Trade Adjustment Assistance, a program that aims to mitigate damage caused by imports. WABI-TV reported that Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King say the mill’s largest tissue customer is moving its production to Indonesia.

No one was injured in the Nov. 2 explosion but it hurt the plant’s ability to create pulp used in paper products. The company said last week that the layoffs came from the paper-making and pulp-making operations, while the company’s three tissue machines remain in operation.