AUGUSTAHouse votes to override LePage veto on food bill

Maine’s Democratic-controlled House of Representatives voted Tuesday to override Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s veto on a food bill.

The House voted 94-46 in favor of the bill that aims to ensure state-funded institutions buy a percentage of their food from Maine producers.

In his veto letter, LePage said the state is already required to purchase local food when able and that sometimes things like availability and cost prevent it from doing so.

Democratic Rep. Craig Hickman of Winthrop, who sponsored the bill, said it will benefit Maine’s economy by keeping money in the state and creating jobs.

The percentage required under the law will increase incrementally over the next 20 years and Democrats say it’s only required if Maine food is competitively priced and available. The Senate will now vote on the bill.

PortlandLawyers try to suppress defendant’s statements

Lawyers for murder suspect Tareek Hendricks are trying to have statements he made to police suppressed as the case against him nears trial for the 2011 stabbing that killed a man in Westbrook and injured his wife. Hendricks, 31, formerly of Worcester, Mass., is charged with murder in the April 21, 2011, death of Robert Stubbs. Hendricks is also charged with elevated aggravated assault in the stabbing of Stubbs’ wife, Melissa, at the couple’s home in Westbrook.

An autopsy found that Robert Stubbs, 40, died of multiple stab wounds to the torso. He had eight stab wounds to the torso and legs as well as defensive wounds to his left hand, according to the autopsy report cited in a police affidavit.

LEWISTONArson case against teen suspended, could resume

The arson case against a 13-year-old Lewiston boy charged with starting a massive apartment fire in the city last year has been suspended by a judge, who determined that prosecutors have not met their burden of proving the boy is competent to stand trial.

The boy faces four counts of arson stemming from fires that burned four apartment buildings and a garage on Bartlett and Pierce streets on May 3. No one was hurt.

The blaze was one of three arsons at about the same time that terrorized the city. Others have been charged in connection with the other fires.

The Sun Journal reported that after a hearing last week, the judge ruled the boy is not competent to stand trial at this time, but may be in the future.

JONESPORTFour teens face charges for arson, criminal trespass

The State Fire Marshal’s office says four teenage boys have been charged in connection with two fires in Jonesport over the weekend.

The boys range in age from 13 to 16 and have been arrested on a variety of charges, including arson, burglary and criminal trespass. They have been released to the custody of their parents and are scheduled to appear in juvenile court March 4.

Investigators said the most recent fire slightly damaged a bait shed on a wharf on Saturday. Investigators then learned of several small fires set inside a single family house that was unoccupied. They caused little damage.

FARMINGTONPhillips man indicted on charges of assaulting child

A Phillips man has been indicted by the Franklin County grand jury on charges of sexually assaulting a child under age 12.

The indictment handed down Monday charges Robert Parker Jr., 42, with five felony charges of gross sexual assault and misdemeanor charges of terrorizing, endangering the welfare of a child, harassment by telephone and violation of conditions of release.

The Sun Journal reported Parker allegedly threatened to kill the child and harassed family members by sending texts with explicit descriptions of what he would do to the child.

Parker denied the charges when interviewed by police.

A conviction on the sexual assault charge carries a sentence of up to 30 years in prison.

— From staff and news services