News from December 12, 2013

December 12, 2013

Safety crackdown closes 52 bus companies

Risky practices included letting drivers go 800 miles without rest, and operating with bad brakes.

December 12, 2013

Following revamp, Mega Millions hits $400M jackpot Several photos included in this story

A single winner in Friday’s drawing would be significantly richer than Beyoncé, Mitt Romney and LeBron James.

December 12, 2013

Suspended N.H. county attorney facing criminal probe

Prosecutors make the revelation for the first time as Jim Reams’ lawyer argues to get more details of the investigation.

December 12, 2013

Toronto reporter sues mayor for defamation

The journalist says he was libeled by Rob Ford’s insinuation he is a pedophile.

December 12, 2013

Police: Maine woman run over by husband’s big rig

They say 35-year-old Jason Walton stopped the truck when he realized what had happened.

December 12, 2013

US pleads for release of ex-agent held in Iran

A White House spokesman says Obama specifically raised Levinson’s case during a recent telephone conversation with the Iranian president.

December 13, 2013

Woman killed in Topsham crash leaves behind husband, 10 children

A Brunswick firefighter may have fallen asleep when his pickup crossed the center line and killed a Somali woman on her way to work.

December 12, 2013

Progress in House, but contentiousness continues in Senate

Republicans try to block the president’s nominees, but the votes come through.

December 12, 2013

VIDEO: Four rare white lions born at Georgia zoo Video clip included

Watch a short video showing the newborn cubs.

December 12, 2013

House passes bipartisan budget; Boehner blasts Tea Party groups Video clip included

The 332-94 vote sends the measure to the Senate, where it will almost certainly pass and be sent to President Obama.

December 13, 2013

Missing American in Iran was working for CIA Several photos included in this story

If Robert Levinson remains alive, he has been held captive longer than any American. But his captor and location remain a mystery.

December 12, 2013

LePage honors 38 state employees

They are recognized for their commitment to customer service, strong work ethic and willingness to take on new challenges.

December 12, 2013

North Korea executes leader’s uncle as traitor

Some in Seoul fear that the removal could create dangerous instability or lead to a miscalculation or attack on the South.

December 12, 2013

Police: Attempted child abduction in Bath was hoax

A 12-year-old boy apparently made up the story about a man in a van who grabbed him.

December 12, 2013

Mysterious ‘white widow’ terrorist eludes police in Africa

A British woman is an international fugitive, who allegedly transformed from a blindsided victim of her husband’s crimes to one of the world’s most wanted criminals.

December 12, 2013

Vatican gets mixed report card on finance reform

The Holy See’s financial watchdog agency has yet to inspect the embattled Vatican bank, a true test of whether the new laws to fight financial crimes are being enforced.

December 12, 2013

Drop in foreclosures, but not in Maine

With loan default notices also on the rise, observers say it will be a while before Maine sees a rebound like other states.

December 12, 2013

Hollis man, 61, killed in police standoff

Police say negotiators were trying to get John Knudsen to surrender when he fired a handgun at state troopers.

December 12, 2013

U.S. shoppers tighten fists, sobering retailers

Consumers are used to bargains, have learned they can live with less, and are burned out on the frenzy of the season.

December 12, 2013

Maine cities and towns fear more cuts in state funding

A task force’s efforts to head off further reductions by making tax changes are met with skepticism.

December 12, 2013

Yemen officials: 13 killed in U.S. drone strike

A convoy headed to a wedding is hit, and one official says al-Qaida militants are suspected to have been traveling with the group.

December 12, 2013

Maine company to build 'Monster Sled' ramp for Frozen Fenway

The 20-foot-high ramp will be located near the Green Monster.

December 13, 2013

N.H. man pleads guilty to Maine bank robberies

Daniel Barry was accused of arming, and once assisting, an accomplice at banks in Eliot and Sanford.

December 12, 2013

Mild 2013 cuts Arctic a break, warming woes remain

Scientists say one year doesn’t change the long-term trend.

December 12, 2013

Maine environmental groups clash over wind power Several photos included in this story

A report by Maine Audubon that says turbines can be compatible with wildlife is attacked by other advocates.

December 12, 2013

Golden Globes nominations announced

‘12 Years,’ ‘Hustle’ lead with seven nominations each.

December 12, 2013

Police: Pot caused two Kittery students to have seizures

The marijuana is being tested to see if it is tainted with another chemical.

December 12, 2013

Maine composer wins arts grant for new opera

University of Southern Maine resident composer Daniel Sonenberg receives $15,000 to produce an opera about Negro Leagues catcher Josh Gibson.

December 12, 2013

PHOTO: Warmly dressed

Portland crossing guards are bundled up against the cold.

December 12, 2013

Heating oil prices up 3 cents in Maine

Average prices are higher than any time in 2012.

December 12, 2013

Hawaii's health director killed in plane crash

Nine people survived the crash into the water off of Molokai.

December 12, 2013

Woman, child hurt in fall from chairlift at Crotched Mountain in NH

The pair suffered serious injuries after falling about 40 feet.

December 12, 2013

12-year-old Bath boy escapes attempted abduction

Police say the boy was approached by a man driving a minivan on Middle Street at about 3 p.m. Wednesday.

December 12, 2013

Vermont’s real von Trapps pan televised revival of 'The Sound of Music' Video clip included

The singing family that inspired the musical has run a vacation lodge in the mountain town of Stowe since 1942.

December 12, 2013

Etna family’s pet dog shot

A male English bulldogge named Beau has wounds in his lungs and liver from an unknown shooter.

December 12, 2013

Maine man pleads guilty to illegal scallop harvesting conspiracy

D.C. Air & Seafood and Christopher Byers of Winter Harbor plead guilty to working with fishermen to conceal the harvesting of nearly 80,000 pounds of scallops.

December 12, 2013

Judge weighs competency of Bangor woman accused of killing husband

Authorities claim that 50-year-old Roxanne Jeskey used pliers, a box cutter and a plastic baseball bat to kill her husband, Richard, in June 2011.

December 12, 2013

New Hampshire electric utility warns customers of scam

Callers claiming to represent Public Service of New Hampshire have been telling customers that their service may be shut off if they don’t purchase a prepaid credit card.

December 12, 2013

Challenges await South Portland DHHS building project

The developer will face site issues, including wetlands and traffic.

December 12, 2013

Local & State Dispatches Several photos included in this story

Six-hour standoff at home ends with arrest / Local woman faces charges of prostitution, drug use ... and more news from around the state.

December 12, 2013

Newly single mother needs help to provide happy Maine Christmas

The Portland Press Herald Toy Fund aims to provide toys for 7,000 children in Cumberland, York, Sagadahoc, Lincoln and Knox counties.

December 12, 2013

Biddeford nun hurt in hit-and-run is grateful, forgiving Several photos included in this story Video clip included

Sister Viola Lausier forgives the hit-and-run driver, gives thanks to her rescuer and says God just wanted her to take life a little easier.

December 12, 2013

Mediator to review Westbrook school suspensions

Critics have questioned whether district officials lifted suspensions for football players so they could compete in a Nov. 8 playoff game.

December 12, 2013

Iconic Portland hotel to reopen with new look, old bones Several photos included in this story Video clip included

The renovated Eastland, now a Westin, mixes tradition with modern amenities after a $50 million renovation.

December 12, 2013

Threat of 3D-printed guns expected to grow

No arrests have been reported in Maine or elsewhere, but improved technology is making it easier to produce the all-plastic weapons at home.

December 12, 2013

Pending budget deal could benefit Maine defense industry

The action would soften spending cuts that could help Bath Iron Works and Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.