News from December 20, 2013

December 20, 2013

Massachusetts governor: More at fault for missing boy

Deval Patrick says the responsibility extends beyond a fired social worker and supervisor.

December 20, 2013

Canada strikes down anti-prostitution laws

But the highest court gives Parliament a year to respond with legislation governing the sex trade.

December 20, 2013

Utah’s gay-marriage ban struck down

The ruling comes the same week that New Mexico’s highest court legalized same-sex marriage there.

December 20, 2013

LePage lends a hand to drum up donations to kettle

The Salvation Army’s fundraising suffers from a shorter and snowier than usual shopping season.

December 21, 2013

Maine police had been watching home prior to Augusta drug bust

Eight of 10 arrested Wednesday, four of them alleged gang members, appear in court Friday.

December 20, 2013

Charges against ex-executive upgraded in fatal N.H. crash

Robert Dellinger said he was depressed when he drove across a highway median, killing a couple who were expecting a child.

December 20, 2013

Some tech gifts ring the wackiness bell

Like, oh, zombie apocalypse supplies, a pet monitor and a $2 million personal submarine.

December 20, 2013

Coast Guard ends search for Westbrook fisherman

Another man on deck jumped in after Martin Gorham, but couldn’t save him in cold, rough conditions.

December 20, 2013

Armed rebels may control South Sudan’s oil fields

The U.S. Embassy had a fifth emergency evacuation flight on Friday to move Americans out of the country.

December 21, 2013

John Hinckley Jr. granted expanded freedom

The man who tried to kill President Reagan will get to spend up to 17 days at a time at his mother’s home.

December 20, 2013

Stores open for 100 hours to attract shoppers

Stores employ the strategy as they try to recoup lost sales during a season that’s been hobbled by a number of factors.

December 20, 2013

Fury and frustration over Target data breach

It’s the second-largest such theft in U.S. history and some cardholders have difficulty contacting the company.

December 20, 2013

Time Warner will keep NECN after protests

Subscribers and politicians convince the company to reverse its plan to drop New England Cable News.

December 20, 2013

Portland landlord files court appeal to DHHS move to South Portland

Tom Toye says state officials discounted his lease proposal, which he believes is better than moving to a proposed office building near Portland International Jetport.

December 20, 2013

Virginia man pleads guilty to emailing child porn to agent in Maine

Stewart Thornton Reed Jr. faces five to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced for sending images that he said were of a 2-year-old girl.

December 20, 2013

Trying to spread cheer, Santa in N.H. scares instead

Administrators at an elementary school call police after the man dressed as Santa runs around the school, tapping on windows and waving at students.

December 20, 2013

Obama signals he may curb NSA phone surveillance

‘Just because we can do something doesn’t mean we necessarily should,’ the president says during his end-of-year news conference.

December 20, 2013

Slideshow: Looking back at the Ice Storm of 1998

Images tell the story of the January 1998 ice storm that encased the state and whose effects were felt for months and even years.

December 20, 2013

Senate confirms turnaround specialist to head IRS

The Senate also clears the way for Janet Yellen to succeed Ben Bernanke as head of the Federal Reserve.

December 21, 2013

Maine power companies preparing for weekend ice storm Several photos included in this story

The worst of the mixed precipitation is expected to fall Saturday night and Sunday morning.

December 20, 2013

Cousin of Mass. governor among eight to get Obama pardon

Duval Patrick says he has ‘no memory of ever having met’ his cousin and was not involved in seeking the commutation.

December 20, 2013

Maine state employees union rejoins AFL-CIO

After a seven-year split, the two groups will now work together, but an adviser to Gov. LePage says labor leaders are trying to control state government.

December 20, 2013

Report: Maine officer acted in self-defense in fatal shooting

A 78-year-old man in Penobscot County was killed by an East Millinocket police officer during an armed confrontation.

December 20, 2013

Foul weather begins to snarl U.S. holiday travel

While much of the East awoke Friday to unusually warm weather for this time of year, the region is next in a storm front’s crosshairs.

December 20, 2013

Mainer sentenced to 40 years in cold case killing

George Jaime Sr. was charged with murdering Starlette Vining, who worked at a grocery store in Presque Isle when she vanished in October 1998.

December 20, 2013

Lewiston man pleads guilty to second child porn charge

Fredrick Butler, 44, now faces a harsher sentence of between 15 to 40 years in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

December 20, 2013

Oklahoma man proposes to girlfriend during arrest Video clip included

The arresting officer even helps him get the ring out of his pocket.

December 21, 2013

Maine unemployment rate dips again

The drop in Maine’s unemployment rate follows a national trend: Only five states had no change.

December 20, 2013

NYC expands indoor smoking ban to include e-cigarettes Video clip included

Ban backers say allowing the devices in places where cigarettes are now banned could ‘renormalize’ smoking.

December 20, 2013

Senate’s Reid ‘feeling better’ after hospital tests

Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois opened the Senate session Friday.

December 20, 2013

There’s rhyme and reason for Portland's Secret Santa

He anonymously hands out $100 bills for a fifth year.

December 20, 2013

Poll: ‘Whatever’ is the most annoying word

For the fifth year in a row, adults found “whatever” to be the most annoying in conversation.

December 20, 2013

Woman’s secret Santa turns out to be . . . Bill Gates

Among the billionaire’s gifts: a stuffed cow toy and a $500 donation to Heifer International in her name.

December 20, 2013

Japan robot chats with astronaut on space station Video clip included

Experiments with ‘Kirobo’ will continue until it returns to Earth at the end of 2014.

December 20, 2013

Police say Maine man made threat with firearm

A Norridgewock man was arrested Thursday afternoon after threatening a stranger with a firearm outside the Athens Corner Store, police said.

December 20, 2013

Carbon monoxide leak in Lewiston sends 11 to hospital

The leak was traced to a vehicle left running in a garage attached to Bernard’s School of Hair Fashion.

December 20, 2013

Spy panel wants duplicate oversight board replaced

The panel that recommended changes to NSA’s programs this week urges the White House to abolish the second panel and replace it with a new one.

December 20, 2013

Congress sends sweeping defense bill to Obama

Drawing the greatest attention are provisions cracking down on perpetrators of sexual assault and rape.

December 20, 2013

Maine mill: Foreign competition reason behind layoffs

Lincoln Pulp and Paper has filed a petition for federal trade assistance to mitigate financial damage caused by imports.

December 20, 2013

50 graduating from Maine Criminal Justice Academy

Many of the new officers will begin working immediately in time to bolster patrols for Christmas and New Year’s.

December 20, 2013

Dispatches



December 20, 2013

FDA backs off produce standards criticized by Maine farmers

Critics said the proposed rules would have increased costs to small agricultural operations common in the state.

December 20, 2013

White House relaxes health insurance requirements

The Obama administration says consumers whose policies were canceled can buy bare-bones policies or entirely avoid the requirement to buy coverage.

December 20, 2013

N.H. prosecutor will remain suspended

County Attorney Jim Reams wants to return to work, but investigators say that would impede them.

December 20, 2013

Dreaded ice storm may be coming to Maine

Forecasters expect rain or snow, but officials also are preparing for a frozen-buildup nightmare.

December 20, 2013

Plan would end mail delivery on Saturday if volume drops

Postal unions are resisting the idea, which comes as Congress tries to reduce the service’s losses.

December 20, 2013

N.H. services for mentally ill must increase

The settlement of a lawsuit allows advocates to refile if the state fails to find a way to pay for the services.

December 20, 2013

R.I. governor calls Schilling video game ‘junk’

Lincoln Chafee says the state – on the hook for tens of millions – made a ‘historically bad’ decision.

December 20, 2013

Franklin Community Health Network will join MaineHealth

Next year’s merger will have no immediate impact on the health network’s 607 employees.

December 20, 2013

Most dads very involved in hands-on parenting

The study of 4,000 fathers ages 15 to 44 shows their involvement has increased slightly since 2002.

December 20, 2013

New Maine co-op draws most health care enrollments

The nonprofit reports it’s been selected by about 75 percent of Mainers so far, but the reasons are unclear.

December 20, 2013

Gritty’s got the Maine beer scene brewin’ Several photos included in this story

Two men who started with an idea 25 years ago paved the way for Maine’s explosion of craft beer makers.

December 20, 2013

Father of five recalls help, gives $100 to toy fund

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

December 20, 2013

Senate vote on more jobless aid pledged

The Senate leader will push for action by Jan. 7 as millions face a benefits cutoff, including thousands of Mainers.

December 20, 2013

Defense bill would crack down on military sex assault

The White House expressed support for the legislation, which would provide $552.1 billion for the regular military budget.