News from January 10, 2014

January 10

Fire departments praise ruling on health coverage

A federal decision exempts departments from providing insurance to volunteers, thus averting potential budget crises.

January 10

Wrong body discovered in mother’s casket

A Rhode Island family thinks the misidentification occurred in St. Maarten.

January 10

Relay racers running to raise $1 million for Boston victims

For a second year, runners will relay across the U.S. to aid victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.

January 11

Two killings in Boston mar vow to crack down on crime

A stabbing and shooting come on the same day as the new police commissioner’s promise.

January 10

Chemical spill brings West Virginia capital to standstill

The water supply is contaminated when a foaming agent leaks from a chemical plant into a river, and authorities don’t know when it will be considered safe.

January 11

Both sides seize on MaineCare report’s numbers

Those who support a MediCaid expansion say the numbers can be used to back their view and that the document builds in dubious assumptions.

January 10

LePage vetoes five bills from last session

The governor opposes the proposals mainly because they lack ways to pay for the programs.

January 11

Maine mining rules get initial approval from board

The new regulations are aimed at boosting the industry, but critics are fearful of creating pollution.

January 10

Bode Miller clear for all Alpine races at Olympics

The New Hampshire native gets a favorable clarification to the rules and is eligible for all races in Sochi.

January 10

Renoir back at museum after woman claims it as flea-market find

A judge rules that the painting was stolen from a Baltimore museum in 1951.

January 10

In Olympic qualifying race, Maine’s Wescott fails to make snowboard cross finals

Alex Tuttle advances to Saturday’s finals, while Wescott gets another chance on Sunday.

January 11

Emails show Christie administration stonewalling bridge questions

One of Gov. Chris Christie’s top officials watched in person and texted updates during the traffic mayhem.

January 10

Officials use explosion to fight train fire near Maine-Canada border

The fire, roughly 20 miles from the Maine border, has been burning since Tuesday night.

January 10

Government dumps health website contractor

The lead consultant who developed the bug-filled HealthCare.gov will be replaced when the current contract expires in February.

January 11

Verso Paper to idle Bucksport mill for two weeks

The company employs about 560 workers at the mill.

January 10

House votes to add health care security

The Obama White House opposed the bill as an unnecessary and costly burden. It stands no chance in the Senate.

January 10

CDC: Flu season is upon us, and cases are up

The season likely hasn’t peaked, but experts say it’s too early to know if it will be worse than usual.

January 10

Freezing rain overnight; flood watch for Maine

Ice buildup is expected to be light as temperatures rise, but roads could be slick early Saturday.

January 10

Maine woman charged with burning boyfriend’s clothes

The Indian Township woman faces an arson charge in connection with a fire in a suitcase full of clothes on her porch.

January 10

Bulger and girlfriend sobbed over love notes

The former Boston mobster told his trial attorney that one of his greatest regrets was never marrying Catherine Greig.

January 11

Alexander's MaineCare expansion report has first public airing Several photos included in this story

A consultant’s study warns that expansion of Medicaid will bring Maine a significant economic burden, but critics dispute the numbers.

January 10

Maine communities will pay less for waste disposal

Ecomaine is eliminating annual assessment fees, which will cut costs in half for its members.

January 10

Chris Christie managed crisis well – until ‘I am not a bully’

Experts say the New Jersey governor did almost everything right to control the damage from an apparent act of political revenge orchestrated by a top aide.

January 11

Maine Democratic leaders expect $100 million shortfall at DHHS

Leaders call on LePage to submit a budget and provide information.

January 10

N.H. completes $63M project to grow broadband access

At a ceremony, government, business and university leaders say the project is an example of how public-private partnerships should work.

January 11

Asylum seekers, Maine advocates protest change in aid rules Several photos included in this story

The LePage administration wants to stop providing General Assistance to some immigrants awaiting work permits. Opponents call the change illegal and racist.

January 13

The 'midtown' development: views of Bayside's new skyline

Composite photo illustrations using architectural models from the City of Portland show how the proposed buildings of the 'midtown' development would look from various locations in the Bayside neighborhood.

January 10

Feds recognize same-sex couples in Utah

Attorney General EricHolder’s action will enable the government to extend eligibility for federal benefits to the couples.

January 10

Maine trooper injured in multi-car crash on I-295 near Tukey’s Bridge Several photos included in this story

Several southern Maine communities report crashes as a result of slippery roads.

January 10

Road to Sochi: Mainer boosts chances for Olympic moguls berth

Troy Murphy of Bethel was fifth overall and the top American in a World Cup event in Utah.

January 11

First shooting incident unrelated to Mainer’s murder, police say

They also reveal that the attacker who killed a Maine man in Pennsylvania fled back in the direction of Maryland.

January 11

Maine whistleblower: Boss ordered shredding of documents

The former state official says the order was prompted by a newspaper's impending request for records on how grant funds had been reallocated.

January 10

Police arrest NH man after 5-year-old shoots self

The Manchester man and the boy’s mother told police they didn’t know the boy was handling the .22 caliber handgun.

January 10

Target: Pre-Christmas data breach affected up to 70M customers

The company had previously reported that 40 million customers had their personal information stolen.

January 10

Trapped trucker survives hours in subzero temps

A trucker was trapped under his truck until his cellphone slipped from his pocket.

January 10

One southbound lane opened on I-95 bridge to NH

One southbound lane has opened on the I-95 bridge to New Hampshire.

January 10

Brunswick inns’ name dispute not over

Because of the similar names, visitors and even emergency responders have gone to the wrong location.

January 10

Former Maine inmate pleads no contest in prison death

John Thibeault faced a manslaughter charge in the April 2009 death of 64-year-old Sheldon Weinstein.

January 10

Activists: Nearly 500 dead in Syria rebel clashes

The rebel-on-rebel violence that broke out a week ago has spread across four provinces.

January 10

Indian diplomat indicted, then allowed to leave U.S.

Devyani Khobragade is accused of forcing her housekeeper and nanny to work more than 100 hours a week for low pay and lying about it on a visa form.

January 10

Maine man says Christmas Eve jewelry theft ‘dumb mistake’

Charged with robbing a widow of more than $1,000 in jewelry, he says, 'It was Christmastime and I couldn’t get the kids nothing.'

January 10

Deep freeze may have cost economy about $5 billion

Airline cancellations, school closures, frozen and burst pipes, municipal overtime – all have taken a toll.

January 10

W.Va. chemical spill declared federal disaster

Residents in nine counties have been told not to bathe, brush their teeth or wash their clothes in tap water.

January 10

Big trucks to race on snow, ice at Sunday River

Each 900-horsepower truck has been modified with giant spiked tires to ascend 550 vertical feet over the nearly mile-long course.

January 10

French president angry over report on love life Several photos included in this story

Rumors have long circulated that President Francois Hollande might have a lover.

January 10

Local & State Dispatches

Windsor man enters plea in death of pedestrian / Auburn man is sentenced for baseball bat attack / Investigators are unable to find cause of blaze ... and more news from around the state.

January 10

Portland considers shopping bag fee: 10¢

It would apply to grocery and convenience stores, and seeks to reduce waste and litter. But critics see drawbacks.

January 10

New England Dispatches

Man wanted in domestic incident commits suicide / Octopus Pearl produces hundreds of offspring / Man smashes vehicle into gas station to swipe banana ... and more news from around the region.

January 10

Postal service told to rehire fired soldier

He was fired while stationed overseas for taking too much time off to serve in the National Guard.

January 10

Massachusetts orders review of child welfare agency

An independent group will critique policies to protect kids in the wake of a missing-boy case.

January 10

Iraq holds off on offensive against al-Qaida

There is concern that high civilian casualties in two cities would drive Sunnis to side with the militants.

January 10

Portland program to move 110 homeless into homes

The city’s new financial assistance program comes as the city’s homeless shelters are overflowing.

January 10

Vermont man held in death of wife in N.H.

James Robarge stands accused of murdering his wife just hours after she filed for divorce.

January 10

New ferry joins Casco Bay Lines' islands fleet

The Wabanaki, the passenger fleet's latest addition, arrives with some improvements.

January 10

Merger of Maine hospitals saves them $2 million

One efficiency from consolidation is the shifting of births from the Sanford facility to Biddeford to help cover a budget shortfall.

January 10

Federal deficit shrinking at a rapid pace

The government reports the red ink was almost 40 percent less than the same period one year earlier.

January 10

Trial set for N.Y. man accused of Portland murder

Attorneys for Anthony Pratt Jr., who is accused of shooting Margarita Fisenko Scott, argue to have statements he made to police thrown out.