News from January 13, 2014

January 13

Lawmakers unveil massive $1.1 trillion spending plan

Meanwhile, leaders are preparing a temporary bill to keep the government open through the weekend.

January 13

Letter shows creator of AK-47 had regrets near life’s end

Mikhail Kalashnikov asked a church leader if he was to blame for the deaths of those killed by his weapon.

January 14

Sister, 8, and brother, 7, suffocate in hope chest in Massachusetts

The lid could only be opened from the outside.

January 13

Route 113 reopens after heavy flooding

Motorists had to take lengthy detour around the flooded, oft-traveled area on Monday, police said.

January 13

LePage administration: $119 million needed to balance budget

A spokesperson says most of the shortfall is caused by the state’es Medicaid program.

January 13

R.I. gubernatorial candidate discloses fatal crash 25 years ago

Allan Fung says it happened when he was an 18-year-old college student in 1989.

January 13

As 50th birthday nears, Michelle Obama is ready to dance

It’s unclear whether the president’s wife will take on new or different tasks now that she won’t have to campaign.

January 13

So far, health insurance enrollees nationally are an older crowd

Experts expected older, sicker people to be more heavily represented in the early numbers.

January 13

Bill calls for Maine panel to study acid in Gulf

Speakers at Monday’s hearing say increased carbon dioxide and acid are imperiling shellfish stocks and costing Maine jobs and millions of dollars.

January 14

Supreme Court won’t hear Maine farmers’ appealed lawsuit against Monsanto

 The farmers had filed a ‘pre-emptive’ lawsuit in case their fields ever became contaminated with Monsanto’s genetically modified, patented seeds.

January 13

Maine commission reviews applications for four new charter schools

Two virtual schools are among the applicants hoping to open new charter schools in Maine.

January 14

Health sign-ups jump by 12,000 in Maine

Overall enrollments so far show solid demand, but 43% are 55 or older. Officials expect more youth interest by March 31.

January 14

York County jail inmate killed himself, police say

Jeffrey Noonan, 49, who was on suicide watch, caused his own death by removing a shunt used for kidney dialysis, officials say.

January 14

State sends erroneous tax collection letter to 1,000 Mainers

Residents receive letters demanding payment of taxes and penalties that they don’t owe.

January 14

S. Portland bank robber gets 13 years in prison

Joseph Morrill used a police detective’s stolen gun to hold up a bank and a convenience store.

January 13

Maine bill inspires debate over wind farms’ scenic impact

A state legislative committee considers the wisdom of expanding assessments on the visual impact of proposed wind projects.

January 13

Controversy plagues school mental health screening

Experts say many teens struggle with untreated mental illness, but schools are grappling with how to offer mental health services in a patchwork, underfunded system.

January 13

Two injured in crash involving police cruiser in Scarborough

Police say it appears that a Volvo station wagon turned in front of the cruiser and was struck in a T-bone crash that rolled the Volvo.

January 13

Raytheon resumes Navy radar job for Arleigh Burke destroyers

The upgraded radar will be installed on ships built at Bath Iron Works in Maine and at the Huntington Ingalls shipyard in Mississippi.

January 13

Convicted felon who fired gun at Lewiston building sentenced to more than 6 years

Brunel Constant, 34, of Lewiston, was convicted after a two-day trial in federal court in Portland of a single count of illegal possession of a firearm by a felon.

January 13

Water ban lifted for some in W.Va. after chemical spill Video clip included

About 6,000 to 10,000 customers – out of about 300,000 affected – were allowed to use the water again Monday.

January 13

Fox’s ‘24’ will bring back Jack Bauer in May

The show will run for 12 new episodes and the cast includes several others from the original series.

January 14

Maine tribes clash with state over elver license bill

Under the proposal, tribal fishermen would be forced to get state licenses or face possible prosecution.

January 14

Maine high court to consider denying F. Lee Bailey’s return to law

The Board of Bar Examiners will argue that the celebrity defense attorney has yet to ‘own up’ to his past transgressions that led to him being disbarred in Florida in 2001 and Massachusetts in 2003.

January 13

Brady-Manning matchup adds spice to title games

The Patriots' QB holds a 10-4 edge in head-to-head matchups, but they each have a win against the other in an AFC championship game.

January 13

Jim Beam to be acquired by Japanese beverage company

The deal comes at a time when the taste for bourbon – a type of American whisky – continues to grow both domestically and abroad.

January 13

Portland police look for man who robbed pharmacy

A man threatened an employee and took cash from the CVS at Westgate Shopping Center on Sunday.

January 14

Maine lawsuit claims deficiencies in building of state fiber-optic network

But operator Maine Fiber denies a lack of system connections is limiting access to high-speed Internet, and that it broke federal funding rules on the project.

January 13

Lawmakers intensify Christie bridge-scandal inquiry

A new special committee, with subpoena power and a special counsel, will be charged with finding out how high the plot went up Christie's chain of command.

January 13

Dunkin’ Brands plots further expansion in 2014

Dunkin’ is working to expand in the western U.S., and said it has deals to open nearly 100 locations in California.

January 13

Lewiston police investigating shots fired

Police armed with tactical rifles used a police dog to search the Hillview Apartments area.

January 13

Two Mass. children trapped in hope chest die

The chest was close to a television that had the volume turned up high.

January 14

L.L. Bean heirs donate Maine island for preservation Several photos included in this story

Lanes Island is ecologically important because of the waterfowl, shorebirds and bald eagles nesting there.

January 13

Average price of gas in Maine falls nearly 2 cents

Prices in Maine are 2.2 cents per gallon lower than a year ago, and 3.4 cents per gallon higher than a month ago.

January 13

Mainer’s sculpture to exhibit at Vermont museum

John Bisbee works exclusively in 12-inch bright common spikes.

January 13

Bids due this week for bankrupt Montreal, Maine & Atlantic railroad

The minimum bid is $15.7 million for the railroad responsible for the July disaster in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, that killed 47 people.

January 13

Locker room fire under investigation at UNH

The fire was reported at about 8:40 p.m. Sunday in the men’s locker room at the Hamel Recreation Center.

January 13

Chart: Labs sit pretty as top local dogs

Use this interactive chart to find out which dog breeds and names are most popular in nine Cumberland County cities and towns.

January 13

Hebron school reopens after oil spill

Students and school staff will use trucked-in clean water while cleanup continues on the 1,900 gallon spill.

January 13

Israel holds memorial ceremony for Ariel Sharon



January 13

Maine man indicted in two robberies at Augusta pharmacy

Ryan J. McLaughlin, 26, of Gardiner is accused of robbing the pharmacy shortly after noon on both Nov. 11 and 13.

January 13

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler: Golden as Globes hosts Video clip included

Overall, the program was fun, fast-moving and refreshingly uncluttered with the usual awards-show dross.

January 13

Police: Three guns stolen from vehicle in Presque Isle

The guns were stolen from an unlocked vehicle parked in the owner’s driveway.

January 13

Former Farmington town worker appeals dismissal

The former wastewater superintendent reportedly says in the suit he was orally terminated without notice and with no hearing.

January 13

Ice castle becomes tourist attraction in N.H. Several photos included in this story Video clip included

The castle has 58 towers, plus a waterfall and an enclosed slide. At night, the castle is lit by color-changing LED lights embedded in the ice.

January 13

Southwest flight lands at wrong Missouri airport

It’s the second time in less than two months that a large jet has landed at the wrong airport.

January 13

Maine teen archer takes aim at championship Video clip included

If Charlie Weinstein continues on his current trajectory, he could represent the U.S. in his sport.

January 13

Dogs snuggle further into our culture, even politics Several photos included in this story

From special diets to costly medical care and more, owners pamper their pets – but there also can be limits.

January 13

Weather brings flooding, vehicle crashes, closed roads Several photos included in this story

The overflowing Saco River closes a road in Fryeburg, and York County reports about 70 vehicles were involved in crashes caused by the rainstorm.

January 14

Chart: Labs sit pretty as top local dogs



January 13

William S. Cohen to speak at MLK Day breakfast celebration in Portland

The former congressman, senator and U.S. defense secretary will discuss the quest for peace, justice and equal Maine’s branch of the NAACP marks its half-century.

January 13

Dispatches

Maine moose population steady while New Hampshire lags / State agency seeking storm damage information / Closing arguments being made in murder trial

January 13

Scarborough Downs could operate slots if bill passes

It is one of several measures that would expand gambling in Maine without approval by voters statewide.

January 13

Maine Supreme Court to hear appeal in New Gloucester double murder

Lawyers for Joel Hayden, 32, contend he should have been convicted of manslaughter instead of murder because of the ‘high dose of oxycodone and cocaine’ in his system.

January 13

Grant loss threatens health care for homeless in Portland

A city application error leads to a funding shift that could close a city clinic and interrupt services for some 1,300 people.

January 13

Court ruling buoys foes of Portland ‘midtown’ development

The project, which could face a Planning Board vote Tuesday, could be overturned with city approval, which a court did for a separate case.

January 13

Democratic leaders take position on EBT misuse

They say prosecute, don’t politicize the issue.

January 13

Flashback: Ice-covered fishing vessel, 1955

A fishing boat with frozen rigging is docked in Portland Harbor in this Press Herald photograph from January 1955.

January 13

Top dog in Greater Portland: a Lab named Bella

The breed and name match the most common in the country as well, with Max the top male dog name.

January 29

Road to Sochi: Wescott’s Olympic bid in jeopardy

The cancellation of the final snowboard cross qualifying event hurts Seth Wescott’s chances of making the U.S. team.