News from January 23, 2014

January 23

Federal prosecutors step up probe of Christie aides

They subpoena Christie’s re-election campaign and the state Republican leadership.

January 24

Maine official: State’s response to day care abuse fell short

State officials 'could have done a better job' in response to reports about abuse at the Sunshine Child Care & Preschool in Lyman.

January 24

South Portland council selects oil sands committee

The three-member panel includes an attorney and two environmental specialists.

January 24

Maine police release image of hammer-wielding robber

Deputies in Somerset County say the man got away with some cash and ask for the public’s help in catching him.

January 23

I-95 ramp in Fairfield to reopen soon

A two-year bridge project is coming to an end, though painting will briefly detour traffic again in two months.

January 23

Hagel orders full review of U.S. nuclear force

The defense secretary responds to problems that have raised questions about nuclear security.

January 24

East Millinocket mill halts paper production for a few months

Great Northern cites low market prices and high costs. Employees will still report and work on finding operating efficiencies.

January 23

No protection yet for social media, email passwords in Maine

Legislators reject a bill to bar schools and employers from demanding access to private accounts, but, concerned about intrusiveness, they opt for more study.

January 23

LeBron James leads U.S. Olympic basketball team roster

Kobe Bryant won’t be returning, but plenty of 2012 gold medalists are picked to return to the national team for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

January 24

Maine bill aimed at worship protection falters

Critics say the bill goes too far in trying to protect religious freedoms that already exist in the U.S. Constitution.

January 23

SBA head leaving D.C. to return to Maine

Jeanne Hulit of Falmouth was an interim part of President Obama’s Cabinet for five months.

January 23

Company that vetted Snowden charged with fraud

The government says U.S. Investigations Services Inc released unfinished background cases to the government and represented them as complete in order to increase revenue and profit.

January 24

Portland oil sands protesters told to stay away from bank

Elizabeth ‘Betsy’ Catlin of Brunswick and Seth Schlotterbeck of Auburn are released on $100 cash bail each and face charges after chaining themselves to the doors of a TD Bank.

January 24

Officials call for new rules for oil trains

Both U.S. and Canadian authorities warn of a ‘major loss of life’ from future oil train crashes.

January 23

It’s out of the bag: Maine loves its cats

An online ranking places the state at the top of the best places to live for cat lovers.

January 24

Maine home sales up
11.5 percent in December

The statewide increase countered a drop in sales nationally.

January 23

McDonald’s sees fewer customers, disappointing sales

The chain has been working to respond to a shift in eating habits toward fresher or healthier foods, but those efforts have yet to take hold.

January 23

Chart: firefighters per capita in Portland, Maine, and other mid-sized New England cities

 Portland has the largest fire department among New England cities with fewer than 100,000 residents, and the highest number of firefighters per capita among all midsize cities in the region.

January 24

USM student in standoff faces terrorizing charge Several photos included in this story

Police say Alan-Michael Santos of Massachusetts, who will appear in court Friday, threatened to shoot a fellow fraternity member.

January 23

Maine committee: Use casino money to fund universal pre-K

Lawmakers vote to use funds already funneled into public education to help support early learning.

January 24

Computer glitch delays unemployment benefits for 2,200 Mainers

The Maine Department of Labor says the glitch halted processing of unemployment checks, direct deposits and other notifications this week.

January 23

Natural gas locomotives may prove cheaper, cleaner

Railroads and locomotive makers are looking primarily at ways to retrofit existing engines to burn a mix of diesel and natural gas because that will be the easiest way to adopt the new technology.

January 23

Ralph Lauren unveils Olympic uniforms – made in USA

During the 2012 London games, Lauren’s uniforms were a point of controversy when it was revealed they were largely made overseas.

January 23

Maine's lowest temperatures: ColdTrac for Jan. 23, 2014

Maine's lowest temperatures unofficially recorded around the state in the 24 hour period, ending at 9:26 a.m. on Jan. 23, 2014.

January 23

Augusta man sought as shooting suspect

Police say Paul Coyne has a police record that includes numerous felony and drug convictions.

January 23

Police raid Fairfield home, find cocaine, arrest family member

An early morning search warrant capping a six-month investigation turns up eight grams of cocaine, police say.

January 24

Maine food bank receives $100,000 grant to fight winter hunger

A recent survey showed that 56 percent of clients who use Good Shepherd’s network of food pantries reported having to choose between paying for heat and paying for food.

January 23

Bulger defends himself in documentary at Sundance

In the film, the former crime boss tells his defense attorney that he was never an FBI informant, but rather had federal agents on his payroll.

January 31

DHHS rankings of Maine day care centers: search the database

Listings of Maine day care centers with revoked and conditional licenses.

January 23

Justin Bieber's arrest latest sign of trouble Several photos included in this story Video clip included

The pop star is charged with resisting arrest, drag racing and driving under the influence after Miami Beach police said he was speeding down a residential street.

January 24

New England governors start push to cut cost of power

Their first-of-its-kind plan calls for projects to expand transmission lines and gas pipeline capacity in the region by 20% in three years.

January 23

Bath painting contractor gets a year in jail for theft

Authorities say Matthew Atwood, 36, stole jewelry and cash from a Georgetown home where he had worked.

January 23

Quirky rabbit on Mandela statue causes stir

The bronze rabbit, sitting on its haunches with one floppy ear, is about half the height of the ear canal.

January 23

Storm surge brings monster waves to Hawaii

Officials urged surfers not to risk their lives to ride the violent surges.

January 23

N.H. reporter indicted for bathroom camera at office

The woman who discovered the camera showed it to Conor Makem, who told her it wasn’t a camera and then threw it away, police say.

January 23

Windham animal control officer charged with child porn

Detectives seized Joseph Payton’s computer after finding images and videos of child pornography on it.

January 23

Poll: People see Obama as nice guy, so-so president

As Obama prepares to give his annual State of the Union address on Tuesday, people are largely pessimistic about the country’s direction.

January 23

Virginia AG: Gay marriage ban unconstitutional

The state will side with the plaintiffs in a lawsuit seeking to have the ban struck down.

January 23

Judges approve sale of bankrupt Maine railroad

Rulings in two nations clear the way for a New York group to buy Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railways, which was involved in a deadly oil train derailment in Canada last summer.

January 23

Police deny beating ‘frothing’ former bank executive

Los Angeles police say the agitated man frothed at the mouth and growled during bizarre encounters.

January 23

Maine website to help parents find day cares is riddled with errors

The listings fail to note whether centers have conditional licenses because of significant violations of state regulations.

January 23

Failure of $75 million school bond has RSU 21 officials seeking alternatve

Many agree that the resounding defeat means that a new plan will have to be changed substantially.

January 23

Firewood shortage and higher fuel costs chilling for Mainers Several photos included in this story

Heating assistance requests double last year’s during the most frigid winter in more than 10 years.

January 23

Maine girl gets program’s 2 millionth free book

Raising Readers distributes books to Maine kids age 5 and younger at hospitals and doctors’ offices.

January 23

Local & State Dispatches Several photos included in this story

Maine man dies in SUV crash / Cleaning lady arrested for stealing drugs / Snowmobiler breaks a leg, crawls six hours to get help ... and more news from around the state.

January 23

King, Pingree urge FEMA to use local flood reports

New flood maps could mean significant hikes in insurance premiums and restrictions on property development in Maine.

January 28

DHHS stumbles on Lyman day care owner’s abuse

One arm of the agency says yes, then another says no, a conflict that could put kids at risk and suggests a communications gap.