News from January 9, 2014

January 9

Classified report: Snowden made off with 1.7 million files

The biggest theft of secrets in U.S. history potentially could endanger members of the military, the Pentagon says.

January 10

Biddeford Kohl’s department store to be demolished, rebuilt

A smaller store will replace the older building, which had a problem with settling starting in 2006 but was never in danger of collapse.

January 10

Senators call for action on train derailments

The ask the Obama administration to evaluate whether federal rules adequately address the risks of carrying crude oil by rail.

January 9

Former Israeli leader Ariel Sharon’s condition worsens

His family gathers by the hospital bedside of the former prime minister, who has been in a coma since suffering a stroke eight years ago.

January 9

Tony Stewart ready to race when NASCAR season opens

The three-time champion broke his leg in August in a crash.

January 10

Scientists: Americans becoming weather wimps Several photos included in this story

As the world warms, the United States is getting fewer bitter cold spells, and ‘we’re just not used to really cold winters anymore.'

January 9

Cause of fatal Maine fire cannot be determined

Firefighters found the body of 55-year-old Peter Lowe in his waterfront Oxford home.

January 10

Poverty impacts Maine students’ grades, researchers say

The study came after the LePage administration began a report card-style ranking system for schools.

January 9

Windham man gets two years in pharmacy heist

Derek Jackson, 38, was turned in by a relative after he robbed a Hannaford store with a knife.

January 10

Maine DHHS building proposal can be viewed online

The application includes architectural drawings and other paperwork related to the proposed South Portland building.

January 9

Without Vonn, U.S. ski team struggles to find its groove

The five-time World Cup downhill champion has been the standout performer and an inspiration.

January 9

Cargo ship with gifts, ants heads to space station

Engineers initially feared a solar storm might cause the rocket to veer off course but later deemed it an acceptable risk.

January 10

Portland to start legal aid service for homeless

Officials plan to announce the establishment of the free clinic today.

January 10

LePage signs bill to label genetically modified food

Maine becomes the second state to pass a law requiring food producers to label GMO food, but other states must follow before it goes into effect.

January 10

Writers program in Freeport offers public an opportunity

USM’s Stonecoast program brings top talent to Maine and the public can join students.

January 9

York County police to crack down on underage drinking

A special task force funded with a federal grant will patrol sand pits and other spots where teens frequently gather to party.

January 10

Maine won’t renew medical rides contract with largest broker Several photos included in this story

Months of problems getting Mainers to their medical appointments spell the end for CTS on June 30, but then it can bid on new deals.

January 9

Boston Marathon suspect's widow in court for driving case

Katherine Russell, the widow of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, had two charges dismissed, but was found responsible for speeding.

January 10

Maine DHHS: Part of Medicaid study to become public Friday Several photos included in this story

Officials also plan to discuss findings on proposed expansion of the program when part of the study goes public, as the attorney general has demanded.

January 9

Police investigating attempted robbery outside Portland pub

A man reported being confronted by a masked man carrying a pipe or crowbar outside the Great Lost Bear.

January 10

Maine awards wholesale liquor contract to Augusta company

Pine State Trading is already doing the warehousing and distribution as a subcontractor. Terms of the lucrative 10-year deal were not disclosed.

January 9

Cracked wheel, broken rail found at Canadian derailment site

A senior investigator also says 19 cars and a locomotive derailed near the village of Plaster Rock – two more cars than reported.

January 9

Airlines go on a record jet buying binge Several photos included in this story

Needing to replace aging gas guzzlers, they’ve ordered more than 8,200 new planes from Airbus and Boeing in the past five years. Southwest, JetBlue, American and just about every other U.S. carrier has a large order in place.

January 9

American jailed in Dubai for posting video parody is released

The Minnesota man was accused of defaming the country’s image abroad.

January 9

U.S. attorney, FBI join investigation of N.H. cops Video clip included

Three Seabrook officers have been put on administrative leave after a video surfaces that shows them slamming a suspect into a wall.

January 10

Awesome aurora may enliven Maine skies

A strong solar flare will draw the natural phenomenon to areas as far south as Maine, Boston and Colorado.

January 9

Rodman apologizes for comments about captive American Bae

The former basketball star has been slammed for not using his influence to help free the ailing missionary who is being confined in North Korea.

January 10

Christie fires aide, apologizes as U.S. opens inquiry Video clip included

His deputy chief of staff is the latest casualty in the scandal. Two other top Christie appointees have resigned in the past few weeks.

January 9

Lawyer: Aaron Hernandez associate just ‘along for the ride’

Carlos Ortiz has pleaded not guilty to being an accessory to murder after the fact.

January 9

Mexican fishermen find conjoined gray whale calves

The whales were found alive but lived only a few hours.

January 9

Maine man who struck, killed pedestrian pleads guilty

Joshua Erskine says he was high on marijuana and prescription drugs when his Jeep plowed into Ruth Epperson on an Augusta street.

January 9

More killings in Russia heighten Olympics security concerns

Six men are found dead in cars rigged with explosives in a region near Sochi.

January 9

Nine speeding tickets, three accidents on victim's record

But Tim Davison's family says he wasn't an aggressive driver.

January 9

Dogged search for Maine pet pays off

An animal lover looks for several days after hearing about a missing pooch, before succeeding at last.

January 9

Mass. governor: Child welfare agency may require critique

But Patrick also continued to defend Commissioner Olga Roche and said the majority of social workers do good work under difficult circumstances.

January 9

Expert: Destructive beetles poised to invade Maine

The Asian longhorn may already be here, warned an entomologist at the Maine Agricultural Trades Show.

January 9

Navy helicopter crashes in ocean off Virginia

Two crew members die, two are hurt, and one is missing.

January 9

New England Dispatches

Card would exempt hikers from rescue cost / Man is unhurt when stray bullet hits his forehead / Use of drug-sniffing dogs on prison visitors spurs lawsuit ... and more news from around the region.

January 9

Gorham will turn school into activity center

The council also votes to spend $12,000 from a 2012 bond to study what repairs are needed on the building.

January 9

Maine town answers lawsuit over police shooting death

Farmington’s response questions whether the victim was mentally ill and defends police officers’ readiness.

January 9

Local & State Dispatches

Freeport farmers get award / Lewiston boxer fined for drugs / Crash kills Lee Academy student ... and more news from around the state.

January 9

Bath manager accepts blame for controversial sale

An investigation finds no corruption but identifies mistakes by city officials in handling a real estate deal.

January 9

Feature obituary: John Dikeman, 46, owned hot dog cart, helped other alcoholics

He died sober from cancer on Dec. 27.

January 9

Maine kids, experts not keen on lifting child work restrictions

The state's economy would benefit, the governor says, but others see drawbacks for those ages 12 to 15.

January 9

Some Mainers buy coverage, still lack insurance cards

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield says it's beefed up its call centers to handle the increasing volume of calls.

January 9

Industry executives say ‘old Yankee mentality’ in Maine slows Web progress

They say one way to boost high-speed Internet service is for more residents to let go of tradition and accept its many benefits.

January 9

New ferry Wabanaki arrives in Portland Several photos included in this story

Casco Bay Lines says its replacement for the aged Island Romance is a passenger pleaser.

January 9

Food companies widely exceed their calorie-cutting goals

A study says the calories cut averaged out to 78 calories per day for the entire U.S. population.

January 9

Alcohol, tobacco use down, but so are spirits, Maine school kids report

A survey by state agencies shows upticks in bullying and thoughts of suicide.

January 9

Funding fight ties up bill to extend jobless aid

Democrats balk at several ideas from Republicans for saving $6.4 billion to cover three months of long-term benefits.

January 9

Early education, teacher pay priorities for Maine Legislature’s Education Committee

Members will also examine a report urging changes to the state’s school-funding formula.