January 15, 2013

Local & State Dispatches

From staff and news services

LINCOLN COUNTY

Minor quake frightens birds but causes no real damage

A minor earthquake was reported Monday in the area of Boothbay and Edgecomb.

Robert Marvinney, director of the Maine Geological Survey, said the 2.5-magnitude quake at 1:19 p.m. was enough for nearby residents to feel a rumble or jolt, but not enough to cause any damage.

Matt Guggenheim, who lives on Barters Island in Boothbay, said he was working at home when he heard what felt like an explosion, or two explosions, in the distance. “I looked out the window and saw all these birds take off,” he said.

Maine typically has a handful of small earthquakes each year, Marvinney said.

In 2012, seven earthquakes were felt throughout parts of Maine, the largest a 4.5-magnitude temblor near Saco in October that was felt in much of southern Maine and as far south as Massachusetts.
Monday’s earthquake was Maine’s first of 2013.

Guggenheim said he was in Biddeford during October’s earthquake but Monday’s felt stronger. “I wouldn’t be surprised if the epicenter was underneath my house,” he said.

PORTLAND

Temperature hits record 59 as January thaw continues

The January thaw continued in Maine on Monday with record-breaking warmth.

The National Weather Service says the temperature hit 59 on Monday in Portland, breaking the record of 53 degrees set in 1950 and tied in 2005.

Monday’s warm weather continued a thaw that began in earnest during the weekend. On Sunday, New Hampshire’s Mount Washington hit 48 degrees, an all-time high for the month of January.

Temperatures are expected to begin cooling to more seasonable temperatures over the course of the week, with the possibility of extreme cold Friday into Saturday.

Two Portland men charged in kidnapping and rape

Two Portland men who are accused of kidnapping a woman in July and raping her at gunpoint have been indicted, the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office announced Monday.

Mohamed Abdi, 22, of 97 Front St., and Francis Mezan, 22, of 83 Front St., were indicted on three Class A felony charges each – kidnapping and two counts of gross sexual assault – and two lesser charges – assault and terrorizing.

Police say Abdi and Mezan were in a group of six men who drove the woman to the Sagamore Village housing development on July 26 and walked her to the nearby Hall Elementary School.

One of the men had a handgun, loaded it in front of the victim and put it to her head, demanding that she perform a sex act on him, police say. As she did, another man raped her. The men then continued to sexually assault her, according to court records.

Abdi and Mezan face 30 years in prison on each of the Class A felony charges.

Appeal challenges sentence for role in double murder

Maine supreme court justices will hear arguments this week in the appeal of a man who claims his 45-year sentence for a double killing is unfair.

Eric Hamel, 22, is challenging the sentence he received after pleading guilty to two counts of murder in the 2009 shooting deaths of two men in Rumford.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court is scheduled to hear arguments on Wednesday. Hamel argues that his sentence was longer than that of his two co-conspirators, creating an inequality in violation of state law.

Richard Moulton was sentenced to 40 years after pleading guilty to two counts of murder for his role in the killings. Moulton’s girlfriend was sentenced to 15 years for helping to plan the killings.

Bristol man gets 57 months for credit union robbery

A man from Lincoln County has been sentenced to nearly five years in prison after pleading guilty to charges of helping two juveniles rob a credit union in Portland.

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