December 30, 2012

Dispatches

PORTLAND

Eight inches of new snow predicted for Portland area

The National Weather Service in Gray has issued a winter-storm warning along the Maine coast, and a winter weather advisory for the interior of the state, which will see less snow.

Portland could see about 8 inches of snow, while farther up the coast in towns such as Rockland and Rockport, snow accumulation could top one foot, according to Tom Hawley, a meteorologist with the weather service.

The heaviest snowfall was expected from 6 p.m. Saturday through 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. Sunday, Hawley said. The storm is expected to dump only snow – no sleet or rain is expected, he said.

Temperatures should remain in the 20s overnight and winds could gust in the 20- to 30-mph range, said James Brown, a meteorologist. He said there are no other significant storms expected in the next few days.

Brunswick issued a parking ban for all city streets and municipal parking lots for Sunday from 1 a.m. through 8 a.m.

Maine State Police said the storm had contributed to some auto accidents, but no fatalities have been reported.

The weekend storm followed Thursday’s major snowfall, which dumped as much as 17 inches of snow in some regions.

Man appeals his sentence for role in double killing

A 22-year-old man is appealing his 45-year sentence for a double killing in western Maine.

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

In his appeal to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, Hamel argues that the lower court abused its discretion in sentencing him to a longer term than that of his two co-conspirators, thereby creating an inequality in violation of state law.

Justices are scheduled to hear his appeal on Jan. 16.

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

LEWISTON

Veterans happy at wreaths on park’s stone monuments

Veterans in Lewiston are smiling with gratitude after the mysterious appearance of a couple of dozen wreaths on the stone monuments in Veterans Memorial Park.

A donor secretly decorated each of 23 monuments in the veterans park with wreaths, each sporting a red bow. The wreaths appeared a couple of weeks ago, and the Sun Journal of Lewiston said the local Veterans Council, which oversees the public park, still doesn’t know who put them there.

With a fresh coating of snow on the wreaths Friday, Veterans Council member Bert Dutil said the park looks beautiful. Dutil said the veterans feel so good that somebody did that.

Each of the granite monuments is engraved with 214 names of someone from the area who served in the military, living or dead.

AUGUSTA

LePage reminds motorists to keep safety in mind

Gov. Paul LePage is urging motorists in Maine to drive safely to keep roads safe as New Year’s Eve approaches.

LePage said 163 people have died on Maine roads this year, and that too many of those deaths were caused by distracted or drunken drivers. He said drunken-driving deaths doubled in the first six months of 2012.

Federal money is helping to pay a “Drive Sober Maine!” campaign that will continue into the new year.

LePage said the program provides money to 52 Maine law enforcement agencies to pay overtime for patrols at times and locations where drunken driving is most common.

Attorney general warns about new telephone scam

Maine Attorney General William Schneider says there’s a new telephone scam claiming consumers are being threatened with legal action.

Schneider said the calls are threatening, telling the consumer to dial another number to resolve the matter or face a lawsuit.

His advice: Hang up.

Schneider said to make note of the incoming phone number if it shows up on a phone but don’t engage the caller. He said that while it’s tempting to try to figure out who’s calling, it’s not worth the risk of becoming a target of fraud.

PORTSMOUTH, N.H.

Crews working double shifts to speed up bridge project

The construction company rebuilding the Memorial Bridge between New Hampshire and Maine said crews are working double shifts to get the project done.

Archer Western has been working on the approaches for the bridge on both sides as well as installing micropiles on three piers.

Officials said the first section of the bridge will be floated upriver by barge in January. The barge will then return to the New Hampshire State Pier, where construction of the north fixed span portion of the bridge will begin.

– From staff and news services

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