Friday, December 13, 2013
From staff and news services
Cruise ship docks, takes on new passengers -- lobsters
A cruise ship that docked Monday in Portland Harbor picked up a load of live Maine lobsters.
The Celebrity Summit took delivery of lobsters from Ready Lobster to serve to its passengers. Celebrity Cruises has contracted to buy a total of 3,800 pounds of Maine lobster this year. Norwegian Cruise Lines has agreed to buy another 5,000 pounds when its ships call on Portland this fall.
The cruise lines' purchases are good news for Maine's lobster industry, which has suffered from rock-bottom prices this summer because of an oversupply.
U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, who was on the waterfront Monday, wrote to the CEOs of all cruise ship companies that visit Maine, urging them to buy Maine lobster.
Federal suit says Bath dentist retaliated against hygienists
The U.S. Department of Labor is suing a Bath dentist, claiming she retaliated against two hygienists who complained about improper infection-control procedures at her practice.
The complaint filed in U.S. District Court alleges that Dr. Tammy Cook, the owner of Bath Family Dental, discriminated against the hygienists, Dorothy Shafran and Chelsea Huntington. The lawsuit seeks lost wages, benefits, and compensatory and punitive damages for Shafran and Huntington.
"We deny the allegations. We intend to vigorously litigate the case," said Cook's lawyer, Robert Kline. He said one defense will be that the underlying complaint wasn't made in good faith.
The hygienists told Cook they had concerns about perceived lapses such as failure to decontaminate treatment rooms and failure to wash hands or wear gloves, but the situation did not improve, according to the complaint filed Friday.
When their concerns allegedly were ignored, the two filed health and safety complaints with OSHA in October. Inspectors went to the office two days after the first complaint.
During the inspection, Cook said she knew who had filed the complaint and would fire them, and when reminded of whistle-blower protections, said she would fire them for other reasons, according to the complaint.
Working conditions deteriorated for both women before Shafran was fired and Huntington resigned, the lawsuit says.
State's top court to argue real cases before students
High schools in Biddeford, Brunswick and Bucksport will be venues for oral arguments before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court next month.
"The practice of appellate law is rarely seen on television or in the movies, and we hope that these opportunities supplement the education and exposure of Maine students to both the third branch of government and to the concept of justice as a function of the third branch," Chief Justice Leigh Saufley said in a prepared statement.
The state's highest court has been visiting high schools in the fall for several years.
Students receive copies of the briefs before the appeals, and the lawyers stay to answer questions after oral arguments.
The court will be at Biddeford High on Oct. 23, Brunswick High on Oct. 24 and Bucksport High on Oct. 26.
Creativity center to honor actress Close and husband
Actress Glenn Close and her husband are being recognized for their contributions to Maine's creative economy.
The Maine Center for Creativity will honor Close and Idexx Laboratories founder David Shaw as the first recipients of the Maine Creative Industries Award. The award will be presented Thursday at the inaugural Maine Creative Industries Gala in Portland.
Close and Shaw own a home in Scarborough.
Special-education instructor named Maine's top teacher
A special-education teacher at Whittier Middle School in Poland is Maine's teacher of the year.
Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen presented the award to seventh- and eighth-grade teacher Shannon Shanning during a school assembly Monday.
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