November 28, 2012

Local & State Dispatches

From staff and news service reports

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Whistleblower protections sought by Collins now law

President Obama has signed into law a Maine senator's bill to protect federal employees who reveal government waste, fraud, abuse and other wrongdoing.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins and her co-sponsor, Hawaii Democratic Sen. Daniel Akaka, were present as Obama signed the bill Tuesday in an Oval Office ceremony.

Collins said the law makes it clear that federal employees should not be subject to prior restraint or punishment for disclosing wrongdoing. The law will also give the U.S. Office of the Special Counsel the legal tools needed to enforce the law.

It also requires each agency to educate workers about whistleblower rights.


Sex offender who failed to register gets 15-month term

A Portland man has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for failing to register as a sex offender.

U.S. Attorney Thomas Delahanty II said Darrell Lee Roath, 43, also was sentenced to five years of supervised release after he gets out of prison.

Roath pleaded guilty to the charges Aug. 29. He was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Portland.

According to court records, Roath was convicted in 1988 in Texas of indecency with a child. It was a crime that required him to register as a sex offender. He moved to Maine in 2009. 

School board nominates Jaimey Caron as chairman

The Portland school board nominated Jaimey Caron as chairman Tuesday night.

Caron, an at-large representative, is serving his second term on the board. District 4 representative Justin Costa was nominated as Finance Committee chairman.

At-large representative Sarah Thompson and District 1 representative Jenna Vendil were re-elected to three-year terms on Nov. 6. Earlier this month, students at each of the three high schools elected a student representative to the board: Madeline Holton of Portland High School, Oliver Nolan of Casco Bay High School and Christopher Thorne of Deering High School.

An inauguration ceremony will be held at 4 p.m. Monday in Portland City Hall council chambers. The board will vote on the Caron and Costa nominations at the ceremony. 

Maine wind power slashing carbon pollution, group says

An environmental group says power generation from Maine wind farms is eliminating more than 400,000 metric tons of carbon pollution a year.

Environment Maine on Wednesday released a report that analyzes data from the U.S. Department of Energy and the wind industry to measure the environmental benefits from wind turbines operating in Maine.

The report says the turbines reduce carbon dioxide output by 403,000 metric tons a year, equivalent to the pollution from 79,000 vehicles. It says the wind farms also reduce the output of smog- and soot-forming pollutants, while saving 155 million gallons of water annually.

The group released the analysis to support its position in favor of extending federal tax credits for wind energy that are set to expire at the end of the year. 

Women's Law Association to honor alumnus Mitchell

Former Senate President Libby Mitchell of Vassalboro will be honored Friday by the Women's Law Association at the University of Maine School of Law.

Mitchell will receive the Outstanding Alumna Award, which is given each fall to one woman who makes outstanding contributions to the legal community.

Mitchell, 72, was Maine's first female speaker of the House in 1996 and served nearly continuously in the Legislature from 1974 to 2010. After serving as Senate president from 2008-10, she was the Democratic nominee for governor, finishing third behind Paul LePage and Eliot Cutler.

Mitchell will join other alumni who have won the award, including former U.S. Attorney Paula Silsby, Justice Nancy Mills and Maine Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Leigh Saufley.

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