December 1, 2012

Dispatches

(Continued from page 1)

The problem was rectified by 2 p.m., she said.

The widespread outage affected several branches of state government, including the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and state websites accessed by the public.

"There were multiple sites on the wide area network," Smith said. "I know we had some external websites that were down. The Department of Labor was there, and the Bureau of Motor Vehicles," but she could not say specifically how widespread the computer outage was or gauge its impact.

A FairPoint spokesman said he was researching the situation.

Guilty conviction of man in husband-wife slaying upheld

Maine's highest court has upheld the conviction of a Burlington man found guilty of killing a husband and wife in rural eastern Maine in 2009.

The Supreme Judicial Court on Thursday ruled that the taped confession of Nathaneal Nightingale and some physical evidence were appropriately allowed at his trial.

The Bangor Daily News reports that Nightingale's attorney argued in the appeal that his client's confession was inadmissible. But the court said he voluntarily submitted to questioning and was twice read his Miranda rights.

Nightingale was convicted in March, 2011 of manslaughter in the death of Michael Miller Sr. and murder in the death of Miller's wife Valerie. Both were 47.

Prosecutors say the Millers were slain in their Webster Plantation pawn shop in a botched robbery attempt.

RANGELEY

Residents OK settlement in lawsuit over termination

Residents of Rangeley have authorized the Board of Selectmen to pay $145,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by the town's former highway foreman.

The money is to be taken from the town's unreserved fund.

Town Clerk Ethna Thompson told the Sun Journal the vote was taken Wednesday and 20 to 25 residents voted at a half-hour meeting.

Former highway foreman Everett Quimby was fired in 2010 after 14 years. He responded with a lawsuit, saying he was terminated without due process, in violation of town policy and in violation of the Maine Whistleblowers' Protection Act and the Maine Human Rights Act.

The lawsuit was settled for $175,000. The town's share was $145,000 while former Town Manager Perry Ellsworth must pay $30,000.

PORTSMOUTH, N.H.

New Hampshire won't pay for lighting on new bridge

Some Portsmouth residents want to add lighting to a new bridge being built between the seacoast community and the state of Maine, but the state of New Hampshire says it's not going to pay for the lights.

The new Memorial Bridge is under construction and due to open this summer.

Peter Somssich, chairman of the Portsmouth's Illumination Subcommittee, says it will cost between $60,000 and $80,000 to illuminate a memorial plaque for veterans, the footing of the bridge, the two piers and the towers.

Department of Transportation Project Manager Keith Cota says the lights aren't essential for transportation needs so the project should be a community initiative.

WMUR-TV says the Portsmouth City Council is expected to discuss ways to pay for the lighting at a meeting on Monday.

FRAMINGTON

Man who held mill official hostage given five years

A man who held a paper mill manager hostage during a nine-hour armed standoff in Jay is going to prison for five years.

Francis Smith III of Norridgewock pleaded guilty Friday to kidnapping, criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, terrorizing, and assault. The Sun Journal says he was ordered to serve five years of a 12-year sentence.

Smith was reportedly angry at losing his job and upset over the treatment of workers at the Verso Paper Androscoggin Mill in Jay.

Prosecutors say he had a shotgun and a handgun when he went to the paper mill on March 14 and kept the manager hostage. He eventually surrendered.

-- From staff and news services

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