March 28, 2013

Dispatches

ALFRED

Strong withdraws appeal, ending his prostitution case

Mark Strong Sr., who has served one week of a 20-day sentence for promoting a prostitution business from a Zumba studio in Kennebunk, has withdrawn his appeal of his conviction on 13 counts.

Strong, 57, of Thomaston, filed an appeal on March 21, the day he was sentenced, seeking to overturn his convictions in York County Superior Court of 12 counts of promotion of prostitution and one count of conspiracy to promote prostitution. In addition to the jail sentence, Strong received a $3,000 fine.

Prosecutors said Strong and Alexis Wright worked together to operate a prostitution business. The withdrawal of the appeal effectively ends his case.

Prosecutors are scheduled to meet with Wright's attorney, Sarah Churchill, on Friday to discuss a plea deal in her case.

Wright, 30, of Wells, has pleaded not guilty to 106 counts, including promotion of prostitution, engaging in prostitution, violation of privacy, conspiracy, tax offenses and receiving welfare benefits when ineligible.

BOSTON

Man found guilty of murder in Lewiston woman's death

A Boston man has been convicted of fatally shooting a Maine woman as retribution for missing heroin.

A Suffolk Superior Court jury on Tuesday found Amos "Ace" Don, 27, guilty of charges including first-degree murder for the August 2009 slaying of Erica Field, 29, of Lewiston.

Prosecutors say Don was a heroin dealer who enlisted Field's boyfriend to help him sell drugs in the Lewiston area. When some heroin went missing, Don suspected Field's boyfriend. The three drove to Boston under the guise of obtaining more drugs. Authorities say Don made them drive to an isolated area where he shot both. The boyfriend survived.

Don, who is already serving a 6 1/2-year sentence on a federal gun conviction, faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole.

PARIS

Father of teen killed in crash suing driver, three others

The father of a 16-year-old West Paris girl who was killed in a car crash last year has sued the driver and three others.

Rebecca Mason's father this week filed a lawsuit in Oxford County Superior Court against Kristina Lowe, 19, the driver of the car in which his daughter was a passenger. Mason and a 19-year-old man died in the crash in January 2012.

Jerrold Mason is also suing three people he alleges provided Lowe with alcohol and a place to drink.

The Sun Journal reported that the lawsuit alleges "negligence and recklessness" on the part of the defendants.

Lowe has pleaded not guilty to two counts of manslaughter. Police say she was drunk and texting at the time of the crash. Her lawyer has denied that, saying she hit a patch of ice.

AUGUSTA

Scarborough River dredging qualifies for federal funding

Federal money is being allocated for a dredging project in the Scarborough River as early as this fall.

The project qualified for federal funding because of the sustained excessive shoaling that resulted from Hurricane Sandy. Members of Maine's congressional delegation say $3.5 million has been allocated for the for the Army Corps of Engineers' work.

U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King said in a written statement Tuesday that proper maintenance of Maine's small ports, harbors and rivers is critically important because they play an important role in local economies.

Scarborough Town Manager Thomas Hall says the grant will ensure safe passage for the commercial fishing fleet and recreational boat traffic.

 

Education panel rejects bill to allow gender-segregation

A legislative committee has rejected a bill that would have changed state law to allow gender-segregated classrooms amid concerns that it's unconstitutional.

The Education Committee voted down the bill, submitted by Sen. John Tuttle, D-Sanford, in a 13-1 vote on Tuesday. It would establish single-gender classrooms as an option for schools in state education guidelines. The bill will go to the Legislature for consideration.

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