April 14, 2013

Dispatches

LEWISTON

Accused killer might have thought man was informant

Maine State Police investigating the murder of Romeo Parent in Lewiston said his accused killer may have believed Parent was a police informant.

Police arrested Michael McNaughton, 23, of Lewiston on Friday. He is charged with killing Parent, 20, in Greene on Tuesday during a fight and dumping the body below a dam in Jug Stream.

Police discovered Parent's body Friday. Police said the two men were friends.

Steve McCausland, Department of Public Safety spokesman, said investigators said McNaughton thought Parent was a police informant, giving them information about a crime in the Lewiston area.

McCausland would not confirm whether Parent, who worked at a Dunkin' Donuts, was a police informant.

McNaughton is being held at the Androscoggin County Jail in Auburn. He is due to appear in court Tuesday.

NEWRY

Sunday River announces capital investment plans

One of Maine's busiest ski resorts says it will spend nearly $6 million on capital investments.

Sunday River says $5.7 million will go toward projects that include expanded snowmaking, a new 15-acre terrain park, and upgrades to hotels, condominiums and a hotel restaurant.

It's also going to build a new wedding ceremony site and begin construction of a road leading to its newest real estate development, which went on the market last summer.

The resort plans to install 200 new snow guns and begin work to build a terrain park trail this summer.

PORTLAND

Coast Guard offers safety tips as waters get warmer

With boating season around the corner, the Coast Guard is offering up tips for safe boating practices.

The Coast Guard said last weekend's rescues of kayakers in Boston Harbor and Long Island serve as a reminder that although the air is getting warmer, the ocean waters remain cold.

Coast Guard officials said as people bring their boats out for the season, they should remember to dress for the water temperature and check all safety equipment to make sure it's in working order.

Boaters are also reminded to have Coast Guard-approved lifejackets on board, and are encouraged to wear them while on the water.

MONTPELIER, Vt.

Vermont ranks first, Maine second for eating local food

A second annual index again ranks Vermont as the top state in its commitment to raising and eating locally grown food.

The ranking is based on the per-capita number of farmers markets, food hubs and community supported agriculture farms, where customers pay up front and receive weekly bundles of produce and other foods.

The 2013 Strolling of the Heifers Locavore Index says Vermont has 94 farmers markets, 139 CSAs and 12 food hubs with a population of more than 626,000.

Maine is ranked second, followed by New Hampshire, North Dakota and Iowa. The bottom states are Texas, which is last, Florida, Louisiana, Arizona and Nevada.

The index relies on U.S. Department of Agriculture and census figures.

The Strolling of the Heifers helps support and sustain family farms and puts on a parade and festival in Brattleboro, Vt., each summer.

AUGUSTA

Governor hears 'crickets' from Democrats on budget

Gov. Paul LePage said Mainers may hear a lot of noise from Augusta these days. But on the state budget, he said all you hear "are crickets."

In his weekly radio address, LePage said he presented a balanced budget proposal three months ago. LePage said Democrats, including a former governor, John Baldacci, have been attacking his proposal regularly. But LePage said those critics have yet to submit their own budget proposals. LePage said that beyond the criticism, all he hears "are crickets."

In the Democratic response, Sen. Rebecca Millett of Cape Elizabeth took aim at LePage's plan to grade public schools from A to F for their performance. Millett said that plan is simplistic and superficial, and is akin to brandishing those with low grades with a "scarlet letter."

– From staff and news services

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