April 16, 2013

Dispatches

From news service reports

AUGUSTA

Price of gasoline in Maine drops by nearly a nickel

The cost of a gallon of gas in Maine is down by almost a nickel.

Price-monitoring website MaineGasPrices.com reported Monday that the average retail cost of a gallon of gas has dropped in the past week to $3.59.

That's almost 40 cents lower than at the same time last year, but still seven cents per gallon above the national average.

FARMINGTON

Authorities investigating deaths of man and woman

Authorities are investigating the deaths of a man and a woman whose bodies were found in a home in Farmington.

Police arrived at the scene at 1:30 a.m. Monday. They are not releasing names until the families are notified.

Police and the office of the chief medical examiner are investigating the two deaths.

PORTLAND

Maine People's Alliance protests with pizza slices

Demonstrators used pizza slices as props to make their point about tax loopholes on income tax filing day.

On Monday, members of the Maine People's Alliance handed out slices of pizza and pie representing what they see as the sliver of revenue generated from the current corporate tax system.

Members of the consumer activist group say corporate tax loopholes need to be closed to ensure that everyone pays his fair share. They gathered near the Portland Post Office on Monday afternoon to offer pizza and pie slices to taxpayers as they mailed their tax returns.

Southwest Airlines begins flights out of Portland

Southwest Airlines has begun flying out of Maine.

The airline began flying out of Portland on Sunday for regularly scheduled flights to Baltimore-Washington.

The airline is offering three daily nonstop flights between Portland and Baltimore-Washington from Sunday through Friday, and two flights on Saturdays.

The airline's arrival in Maine has been anticipated since it bought AirTran Airways in 2011. AirTran's last flights out of Portland were Saturday.

AUBURN

Future of St. Louis church looks increasingly bleak

Parishioners are finding out that the future of St. Louis Roman Catholic church in Auburn is looking increasingly bleak.

Church members learned at a meeting Sunday that compounding structural problems have led church officials to recommend to the bishop that the 1905 building be deconsecrated and demolished.

The church has cracks in the masonry and water damage. The light fixtures are so old that the bulbs needed are no longer made. The building needs to be completely rewired. Three rickety spires have already been removed.

The Sun Journal reported that the total cost of repairs is estimated at more than $1 million. Tearing it down would cost just $120,000.

Some parishioners are angry, suggesting the diocese sell some other church property to help pay for repairs at St. Louis.

CONCORD, N.H.

N.H. doctor gets probation in plea deal on drug charge

A New Hampshire doctor has been sentenced to three years' probation on a charge of fraudulently obtaining prescription drugs.

Douglas McCullom of East Wakefield worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs in New Hampshire and is licensed to practice medicine in Maine.

Prosecutors say in 2010, McCullom wrote 17 prescriptions for oxycodone and OxyContin that were not documented in the medical records of one of his patients. Some of the prescriptions were written for the patient after the 52-year-old McCullom was placed on worker's compensation leave. The patient has said that he later provided some of these pills to McCullom.

As part of a plea agreement, McCullom agreed to surrender his Drug Enforcement Administration registration. He also must advise the licensing authorities in Maine about his conviction.

 

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