April 25, 2013

Local & State Dispatches

From staff and news services

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The bill drew questions about whether the tax would be an unconstitutional tax on free speech. Hayes says that if she buys a T-shirt with a political slogan on it, she still pays a sales tax.

The bill drew no other supporters, opponents or neutral comment.


State files suit to prevent deterioration of Arsenal

The state is suing the owners of the Kennebec Arsenal, saying the historic compound in downtown Augusta has been allowed to deteriorate while it awaits planned renovations for commercial, retail and residential use.

The complaint by the Department of Administrative and Financial Services and Maine Historic Preservation Commission, which was announced Wednesday, names Main Street I, LLC and Niemann Capital LLC, the current owners of the arsenal property.

The case, filed in Kennebec County Superior Court, claims the defendants violated a covenant by neglecting the property, resulting in significant deterioration. It seeks damages for the cost of repairs and return of the property to the state if the conditions aren't met.

An emailed message to Tom Niemann of Niemann Capital was not immediately returned Wednesday.


Waterville men sentenced for drug-trafficking roles

A federal judge has sentenced two Waterville men to prison for their roles in a drug-trafficking ring.

Patrick Hanson, 22, was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Bangor to five years in prison after previously pleading guilty to drug trafficking charges involving cocaine and oxycodone.

Jesse Jones, 25, was sentenced to one year and nine months in prison for his role.

Prosecutors say Hanson and Jones were part of a drug ring in which cocaine and prescription drugs were sent from New York to be distributed in central Maine.

More than 20 people in central Maine and New York were charged in connection with the scheme.


Pittston man admits to theft of pension payments

A Pittston man has pleaded guilty to theft of more than $83,000 in federal pension funds by continuing to receive retirement payments even after he returned to work.

Federal prosecutors say Gerald E. Bailey, 68, pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Bangor.

Authorities say Bailey retired from Springfield Terminal Railway in 2004, began receiving his pension, then returned to work for Maine Eastern Railroad from 2007 to 2010. To avoid detection, Bailey used another person's name and Social Security number on his time cards.

He received $83,398 in pension funds that he was not entitled to receive.

Bailey faces as much as 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.


Carmel man, 30, sentenced in beating of year-old girl

A Carmel man who authorities say beat his girlfriend's 1-year-old daughter in the parking lot of a Bangor hospital has been sentenced to 18 months in jail.

Scott Peavey was also sentenced Tuesday to two years of probation and ordered not to drink alcohol.

Peavey, 30, pleaded guilty last month to charges of assault on a child.

Police say Peavey struck the girl several times in the face in a car in the parking lot of St. Joseph's Hospital. The girl suffered bruises to her face. Police say he was drunk at the time.

WABI-TV reports that Peavey's lawyer thought the sentence was appropriate. Peavey apologized in court and said he hopes to get the help he needs.


Two women launch canoe on lengthy trip to Fort Kent

There's still ice on some lakes and ponds but the first paddlers have begun making their way from Old Forge, N.Y., to Fort Kent, Maine.

Traveling by canoe, Emma Carlson of Farmington, Maine, and Emily Rooney of Fairfax, Vt., launched Tuesday and plan to complete the 740-mile journey through four states and one Canadian province in 40 days.

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