Thursday, April 17, 2014
City council passes 180-day moratorium on strip clubs
The City Council has halted the development of adult entertainment clubs in the city, at least temporarily.
The council this week passed a 180-day moratorium on establishing strip clubs.
No application has been submitted to open an adult entertainment club in the city, officials said, but a Bangor man has expressed an interest in opening a strip club at the Riverside Pub.
City Solicitor Roger Therriault told The Times Record that there are many related issues and questions, and that state law permits the city to call a "timeout."
Councilor David Sinclair says while the city has the authority to regulate where such a business can operate, it cannot completely ban it.
Officials warn of potentially fraudulent registration site
City officials said Friday that a possibly fraudulent website is offering registration services for city activities and classes through the Recreation Department.
City spokeswoman Nicole Clegg said a resident contacted the department, which quickly notified Portland police.
The website, findsportsnow.com, is believed to be posting city programs and offering online registration by soliciting personal information, including credit card numbers, and charging a $2 processing fee for each. The website claims the registration information is passed on to the city, but no information is given to the city, which has no business relationship or agreements with the site.
Clegg said other communities across the country have been targeted. It appears that the website pops up in Google searches.
Anyone interested in recreation programs should go to the city's site, www.portlandmaine.gov/rec/rec.asp. Anyone with questions or concerns about registration should contact 756-8275 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Anyone who believes they have been the victim of the website should call police at 874-8575.
Man pleads guilty for taking public assistance funds
A Portland man pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District court to making false statements to obtain Medicaid and food stamp benefits, and theft of federal housing assistance funds.
Dafle Abdullahi Ali, 46, is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 26. He faces as much as five years in prison on the false statement charge, 10 years on the theft charge and fines of as much as $250,000 for each charge.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, in 2008 and 2009, Ali was an owner and director of finance for Home Health Care Solutions, a Portland company that provided home-based personal care to the elderly and disabled under Maine's Medicaid program. During that period, Ali also received MaineCare benefits and food stamps.
In February 2009, Ali signed a state form claiming he made about $36,000 per year and had no savings, when he actually had more than $100,000 in income and $48,000 in bank accounts, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
From August 2006 to November 2008, Ali and his family lived in Portland public housing. He underreported his income to the housing authority and illegally received more than $22,000 in rent subsidies. Ali also fraudulently received and stole about $46,585 in MaineCare, food stamps and HUD benefits, said the U.S. Attorney's Office.
LePage vetoes vehicle registration fees bill
Gov. Paul LePage has vetoed a bill that could require Maine motorists to pay higher vehicle registration fees.
In his veto message Friday, LePage said lawmakers should be focused on growing the economy, not taking more money from citizens.
He also asked why lawmakers are sending him bills that are likely to be vetoed, without sufficient support.
The vetoed bill addresses motor vehicle licensing and registration service fees collected and retained by municipalities. The renewal of a license or registration would increase from $3 to $5, and the allowable service fee for a new license or registration would increase from $4 to $6.
The bill's sponsor, Democratic Rep. Alan Casavant, Biddeford, said the measure would help cash-strapped cities and towns cover the cost of that basic duty.
– From staff and news services