July 12, 2013

Local Dispatches

From staff and news services

(Continued from page 1)


Maine Audubon awarded grant for aquatic habitat

Maine Audubon has been awarded a $75,000 grant from the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation in Freeport for its work to maintain and restore aquatic habitat in the state.

The grant, part of Maine Audubon's annual $3 million budget, will help support projects related to aquatic conservation, including organizing volunteers to complete surveys of brook trout ponds in northern Maine to determine conservation management practices.

The work, in partnership with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, was started last year, said Barbara Charry, wildlife biologist with Maine Audubon at Gilsland Farms in Falmouth. Of more than 470 ponds identified, 190 were surveyed and native brook trout were identified in 83, she said.

A second project involves an effort between Audubon and the Trust for Public Land to map areas that may serve as habitat for animals to cross roads or other areas somehow disturbed by human use or movement.

A program of "Stream-Smart" workshops for municipal employees, private landowners and building professionals will also be funded to teach repair and construction techniques for road crossings and culverts that are safe for drivers and maintain habitat connections for wildlife, Charry said.


Couple arrested in Belfast charged with selling heroin

Maine State Police say a couple has been arrested in Belfast on charges of selling heroin.

Police said Asgard Tarik Gilbert, 39, and Anna Congdon, 24, were arrested Wednesday night after agents from the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, state troopers and Belfast police searched the hotel room where they were staying.

Police said they seized 100 bags of heroin, 36 oxycodone pills as well as digital scales and $1,000 in cash.

Gilbert was being held on $10,000 bail and Congdon was held on $250 bail.

Police said more arrests are expected.


Bill makes more veterans eligible for free licenses

More disabled Maine veterans will soon be eligible for free hunting and fishing licenses under a new state law.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage signed a bill this week to provide free hunting, trapping and fishing licenses for Maine veterans with a 50 percent disabled rating.

Previously, only veterans with a disability rating of 100 percent and some with 70 percent were able to get free licenses.

The bill is sponsored by Rep. Corey Wilson, R-Augusta. He told the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee that many veterans who are eligible for free licenses are unable to take advantage of them because their injuries are too debilitating.

The bill goes into effect in 90 days. The state estimates it will result in a loss of about $25,000 in fee revenue this year.


Waterville man sentenced for role in drug conspiracy

A Waterville man was sentenced Wednesday to 37 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for his role in a conspiracy that brought drugs to central Maine from New York City.

Rodney Lacroix, 24, pleaded guilty on Dec. 4 in U.S. District Court, where Wednesday's sentencing hearing was held before Chief Judge John A. Woodcock. Lacroix has been in custody since pleading guilty.

In all, 20 people were charged in connection with cocaine and oxycodone trafficking.

The conspiracy lasted from Jan. 1 to March 17, 2012.


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