September 13, 2013

Local & State Dispatches

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The arbitration panel, however, found that Maine and eight other states have been in compliance and will be eligible for full payments. That means retaining $44 million that already has been paid to the state and an additional $5 million that companies withheld.

Six other states failed to comply with the provision.

Maine's tobacco settlement funds go to the Fund for a Healthy Maine, which is used for health care and disease prevention purposes. Since 2000, the state has collected nearly $700 million in settlement funds.

 

Outlook for Maine foliage season: Vibrant colors

Conservation officials are expecting a colorful fall foliage season in Maine.

Bill Ostrofsky of the Maine Forest Service says he's expecting vibrant colors given the vigorous, healthy foliage on the state's maple trees and the moderate summer weather.

In its first weekly foliage report of the season, the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry reports that the northernmost part of the state is already experiencing subtle color changes.

But the peak season is still weeks away. The colors typically reach top form from early to mid-October.

Foliage reports can be found at www.MaineFoliage.com.

BRISTOL

Local man accused of using counterfeit bills in midcoast

Authorities say a Bristol man has been charged with using counterfeit U.S. currency in the midcoast.

The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office, Damariscotta Police Department and U.S. Secret Service executed a search warrant Wednesday at the home of Tobin Burnham, 32, in the town's Round Pond village.

He is charged with aggravated forgery.

Authorities told The Times Record that counterfeit $20 and $5 bills have been passed in stores in Damariscotta, Newcastle and Waldoboro. An investigation was launched after police fielded complaints from businesses and banks that had received the fake bills.

Burnham was taken to the Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset. It was not clear if he had a lawyer.

SKOWHEGAN

Man charged in dog's death released on $1,000 bail

A Fairfield man charged with causing the death of his dog by dragging it along a road in extreme heat has been released on $1,000 bail.

James Wiggins pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Skowhegan District Court to a charge of animal cruelty.

Wiggins, 43, was arrested July 14 after Fairfield police received multiple reports of a walking man dragging a dog along a road on a hot and humid day. Some witnesses say the man appeared intoxicated.

The dog, a four-year-old mixed breed, was taken to Kennebec Veterinary Service in Oakland, where it later died of hyperthermia and complications related to heat exhaustion.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.

Fund set up to help widow of firefighter return to Maine

Friends of a pregnant widow whose firefighter husband recently was found dead in a rugged area of northern New Mexico are trying to bring her back to Maine.

A fund has been set up for Hiedi Adams to help her relocate to Rockport, Maine, where she grew up.

Her husband, engine captain Token Adams, 41, disappeared Aug. 30 while checking a report of smoke near Jemez Springs, where he lived with Hiedi and their young son. He had worked with the Santa Fe National Forest for 18 months and knew the area well.

Investigators who found his body Sept. 6 say it appears he crashed his ATV.

Family friend Chuck Whitehouse says family members want to get Hiedi Adams closer to family.

 

Four Maine museums to get grants totaling $710,457

Four museums and cultural institutions in Maine will receive $710,457 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

The projects will help the museums engage their communities, create learning experiences, and care for and make accessible museum collections.

The Maine grants are among the 244 awards made in 2013 by the Institute of Museum and Library Services totaling nearly $30 million to museums of all types, including art museums, science centers, aquariums and history museums.

The Maine organizations and their funding include:

• Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay: $150,000, to complete a master plan to manage and schedule development through 2035;

• L.C. Bates Museum, Hinckley: $27,994, to collaborate with local teachers to bring science and art education to local schools; and $10,151 to help preserve the museum's ornithology collection;

• Pleasant Point Indian Reservation, Perry: $22,647, to complete an operational plan for the Waponahki Museum and Cultural Resource Center;

• Maine Historical Society, Portland: $499,665: to launch a statewide program to encourage individuals to become participants in the history of their places.

 

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