Monday, December 9, 2013
From staff and news services
Lottery proposed for Maine elver-fishing licenses
More people will be fishing for lucrative baby eels in Maine rivers next year, but the amount of fishing gear will remain stable under proposed new regulations.
The Department of Marine Resources is proposing to establish a lottery system for new fishing licenses for the tiny baby eels known as elvers. There has been a freeze on new licenses since 2006.
There has been high interest in elver licenses since last spring's eel-fishing frenzy, when fishermen were getting more than $2,000 a pound.
Elver dealers say it's important to allow new people into the fishery to ensure a sustainable elver industry in Maine.
Officials say it's also important to not increase fishing pressure at a time when the federal government is reviewing whether to list eels as threatened or endangered.
Casco Bay Transit plans major terminal renovation
The Casco Bay Island Transit District is planning to expand and renovate its facility at 56 Commercial St.
The district plans to add more than 3,000 square feet to its terminal building for a new waiting room, ticket and freight offices and restrooms for passengers and employees. The existing terminal building will also be renovated and marine infrastructure will be improved.
Casco Bay Lines General Manager Hank Berg said work on deteriorated pilings will likely begin in early 2013, with terminal renovations beginning in the spring. The $3 million project is being funded with federal and state money, he said.
Barbara Barhydt, the city's development review manager, said the project does not need to be reviewed by the Planning Board.
Maine mom sues teacher over son's injuries
The mother of a Minot boy is suing a substitute teacher for negligence after her son was assaulted by another student in the classroom while the teacher was out of the room.
According to the complaint filed Wednesday in Androscoggin County Superior Court, Joel Clavet attended Lewiston Middle School in May 2011 when he was assaulted by a classmate referred to only as John Doe.
The Sun Journal reports that Clavet's mother, Maureen, says in the suit the assault occurred when the substitute teacher was out of the classroom talking to another teacher in the hallway.
The teacher knew John Doe had "behavioral issues," including "a proclivity for violence."
Joel Clavet suffered a facial cut that required stitches.
Maureen Clavet is seeking damages, including attorney's fees.
Pickup driver hurt in crash with school bus full of kids
A Brunswick School District bus, loaded with students from nearby Harriet Beecher Stowe Elementary School, collided Wednesday afternoon with a pickup truck owned by the Maine Natural Gas Corp.
Lt. Todd Ridlon said none of the schoolchildren aboard the bus was injured but the driver of the pickup truck, 41-year-old Jason Bowie of Durham, was taken to Mid Coast Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.
The students were being transported to an athletic event around 3:25 p.m. when the crash occurred at McKeen Street and Baribeau Drive -- a short distance from the town's new elementary school.
The school district arranged for a second bus to transport the students back to the school where they were picked up by their parents.
Brunswick police identified the bus driver as 69-year-old Eugene Gagne of Brunswick. Gagne was not injured.
No charges have been filed against either driver. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
Fall foliage reaching its peak in the North
Maine forestry officials say peak foliage colors have begun to appear in far northern Maine.
The state's weekly fall foliage report says forest and park rangers are reporting that trees are at least 75 percent toward their peak color change with minimal leaf drop in all of Aroostook County.
High foliage color between 50 and 75 percent is being reported in the Greenville and Jackman areas in northwest Maine, while moderate foliage color is being reported in the Rangeley region across the state to the eastern Maine coast.
Southern and central Maine for the most part are experiencing low color change so far.
Construction racket sends Maine jury trial to new venue
The racket from pile-driving behind the Kennebec County Courthouse in Augusta – work that will eventually produce an expanded courthouse – drove a jury trial to Farmington on Wednesday.
Justice Michaela Murphy decided late Tuesday afternoon to change the venue for the criminal trial after construction noise made it hard to hear during a pre-trial session in that case.
"They had a motion hearing while the pile-ddriving was going on, and it was obvious they wouldn't be able to have the jury concentrate on the evidence with this disruption," said acting District Attorney Alan Kelley on Wednesday morning.
He said it is the only time he has seen a trial moved because of construction in his 33 years as a prosecutor.
The pile-driving is necessary to shore up a street that runs directly behind the courthouse, so a new courthouse can be built on the site of the former Crisis & Counseling Centers, which is on a steep slope.
On Tuesday, Murphy had to repeat herself several times and asked attorneys to repeat themselves during an unrelated hearing, so people seated at the rear of the courtroom could hear.
On Wednesday, 13 jurors picked for the criminal trial reported to Kennebec County Superior Court, then boarded two state-owned vans to ride to Franklin County, where proceedings were expected to be more peaceful.
Loud music in Dexter leads to pot bust
Police investigating "extremely loud" music in Dexter instead found what they call a marijuana growing operation.
Chief Kevin Wintle says he and another officer were on routine patrol on Tuesday evening when they came to an area from which music was blasting.
He tells the Bangor Daily News he smelled the strong odor of marijuana coming from an open window in the home.
After getting consent for a search, police found a greenhouse on the property full of marijuana plants. Police confiscated 20 pounds of processed marijuana as well as 28 mature plants, some of which were 12 feet tall.
Raymond Buxton was arrested on drug trafficking charges.
The 47-year-old Buxton was freed on $1,500 unsecured cash bail and is due in Penobscot County Superior Court on Nov. 15.
Woodward to get Colby's Lovejoy journalism award
Watergate reporter Bob Woodward will be honored by Colby College for courage in journalism.
Woodward is to receive Colby College's 2012 Elijah Parish Lovejoy Award on Nov. 11. Now associate editor of the Washington Post, Woodward will give a speech after convocation at the college.
Woodward was hired by the Washington Post in 1971 as a reporter, and the next year he and Carl Bernstein did most of the reporting that exposed crimes related to the Richard Nixon re-election campaign's involvement in the break-in at the Watergate Hotel in Washington.
The Lovejoy Award has been given annually since 1952. It honors the memory of Elijah Parish Lovejoy, Colby's valedictorian in 1826 and an abolitionist newspaper publisher who was killed in Alton, Ill., in 1837.
Man found guilty in setting fire in ex-girlfriend's house
A Maine man has been convicted of trying to burn down his ex-girlfriend's house while she and her grandparents were asleep in December.
A jury found Andrew Freeman, 22, guilty on Wednesday of two charges of aggravated attempted murder, arson and burglary, after more than an hour of deliberation.
Assistant District Attorney Joseph O'Connor told the Bangor Daily News that Freeman is a "very dangerous individual" with an extensive criminal record, including convictions of stalking and criminal trespass. He said five young women had filed protective orders against Freeman at the time of the fire.
Freeman is charged with setting the fire in the basement, which woke up the 17-year-old girl's grandmother. The family managed to put the fire out.