January 20, 2013

Local and State Dispatches

PORTLAND

Investigation continues into Westbrook woman's murder

Police are releasing little information about a Westbrook woman found murdered Thursday in a vehicle at the Motel 6 parking lot on Riverside Street.

The death of Margarita Fisenko Scott, 29, was ruled a homicide by the state medical examiner Friday.

Police are not releasing any information about the cause of death, the vehicle in which Scott was found, her address and other identifying information as they continue to investigate her murder.

"We are in the infancy stages right now, doing a victimology and everything that goes along with that," Portland Police Lt. Scott Pelletier said Saturday.

Police are seeking help from the public and have asked anyone with information about Scott or who had recent contact with her to call them at 874-8604.

Gospel concert among events scheduled to mark King Day

A gospel concert is among the events planned in Maine to mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The Annual MLK Holiday Observance Gospel Concert will be held Saturday at Portland's Merrill Auditorium. The concert features seven choirs.

On Monday, the annual MLK Breakfast Celebration will be held at the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland. The keynote speakers will be Rinku Sen, president and executive director of the Applied Research Center, and two local high school students, Fatma Adnad of Casco Bay High School and Mohamed Nur of Deering High School. The Applied Research Center is a national racial justice organization

The event will conclude with a live-streaming of President Obama's inauguration.

LEWISTON

Lewiston man charged with stabbing drug informant

A judge has set bail at $60,000 for a Lewiston man who is charged with stabbing and punching a woman because he found out she was a drug informant.

The Sun Journal of Lewiston reported that the bail set Friday for 36-year-old Mark Brown was $10,000 more than the amount sought by prosecutors. Judge John Beliveau said Brown, if released on bail, could pose a danger to the community and might leave the state.

Brown is charged with twice stabbing a 22-year-old Lewiston woman Monday after learning she was an informant for an agent at the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency. Police records also state that he punched her in the face.

Brown faces charges of criminal threatening, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, tampering with a witness or informant and aggravated assault.

PORTSMOUTH, N.H.

Maine-New Hampshire river to be site of dredging project

The Army Corps of Engineers will start dredging the Piscataqua River in Maine and New Hampshire next month to remove about 15,000 cubic yards of sand and gravel.

The work will be done at a 35-foot-deep channel upstream from the Interstate 95 bridge in the Piscataqua and at Portsmouth Harbor.

The $878,000 project is being managed by the corps and will be done by Cashman Dredging & Marine Contracting Co. of Quincy, Mass. It will take several weeks to complete.

AUGUSTA

LePage uses address to pitch hospital repayment proposal

Gov. Paul LePage says Mainers shouldn't be asked to wait for years to be paid for their work.

But in his weekly radio address Saturday, LePage said that's what the state is doing to Maine's hospitals.

The governor pitched his plan to settle a $484 million debt to hospitals for past Medicaid services, with income from liquor sales.

LePage said that a 10-year private contract for liquor sales, which expires in mid-2014, has cost Maine hundreds of millions of dollars, and his plan would return these revenues to the state.

In the Democratic response, Assistant Senate Majority Leader Troy Jackson of Allagash said the $6.3 billion two-year budget proposed by LePage shifts more than $420 million in expenses to towns and cities, which will force them to cut essential services or raise property taxes.

ORONO

UMaine planning to open campus composting facility

The University of Maine is opening an advanced composting facility where food waste from all of the Orono campus's dining halls will be recycled.

The university is purchasing a 10-foot by 40-foot enclosed, automated composting unit called the EarthFlow 40, manufactured by Green Mountain Technologies of Washington state.

It has the potential to convert more than one ton of organic waste per day from campus dining facilities -- from potato peels and lettuce leaves to meat scraps -- into a rich soil additive that will be used in UMaine landscaping and on university crop fields.

The university's dining services and UMaine Cooperative Extension collaborated on the composting effort.

-- From staff and news services

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