November 1, 2012

Local & State Dispatches

Two Scarborough women charged with trafficking, possession of crack cocaine / Feds nearing settlement in Maine submarine arson case / Injury to Arabian horse proves to be bullet wounds ... and more news from around the state.

From staff and news services

(Continued from page 2)

Farnham's race against Democrat Jeff Gratwick is one of the most closely watched and competitive legislative races as Republicans seek to maintain control at the State House.

Democrats were quick to point out that the ethics commission levied a $250 fine against the PAC for failing to update its registration paperwork when the principal officers changed. The original complaint was filed by the Maine Democratic Party. 

Simpson joins Bowles in endorsing Angus King

Former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming has endorsed Angus King for Maine's open U.S. Senate seat.

Simpson served in the Senate for 18 years and was assistant Republican leader. He also was co-chair of the bipartisan deficit reduction task force that came to be known as the Simpson-Bowles Commission. The commission's plan calls for a combination of spending cuts, tax reform and tax increases.

The other co-chair, Erskine Bowles, a Democrat and former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, endorsed King in September.

Both Simpson and Bowles said King could become an independent bridge between the deadlocked parties in the Senate. 

Conservative super PAC touts Dill to progressives

Another conservative super PAC is spending money on behalf of Democrat Cynthia Dill in the Senate race in hopes of drawing votes away from independent Angus King.

Safe Nation PAC is spending nearly $25,000 on a mailing that describes Dill as "the only Senate candidate progressives can trust." It also says progressives "can't take a chance on Angus King."

It's not the first time a conservative PAC has spent money on behalf of Dill in hope of drawing support away from King and thereby helping Republican Charlie Summers.

The GOP-led super PAC, Maine Freedom, earlier spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on TV ads urging Democrats to stick with Dill, describing her as a "bold progressive." 

State pays $700,000 in fees to foe in drug-privacy case

Gov. Paul LePage says the state has paid nearly $700,000 in opponents' legal fees in a court case that shot down a Maine law restricting drug manufacturers' use of information about the drugs doctors prescribe.

IMS Health Inc. sued the state of Vermont over a law requiring it to get doctors' permission before selling data on their prescription-writing habits to drug companies, which use the information to tailor drug sales pitches.

The U.S. Supreme Court last year ruled that Vermont's law was unconstitutional, thereby making a similar Maine law enacted in 2007 unconstitutional as well.

LePage says a federal judge last month ordered Maine to pay $678,000 in IMS Health's legal fees related to the case.

Vermont earlier this year was ordered to pay $2.4 million in legal fees in the case.


Shooting victim airlifted after 'hunting incident'

A local man was taken by helicopter to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston after he was shot late Wednesday afternoon.

Kerry Hebert of Starks was shot, likely in a "hunting-related incident," a Madison police officer said.

Several townspeople said at the scene that Hebert was shot by a hunter on his property, but law enforcement officials would not immediately confirm that.

The shooting happened around Dickson Corner on Mayhew Road.

"It's still under investigation by the major crimes unit of the state police," said Maine State Police Sgt. Peter Michaud Wednesday night.

Hebert was lifted by lifeflight helicopter from the parking lot at Madison High School.


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