May 17, 2013

Local & State Dispatches

From staff and news services

PORTLAND

Portland man sentenced for sexually exploiting a minor

A Portland man was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court to serve 25 years in prison for sexually exploiting a minor to make child pornography.

David Muise, 26, of 141 Cumberland Ave. pleaded guilty to the charge on Jan. 29 and faced a sentence of as much as 30 years. Judge Nancy Torresen sentenced Muise to serve 20 years of supervised release after his prison term.

Muise used his cellphone camera to take a series of pornographic pictures of himself with a sleeping 4-year-old girl on Aug. 26, 2011. A search at Muise's home in September of 2012 revealed sexually explicit photographs of the minor stored in multiple electronic devices, according to court records.

In 2012, Muise exchanged messages, files and photos over the Internet with Daniel Cobb, 37, of Rock Hill, S.C., according to court records.

After Muise's arrest in October, Cobb was arrested in November at his home. Cobb faces the same charge as Muise and is accused of sending explicit pictures of his friend's young daughters to Muise.

Cobb pleaded not guilty in December and is scheduled for trial in federal court in Portland in June.

GLENBURN

Police continue search for missing teenage girl

Maine law enforcement officials are searching on land and air and reviewing computer and cellphone records following the disappearance of a 15-year-old girl from Glenburn.

Nichole Cable was last seen by her parents Sunday evening and more than 45 officers from various agencies are working to locate her. Her mother, Kristine Willey, said she was scheduled to meet someone she had met on Facebook.

Penobscot County Sheriff Glenn Ross said her disappearance is still being treated as a missing-person case.

WZON-AM says he's urging anyone who saw someone who could've been Cable on Route 221 in Glenburn between 8 p.m. Sunday and 2 a.m. Monday to call 947-4585.

NEW YORK

Limestone man charged in death of New York teen

Police have arrested a Maine man in connection with the death of a 14-year-old girl who was found charred and naked on a Brooklyn beach.

Christian Ferdinand, 20, of Limestone, Maine, was arrested Thursday on a second-degree murder charge.

The medical examiner had determined that Shaniesha Forbes died of "homicidal asphyxiation," which includes suffocation and smothering.

The Brooklyn girl's body was discovered on Gerritsen Beach on Jan. 6.

She had attended the Academy for Young Writers in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. She disappeared two days before her body was found.

GORHAM

Police seek suspect who robbed customer at ATM

Police are looking for a man who robbed an ATM customer on Main Street on Tuesday.

A customer at the Key Bank automatic teller machine reported to police that at 6:45 p.m. he was approached by a man with a knife who tried to force him to withdraw money.

The suspect accessed the victim's account and instead stole a small amount of money from the customer then ran, said Gorham Detective Sgt. Dana Thompson.

The robber was last seen climbing over a fence at the back of 45 Main St. and running toward Preble or Elm streets.

He was described as 5 feet 6 inches to 5 feet 8 inches tall, with short brown hair, and was wearing a plain black baseball cap, a black jacket and tan shorts.

Police said the incident appears to be isolated but encouraged residents to be vigilant and to call police if they see someone suspicious near an ATM.

WESTBROOK

Teen center changes its name, celebrates 15 years

The Mission Possible Teen Center marked its 15th anniversary Thursday by changing its name to the My Place Teen Center.

The teen center unveiled its new name and logo at an event Thursday at the center on Main Street. The logo includes a drawing of the distinct red doors at the entrance to the center.

The teen center opened in the Dana Warp Mill on May 16, 1998, and moved to its current location in 2004. It provides a place for 10- to 18-year-olds to hang out after school, have dinner, get help with homework and participate in community service. It serves up to 70 kids per day.

"We chose My Place Teen Center in part because our teens often refer to the center as my place to chill, my place to be safe, my place to hang out with friends," said Executive Director Donna Dwyer, in a prepared statement.

AUBURN

It's iPads, not laptops, for Auburn school students

The Auburn School Department has elected to go with Apple iPads instead of the state's top choice -- a laptop -- for middle and high schools.

Gov. Paul LePage announced last month that a Hewlett-Packard laptop was the choice to replace Apple laptops. But it gave local school districts the option of going with one of four other state-approved options, including the Apple tablet.

The Sun Journal said the school committee was told that iPads are cheaper so there would be no additional cost.

Mike Muir, Multiple Pathways Leader for Auburn schools, said Apple has a stronger focus on education, while HP has a stronger focus on business. LePage liked HP's business focus, saying students are more likely to be working on a Windows-based machine when they enter the work force.

LEWISTON

Agents arrest couple after search turns up drugs

Drug agents have arrested a Lewiston couple after a search of their apartment and vehicle yielded almost 500 prescription pills and more than $3,500 in counterfeit U.S. currency.

The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency says Jermaine Johnson, 39, and Michelle Grimmo, 43, were arrested this week on prescription drug trafficking charges.

Police say Johnson was in possession of 121 oxycodone pills when he was arrested in Sabattus.

The Sun Journal reported that a search of their apartment yielded $20,000 in cash and 471 oxycodone pills with a street value of as much as $20,000.

The counterfeit money as well as a handgun were found in Johnson's vehicle.

They are being held on bail. It was not clear if they had lawyers.

PORTSMOUTH, N.H.

New bridge span will be floated into place in June

The final span of the new Memorial Bridge connecting New Hampshire and Maine is scheduled to be floated into place next month.

The Coast Guard is planning to close the Piscataqua River to maritime traffic from 9 a.m. June 10 to 9 a.m. June 15 to allow the contractor full access to the bridge.

The contractor, Archer Western Contractors, says the center span is being assembled aboard the barge Cape Cod, which is docked at the Port of New Hampshire.

It will be the most complicated of three spans to put into place.

"We will be working 24 hours a day for the duration of the 5-day channel closure," said Steve DelGrosso, project manager.

The closure will be similar to a three-day closure in February 2012 that took place when the old bridge's center span was removed.

Once the center span is secured, it will be the start of the home stretch for opening the bridge to vehicle traffic, which is scheduled to take place in July.

The bridge is replacing a nearly 90-year-old bridge connecting Portsmouth to Kittery, Maine.

AUGUSTA

Man pleads guilty to sexual contact with 2-year-old

A New York man has pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual contact with a 2-year-old Maine girl, just as his trial was scheduled to start.

Lester House Good of Troupsberg, N.Y., pleaded guilty Wednesday in Kennebec County Superior Court.

The Kennebec Journal reported that prosecutors say Good, 36, was visiting relatives in Monmouth in August 2009 when he entered a room where his daughter and another young girl were sleeping. Authorities say he touched the other girl under her diaper.

The girl told her mother. She suffered no visible injuries.

Prosecutors are recommending a sentence of 10 years in prison with all but three years suspended and six years' probation. Good was held on $12,500 bail pending sentencing at a future date.

Federal regulators cite sawmill for safety violations

Federal workplace safety regulators have proposed fining a Jefferson sawmill nearly $80,000 for what they allege are dangerous work conditions.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited N.C. Hunt Inc. for several violations following inspections that began in December.

OSHA says alleged violations include failing to use procedures to prevent employees from being struck by a logging carriage, a lack of barriers and signs preventing entry to a logging carriage path, and a lack of guardrails on elevated walkways. Other alleged violations involved a defective emergency brake on a truck, lack of machine guarding, an ungrounded extension cord, and incomplete energy control procedures.

OSHA said violations were also found in 2009.

Company Vice President Robert Hunt told the Kennebec Journal the issues raised by OSHA have been addressed.

MOSCOW

Quebec man hospitalized after tractor-trailer flips

A Quebec man was taken to a hospital after the tractor-trailer he was driving flipped on its side Thursday morning while he tried negotiate a curve on Route 201.

Reges Vaellux, 33, was taken to Redington Fairview Hospital with non life-threatening injuries after his 2007 trailer and box unit flipped. Vaellux was rounding a curve one mile north of Baker Mountain Ski Area when the box unit drifted into the guardrails, causing the tractor to flip on its side. The trailer was loaded with hardwood flooring which went over the steep embankment, the release stated.

The tractor-trailer was totaled in the crash.

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