Yarmouth man charged in robbery after dead-end run

Police say a 22-year-old Yarmouth man was captured after he grabbed a woman’s purse in downtown Freeport and ran – straight into a fenced-in L.L. Bean receiving area that blocked his escape.

Police say three employees of Abercrombie and Fitch, two men and a woman, were walking north on Main Street just before 10 a.m. Monday when the woman felt a tug as someone grabbed her Ruehl pocketbook, worth hundreds of dollars, Freeport police said.

Police say Kyle Albert, 22, yanked the purse and ran, and one of the woman’s co-workers yelled and chased after him. A worker at Jameson Tavern heard the commotion and joined the chase, police said.

In his effort to escape the two men, Albert darted up Justin’s Way and tried to cut behind L.L. Bean’s flagship retail store, but found himself in the fenced-in receiving area, police said. There the two men grabbed and held him until Detective Gino Bianchini arrived and arrested him.

Albert was charged with robbery and may face other charges, Bianchini said. He is being held in Cumberland County Jail. He said there appeared to be no connection between Albert and the victim. Bianchini said it’s unclear whether the man knew the bag was a high-end item.


Railroad’s bid to abandon line delayed for mediation

The federal Surface Transportation Board has agreed to postpone action on a request to abandon 233 miles of railroad track in northern Maine to give the state and the railway time to reach a solution that could keep the line in operation.

The agency said Monday it will conduct mediation talks between the Maine Department of Transportation and the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway.

The railroad owns 774 miles of track running from Maine to Montreal. It is proposing to abandon only the stretch from Madawaska to Millinocket because it is losing money on it.

Maine legislators this month agreed to send a bond package to voters that includes money to buy the track and maintain it.

Baldacci signing law to aid in redeveloping Navy base

Supporters of a newly enacted law that sets the stage for redevelopment of the Brunswick Naval Air Station will gather in Gov. John Baldacci’s office to mark the bill’s passage.

Baldacci today will host a ceremonial signing of the legislation, which creates a state fund to support reopening the base’s now-dormant airfield as a civilian airport.

The legislation also calls for reinvesting portions of new state income tax revenue generated by businesses moving to or expanding on base property.

The law took effect April 12.

Brunswick Naval Air Station is scheduled to close by May 2011. Redevelopment leaders hope to attract new businesses to help replace the roughly 6,500 jobs estimated to be lost as the Navy moves out.


Woman pleads guilty to Waldoboro murder

A Waldoboro woman facing murder charges stemming from a Waldoboro burglary that led to the death of a 27-year-old mother has pleaded guilty to a charge of felony murder.

Prosecutors and attorneys for Corina Durkee, 43, say they are going to recommend that she be sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Deputy Attorney General William Stokes told the Bangor Daily News that Durkee entered the plea Friday. She had been scheduled to go on trial within the next few weeks.

Durkee’s plea came a year after the incident during which police say Durkee and Earl Bieler stabbed Rachel Grindal to death and injured another woman during a burglary.

Bieler pleaded guilty earlier this month to more serious murder charges.


Shrimp season may close early because of big catch

Fishery regulators are considering putting an early end to the New England shrimp-fishing season because the catch has been so strong.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission said Monday it will hold an emergency meeting and public hearing by telephone Friday to review landings data and decide whether the fishery should be closed.

Scientists last fall recommended limiting the harvest to about 10.8 million pounds, but the catch has already exceeded 10.9 million pounds. The season began Dec. 1 and ends May 29, with its peak in winter.

Shrimp provide a small but valuable fishery to fishermen from Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, with 90 percent of the catch typically coming from Maine boats.

FairPoint to link schools and libraries to Internet

FairPoint Communications Inc. says it has been awarded a five-year, $25.8 million contract to provide high-speed Internet service to hundreds of schools and libraries across Maine.

FairPoint announced Monday that it will serve more than 650 schools and libraries in the Maine School and Library Network, a statewide consortium through which participants acquire Internet access and related services.

The contract is being administered by the University of Maine System and is funded by telecommunications usage fees from the Maine Telecommunication Education Access Fund and the Federal E-Rate Program.

North Carolina-based FairPoint, which is now going through bankruptcy reorganization, operates telecommunications companies in 18 states.


Awards given to 16 who have served crime victims

Sixteen individuals have been honored by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for outstanding service to crime victims.

The annual awards were presented Friday in conjunction with National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, according to a media release issued Monday by U.S. Attorney for Maine Paula Silsby.

The award recipients were: Sheriff Donna Dennison and Detective Kirk Guerrette of the Knox County Sheriff’s Office; David Tibbets and Matthew Pryor of Lighthouse Teen Center; Paul Connair and Susannah Fuentes of the Preble Street Resource Center; Officers Jay Twomey and Joseph Ezepek of the Portland Police Department; Assistant District Attorney Katherine Tierney and Victim-Witness Advocate Kathy Stock of the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office; Special Agent James Lechner and Victim-Witness Specialist Jennifer Keyes of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Detective Laurie Northrup of the Maine State Police Computer Crimes Unit; Electronic Court Filing (ECF) System Specialist Michelle Mitchell of the U.S. District Court; and Paralegal Specialist Nancy Evans and Information Technology Specialist Karen Dube of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.


Phony name fails to help man charged with drug use

Police say Michael Harmon, 26, of Casco gave them a fake name when he was being questioned about drug activity in Riverbank Park.
The problem was the person whose name he used was wanted by police.

Police were questioning Harmon about reports he was using drugs in Riverbank Park at 10:45 a.m. Sunday, when the park was full of children.

Harmon eventually gave police his real name and was charged with selling heroin in a drug-free safe zone, which makes the charge more severe, said Police Chief William Baker.

Harmon was already out on bail from an earlier domestic violence charge.

He was being held on $50,000 bail at the Cumberland County Jail.


Man dies while boating on lake for the first time

Maine has recorded its first boating-related fatality of the year on a lake or pond.

Wardens say 61-year-old Harold Jones Sr. took an aluminum motorboat onto Onawa Lake for the first time Saturday evening and never returned. His body was later discovered in the water by family members.

Lt. Kevin Adam says the incident happened in Elliotsville Township, about eight miles north of Dexter.

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