Gunman used hunting rifle in apparent murder-suicide

Maine State Police say Mike Lagarde used a 9mm hunting rifle Tuesday to kill his wife of five years, Freda Lagarde, then shot himself.

Police said Thursday that they still didn’t know the motive for the apparent murder-suicide. Freda Lagarde, 44, was from Montreal and the couple met in an online cribbage game five years ago.

The Lagardes’ bodies were discovered Wednesday by their adult daughter. Police believe the shooting happened about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Police found the gun near Mike Lagarde’s body in a doorway to the back bedroom of the couple’s mobile home in Hollis. His wife’s body was found in the bedroom.

The state Medical Examiner’s Office said Freda Lagarde was shot multiple times and Mike Lagarde, who was 50, died of a single gunshot to the head.

Dan Garland of Garland Manufacturing in Saco said Mike Lagarde had worked for the company since 1978 and his work status had not changed recently. There were no indications of problems or stress, he said.


Dion announces candidacy for House District 113 seat

Cumberland County Sheriff Mark Dion announced Thursday that he plans to run for the Maine House of Representatives in the fall, seeking to represent North Deering and West Falmouth.

Dion will seek to become the Democratic candidate for the House District 113 seat at a party caucus in Portland on Sunday. He is not running for re-election as sheriff.

Charles C.S. Burns of Summit Street in Portland was the Republican nominee but withdrew his candidacy June 22. Party officials say a replacement candidate will be chosen this weekend.

The seat has been held by Democrat Joan F. Cohen, who was nominated by Democrats in the June 8 primary, but she withdrew her candidacy on July 6, according to state records.


Georgia man gets life term for role in drug trafficking

A Georgia man has been sentenced to life in prison for his role in a drug trafficking ring that distributed cocaine, crack cocaine and the party drug Ecstasy in Maine.

Judge George Singal sentenced Leonard Jones, 30, on Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Portland. A jury convicted Jones in April.

According to court documents, Jones transported the drugs from Georgia to the Lewiston area for sale and distribution from 2006 to 2008.

Prosecutors said Jones faced a mandatory life sentence because of three prior convictions on felony drug charges.


Man in harbor drowned, medical examiner rules

A 60-year-old man whose body was found in Portland Harbor drowned, officials said Thursday.

Portland police said Peter Garland’s body was found near the Ocean Gateway terminal early Tuesday. The cause of death has been classified as drowning by the state Medical Examiner’s Office.


Slattery in line to become next county district attorney

Kathryn Slattery of Old Orchard Beach is in line to become the next district attorney for York County.

Slattery was selected Thursday night by the York County Democratic Committee as the party’s nominee in the November election to succeed Mark Lawrence. There is no Republican nominee.

Lawrence, who has been the county’s district attorney for nearly eight years, said he recommended Slattery. The term will be four years.

Slattery is now a deputy district attorney in York County. She has 24 years of experience as a prosecutor.

Lawrence said he decided to withdraw from the race so that he could spend more time with his wife and their two young children.


Penobscot River plan moves one step closer to reality

Environmental regulators have put a fish-restoration and dam-removal plan on the Penobscot River a step closer to reality.

The Bangor Daily News said the Department of Environmental Protection approved a plan Wednesday to decommission the Howland Dam and build a fish bypass that will enable Atlantic salmon, shad, alewives and other fish to migrate upstream.

That is part of a $50 million plan to remove or bypass three dams on the Penobscot, which would open nearly 1,000 miles of habitat to sea-run fish. Last week, the DEP approved permits to decommission the Veazie and Great Works dams.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has also approved the Penobscot River Restoration Trust’s plan, leaving only Army Corps of Engineers permits pending.


Moose hunt lottery slated today for disabled veterans

The state’s moose hunt lottery for disabled veterans is scheduled at noon today in Lee.

The drawing is held to reduce the cost of the moose hunt for disabled veterans, according to a news release from the state. The hunt will take place in Aroostook County from Sept. 16 to 22, and the state will draw five primary names and two alternates.

The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has allocated five any-moose permits for veterans who are 70 percent or more disabled and who hold the Maine Disabled Veterans Hunting and Fishing License.


Airport wins federal grant for expansion of runway

Auburn-Lewiston Municipal Airport has been awarded a federal grant of nearly $370,000 to help expand its runway.

Officials say the money will buy more than eight acres of land near the airport that is needed to ensure a safety buffer around the expanded runway.

The airport’s executive director, Rick Cloutier, told the Sun Journal that more air traffic would bring greater economic activity in the area.


Jackson Lab finds partner for southwest Florida center

Jackson Laboratory has found a medical partner for a research and education center it is building in southwest Florida.

Officials say the University of South Florida will become the first partner on the project. Stephen Klasko, dean of the College of Medicine, said the collaboration will help students and residents become leaders in the new field of genetics-focused personalized medicine.

Personalized medicine is the name that applies to the field of disease prevention and treatment based on a person’s unique genetic makeup.