Police seek information on missing 25-year-old woman

Police are seeking the public’s help in locating a 25-year-old woman who hasn’t been seen by her family since the summer.

Elena Lozada was reported missing by her mother, who last heard from her in June.

Lozada was moving out of her apartment at 80 Grant St. and planned to go to Boston. However, she spent the weeks that followed staying with friends in the Portland area, police said.

Police have not found anyone who has seen Lozada since July. They said they do not have reason to think her disappearance is suspicious, other than that she has not previously gone so long without contacting her family.

Anyone with information is asked to call Portland police at 874-8533 or send an anonymous tip by going to www.portland-police.com.

Lewiston resident, sister sentenced for Medicaid fraud

A Lewiston man has been sent to prison for health care fraud and his adopted sister from Portland has received five years of probation for her role in the scheme. Both also were ordered to pay more than $220,000 in restitution.

U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II announced the sentences Friday.

Ahmed Yusuf Guled, 75, will serve four months in prison, to be followed by three year of supervised release. Judge D. Brock Hornby also ordered him to pay $119,440 in restitution and forfeit property totaling $109,733.

Dahabo Abdulle Osman, 59, received probation with six months of home confinement. She must pay $102,509 in restitution and forfeit $88,642 in property.

Guled and Osman were convicted in U.S. District Court in June of conspiring to defraud the government and commit health care fraud offenses, as well as a separate offense of health-care fraud.

The jury found they fraudulently obtained Medicaid funds through MaineCare’s Home and Community Based Care Program, also known as the waiver program. Guled also was convicted of making false statements in connection with the program.

Law firm recognized for work donated to indigent clients

The Portland law firm Drummond Woodsum has won a national public service award from the American Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Section.

The Frances Perkins Public Service Award recognizes a law firm that has gone above and beyond what could be expected of attorneys in making legal services available to low-income clients. Drummond Woodsum lawyers volunteered time to represent indigent clients through the Volunteer Lawyers project.

Attorney David Sherman, who accepted the award in Chicago on behalf of the firm, said Drummond Woodsum has represented indigent clients in their unemployment appeals before the Maine Department of Labor.


RSU 14 board votes to keep Jordan-Small school open

The school board for Windham and Raymond voted Wednesday to keep open the Jordan-Small Middle School in Raymond.

The Regional School Unit 14 board had considered closing the school and moving the middle school students to the town’s elementary school to save money. Both schools are operating at 50 percent capacity.

Raymond residents overwhelmingly spoke against the proposal at public hearings.

The vote was 8-1 against the closing, with Mike Duffy the only member in favor.

Superintendent Sandy Prince said the district will continue to seek solutions to space needs, such as renting out space to a compatible tenant.


Fire damages vacant house while owners in Florida

Fire badly damaged a house off Mountain Road on Friday.

A passer-by saw flames on the outside of the house on Reach Road about 11 a.m., said Harpswell Neck Fire Chief David Mercier.

The fire spread from a daylight basement, apparently near the heating system, up into the first floor and did extensive damage, he said. The fire was brought under control in about two hours, he said.

The owners of the house are in Florida and it had been vacant since November, though the electricity was still on.


Former, current drivers sue FedEx over contract, wages

Eight current and former FedEx drivers in Maine have filed suit in U.S. District Court claiming the package-delivery company misclassified them as independent contractors.

Attorney Harold Lichten told the Bangor Daily News that FedEx Ground Delivery and FedEx Home Delivery — affiliates of Memphis-based FedEx Corp. — use only independent contractors nationwide. He said that by classifying drivers as contractors rather than employees, FedEx avoids having to pay Social Security, unemployment and payroll taxes, as well as overtime and workers’ compensation fees.

The complaint, filed Thursday, seeks to have the drivers reclassified as employees and paid past overtime wages and other compensation.

A company spokesman said FedEx would defend its business practices.


Augusta teenager charged in Walmart bomb threat

Police say a teenager from Augusta is charged with leaving a bomb-threat note inside a Walmart bathroom.

Police say employees and shoppers evacuated the Walmart in Augusta for about an hour Thursday afternoon after Emily Crocker, 19, reported finding the threatening note.

Police told the Kennebec Journal that they charged Crocker, a former Walmart employee, with terrorizing after she told police she wrote the note.


Girlfriend of shooting victim charged in home invasion

A 23-year-old Beals woman has been charged with robbery in connection with a home invasion that led to the shooting death of her boyfriend.

State police said Ashley Crowley was arrested Friday. They said she lured a man out of his home in Eastbrook early Monday by claiming she had been in a car accident.

The homeowner told police he fatally shot Crowley’s boyfriend, Nicholas Richards, 23, of Machias, after Richards assaulted him outside his home. The shooter has not been charged.

Crowley was also charged Friday with robbery and burglary in a home invasion Dec. 11 in Brooklin. She also is charged with a burglary in Sedgwick the same day.

Police said Richards participated in those crimes.


Artists, crafters to appear at Handmade Holiday Fair today

More than 60 vendors will sell their wares during today’s Handmade Holiday Fair.

The fair is hosted by Engine, an arts-focused nonprofit organization, and the music venue The Oak and The Ax.

The fair will run from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at The Oak and The Ax at 140 Main St., and in the former Reny’s building at 129 Main St.

For a complete list of vendors, visit www.biddefordartwalk.com.