Couple convicted of hiding two children from father

A self-proclaimed preacher and his wife have been convicted of hiding the woman’s children from their biological father.

Colin Haag, 34, was convicted Thursday of two counts of kidnapping, and his wife, Amanda Cyphert, 35, was convicted of criminal restraint by a parent.

They were living in Jonesport last spring when Haag was accused of hiding Cheyenne Hodges, now 10, and Airiel Hodges, now 13, in a hotel in Ellsworth to keep them from Randall Hodges, who came looking for them.

Police say Haag represented himself as a preacher, even though he wasn’t ordained. Prosecutors say he perpetuated lies and held driver’s licenses from three states.

The Bangor Daily News said Haag and Cyphert were shackled and taken to jail pending sentencing.


Salmonella outbreak kills retirement facility resident

Health officials say one person has died in a salmonella outbreak at a retirement and assisted-living facility in Camden.

Seven cases of salmonella have been identified among residents at the Quarry Hill extended-care community, said Dr. Stephen Sears, acting director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

A spokesman for Pen Bay Health Care, the parent organization of Quarry Hill, told the Bangor Daily News that the outbreak was noticed Jan. 24, when several residents became ill with symptoms including diarrhea, cramps, headache, fever and vomiting. One person was hospitalized and another person, whose name was not released, died Feb. 2.

Sears said salmonella is usually food-borne, but epidemiologists have not been able to trace the cause of the outbreak.


Man pleads not guilty to murder of ex- girlfriend

A Rockland man who is charged with killing his ex-girlfriend has pleaded not guilty to murder.

The Bangor Daily News said Arnold Diana, 35, entered his plea Thursday in Knox County Superior Court.

Police say Diana strangled Katrina Windred, 47, of Friendship in his apartment Nov. 20 while her 11-year-old son sat outside reading comic books in her car. Diana allegedly wrapped the body in a blanket and then dumped it on the side of a road near limestone quarries on the outskirts of town.

The body was discovered three days later by a man who was walking his dog.

Diana has been held without bail since his arrest Nov. 27.


Man arrested in trafficking of crack and cocaine

A Portland man was arrested Thursday and charged with trafficking in crack and cocaine.

Steve McCausland, a spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said agents from the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency arrested Reynaldo Rodriguez, 39, after his car was stopped on the Fore River Parkway.

After his arrest, drug agents searched his home on Powsland Street. The address had been under investigation for two months as a possible drug trafficking location.

Police say they seized 22 grams of crack cocaine from the home and about 60 grams of powdered cocaine, with an estimated street value of $8,200. Agents also seized $500 in cash.

Rodriguez was held in the Cumberland County Jail on $65,000 cash bail.


Drug agents make another arrest for selling crack

Drug agents made crack cocaine arrests Wednesday and Thursday, bringing to seven the number charged with possessing or selling the powerfully addictive drug in the Biddeford-Saco area in the past two weeks.

Members of the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency and the Saco-Biddeford special services team arrested Shantel Lacourse, 29, at her home at 47 Pleasant St. in Saco early Thursday morning, police said. Police say they seized five grams of crack cocaine and $2,421. She was charged with aggravated trafficking in crack cocaine.

On Wednesday, MDEA agents arrested Rishard “Shard” Mcilwain, 26, of New Britain, Conn., on charges of aggravated trafficking in crack cocaine. Police say they seized 11 grams of the drug and $1,775.

Lacourse and Mcilwain were held in York County Jail.


Fire destroys wood shop at boy’s camp on Sebago Lake

Fire destroyed a wood shop at a boy’s camp on the shore of Sebago Lake.

Investigators suspect the fire may have started when vapors from urethane ignited. Nobody was hurt and no other buildings were damaged, said Ron Hall, executive director of Camp O-At-Ka.

The building that burned has two garage bays, which contained equipment like a wood splitter and an outboard engine. The other side of the building contained the wood shop, Hall said.

A caretaker and a maintenance person do work at the camp during the winter, Hall said.

The fire broke out at 7 a.m. and was under control by 8:30 a.m. It drew crews from five towns. Hall said the building will have to be rebuilt but it was not historical.


Flag wavers getting more flags courtesy of Sen. Snowe

Maine’s best-known flag wavers are getting more flags for their collection.

U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe has given the so-called Freeport Flag Ladies some American flags that Snowe requested be flown over the U.S. Capitol in Washington.

The flag ladies — Elaine Greene, Carmen Footer and JoAnn Miller — have waved large U.S. flags on Main Street in Freeport every Tuesday for nearly a decade in remembrance of 9/11 and in honor of U.S. troops.


Woman held in attempt to suffocate elderly patient

A Bangor woman who is charged with trying to suffocate an elderly patient at a nursing home has been ordered held on $50,000 bail.

District Court Judge Jessie Gunther set bail Wednesday for Jodi Lynn Holmes, 49. She is charged with walking into the Bangor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on Sunday and trying to suffocate a 97-year-old woman with a pillow while she was sitting in a wheelchair.

Holmes also faces federal charges of violating conditions of release. Penobscot County Deputy District Attorney Michael Roberts told the Bangor Daily News that Holmes was on federal probation for a series of bomb threats she made in 2007 and was barred from going into nursing homes because she had threatened to harm elderly people.