Man accused of threatening LePage to get hearing today

The Portland man who is accused of sending threatening letters to Gov. Paul LePage is scheduled to be in U.S. District Court today for a detention hearing.

Michael R. Thomas, 50, of 1125 Brighton Ave. was arrested Friday, charged with mailing letters saying that he would be willing to sacrifice his life to shoot the governor.

The Maine State Police crime laboratory used biological samples taken from a stamp from one of the three envelopes, developed a DNA profile and matched it to a profile of Thomas that was in a federal database.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office is seeking to have Thomas held pending trial rather than released on bail, according to his lawyer.


Six named semifinalists for Maine Teacher of Year

Six teachers are semifinalists for 2012 Maine Teacher of the Year.

The six were selected last week by a panel of teachers, principals and members of the business community, said the state Department of Education. The semifinalists are: Tim Eisenhart of Westbrook High School; Paige Fournier of Lyman Moore Middle School in Portland; Alana Margeson of Caribou High School; Jolene Randall of Tripp Middle School in Turner; Meghan Schall of the George B. Weatherbee School in Hampden; and Ingrid Stressenger of Pond Cove Elementary School in Cape Elizabeth.

The semifinalists will go through a selection process that includes a school visit, a professional portfolio review and an oral presentation before the field is narrowed to three finalists. The 2012 Teacher of the Year will be announced at a surprise school assembly in September.

The program is coordinated by the education department and underwritten by Hannaford Supermarkets. Bangor Savings Bank will reimburse the winner’s district for the cost of substitutes while the winner is out of the classroom for official duties.


Mainer’s book makes finals in Foreword Review contest

Andrew Vietze’s “Becoming Teddy Roosevelt: How a Maine Guide Inspired America’s 26th President” has been selected as a finalist for ForeWord Reviews’ 2010 Book of the Year Awards in the biography category.

The finalists were selected from among more than 1,400 entries from independent publishers across the nation. “Becoming Teddy Roosevelt” was published by Down East.

Vietze, of Appleton, is a former editor of Down East magazine and now an editor-at-large for the company. He also is a Registered Maine Guide who has spent his recent summers as a ranger at Baxter State Park.

The book tells the story of the relationship between Roosevelt and Bill Sewall, a lumberman, guide, business owner, lawman and more who was the first white child born in Island Falls. Sewall guided Roosevelt on his first trip to Mount Katahdin, and the two formed a lifelong friendship.


SMCC teacher seeks to fill Senate District 7 vacancy

An adjunct faculty member at Southern Maine Community College is seeking the Democratic nomination for the state Senate District 7 seat.

Rob Schreiber, 45, hopes to replace Larry Bliss, a two-term Democrat who is vacating the seat to take a college administration job in California.

Schreiber is a member of South Portland’s Comprehensive Plan Committee and has also on the Planning Board, the Zoning Improvements Committee and the Portland International Jetport Master Plan Committee.

Schreiber counts among the highlights of his community service education workshops with the Planning Board, work on wetland buffers and sponsorship of the first green building ordinance in the city.

Schreiber teaches personal finance and macroeconomics at SMCC.

A special election for the District 7 seat will be held May 10.


Woman charged after trying to retrieve drug-filled purse

A Portland woman was charged with drug possession and trafficking after returning to a supermarket to retrieve a purse that contained marijuana and painkillers, police said.

Natasha Hoffman, 25, left her purse at the Shaw’s supermarket at Westbrook Crossing on Monday, police said. An employee opened the purse to look for identification and saw drugs inside, which police identified as eight packages of marijuana and two hydrocodone pills. The supermarket’s staff called police when Hoffman returned to get the purse.

Hoffman was charged with possession of drugs and trafficking in scheduled drugs.


Buckfield man apparently died of exposure, police say

Police say a Buckfield man who was found dead in the woods in Hartford apparently died of exposure.

Police say a car belonging to Daniel Danforth, 21, was found Sunday off Cary Hill Road. Police spokesman Stephen McCausland said Danforth’s car got stuck in mud. It’s unclear whether Danforth was lost.

McCausland said the car was found Saturday morning, but people initially believed that Danforth had walked back to a party he had been at and gotten a ride from someone else.

On Sunday, police began searching for Danforth. Police and game wardens followed his tracks for two miles before they found his body.

McCausland told the Sun Journal that Danforth had walked in a circle and was found about a half-mile from his car.


Lawsuit claims redistricting should be done before vote

A federal judge is being asked to step up Maine’s redistricting schedule to ensure that the task is completed in time for next year’s congressional elections.

Maine law requires congressional redistricting to be done in 2013. Timothy Woodcock, who sued on behalf of two southern Maine residents, contends there’s no good reason to wait until then since the 2010 census data is already available.

The federal complaint, filed Tuesday, says that the new census data points to a population shift that means there will be nearly 9,000 more residents in the southern 1st Congressional District than in the 2nd District.

Woodcock said Maine may be the only state with a 2013 deadline. His lawsuit names the governor, the secretary of state and others. State officials had no immediate comment.


Judge upholds jury award of $200,000 against EMMC

A federal judge has upheld a jury award of $200,000 to a Millinocket woman who suffered a miscarriage after being discharged against her wishes from Eastern Maine Medical Center.

U.S. District Court Judge John Woodcock on Monday upheld the jury’s October decision and denied the hospital’s motion for a new trial.

Lorraine claimed that the Bangor hospital violated the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act by sending her home on July 1, 2007, after determining that her 16-week-old fetus didn’t have a heartbeat. She delivered her dead son later that day at home.

Eastern Maine Medical Center’s attorney, George Schelling, told the Bangor Daily News that he wasn’t surprised by Woodcock’s decision, saying it clears the way for the hospital to appeal the verdict to the federal appeals court.