Molestation case returns to lower court for resentencing

Maine’s highest court has vacated the 29-year sentence of a former music teacher from Blue Hill convicted of molesting five of his students, but he will stay in prison while his case is sent back to a lower court for resentencing.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court today ruled that a superior court judge misapplied mandated guidelines when sentencing Theodore Stanislaw, 52, in January 2010. Stanislaw pleaded guilty to molesting the five girls ages 10 to 14 from 2002 to 2008.

In his appeal, Stanislaw argued the sentence was too long and the sentencing judge misapplied a three-step analysis in calculating his sentence.

In a unanimous decision, supreme court justices agreed that the judge erred by not articulating why Stanislaw was given a sentence near the maximum allowed.


Residents’ Social Security checks lost in the mail

The Social Security Administration says some Social Security checks destined for Portland residents have been lost in the mail.

Spokesman Roberto Medina told WMTW-TV that an unknown number of checks scheduled for delivery Friday were never delivered, even though they were mailed in time.

He said the agency is working with the U.S. Postal Service to determine what happened. If the checks don’t show up within three business days, he said, they’ll be officially declared lost and new checks will be issued.

Officials say most Social Security recipients receive their money through direct deposit at banks, and only a small percentage get paper checks.


Body found in Kennebec is that of missing transient

The body of a man who had been missing since Nov. 3 was identified Tuesday as that of a 31-year-old transient named Edwin Curtis.

Sagadahoc County Sheriff Joel Merry said a motorist told police he saw Curtis jump off the Sagadahoc Bridge into the Kennebec River last fall.

Authorities believed the man was Curtis based on identification papers that were found floating in a backpack in the river, Merry said.

An extensive search of the river did not turn up his body. However, a boater found human remains Saturday in a section of the Kennebec River just north of Butler Head in Bath.

The state Medical Examiner’s Office notified police Tuesday that it had successfully used DNA comparisons to confirm that the remains were of Curtis.

Merry said Curtis had been living at shelters in the Portland area but had strong ties to Bath. His mother, sister and daughter all live in the Bath region.


Prosecutor seeks 30-year sentence in Bath assault

A Bath man convicted in 1992 of manslaughter in the stabbing death of a Massachusetts man is facing a 30-year sentence in a 2010 assault.

District Attorney Geoffrey Rushlau said a Sagadahoc County jury has convicted 51-year-old James M. Manley of Class A Elevated Aggravated Assault in an assault on another Bath man in September 2010.

The jury found Manley not guilty of terrorizing with a dangerous weapon and obstructing the report of a crime.

Manley was arrested in September after he allegedly stabbed the man during a confrontation in an apartment on Middle Street.

According to Rushlau, Manley had been convicted in Worcester County, Mass., in 1992 of killing another man. He was sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison, and was released in 2002. Manley was also convicted of assault with a deadly weapon, a knife, in Boston in 2009.

Rushlau said Manley’s violent criminal records mandates that he ask that Judge Andrew Horton impose the maximum sentence of 30 years.


RSU 21 voters OK budget; referendum set for June 14

Voters in Regional School Unit 21 approved a $35.6 million budget Tuesday night to send to referendum vote June 14.

This budget is the district’s second attempt for the upcoming fiscal year that starts July 1 for schools in Arundel, Kennebunk and Kennebunkport. Members of the RSU 21 board of directors pared down the initially proposed $35.7 million budget when voters rejected it in a referendum on May 24.

The new budget would increase spending by 1.6 percent over the current school year. It would cut $100,000 from employee benefits throughout the district.

It also would reduce the amount raised through local taxes by $668,347 by using additional undesignated funds. This means property taxes would increase by $59.87 per $100,000 of assessed value for Arundel residents and $16.45 in Kennebunk, while taxes in Kennebunkport would decrease by $8.41.

More than 200 voters in the district turned out for Tuesday’s budget meeting held at Kennebunk High School. They approved all 18 warrant articles on the agenda by a show of hands and one by written ballot with little discussion.

The budget validation referendum will be held Tuesday, June 14, at each town’s polling location.


School budget approved after $3 million in cuts

Residents Tuesday voted 780-321 to approve the Westbrook School Department’s $30.7 million budget.

Elected officials cut about $3 million from the 2011-2012 budget initially proposed by former Superintendent Reza Namin.

The cuts included the elimination of 42 positions, resulting in 19 layoffs. Many employees kept their jobs because other teachers opted to retire.

Earlier this year, officials said they were considering cutting as many as 80 positions to keep the tax rate down.

Together, the school budget and $24.3 million municipal budget will raise taxes by about 4 percent.