Older son: Jailed mother silent on 6-year-old’s death

The older son of a Texas woman charged with killing her younger boy and disposing of his body on a rural Maine road says his mother still won’t explain her motivation.

Ian McCrery had talked to his mother, Julianne McCrery, via phone, but visited her Tuesday in the New Hampshire jail where she’s being held without bail on a second-degree murder charge.

Prosecutors say the 42-year-old Irving, Texas, woman killed 6-year-old Camden Hughes in New Hampshire last month and left his body in Maine.

Ian McCrery says they spent most of their time reminiscing about happier times and comforting each other.

He says he asked his mother why, but she broke down and didn’t want to talk.

Ian McCrery says his busy schedule in the Navy has helped him cope.


Thompson is local GOP pick for special House election

The Cape Elizabeth Republican Town Committee has nominated Nancy Thompson as its candidate in a special election to fill a vacancy in Maine House District 121.

Thompson is an insurance agent and 25-year resident of Cape Elizabeth with a record of community service.

The local Democratic committee has not yet named a nominee in the special election to fill the seat vacated by Cynthia Dill. The Democrat left her House seat to run for an open state Senate seat, to which she was elected.

The special House election will be held in Cape Elizabeth on Aug. 16.


Dean at Utica, N.Y., school named president of SMMC

The associate vice president and dean at Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica, N.Y., is the new president of Southern Maine Community College in South Portland.

Ronald Cantor’s appointment was announced today by Maine Community College System President John Fitzsimmons. The trustees unanimously endorsed Cantor’s appointment.

Cantor holds a doctorate from Syracuse University, a master’s in higher education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and an undergraduate degree from the University of New Hampshire.

He has nearly three decades of experience in higher education administration. In his current position, he oversees the administration, academics and student affairs at Mohawk community college.

Previously he served as an associate dean at Jefferson Community College in Watertown, N.Y.

He will succeed James Ortiz, who will retire from SMCC at the end of July.


LePage signs bills affecting concealed-weapons rules

Gov. Paul LePage has signed into law three bills expanding the rights of concealed-weapons permit holders in Maine.

One of the bills, signed Tuesday, bars businesses from prohibiting employees who have concealed firearms permits from keeping a firearm in their vehicle, as long as the vehicle is locked and the firearm is not visible.

Another bill allows a law enforcement officer from another state to carry a concealed firearm in Maine, provided the officer also has proper police identification.

The third bill will allow concealed-weapons permit holders to carry weapons in state parks and historic sites. The bill was scaled back to eliminate other locations, including bars and the State House.

New laws relieve landlords of some responsibilities

Gov. Paul LePage signed a bill Wednesday that eases regulations on landlords with respect to abandoned property and bedbugs.

In a brief ceremony in the Cabinet Room, LePage signed L.D. 1198 into law as several members of the Central Maine Apartment Owners Association looked on.

“There are too many loopholes in our laws,” he said. “I’ve seen many apartments destroyed. I’ve seen too many people take advantage of tenants rights. It’s all about fairness and equality.”

The new law, which will take effect in late September, makes more than a dozen changes to landlord/ tenant laws. It repeals a law that required landlords to provide loans to tenants if an apartment is infested with bedbugs, said Dan Bernier, the lobbyist who worked on the bill.

Landlords are still responsible for paying for the remediation of bedbugs, but the law states that landlords are not required to provide alternate lodging or to replace a tenant’s personal property.

It reduces the time a landlord is required to store abandoned property from 14 to seven days, and gives landlords more power if a tenant fails to pay rent, Bernier said.

“It really is going to provide a lot of relief to us,” said Lindey Booker Burrill, president of the 700-member apartment owners association. “It’s a starting point.”

The bill was sponsored by Rep. John Picchiotti, R-Fairfield.


Oxford man who grew pot in national forest sentenced

Federal prosecutors say an Oxford man has been sentenced to two months in prison for growing marijuana in the White Mountain National Forest.

Todd Clukey, 38, who was sentenced Wednesday, also must serve three years on supervised release including four months of home confinement. Prosecutors say he also has been banned from the White Mountain National Forest for three years.

Clukey pleaded guilty in February to cultivating marijuana on federal land.

Court documents say he grew marijuana in an unorganized portion of Oxford County between May and September 2010.

Prosecutors say after his arrest in September he admitted that he had also grown marijuana on national forest land the previous two years.

SALT adds third teacher to form radio track faculty

The Salt Institute for Documentary Studies has hired a radio producer and journalist as an instructor for its radio track.

The institute said Michael May will begin teaching this fall. He is a former managing editor of the Texas Observer.

May joins Christine Heinz and Andres Gonzalez to form the radio track faculty.

Salt is a nonprofit school offering intensive programs in documentary writing, radio, photography and multimedia to graduate and undergraduate students.


Man charged in pursuit may have been on ‘bath salts’

Police say a man who is charged with eluding a police officer and other offenses may have been under the influence of the synthetic drug known as “bath salts.”

Police say Christopher Buzzell, 27, was apprehended Tuesday morning after he was found standing in the Penobscot River.

Police say Buzzell is the first person charged in Bangor in connection with the man-made stimulant and hallucinogenic drug that began to surface in the city in February.

Police say an officer attempted to stop Buzzell after seeing his vehicle run a red blinking light. After a brief pursuit, Buzzell ran and was found in the river.

The Bangor Daily News says Buzzell appeared excited and confused.

Plea of not guilty entered in case of burned vagrant

A South Dakota man has pleaded not guilty to killing a homeless man in Bangor by setting him on fire.
Kenneth John Bruning, 25, is charged with murder in the death of Trevor Sprague, 34, of Lubec.

Sprague’s body was found engulfed in flames under a downtown Bangor bridge on March 7, 2006.

Bruning entered his plea Wednesday in Penobscot County Superior Court, but he waived a bail hearing.
Bruning this month was brought to Maine from Rapid City, S.D., where he was in jail on unrelated charges.

His attorney, Jeffrey Silverstein, told reporters it’s possible Bruning may change his plea to not criminally responsible by reason of insanity. A trial date has not been set.


Panel overrules objection to road’s colorful name

Selectmen in a western Maine town say a small, hidden-away road named for a Prohibition bootlegger will keep its name.

Greenwood selectmen voted unanimously Tuesday night against changing the name of Alcohol Mary Road after hearing from an attorney who said the name defames the family name of her client.

The client, Arthur Hertell, lives in nearby Bethel and had a grandmother named Mary. She once lived on the road, although she’s not the road’s namesake. Hertell thinks the name is a “desecration” of her memory.

The Sun Journal reported that several residents who live on the colorfully named road said Alcohol Mary is a historical figure and a source of local pride.


Hikers rescue fawn being attacked by fisher near trail

A young deer attacked by a fisher is OK after being rescued by hikers in Maine.

Stanley Crowley was hiking in a Lewiston nature sanctuary Monday with his wife, daughter and a friend when they heard cries from the 2-week-old fawn as it was being attacked by a large fisher near the trail.

Crowley told the Sun Journal of Lewiston that it sounded like a child screaming. He says “the screech was unreal.”

The hikers picked up sticks and forced the fisher away from the fawn. With the attacker at bay, they picked up the wounded fawn and took it home.

A game warden took the fawn to a veterinarian, where it was treated for bite marks and scratches. The fawn was turned over to a wildlife rehabilitator.


Recount of Hanson School referendum set for Tuesday

Selectmen have scheduled a recount hearing for Tuesday to determine whether the voting results from last week’s Hanson School referendum are valid.

Results from the vote on June 14 showed that a slim majority of voters – the totals were 546-536 – did not support entering into a one-year lease agreement with School Administrative District 6 to use the vacant school as community center.

The lease agreement would have cost taxpayers $1.

The proposal was viewed as an effort by the Buxton-Hollis Historical Society to prevent the 81-year-old former elementary school from being torn down.

Town Clerk John L. Myers Jr. said the recount will begin at Town Hall at 9 a.m. Tuesday and be open to the public.