Candidate slate may hit 19 as mayoral deadline nears

With only three days left to submit signatures, the city’s first popularly elected mayor’s race in 88 years has 11 official candidates. The final number, however, will likely be much higher.

Incumbent mayor Nick Mavadones, city councilors Jill Duson and David Marshall, Michael Brennan, Ralph Carmona, John Eder, Hamza Haadoow, Jodie Lapchick, Markos Miller, Jed Rathband and Ethan Strimling will all be on the November ballot.

They each collected at least 300 signatures from registered Portland voters, which have been verified by the city clerk’s office.

By Monday, however, that official candidate list could grow as high as 19. Four possible candidates – Christopher Vail, Erick Bennett, Charles Bragdon and Peter Bryant – have handed in their signatures. If the clerk’s office rules that each has enough valid signatures, the list would grow to 15 candidates.

Four others — Nicholas Hall, Bob Higgins, Richard Dodge and Paul Schafer – have taken out nominating papers, signaling their intention to run.

Five arrested in crackdown on trafficking of oxycodone

Drug agents have arrested five people in connection with a crackdown on the illegal sale of oxycodone pills, a prescription painkiller that is popular among illicit drug users.

Agents with the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency and the Portland Police Crime Suppression Unit raided hotel rooms on Riverside Street and stopped two cars in the culmination of an investigation that started two months ago.

Police seized 201 30-milligram pills and $21,000.

MDEA Supervisor Kevin Cashman said a surge in demand for the pills corresponds with changes in the manufacture of the medicine that makes more recent shipments harder to abuse.

Willie Johnson, 29, of Dorchester, Mass., Barry Wright, 38, of Louisville, Ky., and Rahdahl Harvey, 34, of Hyde Park, Mass., were charged with aggravated drug trafficking because they have prior drug convictions and they are being held on $50,000 bail at Cumberland County Jail.

Sean Evans, 23, of Westbrook and Audrey Chambers, 22, of Buxton were charged with trafficking in oxycodone.


Singapore executive named as new CEO at Jackson Lab

The Jackson Laboratory has tapped the founding executive director of the Genome Institute of Singapore to serve as its new president and CEO.

In making Thursday’s announcement, trustees said Dr. Edison Liu will help to translate new research discoveries into clinical medicine. The Jackson Lab specializes in mouse genetics to prevent and treat human diseases.

Newly elected Board Chairman Leo Holt said Liu’s appointment coincides with “dynamic pivot point at the intersection of mammalian and human genetics.”

Liu, who assumes his post in January, served as scientific director of the National Cancer Institute’s Division of Clinical Sciences in Bethesda, Md., before taking on the job in Singapore, where the Genome Institute grew to a staff of 270 in his 10 years there.


Allegiant airline will add nonstop flights to Florida

Allegiant airline will soon begin offering nonstop flights from Bangor to Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

The airline says the flights on Thursdays and Sundays will start Nov. 17.

This will be third Florida destination that Allegiant flies to out of Bangor.

The others are Tampa-St. Petersburg and the Orlando area.

For the Fort Lauderdale flights, Allegiant is offering special introductory one-way fares of $84.99 for tickets purchased by Sept. 14 for selected flights between Nov. 17 and next Feb. 14.


Man, 21, pleads not guilty to murder, burial in cellar

A 21-year-old Maine man has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge in the death of a woman whose body was found buried in the basement of a Lewiston apartment building.

Bob Ryder of Lewiston entered the plea Thursday in Androscoggin County Superior Court.

Ryder was indicted by a grand jury earlier this month on a count of intentional or knowing murder.

The decomposing body of the victim, 38-year-old Danita Brown of New Gloucester, was found last month. She had been missing for several weeks.

Court documents say Ryder admitted he had hit Brown in the head with a clock and hid her body in the basement.

The Sun Journal says police learned of the case after Ryder allegedly told his Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor about the incident.


FAA looking for pilot after crashed plane is removed

Investigators with the Federal Aviation Administration are searching for the pilot of a small plane that crashed last week shortly after taking off from a Maine landing strip.

Officials say the wreckage of the plane was towed away by the pilot shortly after the Aug. 18 incident on Fish Hatchery Road in Monmouth.

The FAA’s Jim Peters says two investigators were sent to the site, but there was nothing there when the inspectors arrived.

Peters says there were multiple witnesses to the crash.

There were no apparent injuries.

Monmouth Fire Chief Andre Poulin tells the Kennebec Journal the pilot left the crash site and returned moments later with a tractor, which was parked outside a nearby business.

Peters says the investigators will find the pilot and determine what happened.

— From staff and news services