Woman guilty of stealing food stamps, child benefits

After a two-day trial in Cumberland County Superior Court last week, a Brunswick woman was found guilty of stealing $60,000 in food stamps and child care reimbursement benefits.

Sara E. Fairbanks, 40, was convicted Wednesday of stealing the benefits from January 2005 through May 2010, when she falsely told the Maine Department of Health and Human Services that she was separated from her husband and living alone with her children. She also repeated the claim in written applications, said Attorney General William J. Schneider.

Fairbanks was living with and receiving support from her husband, said Schneider. The income she reported was at least 70 percent lower than her actual household income, Schneider said.


Gravestone back in its place after years in evidence room

A 161-year-old gravestone has been returned to its rightful place in Maine after sitting for years in a sheriff’s department evidence room.

The gravestone for Alzada A. Fifield, who died in 1850 at the age of 7 months, has been returned to the small Bradford Corner Cemetery in Bradford.

The grave marker and two other stolen gravestones had sat for years in a Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department evidence room. Two of the headstones were returned to their proper places after Sheriff Glenn Ross asked for the public’s help in determining where they had come from.

But the Bangor Daily News said the third one remained in the evidence room until a member of the Bradford Heritage Museum and Historical Society recently discovered where it belonged.

Occupy Bangor will stop camping on library grounds

Members of the Occupy Bangor group say they’ll abide by a request to stop camping on the public library’s property.

Occupy activist Lawrence Reichard said the group Friday night came to an agreement to leave the library property. He said the group will continue discussing its options.

The library’s board of directors last week voted to ask the group to remove its tents and other property by 8 a.m. Monday.

Library director Barbara McDade said the encampment isn’t covered by the library’s liability insurance and the board had to protect the library from legal liability.

Reichard said four to nine people have been staying overnight on the site, with larger numbers of demonstrators present during the day.


Shipyard volunteers deliver toys for needy children

Volunteers from the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard are delivering thousands of toys that will become Christmas presents for children in need.

The annual Caravan of Toys rolled out from the Kittery shipyard Saturday morning, bound for charitable organizations and social service agencies in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Those groups and agencies in turn will distribute the toys to children in their communities.

The annual event is sponsored by the Naval Civilian Manager Association, which collected enough donations this year to purchase 2,700 toys.


Police forces get $200,000 to beef up OUI enforcement

Forty-seven Maine police agencies are getting federal money to beef up patrols on the lookout for impaired drivers during the holiday season.

The Maine Bureau of Highway Safety has distributed $200,000 to 41 police departments, five sheriff’s offices and Maine State Police.

The money will pay for overtime patrols through the end of the year.


Ingalls awarded contract for destroyer assembled by BIW

Ingalls Shipbuilding’s composite yard in Gulfport has been awarded a $46 million advance procurement contract for work on the Navy’s third Zumwalt-class destroyer.

Ingalls is currently building the deckhouse, hangar and peripheral vertical launch systems for two destroyers. The destroyers are ultimately assembled by Bath Iron Works in Maine.

Ingalls Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, has three Gulf Coast shipyards in Pascagoula, Gulfport and Avondale, La.

The Gulfport yard works with composites and employs about 500 workers.

The Navy touts the Zumwalt-class destroyer as the lead ship of a class of next-generation multi-mission surface combatants tailored for land attack and littoral dominance.

The contract allows Ingalls to purchase material and equipment for the third ship.

— From staff and news services