New political party trying to get on 2012 Maine ballot

A new political party that’s pushing for a bipartisan ticket in the 2012 presidential election is seeking a spot on the Maine ballot next November.

Americans Elect turned in about 32,000 signatures to the Secretary of State’s office Thursday for a line on next year’s presidential ballot. The Washington-based nonprofit wants voters to select a candidate in an online convention next June who would be joined on the ticket by a vice presidential candidate from a different party.

To get on the Maine ballot, the group has to have at least 28,625 signatures verified, hold caucuses by March 15 and have a state convention by August.

Americans Elect says it’s been certified in 11 states so far. Former Maine gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler is on its board of directors.


Agents confiscate bath salts, charge man with trafficking

Maine drug agents say a Thomaston man faces drug trafficking charges after the seizure of 2.5 pounds of the synthetic mind-altering drug known as bath salts.

Travis Griffin, 26, was charged Tuesday after agents found a pound of bath salts in a vehicle impounded by Waterville police Nov. 19. Griffin was a passenger in the vehicle when 4 ounces of the drug was found during a traffic stop.

Officials said a subsequent search of the vehicle uncovered more bath salts hidden inside a game console. Drug agents said they also found 1.5 pounds of bath salts in a vacant house in Thomaston owned by Griffin’s family. Police said the drugs had a street value of $170,000.


Police say Bucksport man sexually abused young girl

A Bucksport man has been charged with sexually abusing a young girl a dozen times over a three-year period.

Authorities say Steve M. Kane, 48, has been charged with offenses that include unlawful sexual contact, gross sexual assault and sexual abuse of a minor.

According to court documents, there were 12 alleged assaults against the girl between April 2008 and March 2011. The girl was younger than 14 most of that time.

The Bangor Daily News reported that Kane was indicted by a Hancock County grand jury last week and arrested by police. He was released on $50,000 bond and is prohibited from having any contact with people named in the cases, as well as any children under age 16.


Police seize images, accuse man of child porn offenses

A Houlton man has been charged with child pornography possession and distribution offenses.

Houlton Police Chief Butch Asselin said David Russell was arrested Wednesday after an investigation by the police department in Wheaton, Ill., that began Nov. 25.

Asselin told the Bangor Daily News that Illinois law enforcement authorities allege that Russell was sharing pornographic images and videos of children on a peer-to-peer file-sharing network.

A search warrant executed at Russell’s residence found child pornography on computers and electronic devices that were confiscated there, police said. Asselin said there is no evidence to indicate the seized materials contained images or videos of local children.

Russell is being held on $10,000 cash bail on charges of dissemination of sexually explicit material and possession of explicit material.


Barber shop burglarized for fifth time in three months

The owner of a Manchester barber shop says his business has been broken into for the fifth time in the past three months.

Dana Geneseo says he’s installed a video camera, alarm system and even a windowless door at Dana’s Barber Shop since the first break-in Sept. 2, but that didn’t stop someone from burglarizing the store again Tuesday. Video surveillance shows someone rooting around the store for about two minutes before leaving empty-handed.

Geneseo said he learned his lesson after the first break-in, when a 40-inch flat-screen television and about $1,000 in cash was stolen. He no longer keeps anything of value in the shop overnight, not even petty cash.

Police are investigating but don’t have a suspect.


Downeaster marks 10 years with $10 tickets to Boston

Amtrak’s Downeaster is celebrating its 10th birthday with $10 fares from Portland to Boston.

The fares, which are $5 less than the lowest published fare, are for select runs next month. Tickets will be available for purchase starting Thursday, the 10th anniversary of the first regularly scheduled run.

Also Thursday, Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority board members, transportation officials and other dignitaries will participate in an anniversary ceremony in Portland.

Existing stops between Portland and Boston are Old Orchard Beach, Saco and Wells in Maine; Dover, Durham and Exeter in New Hampshire; and Haverhill and Woburn in Massachusetts. Next year, the train will expand northward with stops in Freeport and Brunswick.

— From staff and news services