Judge denies bail for suspect accused of killing firefighter

A judge has denied bail for a Maine man charged with murdering a Florida firefighter.

Twenty-four-year-old Daniel Porter wore a bulletproof vest at Thursday’s hearing. It was attended by the widow of Jerry Perdomo of Orange City, Fla., who cried during parts of the hearing.

Porter was arrested on Feb. 28 at a house in Jackson where police say he killed the 31-year-old Perdomo in a drug-related crime. Porter told police that he owed Perdomo $3,000 and that Perdomo had threatened him and his family during a pool game.

Police have confirmed to the Bangor Daily News that they are investigating allegations that prescription pills are part of the case.


Acting veterans commissioner named to replace Gen. Libby

Gov. Paul LePage has named an acting commissioner for the Department of Defense, Veterans and Emergency Management when the current commissioner retires at the end of next week.

Maine Emergency Management Agency Director Rob McAleer will take the department’s top job when Adjutant Gen. John “Bill” Libby leaves March 16.

LePage also announced the formation of a five-member committee to search for Libby’s permanent replacement, to serve as both commissioner and next adjutant general as head of the Maine National Guard.

An announcement on the nominee is expected in time for the Legislature’s summer confirmation session.

Augusta men enter guilty pleas for role in armed home invasion

Two Augusta men have pleaded guilty to their roles in an armed home invasion in Manchester in which a woman was awakened by a man holding a knife to her throat.

Michael Jo Ruth II and Benjamin David Pilsbury entered their pleas Wednesday in connection with the home invasion on Sept. 5.

Prosecutors said Ruth, Pilsbury and another man wanted money for drugs. They both remain confined pending sentencing. Ruth faces up to eight years in prison, while Pilsbury faces up to seven years.

The Kennebec Journal reported that a sentencing date will be scheduled as soon as restitution to the victim is determined.

Both men deny holding a knife to the victim’s throat. They said a third man wielded the weapon. That suspect’s case is pending.


Many Maine high schools violate state law banning junk food ads

A study by the University of New England found that Maine high schools are not doing enough to ban junk food and soft drink advertising on campus.

The study found that 85 percent of the 20 schools surveyed violated a 2007 state law prohibiting junk food advertising in schools.

Study author and associate professor Michele Polacsek said she was surprised by the findings.

She told WCSH-TV it doesn’t make sense to teach children about good nutritional habits in the classroom, then bombard them with junk food ads in cafeterias, athletic facilities and even hallways. The ads took the form of posters, signs and vending machines.

She said many school administrators were surprised with the study’s findings and agreed something needs to be done.


Navy awards defense contract for upgrading Kittery shipyard

Officials say a $38 million defense contract has been awarded to a Massachusetts company to repair and upgrade the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery.

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins said the Navy awarded a contract to Environmental Chemical Corp., based in Marlborough, Mass., for energy and structural repairs at the submarine repair yard.

The contract follows a 2010 the Government Accountability Office report that found that the Navy’s modernization requirements at the nation’s four public shipyards, including Portsmouth, were underestimated. Work under the contract is expected to be completed by December 2014.


Maine man making headway collecting names for monument

A Maine man’s quest to compile the names of all residents from Livermore and Livermore Falls who served in World War II so they can be placed on a monument is making progress.

Don Simoneau said he expects to collect 700 to 800 names to be engraved on brass plates and attached to a granite monument in Geneva Hodgkins Memorial Park. He’s been putting the list together for about 20 years. The Sun Journal reported that Simoneau explained the project to selectmen this week.

The names were all on a wooden monument in the park that was taken down in the 1960s and replaced with the current granite monument. But the current monument did not include the names.


Snowe backs Brown’s campaign for re-election in Massachusetts

U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, who recently announced she would not seek another term, has formally endorsed fellow Republican Scott Brown for re-election in Massachusetts.

In a statement Thursday, Snowe credited Brown for his bipartisan approach. She called Brown “a much-needed breath of fresh air” in a Senate that Snowe said had become “characterized by gridlock and partisanship.” Snowe cited those frustrations in her decision to leave the Senate.

Brown’s chief Democratic rival is Harvard Law School professor and consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren.