State buys 5,700 acres in Piscataquis County

The state of Maine has purchased more than 5,700 acres south of Millinocket in Piscataquis County, including two miles of Seboeis Lake shoreland.

State and conservation advocates say Monday’s $2.7 million purchase in Lakeville Plantation is expected to enhance outdoor recreation, tourism, public access and economic development throughout the region.

The purchase from the Bigelow Timber Corp. of Madison is funded with federal and state money. The purchase brings into state ownership a key link in a regional system of snowmobile and ATV trails between Milo and Millinocket.

Memorial Bridge to undergo paint job starting next week

Memorial Bridge in Augusta is getting a $7 million paint job.

Work on the nearly 2,100-foot-long, 48-foot-wide bridge is expected to start next week and continue into the fall.

The good news is that most of the work will be underneath the deck, so little impact on traffic is predicted.

The $7 million cost of repainting the bridge, which was built in 1949 at a cost of $1.2 million, is lower than state Department of Transportation officials thought. Project Manager Nate Benoit said a state engineer previously estimated it would cost about $10 million.


NOAA takes steps to ease yellowtail cutback impact 

Federal regulators have announced steps aimed at easing the impact on fishermen of an imminent 80 percent cut in the yellowtail flounder catch on Georges Bank.

Yellowtail isn’t a top-dollar fish. But the tight catch limit, in effect Tuesday, will prevent struggling fishermen from chasing the more valuable, abundant fish that yellowtail swim among.

Monday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said it would allow mid-sized fishing vessels to use new gear designed to help fishermen avoid yellowtail as they seek the more abundant species.

Yellowtail is also accidentally caught by scallopers, so they are allotted a portion of the annual catch so their lucrative industry won’t be shut down for overfishing yellowtail.


‘Doctor’ Patrick Dempsey rescues teen trapped in car

Patrick Dempsey, the “Grey’s Anatomy” actor and Lewiston, Maine, native, became a real-life hero last week when he rescued a trapped teenager whose car crashed and flipped outside Dempsey’s Malibu, Calif., home.

The actor came to the scene, reportedly with fire extinguisher and crowbar in hand, to pry the doors open, and pulled 17-year-old Weston Massett from the wreckage. Massett said he asked Dempsey, “Are you famous?” to which Dempsey replied, “I’m a doctor.”

Neither Massett nor his passenger, Dylan Miller, suffered serious injury.


Sen. Courtney to officially enter 1st District campaign

State Sen. Jon Courtney will make his entry into Maine’s 1st District congressional race official this week.

The Republican from Springvale plans a series of appearances through the southern Maine district on Thursday. Rallies and business walks are planned at each of the locations, in Sanford, Biddeford, Portland, Wiscasset and Waterville.

Courtney is currently the majority leader in the Maine State Senate and has served 10 years in the Legislature. He is the owner of a cleaning business in Springvale.

Courtney is trying to unseat incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, who is seeking her third term in the House. He faces a Republican primary challenge by Patrick Calder of Portland.


Memorial run honoring slain police chief nets $40,000

A memorial run honoring the New Hampshire police chief who was killed in the line of duty has raised more than $40,000.

About 2,200 people took part in the event named for Greenland Chief Michael Maloney, who was shot to death while serving at warrant at a home on April 12.

The 5.4-mile run Sunday started at the Portsmouth Police Department and ended at the Greenland station.

Proceeds will benefit the Michael Maloney Family Trust.


Senate to vote on permits for concealed weapons

The Senate is scheduled to vote Wednesday on whether to make permits to carry concealed, loaded guns anyplace where gun possession is legal optional in New Hampshire.

Gun owners could still get permits so they could travel to states with reciprocal permit agreements. The bill also would increase from four to five years the length of time a permit is valid. The bill would make it legal to transport unlicensed guns.

A Senate amendment proposes allowing people to have guns in their homes and place of business even if they are prohibited from carrying them for other reasons, such as being a felon, which may conflict with federal law.

Gov. John Lynch has promised to veto the bill if it reaches his desk.