Faculty to complete balloting today in no-confidence vote

Tuesday was the first of two days of voting at the University of Southern Maine on a faculty proposal of no confidence in University President Selma Botman.

The faculty petitioned the Faculty Senate to hold the vote. There are 377 tenured faculty eligible to vote in the referendum, though even if the no-confidence proposal succeeds, it is only advisory. Botman works for the chancellor of the University of Maine System.

Ballot stations are at the University of Southern Maine campus in Lewiston, the USM police station in Gorham and the University of Maine School of Law in Portland.

Polling places are open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the ballots will be counted tonight after the polls close.


Police arrest man described as alternate suspect in slaying

A man whom Jason Twardus’ lawyers describe as an alternative suspect in the 2007 slaying of Twardus’ ex-fiancee has been arrested.

Calvin DeGreenia was arrested by police from Nashua, N.H., on Monday, charged with failing to appear in a New Hampshire court in connection with the Twardus case. DeGreenia had been subpoenaed to testify in a hearing in York County in which Twardus was arguing for a new trial, but DeGreenia could not be found.

The hearing Monday in York County Superior Court went into recess until DeGreenia could be located.
Twardus is serving a 38-year sentence following his conviction last year in the strangling death of 30-year-old Kelly Gorham.

Twardus’ lawyers say a new trial is warranted, in part, because they learned that DeGreenia was arrested for attempting to choke his live-in girlfriend. He pleaded guilty in December to felony assault.

DeGreenia lived on the same Alfred property as Gorham and is believed to be among the last people to see her alive.

Twardus’ lawyers have argued that DeGreenia and John Durfee, Gorham’s landlord and DeGreenia’s employer, killed Gorham and framed Twardus. Durfee died last summer.

The hearing is scheduled to resume May 11.


Questions surface after state disbands advisory council

The Maine Education Department has disbanded a federally mandated panel created to advise the state on issues involving youths with disabilities.

Former members of the panel disbanded Friday say they are concerned the move was retaliation for the panel’s questioning of department initiatives.

Maine Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen said Monday his decision is part of an effort to satisfy federal requirements.

The primary role of the Maine Advisory Council on the Education of Children with Disabilities is to monitor and make recommendations on the state’s compliance with the federal disabilities law.

The Bangor Daily News reported that Bowen in a letter expressed disappointment with the 30-member panel. A department spokesman said the panel would be re-assembled in time for the fall and no federal funding was put in jeopardy.


Police Department sets up site to report incidents online

The Auburn Police Department has launched a Web-based, non-emergency reporting system that will allow citizens to file certain incidents online at their convenience.

The public can file reports at a time that is best for them, without having to wait for an officer to respond or call them back. The system allows users to submit the incident, then print a copy of the temporary police report for free.

The system is designed for reports such as animal complaints, crime tips, harassment, thefts, vacant house checks and vandalism.


Hapless turkey hunter attracts species with four legs, fangs

A Maine turkey hunter got an unusual response from his turkey calls and decoy on opening day – he was bitten by a coyote.

Bill Robinson of Edmunds Township was hiding in the brush in Machias early Monday morning using a mouth call and decoy when he attracted a coyote rather than a turkey.

He said the coyote came around a thick spruce tree, lunged and bit him on the upper arm.
The animal quickly sprinted away once it realized it had bitten a human and not a turkey, Robinson said.

The Bangor Daily News reported that Robinson is undergoing a two-week regimen of rabies vaccine shots as a precaution, but he does not believe the coyote was rabid.


Attorney general appoints panel to study fatal drug raid

Greenland Police Chief Michael Maloney was taking cover behind his cruiser during a lull in activity when he was shot to death, New Hampshire’s attorney general said Tuesday.

Attorney General Michael Delaney’s description followed a news conference to announce the appointment of a five-member committee to review the April 12 shooting that left Maloney dead and four members of a state drug task force wounded. The shooter, Cullen Mutrie, later killed a female companion, Brittany Tibbetts, 26, of Berwick, Maine, and himself.

The committee investigating the shootings is being led by former Nashua Chief Don Conley. Also appointed were Tilton Chief Robert Cormier, former Hudson Capt. William Pease, Belknap County Sheriff Craig Wiggin and Portsmouth lawyer Steven Roberts.