Ex-border officer files suit claiming hostile workplace

A former U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer says in a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security that her supervisor created a hostile work environment by repeatedly demeaning women, discussing his conservative Christian views and treating her differently from her male colleagues.

Rebecca Albert Carnot of Rangeley says she was illegally fired in January 2011 after working in the Coburn Gore Station in northwestern Maine for two years.

Carnot says the supervisor said women should not be involved in law enforcement and had a duty to obey their husbands in accordance with the Bible.

Carnot, 33, is seeking reinstatement, damages, back wages and benefits and legal expenses.

The Bangor Daily News reports that a Justice Department spokesman had no comment.


UMaine likely won’t have Dayglow paint party return

The University of Maine says a Dayglow event billed as the “world’s largest paint party” probably won’t be invited back to campus after 16 attendees were taken away in ambulances.

Dean of Students Robert Dana says the event featuring music, light displays and lots of Dayglow paint last week at UMaine’s Field House was too boisterous. And he didn’t like the number of ambulance transports for excessive drinking, asthma attacks and paint in eyes.

Myles Block, chief of the UMaine Volunteer Ambulance Corp., told the Bangor Daily News that emergency workers did their homework and were prepared.

In December, a Dayglow concert at Lehigh University was classified as a “mass casualty event” with 35 attendees being shuttled to area hospitals.


State police investigating death of 5-month-old boy

Maine State Police are investigating the death of a 5-month-old boy in Owls Head.

The Bangor Daily News reports that the Knox County Sheriff’s Office was called to a home about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday regarding an infant who was unresponsive. When a deputy arrived, the boy already had been taken to Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport by emergency medical services.

Authorities said EMS personnel performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the child. But he was pronounced dead by 8:45 p.m.

As is standard procedure based on state law, the death of any child younger than 3 years old is investigated by the Maine State Police.


$2,000 bingo winner wins $500,000 in lottery game

Karen Meservey says “it was just like someone pushed the air right out of me” when she saw she won $500,000 in a Maine lottery game.

But that’s just part of the story. The night before, the 53-year-old Milo woman won $2,000 at bingo.

The Bangor Daily News says Meservey’s hot streak began April 26, when she bagged $2,000 in bingo winnings at the Eagles Club in Brewer. The next night, she won $500,000 after buying a $20 instant game ticket at a gas station and convenience store Milo.

Meservey told the News on Tuesday that buying a Mega Multiplier ticket is a luxury she usually can’t afford.

After a sleepless weekend, Meservey returned to the store on Monday to confirm that she actually held a winning ticket.


Girl, 13, cleared of charges in fire in school bathroom

A 13-year-old girl has been cleared of charges that she started a fire in a Vassalboro Community School bathroom last November that forced the evacuation of hundreds of students.

The girl’s lawyer tells the Morning Sentinel that a judge determined that the state failed to prove its case against her.

The girl’s father says information came out at the trial showing that two other girls were in the bathroom at the same time as his daughter, and they left after her.

The fire that started on a plastic toilet paper dispenser forced the evacuation of about 500 students and caused smoke and water damage. No one was hurt.

Prosecutors says the evidence was not conclusive enough to link the girl to the fire.


Fisherman with hand injury rescued by Coast Guard boat

A Coast Guard boat has rescued an injured fisherman who needed medical treatment 12 miles off Jonesport.

Coast Guard officials say they were alerted Wednesday morning that a 47-year old fisherman aboard the Sandy Rose had severely injured his hand while hauling gear.

A 25-foot Coast Guard boat was launched from Jonesport and retrieved the fishermen, who was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor.

Chief Petty Officer Rob Childress says proper radio equipment aboard the boat helped communication and allowed the Coast Guard to reach the boat quickly.


State settles lawsuit filed by employee over demotion

Maine has agreed to pay $65,000 to a state employee who claimed she was demoted last year after testifying before a legislative committee during her vacation about the dangers of chemicals to children.

The state admits no wrongdoing in the settlement signed April 19 with Andrea Lani, who works for the Department of Environmental Protection.

The Bangor Daily News reports that the agreement requires the state to provide training to supervisors about the law that prohibits retaliation against employees who testify before the Legislature.

The Whitefield woman filed suit in October in U.S. District Court in Bangor alleging she was the victim of retaliation by Commissioner Patricia Aho and Ronald Dyer, director of the DEP’s bureau of remediation and waste management.

Lani said her free speech rights were violated.

State charter school approval panel accepting applications

The commission that will approve charter schools in Maine is accepting applications.

The Maine Charter School Commission issued a request for proposals on Tuesday.

Potential operators must submit letters of intent to apply by May 16, and the full application is due by June 29. The commission must approve or deny applications within 90 days of receiving them, and a charter contract must be negotiated and settled at least 60 days before the school opens.

Applicants must outline their vision, demonstrate that they understand the population they intend to serve and explain how their program will benefit students and the community.

Commission Chairman James Banks Sr. tells the Kennebec Journal he knows it’s a tight schedule, but the board is up to the task.

Wildlife officials issue alert on moose lottery deadline

Maine wildlife officials say the deadline for the state’s moose hunting lottery is rapidly approaching.

The deadline for paper applications was last month, but hunters can still apply online until May 14 at the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife website.

The state will award 3,725 permits to take a moose this year. The state routinely gets tens of thousands of applications for the limited number of permits.

This year’s lottery will be held in Oquossoc.

The annual moose hunt will run from Sept. 24 to Nov. 24, depending on the wildlife management district.


Two older circus elephants will be retiring in Maine

Two retired circus elephants will soon make Maine their new home.

A nonprofit group called Hope Elephants plans to move the animals to a new rehabilitation center built in Hope by this fall.

The move is a dream for the group’s founder, veterinarian Jim Laurita.

The Bangor Daily News reported that he built a 1,200-square-foot barn for Rosie, a 42-year-old elephant, who he worked with in the 1970s and now suffers from arthritis.

Rosie lives in Oklahoma with 27 other elephants from the Carson and Barnes Circus.

Laurita says he got the idea to move Rosie to Maine and try different kinds of physical therapy with her, and then share his findings with circus trainers. A second elephant who needs care is also expected to join her.