Court asked to order man to stop harming women

The state Attorney General’s Office is seeking a court order to stop a man who says he hates women from hurting or threatening them.

The injunction, typically used in cases of violent crimes based on race or religion, in this case targets Joshua Drew, 27, currently serving an eight-month sentence in the Cumberland County Jail in Portland.

Drew has a history of domestic violence assaults and acts of terrorizing women in Kennebec, Somerset and Androscoggin counties, according to a news release from Attorney General William Schneider. At one point last year, Drew choked a woman, kicked her in the head and killed her kitten after she told him to leave her home, the release said.

The release quoted Drew as writing: “Is there really any question or wondering why I keep coming back to jail for the exact same thing? Domestic assault. Why is it that every woman that comes near me finds a way to … me over?

“I do not feel remorse and I am not sorry for the things I have done,” the release continued. “My only regret is that I didn’t do worse to the women I assaulted.”

The Maine Civil Rights Act allows the attorney general to obtain a civil injunction barring a person from committing violence or the threat of violence against someone based on race, color, religion, sex, ancestry, sexual orientation, national origin, and physical or mental disability. A violation of the injunction is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine. The injunction sought against Drew in Androscoggin County Superior Court also would bar him from future contact with his victims, the release said.

“It is rare to have evidence of a civil rights violation motivated purely by bias against all women,” Schneider said. “The Civil Rights Act is one tool to stop violence against women based on this kind of seething hatred of women as an entire class of people.”

Southbound Exit 48 off-ramp on turnpike to close for repair

The southbound off-ramp of Exit 48 on the Maine Turnpike will close tonight at 6 p.m.

Dan Morin, spokesman for the Maine Turnpike Authority, said the closure is to repair damage from the heavy rainfall last weekend.

Morin said the repair work will last until 5 a.m. Thursday. The ramp provides motorists with access to Riverside Street and Larrabee Road.

Indictment accuses N.Y. man of intent to distribute heroin

A federal grand jury indicted a New York man Tuesday on a charge of possession with the intent to distribute 100 or more grams of heroin.

Raydani Genao, 26, was arrested last week after a Maine State Police trooper pulled over a northbound vehicle with three people in it north of the York toll plaza on the Maine Turnpike.

After a police dog indicated the presence of narcotics in the vehicle, the trooper found a package containing about 150 grams of heroin, according to an affidavit filed by U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent Paul Wolf.

Genao said he had obtained it for $51 per gram in New York and was planning to sell it to a customer in Maine for $60 per gram, according to the document.

The charge carries a penalty of five to 40 years in prison.

Burglar breaks window of drive-through to steal pills

Portland police are investigating a break-in at the Rite-Aid pharmacy at 701 Forest Ave. in which a number of prescriptions that had been filled for customers were stolen.

Police and a store representative responded to a burglar alarm at the pharmacy just before midnight Monday but found the building secure, said Lt. Scott Pelletier, head of detectives for the department.

Police saw nothing wrong, but received a call from a resident on Codman Street nearby about trash in the form of empty pill bottles in their yard and paper bags with the Forest Avenue pharmacy’s name and address attached. Officers returned to the pharmacy and found that the drive-through window had been broken out.

The locked cabinets where narcotics are kept was not broken into.

Anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area between about 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. are asked to call the detective bureau at 874-8533.


Prorated benefits program helps employees keep jobs

Maine’s Department of Labor is launching a new program this month aimed at keeping workers on the job while their employers experience temporary slowdowns.

Labor Commissioner Robert Winglass said WorkShare allows companies to keep their work forces during tough times, while workers can retain some wages and their job seniority while collecting prorated unemployment benefits.

The sponsor of the bill that initiated the program, Democratic Rep. Diane Russell of Portland, says it has worked in many of the 20 other states that have similar programs.

Maine Democrats on list to attend national convention

Several Maine elected officials and former officials are on the list of delegates to the Democratic Party’s national convention to be held in Charlotte, N.C., in September.

Maine Democratic Party officials going to the convention include Chairman Ben Grant, Vice Chair Janet Mills, and U.S. Reps. Chellie Pingree and Mike Michaud.

The Maine Democrats also re-elected Maggie Allen of Madison and state Sen. Phil Bartlett of Gorham to the party’s national committee.


Third Maine man charged in $90,000 odd-jobs scam

A third Maine man accused of scamming a 92-year-old Massachusetts man out of $90,000 for odd jobs at his home has been arrested.

Police in Haverhill say 28-year-old Michael Mills of Arundel was arrested on a warrant and brought to Massachusetts for arraignment Tuesday on charges of larceny over $250 and a bylaw violation.

Authorities told The Eagle-Tribune that Mills and two accomplices showed up at the victim’s home in February and charged exorbitant fees for substandard work at the man’s home. The men allegedly charged the victim $8,000 for taking five hours to clean their basement.
The other suspects have already been arraigned.


Man admits manslaughter after body found in basement

A Maine man pleaded guilty to manslaughter Tuesday in the death of a woman whose body was found buried in the basement of a Lewiston apartment building last year.

Bob Ryder of Lewiston told police that he had paid 38-year-old Danita Brown of New Gloucester for sex last June. WLBZ-TV reported that he told police he grew annoyed when she complained about her life and he caught her looking through his wallet. He says he blacked out but remembers hitting her in the head two or three times with a wooden clock, WLBZ reported.

Brown’s decomposing body was found last July after she had been missing for several weeks.
Police learned of the case after Ryder allegedly told his Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor about the incident. He faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.


High water from heavy rain forces Songo Lock closure

The Songo Lock in Sebago Lake State Park is closed to boat traffic because of recent heavy rain and high water.

Built in 1830, the lock at Songo Lock State Historic Site is closed indefinitely because all flood-control gates have been opened to accommodate heavy water flow, said Park Manager Matt McGuire. The gates will remain open until water levels in Brandy Pond and Long Lake drop more than 2 feet, McGuire said.

Opening the flood-control gates creates heavy cross currents, and park officials want to keep boaters safe and limit shoreline damage, McGuire said.


Police arrest Brunswick man in robbery of credit union

Federal authorities have charged a Brunswick man with bank robbery in the theft of $7,691 from the Infinity Federal Credit Union in Arundel.

U.S. Attorney Thomas Delahanty II said Tuesday that Travis Leeman, 30, was arrested Monday after an investigation by the York County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI.

Authorities said Leeman entered the credit union at 9:30 a.m. May 29 and brandished a semi-automatic pistol. He leaped over the counter and grabbed money, then ran to a truck he had parked a quarter-mile away, according to court papers.

Investigators went to the Walmart in Biddeford, where Leeman purchased a backpack cooler 30 minutes before the robbery that was used to carry the money, authorities said. Police obtained a video there that appeared to show the man getting into a work truck traced to a company where Leeman works.

Company records showed the truck being parked in front of Walmart at 9 a.m. and then near the credit union in Arundel at 9:30 a.m.

A search of Leeman’s house turned up a Baretta semi-automatic pistol, the court papers say.

State says other companies are looking at air base site

The agency redeveloping the Brunswick Naval Air Station is in talks with several aircraft manufacturers and maintenance companies besides Bombardier Inc.

The Press Herald reported Tuesday that Gov. Paul LePage’s economic development team and the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority had met in May with Bombardier, a Canada-based company with facilities throughout North America, Asia and Europe. The state and the authority are trying to bring an aircraft-related company to the former base.

“We’ve talked with (Bombardier), but we’re talking with five or six other companies as well,” said Steve Levesque, executive director of the redevelopment authority. He did not identify the other companies.

Speaking at a public forum to discuss the status of the former Navy base one year after it was decommissioned, Levesque said the new Brunswick Landing has attracted 15 new businesses with about 150 jobs. Those companies aim to expand their combined work forces to about 475 employees.

About 40 people attended the public meeting in Brunswick.