Abbie gets free hotel suite to go with Bieber tickets

Good things keep happening for Abbie Jacobson.

Abbie is the 8-year-old girl from Scarborough who found a purse containing more than $4,000 outside the local Sam’s Club, and instead of keeping the cash, tracked down the rightful owner. She didn’t ask for recognition or reward, but she got both.

Bank of Maine officials, who secured five tickets for Abbie and her family to the sold-out Justin Bieber concert in Boston on Nov. 10, now say they’ve secured a hotel suite for them to spend the night in Boston following the concert.

Renee Smyth, senior vice president at the Bank of Maine, said in an email that the Marriott Residence Inn on Tudor Wharf in Boston donated the suite.

On Wednesday, Portland Press Herald columnist Bill Nemitz shared Abbie’s story with the world.

The story, carried on the front page, so moved John Everets, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of The Bank of Maine, that he directed his staff to obtain the Bieber tickets for Abbie.


Lawyer to ask for dismissal of prostitution-related case

The lawyer for the Thomaston man who is accused of promoting prostitution in Kennebunk will get to argue before a judge that the case should be dismissed.

A hearing in the case of Mark Strong Sr. has been scheduled for Sept. 14 in York County Superior Court.

Strong, a 56-year-old insurance agent and private investigator, was charged last month with promotion of prostitution, a misdemeanor.

In his motion to dismiss, Daniel Lilley, Strong’s lawyer, said he should have received documents and other evidence from prosecutors by Aug. 10 but has not. Lilley has also questioned how his client could be charged with promotion of prostitution when no one has been charged with prostitution.

According to a police affidavit, their investigation uncovered links between Strong and Alexis Wright through postal, telephone and bank records.

A search of Wright’s Zumba business locations in Kennebunk and her home in Wells turned up videotape of Wright having sex with men and meticulous client records, according to the document.

The affidavit says Wright sent video footage to Strong and asked him to run license plate numbers. Wright has not been charged with any offense.


State allows couple to keep pet wallaby with conditions

There will be a happy ending for a couple who brought home a pet wallaby, a kangaroo-like animal that’s native to Australia.

Michelle Charette and Jay Batchelder of Island Falls said they’ve been granted a state permit with a handful of conditions. The Bangor Daily news said those conditions include getting it vaccinated this month and neutered when he’s older.

There was no known rabies vaccine for a wallaby in Maine when the animal was purchased from a breeder in New Jersey. But the couple found a veterinarian in Caribou who happens to be from Australia and who’s willing to administer it.

For now the wallaby is restricted to the property, for which the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Department specified a 6-foot-tall fence.


Teen charged in sex assault of autistic female relative, 8

A 15-year-old boy has been charged with sexually assaulting an 8-year-old female family member who has autism and fetal alcohol syndrome, the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office said Friday.

The boy was living at the victim’s home in Gray when the assault happened at 6 p.m. Thursday, according to a news release.

The boy has been charged with gross sexual assault and unlawful sexual contact. He is being held at the Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland pending further investigation and court proceedings.

The boy recently was charged with indecent conduct in an unrelated incident in Augusta, according to the news release.


Undercover sting yields four prostitution arrests

Police say they have arrested four people during an undercover prostitution sting in Lewiston.

Sgt. David St. Pierre said the sting was set up in response to complaints of a rampant prostitution problem in the city, with women approaching people and vehicles at all hours of the day.

The undercover effort was part of Operation Hot Spots, an ongoing operation involving several agencies, including Lewiston police and Maine Drug Enforcement.

The Sun Journal reported that the undercover officer began riding through the downtown area at about dinnertime Wednesday and was propositioned by four women between 6 and 9:45 p.m.

Each of the suspects was charged with engaging in prostitution.

Police said more arrests are likely.


Man sentenced for his role in oxycodone distribution

A Whitefield man has been sentenced to more than three years in federal prison for his role in an oxycodone distribution ring.

Federal prosecutors said Peter Poland was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court in Bangor to three years and four months in prison, followed by three years of probation.

Authorities said Poland, 40, was involved in a scheme that got oxycodone and other drugs outside Maine and distributed them in Kennebec and Cumberland counties.

Poland was charged as a result of a wiretap investigation that took place between April and August 2011. Charges are pending against four other people.

Poland also faces charges in state court for allegedly threatening a neighbor with a gun last September.


Kineo Band of Maliseets seeking official recognition

A legislative representative of the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians is seeking recognition of another band of Maliseets in the Moosehead Lake region.

Tribal Rep. David Slagger is seeking to secure state and federal recognition for the Kineo Band, also known as the Moosehead Lake Indians.

Slagger, who lives in Kenduskeag, told the Bangor Daily News that the area is “rich in Indian history.” But he’s not likely to get big support from other tribes. Several representatives of federally recognized tribes expressed concerns that federal resources could be spread thin.

Moosehead’s Mount Kineo is well documented as a place where American Indians traveled for thousands of years for flint. Kineo is a Maliseet word for flint.


Mainers may be victims of online Ponzi scheme

Maine regulators say some consumers in the state may have been victimized by an online Ponzi scheme.

The Office of Securities and Bureau of Financial Institutions on Thursday said federal officials have taken action to stop the alleged “profit-sharing” scheme run through the website ZeekRewards.com. A North Carolina District Court placed ZekeRewards into receivership and ordered its assets frozen.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charges that ZeekRewards and two other defendants raised $600 million from more than 1 million Internet customers and investors nationwide and overseas and operated a classic Ponzi scheme by paying the first wave of investors with new funds solicited from subsequent investors.

Maine officials say some financial institutions in the state reported receiving requests for assistance from customers who invested in ZeekRewards.com.


Annual windjammer fest continues through Sunday

Maine’s historic fleet of windjammers is on display at the annual Camden Windjammer Festival.

The festival kicked off Friday with the arrival of the windjammer fleet, a dinner auction, music and a fireworks celebration over Camden Harbor. It continues Saturday and Sunday with boat parades, music, food and maritime exhibits and demonstrations.

In addition to the 14 windjammers on display, festival-goers can also visit the 567-foot Navy ship Normandy, which will be anchored outside the harbor during the festival.

Festival organizers say thousands of people attend each year to celebrate Camden’s maritime heritage from the age when majestic schooners were launched in Camden to today when elegant modern-day sailing yachts visit port.