Cruise ship docks, takes on new passengers — lobsters

A cruise ship that docked Monday in Portland Harbor picked up a load of live Maine lobsters.

The Celebrity Summit took delivery of lobsters from Ready Lobster to serve to its passengers. Celebrity Cruises has contracted to buy a total of 3,800 pounds of Maine lobster this year. Norwegian Cruise Lines has agreed to buy another 5,000 pounds when its ships call on Portland this fall.

The cruise lines’ purchases are good news for Maine’s lobster industry, which has suffered from rock-bottom prices this summer because of an oversupply.

U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, who was on the waterfront Monday, wrote to the CEOs of all cruise ship companies that visit Maine, urging them to buy Maine lobster.

Federal suit says Bath dentist retaliated against hygienists

The U.S. Department of Labor is suing a Bath dentist, claiming she retaliated against two hygienists who complained about improper infection-control procedures at her practice.

The complaint filed in U.S. District Court alleges that Dr. Tammy Cook, the owner of Bath Family Dental, discriminated against the hygienists, Dorothy Shafran and Chelsea Huntington. The lawsuit seeks lost wages, benefits, and compensatory and punitive damages for Shafran and Huntington.

“We deny the allegations. We intend to vigorously litigate the case,” said Cook’s lawyer, Robert Kline. He said one defense will be that the underlying complaint wasn’t made in good faith.

The hygienists told Cook they had concerns about perceived lapses such as failure to decontaminate treatment rooms and failure to wash hands or wear gloves, but the situation did not improve, according to the complaint filed Friday.

When their concerns allegedly were ignored, the two filed health and safety complaints with OSHA in October. Inspectors went to the office two days after the first complaint.

During the inspection, Cook said she knew who had filed the complaint and would fire them, and when reminded of whistle-blower protections, said she would fire them for other reasons, according to the complaint.

Working conditions deteriorated for both women before Shafran was fired and Huntington resigned, the lawsuit says.

State’s top court to argue real cases before students

High schools in Biddeford, Brunswick and Bucksport will be venues for oral arguments before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court next month.

“The practice of appellate law is rarely seen on television or in the movies, and we hope that these opportunities supplement the education and exposure of Maine students to both the third branch of government and to the concept of justice as a function of the third branch,” Chief Justice Leigh Saufley said in a prepared statement.

The state’s highest court has been visiting high schools in the fall for several years.

Students receive copies of the briefs before the appeals, and the lawyers stay to answer questions after oral arguments.

The court will be at Biddeford High on Oct. 23, Brunswick High on Oct. 24 and Bucksport High on Oct. 26.

Creativity center to honor actress Close and husband

Actress Glenn Close and her husband are being recognized for their contributions to Maine’s creative economy.

The Maine Center for Creativity will honor Close and Idexx Laboratories founder David Shaw as the first recipients of the Maine Creative Industries Award. The award will be presented Thursday at the inaugural Maine Creative Industries Gala in Portland.

Close and Shaw own a home in Scarborough.


Special-education instructor named Maine’s top teacher

A special-education teacher at Whittier Middle School in Poland is Maine’s teacher of the year.

Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen presented the award to seventh- and eighth-grade teacher Shannon Shanning during a school assembly Monday.

Bowen said great teachers “deserve our appreciation for engaging our kids in school and providing them with the best possible learning tools to succeed.”

Shanning will represent Maine at a national gathering in Dallas, at a ceremony in Washington with the president and at other events.

The other finalists were Kathy Bousquet from Central School in South Berwick and Beth Switzer from Coastal Ridge Elementary School in York.


Candidates submit papers to fill open seats on boards

The lineup is set for candidates to fill open seats on town boards.

Voters on Nov. 6 will fill three open seats on the Town Council and three on the School Board. The deadline for candidates to submit nomination papers was Friday afternoon.

Town councilors Jessica Sullivan and Jim Walsh will seek re-election. James Wagner will run for the seat now held by Chairwoman Sara Lennon, who did not seek renomination.

School Board members David Hillman, John Christie and Mary K. Williams-Hewitt are being challenged by William Gross and Michael Goulding. School Board members serve three-year terms.

Absentee ballots will be available about 30 days before the election. Voting will be held Nov. 6 in the Cape Elizabeth High School gymnasium.


Officers respond to report, arrest man on old warrant

Police arrested a man on a 23-year-old warrant after responding to reports of a disturbance at a trailer park in Holden.

Officers went to the Cedar Haven trailer park about 4:30 p.m. Sunday after someone called asking to have another person removed from their home.

Officer Chris Greeley told the Bangor Daily News that when he checked the name of the person accused of making the disturbance, Arnold Thompson, 43, he found a 1989 warrant for failure to appear on a theft charge.

Greeley said Thompson had moved to Florida, and Maine authorities likely didn’t think it was worth the money for plane tickets, overtime and hotels to send officers to Florida to bring him back.


Police say suspect’s house held $600,000 worth of pot

A Sabattus man was charged with felony drug trafficking after police searched his house and found $600,000 worth of marijuana growing, police said.

David Bizier, 48, of Bowdoinham Road was charged Friday, said Chief Anthony Ward. In addition to hundreds of marijuana plants, police seized $3,000 and a vehicle.

Ward said the two-week investigation was made possible by the department’s new detective sergeant, a position approved by voters in June to help the department’s investigative efforts. The department has seven full-time officers.


Two charged after police find pot growing in apartments

Police who responded to a domestic-violence call in Dexter uncovered what they said was a marijuana-growing operation in two adjacent apartments in the same building.

Police said the nearly 200 marijuana plants seized during the operation late last month had a street value of about $60,000.

It started when police interviewed a woman with facial injuries. She gave permission to enter her apartment, where police said they found 128 plants.

Police told the Bangor Daily News that a search of the other apartments in the building turned up 63 marijuana plants.

One man was charged with felony cultivating marijuana because he had more than 100 plants, and domestic assault. The resident of the other apartment was charged with misdemeanor cultivating marijuana.


Man told to repay $237,000 to investors in Maine, N.H.

New Hampshire regulators have ordered a Manchester man to pay back $237,000 that the state Bureau of Securities Regulation says he wrongfully obtained from investors in Maine and New Hampshire and used to pay bills and his son’s former employer.

James Philbrook contacted a Maine couple in 2005, soliciting them to invest money related to a proposed pay-per-view program starring celebrity Carmen Electra, the bureau said Monday.

The couple wired more than $71,000 to Philbrook’s bank account and received a promissory note, the bureau said. They later wired another $123,000. Residents in Nashua and Enfield, N.H., also invested tens of thousands of dollars.

The funds were used to pay off bills and restitution to a former employer of Philbrook’s son, who was found guilty of theft by deception against his employer in a New Hampshire case, the bureau said.

“Although Philbrook contends that these transactions were merely loans, that was not the understanding of those who turned over tens of thousands of dollars,” said Barry Glennon, director of the bureau.


Coalition questions denial of closure delay by regulators

A fishing industry group says regulators didn’t fully consider key factors when they rejected a request to delay the coming closure of a fishing area.

The Northeast Seafood Coalition had made the delay request after regulators announced the two-month closure to protect porpoises in the Gulf of Maine, starting in October. Porpoises aren’t endangered, but regulators say too many are getting killed in stationary gillnets.

The coalition had asked the government to start the closure in February. It said that would better protect porpoises and ease a $10.3 million loss to gillnetters.

But regulators said the delay wouldn’t help fishermen or porpoises much. It also said too many gillnetters fail to install net devices that drive porpoises away.

The coalition said regulators aren’t considering when fish are present in certain areas or how the closure will affect vessel crews.