Pingree challenger Courtney to launch first television ad

Republican 1st District congressional candidate Jon Courtney is launching his first television ad.

The ad to appear Wednesday highlights Courtney’s accomplishments during the last 10 years as he served in the Legislature, and how he hopes to use his experience to help end partisan gridlock in Washington.

Courtney is completing a term as majority leader in the Maine Senate. He faces Democratic incumbent Rep. Chellie Pingree in the Nov. 6 election.


Couple charged in burglary at ex-baseball star’s house

A couple from Old Town have been charged in connection with a series of burglaries, including one at the home of former Major League Baseball player Matt Stairs.

Andrea Bouchard pleaded guilty Monday to receiving stolen property from Stairs’ Bangor home, as well as charges connected to burglaries in Milford and Kenduskeag.

Prosecutors said Bouchard, 28, pawned stolen items.

WABI-TV reported that her husband, Jamie Bouchard, 34, is charged with burglary in the Stairs case and others. He is being held on $30,000 bail.

Stairs was in his native New Brunswick, being inducted into the province’s sports Hall of Fame, when his home was robbed in June. League championship rings were taken, but the World Series ring he won in 2008 with Philadelphia was spared because he was wearing it.

Man gets eight-year term for credit union robbery

A 27-year-old Oakland man who robbed a Skowhegan credit union with a knife was sentenced to eight years in prison Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Justice announced.

Chief Judge John Woodcock in U.S. District Court in Bangor also ordered Paul Garland to pay $9,147 in restitution and included five years of supervised release in the sentence.

In June 2009, Garland robbed a teller at knifepoint at the Taconnet Federal Union in Skowhegan.


OOB resident to serve year in child pornography case

An Old Orchard Beach man has been sentenced to a year in prison after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography.

Ludger R. Binette was also sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Portland to 10 years of probation.

Binette, 65, pleaded guilty in April.

Federal prosecutors say in 2009, federal and state law enforcement agents executed a search warrant at the defendant’s home and seized a computer that had images of child pornography on it from his bedroom.


Victim’s request for mercy eases sentence in burglaries

A woman who police say acted as a driver or lookout in dozens of burglaries and thefts committed by her boyfriend has been sentenced to 15 months in jail after one of her victims asked a judge to show mercy.

Prosecutors had asked for two years behind bars for Emily Allen-Perry, 22, of Jefferson, who pleaded guilty last month to her role in 46 crimes in Kennebec County.

Deborah Hughes of China told the judge that her home had been robbed by Allen-Perry’s boyfriend, but she has known Allen-Perry for seven years and thinks she has learned her lesson.

Allen-Perry accepted responsibility in court and apologized. Her ex-boyfriend is serving five years for the series of crimes from Sept. 1 to Dec. 27 last year.


Ex-Maine, N.H. bus driver pleads guilty to porn counts

A former school bus in southern New Hampshire and Maine has pleaded guilty to sexually exploiting children on his bus.

John Allen Wright of Milton was arrested last fall and charged with filming child pornography on the bus using hidden cameras in glasses and pens.

Wright, 46, worked as a bus driver of special needs children.

Federal prosecutors say a search of Wright’s home and computer uncovered several videos showing Wright sexually assaulting children who were passengers aboard his bus and thousands of child sexual assault images downloaded from the Internet.

Wright pleaded guilty Tuesday to six counts of sexual exploitation of children.

He faces a mandatory prison term of 15 years on each of five counts and a total maximum sentence of up to 160 years.


Maine company offering grants to nonprofit groups

Tom’s of Maine is awarding nonprofits grants to advance and draw attention to their work in the fourth annual “50 States for Good.”

The natural products company says the finalists from every state and the District of Columbia are in the running to share in $150,000.

As in the past, online voting will determine the winners. The organization with the most votes will receive $50,000 while five runners-up will receive $20,000 each.

Last year, winners planted new trees in the wake of Hurricane Ike in Texas as well as fresh produce for the elderly and homebound in North Carolina.