Attorney general: Maine has strong case for waiver

Maine Attorney General William Schneider said Friday that he’s disappointed by the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ rejection of a lawsuit seeking an expedited review of the state’s request for a Medicaid waiver.

He said the federal panel didn’t address the state’s legal arguments but focused on the administrative process, which gives the federal government 90 days to review the state’s request. The appeals court said Maine’s lawsuit was premature, and rejected it on Thursday.

Schneider said he continues to believe that the state has a strong case, but the state will now focus on the administrative process with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The Legislature voted to eliminate coverage for more than 20,000 people effective Oct. 1. But, by statute, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has until Nov. 1 to review the state’s plan.

Suspect in fatal stabbing wants interviews rejected

A lawyer for an Augusta man who is accused of fatally stabbing his roommate and partner has asked a judge to reject as evidence interviews her client had with investigators.

The lawyer for Michael Young, 41, told a judge Thursday in Kennebec County Superior Court that Young was not involved in the death of David Cox in June 2011. She said it was an accident.

Attorney Pam Ames said Cox was tinkering with Young’s bicycle and Young only heard a “bang.” She said Young saw Cox slumped over the bicycle with a knife in his chest.

Prosecutors have said they don’t believe Young’s story because the medical examiner determined the stab wound was not consistent with an accident.

Young remains in jail on $500,000 cash bail.


Councilor is sole incumbent being challenged on ballot

Only one incumbent on the city’s November ballot is being challenged.

City Councilor Rosemarie De Angelis will run against Melissa Linscott for a three-year term representing District 3.

Linda Cohen, a former city clerk, is unopposed in her bid for the District 4 seat now held by Maxine Beecher, who cannot run for a fifth term because of term limits.

No one took out nomination papers for the District 4 school board seat now held by James Gilboy. City Clerk Sue Mooney said that means someone could run a write-in campaign for the seat. Richard Matthews and Tappan Fitzgerald are both seeking re-election, for Districts 3 and 5, respectively.

Jeffrey Selser, an at-large school board member, resigned this week, and Mooney said it is too late to put that seat on the November ballot. A special election to fill that seat likely will be held in March, when voters also are expected to elect a District 1 city councilor to replace Tom Coward.

Coward is the only candidate for the District 3 county commissioner seat. He cannot serve as a Cumberland County commissioner and city councilor, and is expected to resign from the council after Jan. 1 if he is elected, Mooney said.

Hazardous-materials drill will continue on Saturday

Some people might see a lot of activity involving emergency vehicles on Saturday.

A hazardous-materials drill that began Friday will continue Saturday at Monson Chemical Co. on Runway Road in South Portland.

Officials said the drill will run from 8 a.m. until about 2 p.m. A lot of equipment and personnel will be on the scene. Many mutual-aid companies from other towns will be there  as part of the drill.


Suspect sought in tying of emaciated dog to tree

Officials are trying to figure out who tied an emaciated dog to a tree in a cemetery this week.

Zachary Black, operations manager at the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society, said the “severely emaciated” pit bull mix’s ribs, vertebrae and pelvic bones are easily visible.

He told the Sun Journal that the male dog in the 10- to 12-month-old range was probably 20 pounds underweight. Black said the dog is very friendly and was very hungry.

The shelter hopes to put weight on him, neuter him and find him a permanent home.
Animal Control Officer Wendell Strout said the person who left the dog in Riverside Cemetery could face cruelty-to-animal charges.


Two men face drug charges for $18,000 worth of heroin

The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency says it has arrested two men who were selling heroin in Washington County.

The drug agency and Milbridge police recently began a criminal investigation into reports of heroin trafficking by two men in town.

State drug agents, with assistance from state police, searched an apartment on Water Street and seized more than 300 retail bags of heroin, more than 8 grams of bulk heroin, more than $1,000 in cash and a loaded pistol. The heroin was worth about $18,000.

Police arrested Jose Ramon Quinones Natal, 44, and Henry Yadiel Hernandez Quinones, 23. Both are charged with aggravated trafficking in drugs.


Maine DEP officials verify asbestos hazard cleanup

Environmental officials say a building that was once described as the worst asbestos hazard in the state has been largely cleaned up.

The former Forster Mill building on Depot Street was scheduled for an inspection by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection on Friday.

DEP spokeswoman Samantha Depoy-Warren said enforcement team members were jubilant after seeing photos of the cleanup site.

The man who owns the building and the contractor that created the safety hazard face fines from state and federal enforcement agencies.

Asbestos fibers are known to cause cancer when inhaled. The volume of the material, some of which had been ground into dust, led Bob Rickett of Abatement Professionals to call it the worst he had seen in 30 years of asbestos remediation.


NRC to inspect nuclear plant due to degrading concrete

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission plans to conduct inspections at Seabrook nuclear plant due to degrading concrete in some areas.

The NRC said Friday while the problem is still being evaluated, the plant can continue to operate safely.

The NRC said the concrete is degrading due to an alkali silica reaction, which can cause micro-cracks.

The single-reactor plant is operated by NextEra Energy Seabrook LLC.


Campus police arrest man for breaking student’s nose

University of New Hampshire police have arrested a Dover man in connection with an assault that left a 19-year-old student with a broken nose and cuts to his face and arm.

Police said they arrested 20-year-old Evan Towle on Friday on a charge of second-degree assault. Towle is not a UNH student.

Police said the confrontation happened on campus early Sunday in the Gales apartment complex. They said several men were fighting with the student and more arrests are expected.


Man recovering after falling 60 feet while climbing rocks

Firefighters say a man is recovering after he fell about 60 feet while climbing a rocky ledge in Barrington, N.H.

They said the injured man was climbing on the rocks with several friends at Stonehouse Pond. He fell about 6 p.m. Thursday.

The man was not identified. Authorities said he suffered injuries that were not life-threatening.


Fatal shooting of pit bull leads deputy to resign

A Bennington County Sheriff’s Department deputy has resigned following allegations that he fatally shot a neighbor’s dog.

Sheriff Chad Schmidt said Donald Loveland was placed on administrative leave last month pending an investigation. Schmidt said Loveland decided to resign last week.

Melissa Kilbride told the Bennington Banner she was at a family gathering in Pownal on Aug. 26 when their pit bull slipped out of its collar and ran off.

Kilbride said two gunshots were heard a few minutes later and the dog did not return. She asked Loveland if he had seen the dog. She said Loveland told her the dog attacked his girlfriend’s dog and killed three chickens, so he shot at it but didn’t think he hit it.

The dead dog was found in the woods.


Search reveals nothing where skull was found

Vermont State Police say nothing of significance has been found in a renewed search of an area of Danby where a human skull was found last winter.

Police on Thursday renewed searching in an area where the skull was found in February, but say nothing of significance was located.

Meanwhile, police said an analysis by anthropologists at the University of North Texas indicates the skull was that of a female of Asian descent believed to have been between 21 and 40 when she died.


Great white sharks sighted, east-facing beaches closed

A popular Cape Cod beach has been closed for swimming after a great white shark estimated at 20 feet long was spotted leaving Chatham Harbor.

The shark was spotted and tagged on Thursday.

Niko Chaprales, captain of a shark hunting boat, told the Cape Cod Times he spotted six great whites off Chatham on Thursday, including the 20-footer he described as the biggest he’s seen.

In response, officials closed Lighthouse Beach in Chatham, as well as all east-facing ocean beaches along the Orleans/Chatham line, from Nauset Beach to Monomoy.


Irish tourist grabs a knife, demands cannoli, police say

A tourist from Ireland apparently couldn’t wait to get his hands on an Italian pastry in Boston.

Prosecutors say just hours after 25-year-old Robert McTernan landed in Boston for a two-week vacation, he entered a bakery in the North End, a largely Italian neighborhood. They say he grabbed a knife and demanded a cannoli from an employee.

The worker at Bova’s Bakery handed McTernan the pastry made from creamy ricotta cheese wrapped in a crunchy shell, then called police about 3:30 a.m. Thursday.

Officers found the Newbridge, Ireland, resident in the kitchen and arrested him on an armed robbery charge. Police could not find the knife.

McTernan pleaded not guilty at his arraignment. He was granted $2,000 bail and ordered to surrender his passport.