Saco man gets two years for stealing from employer

A Saco man has been sentenced to two years in federal prison for stealing more than $600,000 from his employer.

The Bangor Daily News reported that Joel Bailey was also sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Portland to three years of probation and ordered to pay full restitution.

Prosecutors say Bailey, 33, stole the money from The Jordan Group from October 2008 to January 2011 while working as a bookkeeper.

Authorities say The Jordan Group opened a line of credit in 2006. Bailey admitted writing checks from that account to himself and his own technology company. Bailey also wrote checks to himself and his firm, forging his boss’ signature.

Bailey pleaded guilty in June to wire fraud.


Apartment search leads to arrest on drug charges

Police arrested a man from Brooklyn, N.Y., early Tuesday on drug charges after searching an apartment at 193 Congress St.

Based on complaints from the neighborhood, the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency investigated the suspected sale of drugs from the apartment, said Sgt. Kevin Cashman, who heads the MDEA’s Cumberland County task force. The agency got information that there might be guns in the apartment so it called in the Portland Police Department’s special reaction team.

Police charged Joseph McNair, 42, with trafficking in cocaine base and possession of cocaine base after they found crack cocaine hidden in his underwear and some hidden above a ceiling tile in the bathroom, Cashman said.

The drugs, seven grams worth about $700, were packaged for sale, Cashman said. Police also found an oxycodone pill, he said.

No guns were found, he said.

McNair was held in the Cumberland County Jail on $25,000.


Leader in fight for gay rights wins annual diversity award

The 2012 Sampson Catalyst for Change Award will be given to Rita Kissen, an author, singer, composer and retired University of Southern Maine professor who has been a leader in the fight for gay rights.

The award will be presented to Kissen on Oct. 18 at the Italian Heritage Center in Portland. The award is given annually by the Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine at USM. It recognizes someone who has been in the forefront for change regarding diversity, equality, and human and civil rights.

Kissen, who lives on Peaks Island, founded the Portland chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays and was a founding co-chair of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network of Southern Maine.

She was a professor of teacher education and women’s studies at USM from 1995 to 2005 and wrote groundbreaking books on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues in the classroom.

Past award recipients include Rabbi Harry Sky (2007), Dale McCormick (2008), Sallie Chandler (2009), Allen Sockabasin (2010) and Howard Solomon (2011).

A 5:30 p.m. cocktail party will precede the dinner on Oct. 18. Dinner tickets may be purchased for $50 each by calling Susie Bock at 780-4269.


Senior housing complex gets final OK from planners

The Planning Board granted final approval Monday for an assisted-living project that drew opposition from neighbors on Black Point Road.

Wegman Cos., based in Rochester, N.Y., plans an 81-unit senior housing complex about 300 feet from the intersection of Black Point Road and Route 1. The 59,000-square-foot building will include a mix of studio and one-bedroom apartments, and a 20-bed dementia unit.

The proposal prompted neighbors to form the Friends of Oak Hill group to fight the project. Members said the complex would create traffic problems and change the character of the neighborhood.

The complex will be in a zone that is considered a transition between residential and commercial and allows senior housing. It is across Route 1 from an area that includes Hannaford and Walgreens stores and smaller businesses. Developers indicated at previous Planning Board meetings that the proximity to amenities is one reason Wegman chose the location.


Town mourns unexplained deaths of selectman, clerk

The small coastal town of Blue Hill is in mourning because two town officials died unexpectedly during the weekend.

Selectman Jim Schatz says fellow board member Duane Gray and Deputy Town Clerk Janet Torrey passed away.

He told the Bangor Daily News that Torrey, 51, died Saturday night and Gray, 66, died Sunday morning. The causes of their deaths remain unclear.

Schatz said neither had missed work or been ill recently. Both leave behind large families.

He said the entire town of about 2,500 people is in mourning.


Skier Bode Miller engaged to pro volleyball player

Olympic and world champion skier Bode Miller has announced that he’s engaged to professional volleyball player Morgan Beck.

The five-time Olympic Alpine skiing medalist tweeted their engagement Monday night.

A post to Miller’s certified Twitter account with a picture of a ring said that “I have found the one!!! And convinced her to marry me. It was a process (at) MorganEBeck is hard to convince. I’m super excited!”

The 34-year-old is known for a go-for-broke style on the slopes that has resulted in 33 World Cup wins, two overall World Cup titles and five Olympic medals, including a gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Games.

Miller is a native of New Hampshire and a graduate of Carrabassett Valley Academy in Maine.


Autopsy scheduled for man who died trying to free ATV

Authorities have identified the man who died Monday while trying to push an all-terrain vehicle out of mud in Waterboro.

The Maine Warden Service said Dennis Hayward, 47, of North Berwick had some kind of “medical event” while he and two other men tried to push the ATV free about 2 p.m.

The machine got stuck in the mud while Hayward was riding through a wooded area of town. He died at the scene. An autopsy has been scheduled.


Group plans to sue EPA over estuary pollution measures

A group of New Hampshire municipalities says it’s going to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over the details of efforts to control nitrogen pollution in the Great Bay estuary.

The Great Bay Municipal Coalition, which includes the mayors of Dover, Portsmouth and Rochester, believes pollution control requirements are too demanding and expensive.

The municipalities cite a recent water quality report indicate eelgrass coverage in Great Bay proper is up 38 percent over its low point in 2007.

“Now that things have come back to normal, it appears the system is correcting itself, and it’s very prudent for us to continue to watch this trend and see where it goes before we invest hundreds of millions of dollars (on wastewater treatment plant upgrades),” Dean Peschel, the coalition’s environmental consultant, told Foster’s Daily Democrat.

But Ted Diers of the state Department of Environmental Services Coastal Program, said the coalition’s reliance on three years’ worth of data to show a trend is exaggerated.

“Over the long-term, the eelgrass is down significantly,” Diers said, noting that the estuary is still 1,000 acres of eelgrass short of what is considered healthy.

The coalition has said developing wastewater treatment plants that can satisfy the EPA’s recommended 3 milligrams per liter limit would cost $588 million, while upgrades to meet a less stringent limit of 8 milligrams per liter would cost $364 million.