Salvage yard fined $17,760 over waste gasoline storage

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection has fined a salvage yard $17,760 for improperly storing and handling hazardous waste.

An inspection of Freeport Auto Parts at 33 Allen Range Road uncovered storage and disposal of waste gasoline that did not comply with state standards. Two 275-gallon tanks containing gas were unlabeled and found inadequate to hold the liquid. Inspectors also found that waste oil had been discharged into the soil. The spillage required the removal of stained and oil-soaked topsoil.

Owner John Ingerson disagreed with the hefty fine but was resigned to pay it, he said in a phone interview. The 43-year-old business had never been fined, he said.

“The fine was little bit stout, but the state needs money,” Ingerson said. “You can’t fight it.”


Pingree says VA should treat female sexual disorders, too

U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine is asking the federal Department of Veterans Affairs to treat sexual disorders in women veterans the same as it does for men.

The Democrat says in a letter to the undersecretary of benefits at the VA that victims of sexual assault often suffer from female sexual arousal disorder, or in the case of men, erectile dysfunction, based on the physical and psychological effects of sexual trauma or as a side effect of medication used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.

Pingree says she has heard from female veterans who have had their disability claims denied because the VA doesn’t even have a diagnostic code for their condition.

Pingree says it’s a quality-of-life and fairness issue.


Woman’s aiding of hurt ‘cat’ prompts word of caution

Bangor police are warning people to be careful handling injured animals after a woman tried to rescue a cat that she had hit with her vehicle and that turned out to be a bobcat.

Police say the female driver believed the cat was seriously injured or dead and placed it in her van just after midnight on Wednesday morning.

But while she was driving the cat became alert and she realized it was a bobcat.

The woman got out of the vehicle and the bobcat went under the van.

Police used a catch pole to secure the animal until a game warden arrived. The game warden said the animal’s injuries were so severe that it had to be euthanized.


Hollywood Casino adding craps as of 5 p.m. Friday

They’ll soon be rolling the dice at the Hollywood Casino, which will add craps to its gambling options beginning Friday.

The casino has had slot machines since it opened as Maine’s first casino in 2005, and it added blackjack, poker and roulette earlier this year.

General Manager John Osborne said customers have been asking that craps be added.

Craps will officially debut at 5 p.m. Friday and will be open to play from 5 p.m. to closing on Fridays and Saturdays.

Osborne said the casino doesn’t have enough craps dealers for the table to operate daily, but that could change next year after a new round of table-games operators completes training courses at Eastern Maine Community College.


Local man, 42, accused of sex assaults involving minors

A Buckfield man has been charged with multiple counts of gross sexual assault, unlawful sexual contact and domestic violence assault for alleged illegal contact with two young girls.

The Oxford County Sheriff’s Department says Gary C. Noyes, 42, was arrested this week.

According to an affidavit by a Maine State Police detective, one of the alleged victims reported in November that Noyes had sexually assaulted her and another girl between 2007 and 2011 when both were juveniles.


Republicans appoint their apportionment panelists

Maine House and Senate Republican leaders have named the leader of the state party and a mix of lawmakers to the legislative apportionment commission, which will meet throughout the winter and spring to redraw the state’s House and Senate district lines.

The GOP appointees are Sens. Andre Cushing III of Hampden and Garrett Mason of Lisbon Falls; Reps. Wayne Parry of Arundel, Matthew Pouliot of Augusta and Amy Volk of Scarborough; Maine Republican Party chairman-elect Richard Cebra, and former House Republican Leader Joshua Tardy, who is the public member.

The Democrats are still working on their list of appointees to the commission.

The Maine Constitution requires redistricting every 10 years in order to ensure that state legislative districts reflect population changes.


Probate judge, 92, calling it quits after 50 years on bench

Maine’s longest-serving probate judge has decided it’s time to retire — at age 92.

Gov. Paul LePage on Wednesday accepted Penobscot County Probate Judge Allan Woodcock Jr.’s resignation, which takes effect at month’s end.

Woodcock told the Bangor Daily News that he chose Jan. 1 because it marks 50 years of service as a judge.

He was most recently elected to a four-year term in 2010. LePage will select a replacement from a list of recommendations made by the Penobscot County Republican Committee.

Medical problem preceded crash that killed state worker

Authorities say a state worker who died after his state-owned vehicle crashed into a utility pole in Augusta apparently suffered some sort of medical emergency before impact.

Police say 64-year-old John Pearl died at a city hospital shortly after the crash at about 8:15 a.m. Tuesday.

The state medical examiner is expected to determine a cause of death.

Pearl was a 26-year employee of the Department of Administrative and Financial Services Bureau of General Services.

An agency spokeswoman said Pearl worked in inventory and property and was on a routine delivery when the accident occurred.

Police say the box truck hit the pole at low speed.