Commission will study jails, address funding challenges

Maine lawmakers will examine the state’s county jails and look for ways to improve and strengthen the jail system this fall.

Democratic leaders recently named a 15-member jail study commission that has been charged with coming up with recommendations to address the funding challenges facing the county jails.

The commission includes lawmakers, county jail officials and sheriffs. It’s going to review the revenue sources and long-term funding sustainability of the county jail system.

The group will meet as many as six times this fall and report its recommendations to the Legislature by December. The date of the first meeting has not yet been announced.

State resuming payments for cost of landfill cleanups

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection has resumed payments to 12 communities for the costs of cleaning up and closing landfills that posed a public health hazard.

Gov. Paul LePage applauded the DEP’s efforts, which mirror his own to make good on the $484 million the state owes to hospitals. In this case, the DEP is resuming payments that were suspended for years.

On Friday, Patricia Aho presented a nearly $33,000 check to Bath. All told, nearly $200,000 is being paid to the communities to help them deal with remediation of unlined landfills.

The reimbursements are being funded by a new fee on construction and demolition debris. The fee went into effect on Jan. 1 and is expected to generate nearly $400,000 this year.

Open Lighthouse Day scheduled for Sept. 14

Nearly two dozen Maine lighthouses will be opening their doors to the public for the state’s fifth annual Open Lighthouse Day.

This year’s event is taking place Sept. 14, when coastal, island and river lighthouses will welcome the public for tours and special activities.

The event is coordinated by the U.S. Coast Guard, in partnership with the Maine Office of Tourism and the American Lighthouse Foundation.

Most sites will be open to visitors from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for guided or self-guided tours of keeper’s houses and light towers.

A list of participating lighthouses can be found at


Camp Sunshine tops list for its fiscal management

A Maine retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families tops the list of 12 Maine nonprofits that have received top ratings for fiscal management, oversight and transparency from a charity evaluator.

Camp Sunshine has received a four-star rating and the highest overall score among Maine charities from Charity Navigator, which evaluates the financial health and transparency of charitable organizations nationwide. Camp Sunshine is located on Sebago Lake in Casco.

Other Maine nonprofits that were given four-star ratings were Maine Community Foundation, Environment Northeast, Friends of Acadia, Preble Street, Bay Chamber Concerts, The Jackson Laboratory, the Animal Welfare Society, the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory, Island Institute, the Maine Sea Coast Mission and Bates College.


Lewiston man gets 22 years for stabbing ex-girlfriend

A Lewiston man is going to prison for 22 years for stabbing his former girlfriend 21 times.

Cleveland Cruthirds, 27, was sentenced Friday in Androscoggin County Superior Court to 28 years in prison, with six of those years suspended.

Cruthirds was convicted two weeks ago of felony elevated aggravated assault for the December 2011 attack on 23-year-old Naomi Swift, but he was acquitted of the more serious charge of attempted murder.

The Sun Journal reported that Swift lost hearing in one ear and feeling in her face due to nerve damage from the attack, and that she has nightmares and flashbacks.

An attorney for Cruthirds said he will appeal the conviction and the sentence.


Maine motorist involved in wrong-way I-95 fatality

A motorist traveling the wrong way on Interstate 95 north on the Gold Star Bridge between New London and Groton was killed Saturday when he struck a car driven by a man from Maine.

State police said Francisco Lobos, 26, of Norwich, was ejected from his vehicle in the crash and died.

The driver of the vehicle that Lobos hit, Derrick Brawn, 25, of Howland, Maine, refused medical treatment at the scene.

— From staff and news services

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