Man accused of reselling pot he purchased at dispensary

Police say that drug agents working on an unrelated case happened to be near a marijuana dispensary when Danny Mitchell, 48, of Portland purchased marijuana inside then sold it to a Massachusetts man in a nearby parking lot.

Mitchell is due in court Thursday on an earlier charge of selling a prescription stimulant, police said.

Mitchell was seen April 29 leaving Wellness Connection of Maine, a licensed marijuana dispensary on Congress Street, and meeting a man in a nearby parking lot where he exchanged the medical marijuana for cash, police said.

Mitchell, who has a valid prescription for medical marijuana, returned to the clinic and bought more marijuana, police said.

The man who bought the marijuana – $25 for a gram that cost $15 in the clinic – said he came to Maine to buy marijuana at the clinic and had just met Mitchell, police said. He was not charged.

Mitchell was being held on $5,000 bail at Cumberland County Jail in Portland.

Gas leak forces evacuation while Unitil makes repairs

Damage to a gas line led to the evacuation of three buildings in the Marginal Way area Monday morning.

The gas company Unitil repaired the damage and the streets were reopened by noon, the fire department reported.

Portland firefighters evacuated the buildings after a gas leak from an old underground line allowed gas to seep up through the ground.

Firefighters were called to 195 Kennebec St., the former Century Tire building, after a person smelled the gas about 9:30 a.m., according to Deputy Fire Chief David Jackson.

Firefighters blocked Kennebec Street while checking buildings for any elevated levels of gas.

They found none but still evacuated nearly 20 workers, mostly from Enterprise car rental, which has buildings on both sides of the street.

Nobody was injured.

Jackson said because of strong winds Monday, the gas dissipated quickly.

The gas line did not appear to be servicing a building but was still connected to the system, Jackson said.


NOAA to focus on conserving Penobscot River watershed

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says it will focus conservation efforts on the Penobscot River watershed area in Maine and the Choptank River complex in Maryland and Delaware.

The agency announced Monday that the two waterways have been designated “Habitat Focus Areas.”

The Penobscot is New England’s second largest river and serves as a habitat for three endangered fish species, the Atlantic salmon, Atlantic sturgeon and shortnose sturgeon.

The Choptank is the largest river on the Delmarva Peninsula. Its Eastern oyster population has been reduced to 1 percent of its historic levels.

State accepting comments on lobster license proposal

The Maine Department of Marine Resources is considering a change that would allow licensed lobster processors to process lobster from the shell without holding a separate lobster meat permit.

The agency said in a statement that the change would mean lobster processor license holders would not have to purchase the $159 annual lobster meat permit. The state also said the change would allow the processors to streamline operations.

The state had 15 lobster processing license holders last year and has issued seven licenses this year. The license allows the holders to process lobsters in the shell, but not out.

The state is accepting comments about the proposal until June 6. Comments can be emailed to [email protected]

Survey finds more parents aware of their teen drinking

A state survey finds growing awareness of teen alcohol use in Maine.

The Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services found a 12 percent increase from 2009 to 2013 in the number of parents who believe their teen had a drink in the past 30 days.

The agency said greater awareness can help parents take preventative action. The survey finds teens who think they’ll get caught drinking are five times more likely to abstain.

The survey finds 78 percent of parents say they would know if their teen had used alcohol. Forty-seven percent of teens agree with that assessment.

Chief operating officer quits DHHS for private sector

The chief operating officer for Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services has left for the private sector.

Department spokesman John Martins said that William Boeschenstein Jr.’s last day with the agency was Friday.

The Sun Journal reported that Boeschenstein will be replaced by Sam Adolphsen, who has served as deputy commissioner of finance for the department since December 2013.

Martins said Boeschenstein wanted to pursue other interests in the private sector and be closer to his family. Before serving as chief operating officer for the department, he ran and sold his own business, which managed investment risk in energy for corporations.


Officials say fuel traces led them to rule car fire was set

The discovery of traces of fuel led investigators to determine that someone intentionally set fire to a car that contained the bodies of three homicide victims, officials testified Monday.

Investigator Stewart Jacobs from the Maine Fire Marshal’s Office testified that the blaze started inside the car and spread rapidly, engulfing the bodies.

Randall Daluz, 36, of Brockton, Massachusetts; and Nicholas Sexton, 33, of Warwick, Rhode Island, are charged with three counts of murder and one count of arson.

The fire caused so much damage that it took investigators three hours to remove the charred remains of the victims, jurors were told. In the afternoon, jurors were sent home as lawyers and the judge set the parameters for questioning of the sister of one of the victims.

The victims were Daniel Thomas Borders, 26, of Hermon; Nicolle Ashley Lugdon, 24, of Eddington; and Lucas Alan Tuscano, 28, of Bradford.