Mainer spared prison for role in illegal gambling operation

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A judge has spared a 77-year-old man from going to prison for his role in an illegal sports gambling business in Maine.

William Flynn, who pleaded guilty in June, was sentenced Monday to two years of probation. Part of that includes 90 days of home confinement.

The Portland Press Herald reports that Flynn, who uses a walker, struggled to his feet to apologize, saying there will now be an “asterisk” next to his name because of the conviction. He said he intends to spend his remaining days earning back his family’s respect.

District Court Judge Jon D. Levy said the crime deserved a prison sentence. He said he showed leniency because of Flynn’s health and because he’s the only caretaker for his partner.

Police: New Hampshire man abused 2-year-old girl

SKOWHEGAN, Maine (AP) — Police say a New Hampshire man is charged with physically abusing a 2-year-old girl in Maine.

Twenty-five-year-old Cody Swanson was arrested Friday and charged with aggravated assault.

Police say the child’s mother told first responders Thursday her daughter had fallen down steps at an apartment complex in Skowhegan. Investigators say the girl had a large bruise on her forehead and injuries on other parts of her body.

The girl was taken to Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center. Investigators determined the girl’s injuries were consistent with abuse.

Swanson was held at the Somerset County Jail pending his first court appearance Monday. Paperwork didn’t indicate if he had a lawyer.

Hearings set on future of New England shrimp fishery

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) — Interstate fishing managers are holding a pair of public hearings about the future of the New England shrimp fishery, which continues to look bleak.

The shrimp fishery has been shut down since 2013 and the shrimp have been largely unavailable to the public. A new analysis of the shrimp stock says they remain depleted and threatened by warming waters.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is hosting the hearings on Nov. 5 in Augusta, Maine, and Nov. 6 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. An arm of the commission is set to vote on whether to reopen the fishery late in the month.

The commission’s looking for feedback from fishermen and other interested groups on future plans for the fishery. The shrimp were once a popular winter seafood item.

Maine Public Health Association conference focuses addiction

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The Maine Public Health Association is using its annual conference to focus on the problem of addiction in the state.

The conference is taking place all day on Tuesday at the Augusta Civic Center in the state’s capital city. The event is the only statewide public health conference that happens in Maine, and this year it’s centering on programming and research about addiction.

A report compiled by Dr. Marcella Sorg of the University of Maine’s Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center showed last month that 180 people died from drug overdoses in the first half of the year, compared to 185 last year. The number of overdose deaths increased by more than 10 percent from 2016 to 2017.

The public health association represents hundreds of professionals in the state.

Another death of rare whale confirmed off Massachusetts

NANTUCKET, Mass. (AP) — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the third death of a rare North Atlantic right whale this year has been confirmed.

NOAA and conservationists are keeping a close eye on the right whale population because of high mortality and low reproduction in recent years. The agency says a right whale carcass was found floating about 100 miles (161 kilometers) east of Nantucket on Sunday.

NOAA says photographs of the animal show wounds consistent with entanglement. Entanglement in fishing gear is a significant cause of death for right whales. The agency says it’s still too early to speculate on a cause of death, though.

Right whales number no more than 450. About 4 percent of the animal’s population died in 2017. No new calves were spotted this year.

Volunteers help repair vandalism at Shaker village

NEW GLOUCESTER, Maine (AP) — Dozens of volunteers have stepped up to help the nation’s only Shaker community in Maine after vandals damaged a hayfield.

The Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in New Gloucester says close to 40 people from as far away as Georgia replaced upturned sod, filled in ruts and smoothed tire tracks Saturday.

Vandals drove onto the field in late September, damaging several acres.

The Shakers use the field to grow 50 tons of hay to feed livestock.

The Shakers say local organizations loaned supplies for the repair project which was completed after a few hours. The volunteers were treated to a hot meal afterward.

The religious community is planning to erect gates to prevent more damage to the property.

Piglet who went hog wild in traffic safely returned home

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Police in Maine’s capital say a 50-pound piglet that wore itself out dodging traffic after escaping has been safely returned home.

Augusta police say they found the piglet Saturday after receiving reports of the hog running wild. The Kennebec Journal reports a good Samaritan was able to catch the pig before responding officers arrived at the scene.

Augusta Police Sgt. Christian Behr said Monday that the pig was confirmed to be owned by someone with property near where the pig was caught. Behr says he doesn’t know if the piglet was a farm animal or a household pet.

The animal was in good condition other than being tired out from running around.


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