Future of Maine town board in question amid recall row

OGUNQUIT, Maine (AP) — The future of the town board in a Maine town is in question amid a disagreement about an attempt at a recall of elected officials.

Petitions called for a recall of three of the five Ogunquit Select Board members after a controversy about the firing of the local fire chief. Petitioners collected enough signatures to have their petitions certified, but another group is now challenging the recall bid.

WCSH-TV reports the challengers to the petition process are citing multiple discrepancies. The challengers are also raising questions about the validity of the signatures and whether the people who signed petitions knew what they were signing.

WCSH-TV reports the next steps in the controversy are unclear. It’s possible there could be a public hearing on the subject or perhaps a town vote.

Storm brings snow, sleet, rain to northern New England

By The Associated Press

A winter storm is bringing snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain to northern New England.

The forecast calls for mixed precipitation Friday morning before temperatures rise and it turns to rain in Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire.

Up to four inches of snow and a glaze of ice is possible in some areas.

It’ll be the first snowfall in most parts of Maine in 11 days. William Watson from the National Weather Service said that the western mountains will see up to 4 inches of snow. On the coast, Portland will see only about an inch before the snow transforms to rain.

High winds are also expected in some areas. Northwestern Vermont could get gusts of up to 55 miles per hour.

Burglars swipe $1,700 in Salvation Army kettle donations

SANFORD, Maine (AP) — Police in Maine are looking for the Grinch who stole cash donations from the Salvation Army.

Officials say a burglar pried open a metal door at the Salvation Army in Sanford, Maine, sometime between Christmas Eve and Christmas morning.

The Journal Tribune reports that about $1,700 in cash donations intended for the needy was taken from a safe. The Sanford Police Department is investigating.

Capt. Erin C. Smullen of the Salvation Army said Christmas Eve kettle donations were put in a safe because the bank was not open.

Hearings delayed for pair accused of sex trafficking

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Detention hearings have been delayed again for a married couple accused of using Chinese nationals in a sex-trafficking operation in northern New England.

Federal court officials in Portland, Maine, say 37-year-old Derong Miao, and her husband, 37-year-old Shou Chao Li, will remain in custody pending rescheduled hearings in the near future. Li has hired a New York attorney to represent him.

The Concord, New Hampshire, couple is accused of running the operation at locations in Maine, Vermont and their home state.

They’re accused of using a messaging system popular in China to lure women to come to the United States on tourist visas to work in the sex trade. Authorities say the scheme involved at least 27 women.

Bail set for man charged in Christmas stabbing

WATERVILLE, Maine (AP) — Bail has been set at $20,000 for a Maine man accused of stabbing another man on Christmas.

Eighteen-year-old Tyler Loisel of Waterville is charged with stabbing the man in Bridgton. He’s facing charges of burglary and assault. The Bangor Daily News reports he did not enter a plea during a Wednesday court appearance.

Police charged Loisel with stabbing the victim multiple times on Tuesday morning before leaving the wscene. He was later taken into custody in Casco. The victim of the stabbing is expected to recover from injuries.

Town council to discuss funding changes next week

PITTSFIELD, Maine (AP) — Officials in Pittsfield, Maine will meet next week to discuss a contested plan to use $130,000 on road repairs instead of police department improvements.w

The Kennebec Journal reports Mayor Michael Cianchette cancelled a special meeting that had been scheduled for Wednesday because the council didn’t have a quorum. Cianchette says the four councilors who had supported moving the money to road projects didn’t attend the meeting.

Officials had originally planned to use the funds to hire new staff and give the police chief a raise. However, Councilor Caleb Curtis suggested Pittsfield use the money for road maintenance. Many residents criticized the decision.

Cianchette acknowledges that the roads need some work but says Pittsfield police need funding to tackle the region’s opioid problem.

The meeting is scheduled for Jan. 2.

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