2 children hurt, horse killed in horse-drawn buggy crash 

SMYRNA, Maine (AP) — Police in northern Maine say two children were injured and a horse was killed when their horse-drawn buggy came into the path of a trailer truck. 

The crash happened Wednesday afternoon in Smyrna. Police say the buggy was being operated by a 12-year-old boy who entered the roadway in front of the trailer truck. The truck struck the horse and killed it. 

Police say the buggy was re-directed to the southern side of the roadway, and two of the seven children riding in it suffered minor injuries. 

Police declined to identify the child who was operating the buggy. They also did not identify the injured children. The truck was owned by Beaulieu Trucking. 


Maine university gets anonymous gift of more than $3M 

FARMINGTON, Maine (AP) — A Maine university says it has received one of the largest donations in its history from a pair of anonymous donors. 

University of Maine at Farmington interim president Eric Brown says the $3.225 million gift is the second largest donation it has ever received. The university says the gift will be used to create the Catalyst Fund at UMF. 

The school says the fund will help implement and grow initiatives designed to boost financial aid, advance graduate education programs and help students succeed. 

One of the initiatives the Catalyst Fund will help support is a new scholarship program called the Persistence Scholarship Program. The school says it will provide students with a merit scholarship for being on track to successfully graduate in four years. 


Maine House bans lawmakers from videotaping during debate 

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The Maine House has voted despite GOP objections to stop legislators from photographing or videotaping each other during floor debate. 

House rules continue to allow the media to film and photograph House business, despite the passage of the amendment on a 91-53 vote on Thursday. 

The GOP said the change prevents legislators from recording business when the media isn’t there, or if official business is conducted as night. Assistant House Republican Leader Trey Stewart said, “House Republicans support transparency in the conduct of public business.” 

But Democratic House Speaker Sara Gideon said all sessions are broadcast live and archived. And Democratic House Majority Leader Matt Moonen said other legislatures restrict members from using technology in a way that “distracts.” 


Maine’s rare hawk likely to lose part of toe to frostbite 

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A rare hawk that has been living in Maine will likely lose at least part of a toe due to frostbite, but it will likely still have adequate use of the foot for standing and catching prey. 

That is the message from Avian Haven, a wild bird rehabilitation facility in Freedom, Maine. The great black hawk was taken there after it was found on the ground and unable to stand on Jan. 20. 

The hawk had been living in Portland’s Deering Oaks Park for a few weeks. Avian Haven said in a Facebook post Wednesday that the rest of the bird’s toes appear to be viable, though it will be at least another week before the facility will feel confident about their viability. The bird remains under care and treatment. 


After 105 animals seized, man banned from farming for life 

SORRENTO, Maine (AP) — A Maine judge has banned a man from farming for life after authorities seized 105 animals from his farm. 

Animal welfare officials say they found filthy conditions at Marc Calcia’s farm in Sorrento. The Bangor Daily News reports officials seized 75 chickens, 10 ducks, 15 rabbits and five pigs and brought them to shelters. 

Justice Bruce Mallonee ordered the ban, saying that the 53-year-old had violated an April 2018 deferred disposition agreement that required him to clean up the farm. 

Calcia has been issued at least 13 court summonses alleging animal cruelty since August 2017. He said the livestock were cared for appropriately and that assessments of the animals’ condition by various state officials were contradictory. He said he has hopes that his lawyer can get the order reversed. 


Maine supreme court upholds conviction for double shooting 

BANGOR, Maine (AP) — Maine’s supreme court has rejected the appeal of a New York man sentenced to 50 years in prison for a shooting that left one man dead and another injured in Bangor. 

Thomas Ferguson contended there was insufficient evidence to convict. He also contended that he was denied due process and challenged evidentiary rulings. 

The Supreme Judicial Court upheld his convictions on Thursday. 

Law enforcement officials say 38-year-old Robert Kennedy was killed and another man wounded on Nov. 27, 2015, to settle a drug debt. 

A judge found Ferguson guilty of murder and elevated aggravated assault after finding that he was an accomplice to the shootings. The judge identified another man, Robert Hansley, as the triggerman. He was convicted of the same charges by a jury. 


Seafood firm’s effort to reopen stymied by ongoing shutdown 

HANCOCK, Maine (AP) — A Maine seafood business’s efforts to reopen are being waylaid due to the ongoing federal government shutdown. 

Sullivan Harbor Farm owner Leslie Harlow says the business was within days of getting federal approval to resume selling smoked fish. The Bangor Daily News reports she now cannot get a needed permit from the Food and Drug Administration — which she says is sitting on a desk somewhere waiting to be mailed out. 

Harlow has been trying to reopen the business ever since it shut down three years ago due to food safety violations. 

Harlow stresses the shutdown is hurting many Mainers, many of whom rely on federal paperwork for permits and loans that now is not being processed. 


Feds giving more than $2M to boost northern Maine health 

WASHBURN, Maine (AP) — Three members of Maine’s congressional delegation say a community health network in northern Maine will receive more than $2.2 million from the federal government to expand services. 

Republican Sen. Susan Collins, independent Sen. Angus King and Democratic Rep. Jared Golden say the money will go to Pines Health Services, which has five locations in Aroostook County. 

The lawmakers say the grant is designed to support efforts to grow services and lower health care costs in rural northern Maine. The money is from the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Health Center Cluster Program. Lawmakers say the federal government uses the program to improve access to health care for people who are economically or medically vulnerable or geographically isolated. 

Pines Health’s locations are in Caribou, Presque Isle, Van Buren, Washburn and Fort Fairfield. 

 

 

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