Jury in place in trial for sheriff deputy’s death 

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — An attorney says a jury is in place for the trial of a man charged in a Maine sheriff deputy’s death. 

Jury selection began Monday in the case of John Williams, who is charged with the April 25, 2018, killing of Somerset Sheriff’s Department Cpl. Eugene Cole in Norridgewock. Williams was arrested outside a remote cabin after a massive four-day manhunt. 

Defense attorney Verne Paradie says the jury’s in place after two days of questioning. 

The defense contends Williams was beaten and kicked, tired and hungry, and suffering from drug withdrawal when he waived his right to consult an attorney and confessed to police. Paradie says he’ll seek an acquittal while also asking for an alternate charge of manslaughter. 

Prosecutors have suggested they’ll pursue a life sentence.  


Murder trial in northern Maine to set to start 

HOULTON, Maine (AP) — The trial is due to start for a Maine man charged with killing his 79-year-old stepfather in Bridgewater. 

Opening statements on Thursday in the trial of James Peaslee, of Easton, follow the selection of a jury the day before. 

Police arrested Peaslee just hours after they responded to a 911 call and found Paul Hilenski’s body in his Bridgewater home in January 2018. Peaslee has been held without bail ever since. 

Police have released little information but the indictment indicates a gun was used to kill Hilenski. 

Records indicate Peaslee has been convicted of multiple crimes including criminal threatening terrorizing, assault and drug trafficking. 


Groups to remove 5K pounds of old fishing gear off Maine 

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A pair of groups says it expects to remove about 5,000 pounds of lost and abandoned fishing gear from New England waters during an effort to clean up the debris. 

The Gulf of Maine Lobster Foundation is working with the Global Ghost Gear Initiative on the project Thursday. They’re removing the gear from the Gulf of Maine. The groups say they’re cracking down on “ghost gear,” which is a threat to marine life and ecosystems. 

Ocean Conservancy took over the leadership of the Global Ghost Gear Initiative this year. Nicholas Mallos, the director of Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas program, says the lost gear “impacts marine habitats and the fishers and coastal economies that depend on a healthy ocean.” 

The groups plan to leave from the Portland Fish Exchange. 


Police use radar gear in decades-old missing person case 

LIVERMORE, Maine (AP) — State police in Maine say they’ve used radar equipment to search for a missing person who was last seen 33 years ago. 

The ground-penetrating radar equipment was used Tuesday on Route 4 as part of a search for evidence to help find Kimberly Moreau. Moreau was 17 years old when she was last seen on the night of May 10, 1986, in Jay. 

A spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety says the radar equipment can spot abnormalities in the ground. The Sun Journal reports data collected in the effort will be analyzed and police will determine whether to go back. 

Moreau’s father, Richard Moreau, said the site that was searched is rumored to be where his daughter was buried. He says he remains committed to finding his daughter. 


E-ZPass users can now zoom through I-295 toll plaza 

SCARBOROUGH, Maine (AP) — Motorists can now zoom through a toll plaza at the southern entrance of I-295 without stopping. 

The new toll plaza allows E-ZPass customers to drive through at highway speeds as they exit the Maine Turnpike in Scarborough onto I-295 toward Portland. 

The new toll plaza, which opened Tuesday, is the fourth in Maine that allows E-ZPass customers to pass through at highway speeds. 

Demolition of the old toll plaza will begin in two weeks, necessitating detours as motorist drive around the demolition site.  


Small plane crashes at Bangor airport; no one hurt 

BANGOR, Maine (AP) — Officials say no one was hurt when a Cessna 210 crashed at the Bangor International Jetport in Maine. 

The Bangor Daily News reports that a witness saw the front landing gear collapse, causing the propeller to strike the runway. 

Airport Director Tony Caruso said the incident happened around 2 p.m. Wednesday. 

The sole person in the plane was not injured. 

Federal Aviation Administration records indicate the plane belongs to a local cardiologist. The doctor couldn’t be reached immediately for comment.  


Maine bill aims to ban certain food packaging chemicals 

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The Maine Legislature has passed a bill aimed at prohibiting the sale of food packaging with certain potentially toxic chemicals. 

The Senate on Tuesday sent the bill to Gov. Janet Mills, who has pushed to explore contamination risks from per- and polyfluoroalykyl substances, known as PFAS. The Environmental Protection Agency announced plans to place legal limits on the chemicals that have long been used in consumer products, but hasn’t yet done so. 

DuPont created the chemicals in 1938. They were first used for nonstick cookware. Maine’s bill could ban the sale of food packaging with PFAS by 2022, but only if the state finds safer alternatives. 

Maine’s bill also allows state regulators to decide whether to ban other chemicals found in food packaging. 

Opponents call Maine’s bill too broad. 

 

 

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