South Carolina man pleads not guilty to kidnapping in Maine

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A South Carolina man accused of raping and beating a woman on a trip to Maine has pleaded not guilty to kidnapping.

The woman told investigators that Dustin Beach, of Green Pond, South Carolina, smashed her cellphone, raped her repeatedly, and beat her with a cane, a hammer and fists.

The Sun Journal reported that Beach entered his plea Tuesday in federal court. His lawyer waived a bail hearing.

Lewiston police were dispatched early on July 25 to a motel for a report of a woman who’d been assaulted. Court documents indicate Beach told authorities that the woman traveled with him voluntarily.

Federal investigators said Beach faces similar charges in South Carolina where he is accused of assaulting a girlfriend with a bull whip, a stick, a shotgun and a pistol in February.


Maine man dies from injuries from motorcycle accident

GRAY, Maine (AP) — A Maine man critically injured in a weekend motorcycle crash in Auburn has died.

Family members tell the Sun Journal that 27-year-old Matthew Smith, of Gray, died at a hospital where he was taken after the crash on Sunday.

According to Auburn police, Smith attempted to pass a line of vehicles in a no-passing zone and ended up laying the motorcycle down. Police say he wasn’t wearing a helmet.


Man sentenced in boating deaths of granddaughter, girlfriend

BRENTWOOD, N.H. (AP) — A boat operator has avoided jail time after pleading guilty to causing an accident that killed his 7-year-old granddaughter and his girlfriend on the Piscataqua River in Newington, New Hampshire.

John Wickman, of Eliot, Maine, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to one count of negligent homicide. He was sentenced to up to seven years in prison, but that has been suspended for 10 years if he gives up his right to operate a boat and performs community service.

Assistant Rockingham County Attorney Ryan Ollis said Wickman became distracted on May 5, 2018, looking at his GPS, before striking a buoy. All four people aboard the boat were injured. One of his granddaughters, Kallin Wickman, and his girlfriend, Laurie Stewart, died from their injuries.


Regulators delay meetings with lobstermen on right whales

WALDOBORO, Maine (AP) — Maine fishery regulators are postponing a round of meetings with lobstermen in the state aimed at preparing for potential new restrictions designed to protect endangered whales.

Department of Marine Resources spokesman Jeff Nichols says the department hasn’t set dates yet for any new meetings. The meetings were set to start in September.

A federal government team called for removal of many vertical trap lines from the Gulf of Maine to reduce risk to North Atlantic right whales, which number about 400. The state held a series of meetings with lobstermen about the new rules earlier this year. The last took place in late June.

Nicholas says the commissioner wants to do another review of right whale and lobster industry data before presenting a plan about next steps to the industry.


Making health care affordable, accessible focus of forum

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine leaders are looking at ways to make health care more affordable and accessible in the wake of voter-approved Medicaid expansion.

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills is bringing together health care providers, advocates, leaders and experts for a Thursday forum in Portland. The public can watch a live-stream.

Mills says Maine has enrolled over 36,000 people in Medicaid expansion so far this year. Voters in 2017 had approved expansion under former President Obama’s signature health care law, but Maine’s former governor had thwarted it under his fiscal concerns.

The forum will include the former director of the White House Office of Health Reform and a previous acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

 

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