Trial set for man charged in 2018 killing in Bangor 

BANGOR, Maine (AP) — The trial of a man charged with homicide is getting underway. 

F Daly, a Boston native who doesn’t have a first name, is charged with murder in the fatal shooting of 51-year-old Israel Lewis on Jan. 7, 2018, in Bangor. 

The jury was selected late last week, and opening statements begin Monday. 

Daly was charged after Lewis’ body was discovered three days after the shooting by his ex-girlfriend, who saw his body and called 911. 

Investigators allegedly found the murder weapon hidden in Daly’s apartment. Daly’s attorneys contend the state’s case is based solely on circumstantial evidence. 

Man killed in late night crash in Woodstock 

WOOSTOCK, Maine (AP) — Authorities say a South Berwick man died after crashing into another vehicle late Friday night in Woodstock. 

WGME-TV reports that 72-year-old Ashley Torrey was speeding southbound on Main Street late Friday night when he crashed into another car and struck a utility pole. 

One person in the other vehicle was taken to the hospital, and the road was closed for several hours. 

NJ man released from jail after triple-fatal crash in Maine 

BAR HARBOR, Maine (AP) — A New Jersey man charged with manslaughter in a crash that killed three passengers in Acadia National Park will await trial at home. 

A federal magistrate ruled that 28-year-old Praneeth Manubolu, of Edgewater, New Jersey, will be on home detention except to go to work, to the doctor or to school. The Indian citizen was ordered to surrender his passport. 

All three of his passengers died early on Aug. 31. Manubolu told police he and the three passengers had been out drinking in Bar Harbor. 

Defense attorney Walter McKee said there’s no evidence of his blood-alcohol content at the time of the crash. A blood test showed 0.11 percent, higher than the limit of 0.08 percent, but McKee said it was taken sometime later. 

Mom denies rubbing opioid on toddler’s gums 

BANGOR, Maine (AP) — A Maine woman charged with endangering the welfare of her baby daughter is denying that she rubbed heroin on the child’s gums to help her sleep. 

Kimberly Nelligan, of Bangor, tells WLBZ-TV that she “never rubbed anything, any type of heroin, fentanyl, whatever” on her daughter’s gums. 

The state medical examiner’s office determined that the cause of death in October 2018 was probable toxic effects of fentanyl, a powerful painkiller. 

Jordynn’s father, Shane Smith, told investigators Nelligan routinely rubbed heroin residue on their daughter’s gums. 

Nelligan is out of jail on personal recognizance bail and has been ordered to undergo a mental health examination. She’s scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 12. 

Maine distracted driving penalty lowered from $230 to $85 

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine’s Judicial Branch says the first offense penalty for drivers who violate the state’s new distracted driving law will be $85, which is more in line with lawmakers’ intent. 

The new law bans drivers from holding phones while driving. It took effect Thursday morning. The law passed by the Maine Legislature called for a first offense fine of no less than $50, but a judge with the ability to set the fine placed it at $230. 

The Judicial Branch released a statement Friday that it altered fine, which will be $50 plus surcharges that raise it to $85. The branch says it made the change “in recognition of the Legislature’s apparent expectation regarding that fine.” 

It says the change also allows lawmakers to clarify the law if they choose. 

Supermarket chain restricts ‘chemicals of concern’ 

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A Maine supermarket corporation is executing new restrictions on the use of chemical products and packaging deemed hazardous by some environmental health groups. 

Ahold Delhaize says its U.S. subsidiaries will work with suppliers to meet standards higher than what is required by law and collaborate to address causes of contaminants. The company operates Food Lion, Giant Food, Giant/Martin’s, Hannaford, Peapod and Stop & Shop. 

The “chemicals of concern” outlined in the policy include per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates. 

The Portland Press Herald reports these chemicals are still allowed under U.S. Food and Drug Administration rules; environmental health experts say there’s evidence the chemicals can contribute to chronic health issues. 

Investigators wrap up work at explosion site in Maine 

FARMINGTON, Maine (AP) — The Maine Fire Marshal’s Office has finished its work at the site of a deadly explosion in Farmington, but isn’t ready to release any conclusions. 

Maine Public Safety Department spokesman Steve McCausland said investigators turned the scene over to its owners and their insurance company after wrapping up the site work Thursday night. He said Friday that additional interviews and analysis of items from the scene will continue next week. 

The explosion happened after workers were evacuated from the LEAP Inc. building because of a propane gas leak Monday morning. 

The blast killed a firefighter, Capt. Michael Bell, and injured eight other people. Four people remained hospitalized Friday in Portland and Boston, with three of them in critical condition. 

Maine governor to address UN on climate change 

NEW YORK (AP) — Maine Democratic Gov. Janet Mills is in New York City to address the United Nations on climate change. It’ll be the first time a Maine governor has addressed the UN. 

Mills was invited to talk about Maine’s efforts to combat climate change. Those include creation of a Maine Climate Council that’s developing a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent by 2030 and at least 80 percent by 2050. 

The UN Climate Action Summit 2019 aims to bring together governments and the private sector to focus on renewable energy, sustainable agriculture and adaptation to warming temperatures. 

On Tuesday, Mills will participate in a meeting with officials from the European Union to discuss how the U.S. and European nations can work together to address climate change. 

Maine moose hunt starts for the year with “bulls only” week 

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (AP) — Maine’s moose hunt is getting started for the year this week. 

The state divides up the hunt into stretches limited to “bulls only” and “antlerless only,” in addition to holding an “any moose” hunt later in the fall. The first “bull only” stretch begins on Monday and lasts until Sept. 28. 

The first stretch of the hunt is limited to parts of northern Maine. Hunters should check with regulators before pursuing moose. 

The state gave out more than 2,800 moose permits this year. That is a slight increase from last year’s moose hunt. 

The longest stretch of the moose hunt, during which any moose can be harvested, runs from Nov. 4 to Nov. 30 and takes place in central and western Maine. 

Maine Supreme Court Justice Hjelm is retiring 

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine Supreme Judicial Court Justice Jeffrey Hjelm is retiring after 27 years as a judge. 

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills on Friday described Hjelm as a “careful, quiet thinker who is committed to the principle of law and the administration of justice.” 

Hjelm served as a district judge and Superior Court justice before joining the Supreme Judicial Court om 2014. Before that, he worked for the attorney general’s office and for a Bangor law firm. 

Mills said her advisory committee on judicial nominations will begin next month reviewing candidates to succeed Hjelm on the Supreme Judicial Court. 

Mobile tiny houses no longer registered, titled as vehicles 

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine state officials say mobile tiny homes will no longer be recognized by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. 

Deputy secretary of state Patty Morneault wrote in a June 25 notification to municipalities that the bureau will no longer register, title, or assign vehicle identification numbers to such units. 

The Bangor Daily News reports owners had been able to move their tiny houses freely because the state treated them like recreational vehicles. But Morneault said they don’t comply with the definition of a trailer and are subject to building codes. 

The change means owners need to apply and pay for a single-use permit each time they move their unit. 

Those opposed to the change say it especially affects lower-income people who may rely on vehicle titles to get bank financing to purchase a tiny house. 

Dysart’s rolls back hours at famous truck stop eatery 

HERMON, Maine (AP) — A Maine truck stop that was featured in a Saturday Night Live skit is rolling back its hours. 

Dysart’s Truck Stop and Restaurant, which is off I-95 in Hermon, said it’ll no longer off around-the-clock hours at the restaurant starting on Oct. 1. 

Co-owner Mary Dysart Hartt said the restaurant will begin closing at midnight. She said there wasn’t enough late-night traffic to justify keeping the restaurant staff on duty. But she said the store and gas pumps will still be available, 24-7. 

Dysart’s got national attention when customers Jack and Sonya Palmer of Hermon filmed a TV commercial and stumbled over the words “buttery, flaky crust.” The couple’s tongue-tied outtakes were parodied in a Saturday Night Live sketch in 2018. 

Maine university joins University of the Arctic cooperative 

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A public university in Maine is joining a group of international institutions that make up the University of the Arctic. 

The University of Southern Maine says it was officially accepted into the university after a presentation by its president, Glenn Cummings, on Sept. 18 at Stockholm University in Sweden. USM says membership in the University of the Arctic will afford students and researchers with “greater opportunities for exchanges and collaborations.” 

The membership is the latest foray into the North Atlantic made by USM. It launched the Maine North Atlantic Institute last year with an eye toward improving connections between Maine and North Atlantic countries. USM says students and faculty are working with schools including Reykjavik University in Iceland and the University of Tromsø in Norway. 

Maine home sales could break last year’s sales record 

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A Maine realtor group says the state might break its record for single-family home sales. 

The Maine Association of Realtors says statistics released on Thursday show an increase of a little more than 3% in sales from August 2018 to August 2019. Last year was the best home sales year in the history of the state, and sales are less than 1% off that pace so far this year. 

The highest volume of home sales was in Cumberland County, the most populated county in the state. Several rural counties also posted big increases in home sales. 

Prices of homes in the state are also rising. The realtors association says the statewide median sales price increased by more than 4.5% to $230,000 from last August.