Ransom note for ‘Open for Business’ sign left at Stephen King’s radio station

Posted June 03, 2011, at 9:31 p.m.
Last modified June 04, 2011, at 7:04 p.m.
Maine Gov. Paul LePage (left) unveils a new &quotOpen for Business" sign beneath the &quotWelcome to Maine" sign along Interstate 95 near the New Hampshire border in Kittery in March. Maine Department of Transportation crew supervisors Elaine Cota (center) and Aaron Main (on ladder) assist. State police are investigating an ad on Craigslist and a ransom note left on the door of Stephen King’s radio station on Broadway in connection with the disappearance of Gov. Paul LePage’s “Open for Business” sign on Interstate 95 in Kittery.
Rich Beauchesne, Portsmouth Herald | AP
Maine Gov. Paul LePage (left) unveils a new "Open for Business" sign beneath the "Welcome to Maine" sign along Interstate 95 near the New Hampshire border in Kittery in March. Maine Department of Transportation crew supervisors Elaine Cota (center) and Aaron Main (on ladder) assist. State police are investigating an ad on Craigslist and a ransom note left on the door of Stephen King’s radio station on Broadway in connection with the disappearance of Gov. Paul LePage’s “Open for Business” sign on Interstate 95 in Kittery.

BANGOR, Maine — It’s not clear which came first — the ad on Craigslist or the ransom note left on the door of Stephen King’s radio station on Broadway.

State police are investigating both in connection with the disappearance of Gov. Paul LePage’s “Open for Business” sign on Interstate 95 in Kittery.

It disappeared sometime before Memorial Day but has not been found.

The Maine Department of Transportation did not remove it, spokesman Mark Latti said earlier this week.

A tongue-in-cheek advertisement appeared briefly Thursday on Craigslist offering a “right-wing political sign” for $1,000. The ad stated the seller would trade for a “multi-panel mural depicting the labor movement,” referring to the mural LePage had removed from the offices of the state Department of Labor.

A similar message was left in a “ransom note” taped overnight earlier this week to the door of WZON-FM, according to a radio station employee. The note was composed using letters cut out of newspapers and magazines and glued to a piece of paper.

Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine State Police, confirmed Friday that the investigation into the disappearance of the sign is continuing.

“We suspect that the note left at the radio station and the listing on Craigslist are bogus,” he said.

King has raised money for and contributed to Democratic candidates in Maine and Florida.

A group of businessmen has ponied up $1,500 to buy a new sign. A spokeswoman said Thursday that LePage is considering replacing the sign now that businessmen in the rock and gravel industries came up with money for a replacement.

State police say they have several leads on the stolen sign.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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