Alex Barber

Somerset Bureau

Alex Barber covers mid-Maine, which encompasses most of Penobscot County, from Newport.
Ryan Curtis

St. Albans man accused of stealing from Newport police officer’s Jeep

By Alex Barber on Dec. 30, 2013, at 9:38 a.m.
A St. Albans man remained in jail Monday facing a slew of charges after he allegedly damaged and stole from a police officer’s personal vehicle. Newport police Officer Cody Johndro was sitting in the police station at 8 p.m. on Saturday, when he noticed a man sitting …
A portable heated shelter was unveiled at Big Squaw Mountain Ski Resort on Big Moose Mountain on Friday. The shelter will be for the mountain's racing program. It was donated by Birches Resort in Rockwood in the memory of avid skier of the mountain, Tunney King Jr., who died earlier this year.

Winter storms have Moosehead ready for sleds

By Alex Barber on Dec. 27, 2013, at 4:31 p.m.
GREENVILLE | While much of the state is cursing the recent winter storms, people in the Greenville area welcome the snow. “It’s been like the late ’90s as far as this much natural snow on the ground before January,” said Amy Lane, president of Friends of Squaw Mountain, which …
Early conceptual designs for a public works garage on Cemetery Road in Newport by Dirigo Engineering.

Newport considering new public works garage

By Alex Barber on Dec. 26, 2013, at 4:44 p.m.
An aging and crumbling public works building is on the road to replacement. Last week, Newport Town Selectmen approved the site plan for a new 10,000-square-foot garage located on Cemetery Road across from the town’s transfer station. The project could cost $1.3 million, but Newport Town Manager …
Waterville Mayor Karen Heck greets Evan Vigue, 9, of Waterville after he donates $65.43 he raised with his two friends Owen Harris, 10, and Carson Harris, 5, both of Waterville, to the Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter on Monday.

‘Cash mob’ at Waterville homeless shelter raises at least $5,000 despite bad weather

By Alex Barber on Dec. 23, 2013, at 5:02 p.m.
A local boy dropped off a baggie full of money he had earned selling lemonade. A couple brought in a coffee can full of pennies. Others wrote checks. The money raised was part of a cash mob at the Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter on Monday, set up by …
Marilyn Ruth Snow

Rockland-area watercolor artist remembered as loving grandmother

By Alex Barber on Dec. 22, 2013, at 8:09 p.m.
SOUTH THOMASTON | A Maine artist whose work can be seen in galleries across the country died earlier this week after suffering an untreatable, tick-borne illness. Marilyn Ruth Snow, 73, better known as Lyn, died on Wednesday at Maine Medical Center in Portland. She contracted Powassan disease, a rare …

Coast Guard suspends search for source of Casco Bay distress call

By Alex Barber on Dec. 22, 2013, at 1:22 p.m.
PORTLAND | The Coast Guard received a distress call from a vessel in Casco Bay on Saturday afternoon, but has suspended its active search. Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Northern New England in Portland received a distress call at 4:40 p.m. on Saturday from an unknown source, according …
Bangor Public Works employee Bud Green operates snow removal equipment near the Hannibal Hamlin statue in downtown Bangor on Sunday morning.

Ice storm knocks out power to thousands in Maine; more freezing rain to come Monday

By Alex Barber on Dec. 22, 2013, at 9:54 a.m.
Utility crews battled icy conditions late Sunday night as they attempted to restore power to about 11,000 people as the weekend ice storm moved through the state. The National Weather Service said another system will contribute to the misery of Monday morning commuters. Bangor Hydro had more than 18,000 people …
A pedestrian was hit on Vermont Avenue and dragged to the nearby Airport Mall Hannaford's parking lot, where the person was found dead on Saturday night. The accident is under investigation by the Bangor Police Department Criminal Investigations Division.

Pedestrian killed in Bangor was dragged to Airport Mall parking lot from Vermont Avenue

By Alex Barber and Judy Harrison on Dec. 21, 2013, at 10:40 p.m.
A pedestrian killed Saturday night was struck on Vermont Avenue and dragged to the Airport Mall parking, Bangor police said Sunday.. The name of the deceased is not expected to be released until Monday, said Lt. Paul Edwards. Vermont Avenue is a short street that runs from …
Ellsworth City Councilor Marc Blanchette talks to Bangor Hydro crews on Birch Avenue in Ellsworth on Sunday morning. Power on the street was out for about three hours before being restored shortly after 8:30 a.m.

Mainers can expect more than half an inch of ice, power outages Sunday into Monday

By Alex Barber on Dec. 21, 2013, at 12:24 p.m.
Up to three-quarters of an inch of ice accumulation is expected Sunday through Monday, and meteorologists warn Mainers to be prepared for periods of power loss. An ice storm warning went into effect Saturday morning, according to the National Weather Service. The warning lasts through Monday morning. Rumford and Lewiston …
Fire crews from Newport, Corinna and Pittsfield responded to a fire at 99 Elm St. in Newport on Saturday morning. No one was injured.

Heater suspected cause of fire in Newport apartment building

By Alex Barber on Dec. 21, 2013, at 9:35 a.m.
Tenants in an Elm Street apartment building escaped injury after a morning fire on Saturday. Fire crews from Newport, Pittsfield and Corinna responded to a structure fire at 99 Elm St. Crews received the call at 6:48 a.m., according to Newport fire Lt. Amanda Chretien. The fire …
A Bangor Police Officer performs a field sobriety test on a woman after a traffic stop.

Heading to a party? Police across Maine stepping up drunken driving patrols

By Alex Barber on Dec. 20, 2013, at 8:16 a.m.
BANGOR | If you’re planning on drinking at a holiday party in Maine be sure to have a designated driver or hire a taxi to take you home because police agencies around the state are stepping up patrols targeting drunken drivers. More than 70 state, county and municipal police …
Shaquanna Khaleelah

Police arrest 10, including suspected gang members, in Augusta heroin bust

By Alex Barber on Dec. 19, 2013, at 12:23 p.m.
Street gang members were likely among 10 people arrested in a heroin bust on Wednesday morning, according to police. Augusta Police Department’s Special Response Team along with members of the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office, Maine State Police and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration searched …
Abby Fowler

Skowhegan woman indicted for alleged possession of heroin

By Alex Barber on Dec. 13, 2013, at 11:23 a.m.
A local woman arrested in October for possession of drugs was one of 14 people indicted by a Somerset County grand jury on Thursday. Abby J. Fowler, 24, of Skowhegan was indicted on charges of possession of heroin and possession of Schedule Z drugs. On Oct. 4, …
Darryl Brown, manager of the east-west corridor project, seen in an April 2, 2013 file photo.

Cianbro remains committed to east-west highway project despite opposition, company official says

By Alex Barber on Dec. 13, 2013, at 5:36 a.m.
PITTSFIELD | Plans for a proposed east-west highway continue to move forward despite a flurry of towns adopting measures to keep it away from their land, according to a leading proponent of the project. Darryl Brown, the Cianbro Corp. project manager for the east-west highway, said there is still …

Dexter council extends east-west highway moratorium in narrow vote

By Alex Barber on Dec. 12, 2013, at 10:08 p.m.
The Dexter Town Council narrowly passed an extension to a moratorium against private corridors on Thursday evening. The council voted 4-3 for a 180 day-extension to a moratorium that originally passed in June. The moratorium extends to the construction of private corridors including paved highways, pipelines and …

Charleston group withdraws support of ordinance blocking east-west corridor development

By Alex Barber on Dec. 11, 2013, at 6:43 p.m.
A group of residents who asked the town to adopt an ordinance aimed at blocking development of a corridor for a proposed east-west highway now wants voters to reject the measure. On Saturday, a special town meeting will be held at the Charleston Community Center at 10 …

Three men arrested in connection with Newport garage burglary

By Alex Barber on Dec. 10, 2013, at 4:55 p.m.
Three men face felony charges after a residential garage was burglarized in October, according to Newport police. The garage of a Grove Street home was burglarized on Oct. 22, Newport police Cpl. David Wintle said Tuesday. A reported $2,000 worth of items were missing. Items taken were …
A window was destroyed at Kid Friendly on Water Street in Skowhegan. Police are looking for a suspect who broke into four downtown Skowhegan businesses late Sunday night or early Monday morning.

Skowhegan police investigating four downtown burglaries

By Alex Barber on Dec. 10, 2013, at 2:58 p.m.
Skowhegan police are investigating four burglaries to downtown businesses that occurred late Sunday into early Monday morning. Kid Friendly, Trendsetters Hair Salon and LaCasse Shoe Repair on Water Street and the Morning Sentinel’s Skowhegan office on Madison Avenue were broken into before 7:30 a.m. Monday, Skowhegan Police …
Graham Long

44-year-old Dover-Foxcroft man arrested after girl, 15, found intoxicated, unresponsive

By Alex Barber on Dec. 10, 2013, at 2:32 p.m.
A local man is behind bars after a 15-year-old girl was found unresponsive from drinking too much alcohol, according to Dover-Foxcroft police. At 9:45 p.m. on Nov. 29, a Dover-Foxcroft police officer had reason to believe somebody might be in danger inside a West Main Street home. …
One half of a super suite in the new inpatient wing of Sebasticook Valley Hospital in Pittsfield on Tuesday, July 16, 2013.

With $2M campaign, Cianchette family renews support for Pittsfield hospital — half a century later

By Alex Barber on Dec. 10, 2013, at 12:38 p.m.
More than 50 years ago the Cianchette family helped raise funds to build Sebasticook Valley Hospital. Half a century later, the family is supporting the facility’s expansion. Carl Cianchette, founder of what would become the Cianbro construction company, co-chaired the first fundraising committee to build Sebasticook Valley …