Alex Barber

Somerset Bureau

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

Orono to purchase land for new public works garage

By Alex Barber on Dec. 09, 2013, at 9:35 p.m.
The Orono town council unanimously approved a motion on Monday evening to allow the town manager to purchase land for a new public works garage. The town has entered into a purchase agreement with Andrew Perkins for a lot of land on Kelley Road that stretches to …
Former South African President Nelson Mandela greets photographers in Johannesburg in 2005.

Mainers recall Mandela as great leader who chose peace over revenge

By Alex Barber on Dec. 06, 2013, at 5:14 p.m.
Mainers with ties to South Africa expressed sadness Friday while reflecting on the life of former South African President Nelson Mandela, who died Thursday at age 95. John Dennen, owner of Indrani’s store in Brunswick, is a U.S. citizen who lived in South Africa for 30 years. He has children …
Mike Seile

Bangor YMCA CEO, Camp Jordan director both resign

By Alex Barber on Dec. 05, 2013, at 5:08 p.m.
Bangor YMCA is looking for a new chief executive officer and camp director after two resignations in the past week. Mike Seile announced his resignation as the Bangor Y chief executive on Nov. 29, and Emerald Russell, director of the Y’s Wilderness Center at Camp Jordan on …
A sign against opening up a quarry at the end of Kelley Road is seen at the end of a driveway on Stillwater Ave in Orono in this November 2013 file photo.

Orono quarry expansion application withdrawn by construction company

By Alex Barber on Dec. 05, 2013, at 3:41 p.m.
Thornton Construction has withdrawn its application to expand an existing quarry on Kelley Hill. Daniel Thornton submitted a two-sentence letter to the town of Orono on Wednesday announcing the withdrawal. He did not offer a reason. “We have decided to withdraw our application for site plan review …
A Shepley Bulfinch illustration of the Davis Science Center at Colby College in Waterville, which will be completed in 2014.

Colby College receives $10 million pledge to build science center

By Alex Barber on Dec. 05, 2013, at 1:52 p.m.
WATERVILLE | Colby College will receive a $10 million pledge toward the construction of a new science building on campus. Colby President William D. Adams announced the gift from the Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund during a meeting with college faculty on Wednesday. The 36,400-square-foot building will be completed …
Geno Murray

Greenville hospital finds error in cleaning practices for urological procedure

By Alex Barber on Dec. 05, 2013, at 12:15 p.m.
Charles A. Dean Memorial Hospital and Northwoods Healthcare announced Thursday that patients who underwent certain urological exams could have experienced greater risk of infection after the medical facilities discovered an error in their cleaning procedure done before cystoscopies. Geno Murray, president of the hospital, said Thursday that …

Father of boy who took gun to Hallowell day care pleads guilty to misdemeanor charge

By Alex Barber on Dec. 04, 2013, at 6:53 p.m.
AUGUSTA | The father of a boy who took a loaded gun to a Hallowell day care center pleaded guilty to a reckless conduct charge on Tuesday, according to his attorney. Adam J. Keene, 31, of Madison pleaded guilty to the Class D misdemeanor in Kennebec County Superior Court, …
Tylor Huff

Two men held on $10,000 bail in connection with attempted robbery in Dexter

By Alex Barber on Dec. 04, 2013, at 4:59 p.m.
BANGOR | Two men arrested in connection with a robbery attempt at a Rite Aid pharmacy in Dexter last week made their initial court appearance at the Penobscot Judicial Center on Monday. Tylor Huff, 22, of Corinna and Michael Hames, 21, of Palmyra each face a felony count of …
Ted Robertson of Sussex, New Brunswick bought three televisions and three printers during the Black Friday sale at Best Buy in Bangor Thursday night.

Black Friday deals attract thousands to Bangor

By Alex Barber on Nov. 29, 2013, at 5:52 a.m.
Thousands braved frigid temperatures to line up outside Walmart, Best Buy, Target and other major retailers in the city for the annual post-Thanksgiving Black Friday sales, where customers hoped to snag coveted items at low prices. Parking lots were full and driving was chaotic as people got …
Endumin, an explosives detection canine at Bangor International Airport, watches his partner, Officer Dan Scipture, as he talks with the media during Endumin's retirement celebration on Tuesday at the airport.

‘He’s a good boy’ — Bangor police bomb squad dog gets retirement send-off

By Alex Barber on Nov. 26, 2013, at 6:04 p.m.
No gold watch was given at this retirement ceremony. Instead, dog treats were the big gift. Endumin, a nearly 10-year-old Belgian Malinois, retired from the Bangor Police Department’s bomb squad canine unit on Tuesday during a ceremony at Bangor International Airport. He was with the department for …
Courtney Shea

Affidavit: Vassalboro man said he killed man for making sexual advance

By Alex Barber on Nov. 26, 2013, at 9:53 a.m.
AUGUSTA | A Vassalboro man told family members that he killed a 69-year-old man he had known for years because the man touched his genitals and made a sexual advance, according to court documents. Courtney Shea, 30, was ordered held without bail in his first appearance in Kennebec County …
A surveillance photo of a man police say attempted to rob a Rite Aid pharmacy in Dexter on Monday evening. Anyone with information on the man is asked to call the Dexter Police Department.

Dexter pharmacist scares off robber; police search for suspect who ‘spun right around and ran’

By Alex Barber on Nov. 25, 2013, at 7:09 p.m.
A pharmacist at Rite Aid spooked a would-be robber on Monday night and police continue to search for the suspect, according to authorities. Dexter police received a call of an attempted armed robbery at Rite Aid pharmacy on Spring Street, along Route 7, at 5:17 p.m. Monday, …
Nokomis Regional High School in Newport.

RSU 19 asking residents for input regarding two school construction projects in Newport

By Alex Barber on Nov. 24, 2013, at 7:53 p.m.
Regional School Unit 19 is mulling its options on two schools the district could receive from the state. The RSU is also asking for input from residents in its eight district towns — Corinna, Dixmont, Etna, Hartland, Newport, Palmyra, Plymouth and St. Albans. Newport Elementary School on …

High winds knock out power to thousands in Maine

By Alex Barber on Nov. 24, 2013, at 12:11 p.m.
BANGOR | Strong winds have caused thousands to lose power throughout Maine. Central Maine Power reported 7,477 customers without electricity, including 2,763 in Franklin County, 1,997 in Oxford County and 924 in Somerset County as of 5:30 a.m. Monday. CMP’s outage number was down from a high of nearly 28,000 early Sunday afternoon. …
Cecil Worster

Bangor police ask for help finding man missing since Thursday

By Alex Barber on Nov. 24, 2013, at 10:53 a.m.
Bangor police are asking the public for help in locating a man missing since Thursday. Cecil Worster is described as being 5-foot-8, 180 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes. Police do not have a clothing description. The Bangor Police Department received a report that Worster reportedly …
Boy Scouts from Pack 6 Bangor Wolf Den along with their siblings fill bags with potatoes in the basement of Manna on Saturday as Manna Ministries prepares to distribute Thanksgiving dinners to hundreds of needy families in the area on Monday.

Bangor-area charities seeking donations as demand for help rising

By Alex Barber on Nov. 23, 2013, at 6:21 p.m.
Volunteers at Manna Ministries Inc. gathered turkeys, potatoes and other traditional Thanksgiving fare in preparation for handing out 900 meals on Monday. Manna and other area charities are seeing an increase in numbers of those asking for help, while contributions have been fewer. “The guys that were …
A sign against opening up a quarry at the end of Kelley Road is seen at the end of a driveway on Stillwater Ave in Orono on Thursday.

Orono town council to examine noise, land use ordinances in wake of quarry application

By Alex Barber on Nov. 23, 2013, at 5:35 p.m.
In the wake of a quarry expansion application on the Kelley Road, Orono residents have asked town officials to impose noise limits and land use restrictions. Last month, the town council unanimously voted to continue an application for an expansion on a quarry at the end of …
Alexis Wright listens to Justice Nancy Mills during her sentencing hearing at York County Superior Court in Alfred on Friday, May 31, 2013.

Kennebunk Zumba prostitute Alexis Wright released from jail

By Alex Barber on Nov. 23, 2013, at 11:48 a.m.
ALFRED | Alexis Wright, the former Kennebunk fitness instructor who secretly helped run a prostitution business out of her Zumba studio, was released from jail on Saturday. Wright, 30, was released from York County Jail on Saturday morning, according to a jail administrator. Wright pleaded guilty to 14 counts …
Christopher Knight sits in court with his attorney Walter McKee during his plea agreement at Kennebec Superior Court on Monday in Augusta.

North Pond Hermit out of jail, doing well in alternative program, DA says

By Alex Barber on Nov. 22, 2013, at 1:20 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Christopher Knight has been released from jail. Knight, 47, also known as the North Pond Hermit, was released from Kennebec County Jail in Augusta on Nov. 4, after he completed a seven-month jail sentence as part of a plea agreement. Knight pleaded guilty to 13 counts of …
Shelley Watson

Town clerk selected as Dexter’s new town manager

By Alex Barber on Nov. 21, 2013, at 12:16 p.m.
The Dexter Town Council announced on Thursday that it has chosen Shelley Watson as town manager. Watson has worked in the town office since 1987 and served as town clerk since 1996. “I’m a little overwhelmed, flattered and nervous,” Watson said Thursday morning. Watson, 59, will start …