Alex Barber

Somerset Bureau

Alex Barber covers mid-Maine, which encompasses most of Penobscot County, from Newport.
Dexter Town Manager Linda-Jean Briggs looks over at a town councilor during a public hearing for a moratorium on east-west corridor development on Thursday, June 13, 2013.

Dexter town council, town manager agree to part ways

By Alex Barber on Oct. 29, 2013, at 12:01 p.m.
The town of Dexter is searching for a new town manager after Linda-Jean Briggs, who held the position since 2011, resigned last week. Briggs confirmed on Tuesday that she is no longer the town manager of Dexter. Her last day was on Friday. Briggs and the Dexter …
Christopher Knight is escorted in to Kennebec Superior Court in Augusta on Monday by a Kennebec Sheriff Deptuy. Knight pleaded guilty to 13 counts of burglary and theft.

North Pond Hermit pleads guilty in Augusta court to burglary, theft charges

By Alex Barber on Oct. 28, 2013, at 4:07 p.m.
The man known as the North Pond Hermit pleaded guilty in Kennebec County Superior Court on Monday afternoon to 13 counts of theft and burglary, crimes he committed while living alone in the woods of Maine for 27 years. Christopher Knight, 47, said “guilty” after each of …
Christopher Knight (2nd from left) arrives in court Monday.

North Pond Hermit expected to plead guilty Monday in Augusta court

By Alex Barber on Oct. 28, 2013, at 10:45 a.m.
The man known as the North Pond Hermit is scheduled to plead guilty in Kennebec County Superior Court on Monday afternoon to several theft and burglary charges, according to the district attorney. In exchange for the guilty pleas, Christopher Knight, 47, will be accepted into a special …
Cen Jianjun, education counselor of Chinese Consulate in New York, talks about the importance of the relationship between the United States and China during the Maine Chinese Conference held at the Dyke Center for Family Business at Husson University in Bangor on Friday.

US, China student exchanges should be expanded, says China education counselor

By Alex Barber on Oct. 25, 2013, at 5:37 p.m.
BANGOR | Student exchanges between the United States and China are playing a vital role in relationships between the two countries, and more exchanges should be done, according to speakers at the ninth annual Maine Chinese Conference. Cen Jianjun, education counselor of the Chinese Consulate in New York, was …

Nokomis High School student rushed to hospital after being struck by car

By Alex Barber on Oct. 25, 2013, at 2:40 p.m.
NEWPORT | A Nokomis High School student is listed in fair condition after being struck by a car in front of the school early Friday morning. The 16-year-old girl had parked her vehicle in the junior parking lot located across the street from the high school, said Newport police …
George Chesley

Three arrested in ‘substantial’ drug bust in Norridgewock

By Alex Barber on Oct. 25, 2013, at 1:42 p.m.
Three men were arrested and 20 pounds of marijuana along with cocaine, hashish and several prescription pills were confiscated as the result of a search at a local house Thursday night. The Somerset County Sheriff’s Department executed a search warrant at 611 Skowhegan Road about 11 p.m. …

16-year-old girl charged with assault after fight at Bangor High School

By Alex Barber on Oct. 25, 2013, at 12:24 p.m.
A 16-year-old girl has been charged with assault in connection with a fight at Bangor High School earlier this week, according to police. Bangor police Lt. Tim Reid said on Friday that the juvenile, whom he did not name, was summoned for assault on Tuesday, the day …
Paul Butler

Teachers followed proper procedure in breaking up Bangor High fight, says principal

By Alex Barber on Oct. 24, 2013, at 7:24 p.m.
Teachers at Bangor High School followed proper procedure during an altercation between two girls on Tuesday morning, according to principal Paul Butler. Video of the incident that took place outside of the cafeteria was recorded by another student and distributed on Facebook. The altercation between the two …

Former Togus VA pharmacy tech pleads guilty to stealing prescription medication

By Alex Barber on Oct. 24, 2013, at 1:43 p.m.
BANGOR | A former pharmacy technician at a Veterans Affairs medical facility in Augusta pleaded guilty Thursday morning in U.S. District Court to stealing prescription medication. Rebecca J. Hamlin, 61, of Winslow was charged with theft of government property, a federal Class A misdemeanor, after coworkers spotted her attempting …
Perrin Oliver

Man accused of Fourth of July standoff in Bangor pleads not guilty to federal gun charge

By Alex Barber on Oct. 23, 2013, at 11:29 a.m.
The man accused of creating a standoff with police in downtown Bangor on the Fourth of July appeared in U.S. District Court on Wednesday morning to be arraigned on a charge of possession of a firearm by a felon. Perrin Q. Oliver, 44, of Bangor pleaded not …
A demolition derby-style argument between a mother and a daughter from Winthrop at the Monmouth Ridge Cemetery on Friday night, Sept. 27, 2013, significantly damaged a number of headstones, according to authorities.

Mother, daughter charged with felonies after ‘demolition derby’ in Monmouth cemetery

By Alex Barber on Oct. 22, 2013, at 6:12 p.m.
A mother and daughter accused of using their cars to destroy several gravestones worth more than $32,000 are facing felony charges. Melissa Grant, 42, and her daughter Savannah Lowe, 20, both of West Gardiner, were charged on Friday by the Kennebec County district attorney’s office with aggravated …

Canadian man sentenced to 4 years in federal prison for role in trafficking cocaine through Maine

By Alex Barber on Oct. 22, 2013, at 1:53 p.m.
BANGOR | A New Brunswick man was sentenced Tuesday to four years in federal prison for his role in transporting cocaine from Texas to northern Maine as part of an international drug ring. Chad Hallett, 29, of Dieppe, New Brunswick, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent …
Home owner Raydell Henderson (left) and his daughter Katelynn Henderson watch helplessly as their home burns on Sawyer Road in Levant.

Family of four homeless after fire levels house in Levant

By Alex Barber on Oct. 21, 2013, at 3:01 p.m.
A family of four is homeless after fire destroyed a house at 72 Sawyer Road on Monday afternoon. The sight of smoke was reported by a forestry unit a little after 2 p.m., and multiple agencies responded to battle the flames, according to Hermon Assistant Fire Chief …
Darrell Waite, process manager at Old Town Fuel and Fiber, holds a container of cellulosic sugar, that is made from wood products.

Old Town company poised to take lead in conversion of wood to sugars, industry experts say

By Alex Barber on Oct. 17, 2013, at 7:08 p.m.
Old Town Fuel and Fiber has the opportunity to be a pioneer in processing wood into sugars to make everyday products including plastics and ethanol, according to industry experts. The Sustainable Bioplastics Council of Maine held a forum Thursday at the mill focused on growing bio-based …
Christopher Knight, left, stands with his attorney, Walter McKee, during a dispositional conference at Kennebec County Superior Court in Augusta on Tuesday.

North Pond Hermit likely to plead guilty on Oct. 28, prosecutor says

By Alex Barber on Oct. 17, 2013, at 6:48 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Christopher Knight will appear in court on Oct. 28 where he is likely to plead guilty to several thefts and robberies in the North Pond area, according to the district attorney handling the case. Knight, 47, also known as the North Pond Hermit, will appear in Kennebec …

Orono planning board votes to continue application for quarry near bog boardwalk

By Alex Barber on Oct. 16, 2013, at 9:56 p.m.
The Orono planning board set a deadline for Thornton Construction to address noise, dust and traffic concerns regarding the application to expand a quarry on Kelley Road. In a unanimous vote, the board continued the application and set a date of Nov. 19 where the concerns of …

Garage reduced to rubble after suspicious fire in Winslow

By Alex Barber on Oct. 16, 2013, at 8:57 p.m.
Several fire crews were able to douse a suspicious fire on Wednesday afternoon. Fire crews from Winslow, Vassalboro, China, Waterville, Oakland and Fairfield responded to a fire that started at 450 South Reynolds Road at 3:04 p.m., according to Winslow Fire Chief David LaFountain. The State Fire …

Proposed Orono quarry expansion draws fire from bog boardwalk visitors, neighbors

By Alex Barber on Oct. 15, 2013, at 6:07 p.m.
A proposal to expand a rock quarry has pitted its owner against neighbors and those who enjoy the peaceful setting of the nearby Orono Bog Boardwalk. The quarry, located on Kelley Hill at the end of Kelley Road, is approximately three-quarters of a mile from the Orono …
Traffic was rerouted around a section of Hogan Road where a suspicious package was found Monday morning in the Dunkin' Donuts parking lot.

Suspicious package found near Dunkin Donuts was wrapped cinder block

By Alex Barber on Oct. 14, 2013, at 11:42 a.m.
BANGOR | A suspicious package found near the Dunkin’ Donuts parking lot on Hogan Road turned out to be a cinder block wrapped in paper. Bangor police Sgt. Jim Buckley confirmed Monday afternoon that the package did not contain explosives. The package was found Monday morning in a grassy …
Oliver Higgins, 4, of Brewer interacts with a cow calf at Witter Farm in Old Town. Dozens of people decended upon the farm during Open Farm Sunday.

Dozens flock to Old Town dairy farm on Open Farm Sunday

By Alex Barber on Oct. 13, 2013, at 5:26 p.m.
Dairy cow calves received extra attention from children as Witter Farm hosted Open Farm Sunday. Cabot, the Vermont-based cheese maker, encouraged 49 of its nearly 1,200 farms in New England and New York to participate in the third biennial event since 2009. “It’s a chance to …