Stephen Betts

Rockland Bureau

Fire departments responded Thursday night to a fire that destroyed a home at 6 Wellington Drive in Rockport. The fire was reported at about 11 p.m.

Fire destroys Rockport home

By Stephen Betts on Oct. 24, 2014, at 8:10 a.m.
A fire destroyed a Rockport home Thursday night despite the efforts of firefighting crews from the region. The home at 6 Wellington Drive is considered a total loss, said Rockport Fire Chief Jason Peasley. He said the cause is not yet known because of the extensive destruction, …

Tax increase, rising personnel cost attract no public input at Knox County budget hearing

By Stephen Betts on Oct. 23, 2014, at 7:33 p.m.
ROCKLAND | A public hearing on a proposed Knox County budget that would see local communities’ county taxes rise by more than 5 percent attracted no one from the general public Thursday evening. The only people in attendance were either county officials or representatives of organizations seeking contributions from …

Pen Bay Healthcare reviewing capital campaign finances in wake of allegations against Camden charity ex-president

By Stephen Betts on Oct. 23, 2014, at 1:55 p.m.
ROCKPORT | Pen Bay Healthcare is reviewing the finances of its recent capital fundraising campaign because the honorary chairman of that effort is accused of stealing nearly $4 million from a Camden charity. Jenifer Harris, the regional director of marketing for Pen Bay Healthcare, said there have been no …

Judge orders South Thomaston man held without bail

By Stephen Betts on Oct. 22, 2014, at 2:20 p.m.
ROCKLAND | A 21-year-old South Thomaston man who was free on bail after being accused of causing significant damage while at the local hospital last year has been ordered held without bail after being charged with additional crimes. The district attorney’s office requested that Gabriel P. Payor be held …
Ocean State Job Lot bought the Wal-Mart property on Route 1 in Rockland in December 2013.

Rockland board rejects Wal-Mart tax appeal

By Stephen Betts on Oct. 22, 2014, at 12:36 p.m.
The Rockland Board of Assessment Review rejected last week Wal-Mart’s appeal of the tax assessment on the building it sold last year, concluding that the company had failed to provide the assessor with information needed for him to make a decision. An attorney for Wal-Mart said the …

Distressed fishing boat makes it to safe harbor at Criehaven

By Stephen Betts on Oct. 22, 2014, at 11:55 a.m.
MATINICUS ISLAND | As a fall nor’easter brought heavy windswept rain into the state Wednesday morning, the U.S. Coast Guard boat responded to a fishing boat taking on water in high seas off this Penobscot Bay island. The fishing boat was able to make it safely to Criehaven early …

Rockland to hear presentation on better waste management

By Stephen Betts on Oct. 22, 2014, at 10:41 a.m.
A group that handles waste management for more than 40 communities will make a presentation Wednesday evening on the future of trash handling and recycling. “Given recent debates about how to handle solid waste in Rockland and the broader challenges that lay ahead, this forum will give …
Carolyn Ahlstrand and Rob Patterson are owners of the Virginia House, which is a place for women to stay in Rockland as they try to remain sober.

‘We sure did have high hopes’: Rockland sober house closes

By Stephen Betts on Oct. 22, 2014, at 10:04 a.m.
The Virginia House opened in January 2013 with high hopes of being able to provide women a place to stay sober. But less than two years later, the house is empty and the couple who worked hard to start the sober house have put the property up …
The green area of the map is under a flood watch, according to this National Weather Service map updated Wednesday morning. The coast is also under a high wind advisory.

Up to 6 inches of rain expected as storm causes problems for mariners

By Ryan McLaughlin and Stephen Betts on Oct. 22, 2014, at 8:35 a.m.
GRAY | As a fall nor’easter brought heavy, windswept rain into the state Wednesday, one boat ran aground in Rockland and another vessel sent out a distress signal as it was taking on water in high seas off Matinicus Island. No one was injured in either incident and the …

Knox County budget hearing set for Thursday

By Stephen Betts on Oct. 21, 2014, at 12:53 p.m.
ROCKLAND | Residents of Knox County can have their say on the proposed 2015 county government budget on Thursday evening. The public hearing on the proposal will begin at 5 p.m. in the jury assembly room on the first floor of the courthouse. The budget unveiled three weeks ago …
Emergency medical workers from Rockland,Thomaston and Warren responded Tuesday morning to a single-vehicle crash crash on Route 1 in Thomaston near the Dragon Products cement plant entrance.

Multiple towns respond to Route 1 crash in Thomaston

By Stephen Betts on Oct. 21, 2014, at 10:26 a.m.
Four people were taken to the hospital Tuesday morning after a minivan slammed into a utility pole. None of the injuries were life-threatening, according to Thomaston Police Chief Kevin Haj. According to the crash report done by investigating officer Michael Blais, a 2002 Honda Odyssey driven by …

Rockport couple loses bid to have nearly $5 million theft lawsuit dropped, moved to Maine court

By Stephen Betts on Oct. 21, 2014, at 8:55 a.m.
A federal judge has rejected a request by a Rockport couple to dismiss a lawsuit that claims the pair bilked nearly $5 million from a Colorado-based international window treatment company. Senior U. S. District Court Judge Richard Matsch of Colorado issued an order Oct. 10 that denied …
Rusty Brace

Attorney for former Camden charity president confirms his client is ‘target’ of federal probe

By Stephen Betts on Oct. 20, 2014, at 3:39 p.m.
ROCKLAND | The attorney for a Rockport man who is accused of stealing $3.8 million in charitable donations during the past 13 years confirmed in a court filing Monday that his client is the target of a federal investigation. And because of that, attorney Peter DeTroy of Portland asked …

Copper pipes stolen from second Washington home

By Stephen Betts on Oct. 20, 2014, at 12:16 p.m.
Police say a home was stripped of all its copper piping. The burglary at a house on Liberty Road in Washington was reported Sunday morning, Knox County Sheriff Donna Dennison said. The house was a rental one and the previous tenants had moved out Sept. 30. The …
Owls Head residents will vote next month on whether to spend $25,000 more to defend the town's easement at the end of Coopers Beach Road. The town maintains that it has an easement along this road along the water but the homeowners claim there is none and that it is their driveway. There is a cul-de-sac just past the home at the end of the road on Rockland Harbor.

If residents approve, Owls Head’s legal costs to top $100,000 on waterfront access case

By Stephen Betts on Oct. 20, 2014, at 10:34 a.m.
Residents will be asked next month whether the town should spend another $25,000 to continue its defense of a lawsuit that seeks to erase its easement across waterfront land owned by a New York couple. A special town meeting has been scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, …
Steven Holloway

Maine State Prison inmate dies of natural causes

By Stephen Betts on Oct. 19, 2014, at 6:22 p.m.
ROCKPORT | An inmate at Maine State Prison died of natural causes Sunday. Steven Holloway, 51, of Cumberland County died of cancer, according to Maine Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland. The state police and the medical examiner’s office were notified and investigated the death, as is policy of the …

Maine shellfish dealer to be sentenced for illegal money transactions related to unauthorized purchases of lobsters

By Stephen Betts on Oct. 19, 2014, at 12:44 p.m.
SPRUCE HEAD ISLAND | The owner of a seafood dealership in southern Maine who was snared in a federal and state probe that began with an allegation that more than $1 million worth of lobsters were stolen from one of the state’s largest cooperatives is scheduled to be sentenced …
Sen. Edward Mazurek speaks with Anne Beebe-Center during am event that honored the retiring legislator as well as was for raising money for a local home heating assistance program on Thursday in Rockland.

Knox County community honors retiring senator ‘Coach Maz’ for success, commitment to Rockland area

By Stephen Betts on Oct. 18, 2014, at 11:23 a.m.
Edward Mazurek has been part of a world championship Little League team, played a year of professional football, and taught and coached for four decades. Through it all, the Rockland man said politics has always been an interest for him. The community that he has been a …

66-year-old Casco woman arrested in connection with multiple crashes

By Stephen Betts on Oct. 18, 2014, at 9:13 a.m.
NAPLES | A 66-year-old Casco woman was arrested Friday night, accused by police of driving drunk and causing multiple crashes, including striking a house. Barbara J. Thorpe was arrested by deputies from the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office shortly after 8:30 p.m. on Route 302 and charged with operating under …
These small signs were posted throughout Camden recently, stating the amount of money that Russell "Rusty" Brace is accused of embezzling from United Mid-Coast Charities in Camden.

Bank records detail former charity board president’s accounts in Camden-area theft probe

By Stephen Betts on Oct. 18, 2014, at 7:23 a.m.
The president of a Camden-area charity said he is hopeful that the organization will recoup all $3.8 million allegedly stolen over the past 13 years by its former board leader. But questions remain concerning how former board president Russell “Rusty” Brace was able to deposit checks made …
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