Two men charged in connection with Maine marijuana-growing operation

By Dawn Gagnon on July 02, 2015, at 8:46 p.m.
WEST GARDINER | The Maine State Police arrested one man and charged another Tuesday in connection with a marijuana-growing operation in West Gardiner, Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland said Thursday. Kristopher Brill, 37, of Farmingdale was charged with marijuana cultivation, McCausland said. He said that Brill, …
A sign bobs in the air during a rally where protesters called for an investigation into potential wrongdoing by Gov. Paul LePage on Tuesday outside the State House in Augusta.

Behind dueling rallies at State House, divided views on LePage

By Mario Moretto on June 30, 2015, at 5:06 p.m.
AUGUSTA | While lawmakers spent their morning on Tuesday arguing whether to override Gov. Paul LePage’s budget veto, two groups of Maine voters were having their own conversation at the State House — about their views of the governor. Several dozen self-described conservative activists were first, turning up inside …

Augusta police investigating robbery, assault report

By Ryan McLaughlin on June 29, 2015, at 1:07 p.m.
Local police are investigating an aggravated assault and robbery that allegedly occurred on Sunday afternoon, according to Lt. Kevin Lully. The incident occurred around 2:50 a.m. on Mount Vernon Avenue, according to Lully. Lully said the 29-year-old male victim reported that two men approached him and demanded …

Augusta police break up underage drinking party

By Judy Harrison on June 20, 2015, at 1:18 p.m.
More than a dozen teens were issued summonses and two adults were arrested when police broke up an underage drinking party early Saturday morning at a home on South Belfast Avenue, according to information posted on the Augusta Police Department’s Facebook page. Officers Michael Unterkoefler, Desmond Nutter, …

Farmingdale collision sends three, including baby, to hospital

By Ryan McLaughlin on June 19, 2015, at 8:49 a.m.
Three people, including a one-year-old child, were taken to the hospital Thursday night after a head-on collision on Route 201, according to the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office. Betty Maddox, 69, was traveling south when her Jeep was struck by a sedan driven by Matthew Curtis, 19, according …
Senate President Mike Thibodeau, R-Winterport, scored a victory Thursday, June 18, when one of his priority welfare reform bills passed through the Senate.

Long-debated welfare reform bills advance through Senate

By Christopher Cousins on June 18, 2015, at 10:04 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Prolonged efforts by Gov. Paul LePage to eliminate General Assistance benefits for asylum seekers and other immigrants took a major hit Thursday night when the Senate voted in favor of a bill to provide the benefits for up to 24 months. The Senate also passed a separate …

Vehicle fire briefly shuts down southbound lanes of Maine Turnpike

By Ryan McLaughlin on June 18, 2015, at 12:33 p.m.
LITCHFIELD | The southbound lanes of the Maine Turnpike were briefly closed Thursday afternoon because of a vehicle fire, according to the Maine Turnpike Authority. The fire occurred at Mile 94, between the West Gardiner toll booth and Exit 86, according to the Maine Turnpike Authority. The fire was …
Serena Gorham of Lyman (third from left) shakes hands with Karl Francis (left), principal of Maine Connections Academy, after receiving her high school diploma on Tuesday in Augusta. Julie Hannon (second from left), vice president of the school's board, looks on. Other graduates were Madison Dexter (third from right) of Portland, Shaynah-Cherokeigh Raylene Seames (second from right) of Bethel and Dakota Pettegrow of Benedicta.

Maine’s first virtual charter school graduates receive diplomas

By Nick McCrea on June 16, 2015, at 6:04 p.m.
AUGUSTA | In one of the state’s more unusual high school graduation ceremonies this month, all five members of the first graduating class of Maine Connections Academy received their diplomas. Maine Connections Academy, the first virtual charter school in Maine, closed out its inaugural year on Tuesday with its …
Traffic was slowed on Water Street in Augusta Tuesday morning after a tractor-trailer struck a train trestle.

Tractor-trailer strikes train trestle, snarls traffic in Augusta

By Ryan McLaughlin on June 16, 2015, at 12:06 p.m.
Traffic was snarled during the Tuesday morning commute as a tractor-trailer struck the train trestle on Water Street, according to police. The driver, Randall Doak, 23, of Skowhegan, was traveling north shortly after 8:30 a.m. when his rig crashed into the trestle, Augusta police Lt. Kevin Lully …
 House Speaker Mark Eves, D-North Berwick.

Legislative leaders strike biennial state budget deal

By Christopher Cousins on June 15, 2015, at 10:57 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Legislative leaders announced late Monday night that after weeks of negotiations they have reached a deal on the state budget for the next two years. In a joint written statement, House and Senate leaders said the deal includes tax cuts, investment in students and workers, property tax …
The State House in Augusta stands lighted against the night sky in this 2014 BDN file photo.

What happens if Maine state government shuts down?

By Mario Moretto on June 12, 2015, at 5:50 a.m.
AUGUSTA | With a budget deal as elusive as ever, references to a potential government shutdown are increasingly heard in conversations around the State House. Senate Democratic Leader Justin Alfond on Wednesday said that a shutdown was a real possibility after budget negotiations faltered, although talks between he and …

Augusta police investigating possible Cony bomb threat

By Ryan McLaughlin on June 09, 2015, at 1:22 p.m.
For the second consecutive day, local police are investigating a possible bomb threat at Cony High School, according to Lt. Kevin Lully. Lully said police were alerted shortly before 12:30 p.m., and the school was in lockdown Tuesday afternoon. Students are being evacuated to an undisclosed location, …

NH man gets 4 years for stealing, cashing nearly $90,000 in checks

By Judy Harrison on June 08, 2015, at 4:45 p.m.
BANGOR | A New Hampshire man was sentenced Monday in U.S. District court to four years in federal prison for stealing mail from a temporary employment agency in Augusta, altering checks sent as payment for services and conspiring with others to cash the checks for him. Ryan Robert Pomerleau, …

Cony High evacuated over suspicious incident, say police

By Ryan McLaughlin on June 08, 2015, at 2:23 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Cony High School was evacuated Monday afternoon due to a suspicious incident, according to Augusta police. Monday’s incident marks the second time in less than a week the school has been evacuated. The school was evacuated June 2 after suspicious writing was discovered on a bathroom wall. …
House Speaker Mark Eves, D-North Berwick.

Split vote on Maine budget raises stakes in political game of chicken

By Christopher Cousins on June 07, 2015, at 10:01 a.m.
AUGUSTA | As a snapshot in time, it looks bad right now for Gov. Paul LePage and many of his policy priorities. But is it really? The moment everyone who is tuned into machinations at the State House has been waiting for — a final Appropriations Committee decision on …
Sen. James Hamper, R-Oxford.

Legislators to face competing budget plans as hope of unanimity shatters

By Mario Moretto on June 06, 2015, at 1:13 a.m.
AUGUSTA | After months of negotiations, the Legislature’s budget committee has released two competing spending plans for consideration in the House and Senate, after the last vote was cast shortly before 12:30 a.m. Saturday. The tradition of unanimous budget reports from the Appropriations Committee shattered this year after GOP …
Sen. James Hamper, R-Oxford, chairman of the Appropriations Committee.

Legislative leaders take over Maine budget talks but fail to close deal

By Christopher Cousins on June 04, 2015, at 7:08 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Control of negotiations over Maine’s biennial budget have been wrested from the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee and have been continuing, presumably, behind closed doors between House and Senate leaders. Republican Sen. James Hamper of Oxford and Democratic Rep. Peggy Rotundo of Lewiston, who co-chair the Appropriations Committee, both …

Maine House crushes mining bill

By Jen Lynds on June 04, 2015, at 6:51 p.m.
AUGUSTA | House lawmakers Thursday afternoon voted 109 to 36 to oppose a bill aimed at allowing large-scale metal mining in the state. The amended version of LD 750 sponsored by Rep. Ralph Chapman, D-Brooksville, was rejected after more than two hours of floor speeches. “Despite the hard work …

Senate amends concealed carry gun bill

By Scott Thistle on June 03, 2015, at 10:18 p.m.
AUGUSTA | The Maine Senate, without debate, Wednesday amended a bill that allows adults 21 years old or older to carry concealed handguns without permits. The amendments ensure veterans and active-duty military members who are at least 18 would also be able to pack heat. The bill, LD 652, …
Cloudy skies loom over a mostly deserted West Market Square in downtown Bangor on Wednesday. After a May that felt like summer, the first few days of June have been rather raw and damp throughout the state.

Bangor sets record for chilly June weather

By Ryan McLaughlin on June 03, 2015, at 3:40 p.m.
GRAY | After a May that felt like summer, the first few days of June have been rather raw and damp throughout the state. Tuesday in particular was a record-setting day for a late-spring chill, as records for cold weather were eclipsed in three Maine communities and tied in …
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