State asks to move immigrant assistance lawsuit to federal court

By Mario Moretto on Aug. 02, 2014, at 7:28 a.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The state on Friday filed a request to move a pending lawsuit over the legality of providing general assistance funds to certain immigrants to federal court, saying there are federal issues at play that must be decided by a U.S. District Court judge. The entities suing the …
Gov. Paul LePage

For LePage, state-funded contingency account is personal charity fund

By Mario Moretto on Aug. 01, 2014, at 6:48 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — There’s a truism in politics that the Legislature “controls the purse strings.” It’s a shorthand reference to the fact that if you want the state to spend money on something, you’ve got to go through the Legislature. But there’s one state account set aside for the governor …
From the community

Repairs to be made to bridge in Gardiner

Bangor Daily News on Aug. 01, 2014, at 9:38 a.m.
GARDINER, Maine – Beginning Monday, Aug. 4, Maine Department of Transportation crews will workon the Bridge Street Bridge, near the intersection of Water and Bridge streets in Gardiner, 8 p.m.-6 a.m.Motorists should allow extra time traveling through the work zone with alternating one-way traffic controlled by flaggers. Work involves joint repair at …
Gov. Paul LePage

Despite comments by LePage, DHHS continues with attempt at federal certification at Riverview

By Mario Moretto on July 30, 2014, at 8:31 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Despite Gov. Paul LePage’s suggestion Monday that the state give up the quest for federal approval and funding, officials at the troubled Riverview Psychiatric Hospital continue to work toward full compliance with federal standards. “We have reapplied already, and I am optimistic that [investigators] could be returning …

Audits debunk ex-employee’s allegations of waste by state agencies

By Christopher Cousins on July 30, 2014, at 3:57 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Internal audits of allegations made by a former project manager for the Bureau of General Services have largely debunked the employee’s claims that the state is overpaying for architecture and design contracts and that he was disciplined for flagging it. Victor Trodella, an architect from Yarmouth and …

Two arrested on child pornography charges

By Ryan McLaughlin on July 28, 2014, at 2:35 p.m.
GARDINER, Maine — Two men are facing child pornography charges after separate arrests in Gardiner and Fairfield last week, state police said. Barry Williams, 59, of Gardiner was arrested on Friday while Thomas Williams, 68, of Fairfield was taken into custody on Thursday, state police spokesman Stephen McCausland said. The …
Maine Supreme Judicial Court Justice Joseph M. Jabar and Maine Attorney General Janet Mills look out an upper-story window at the new Capital Judicial Center under construction in Augusta on Thursday. The corner room may become Jabar's office.

$55 million Capital Judicial Center to unite Augusta courts, judicial offices

By Judy Harrison on July 27, 2014, at 6:26 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine Supreme Judicial Court Justice Joseph Jabar on Thursday peered out the window of his future office on the fourth floor of the $55 million Capital Judicial Center at downtown Augusta and the Kennebec River, which splits the city. “I grew up in Waterville between the tracks …

A tour of the Capital Judicial Center in Augusta

By Troy R. Bennett on July 27, 2014, at 6:26 p.m.
A behind-the-scenes peek at the new court complex under construction.
Constitution Coalition of Maine spokesperson Phil Merletti gives a presentation Saturday at the Hampden municipal building.

Constitution Coalition seminar in Hampden draws 9 like-minded citizens, no lawmakers

By Judy Harrison on July 26, 2014, at 7:06 p.m.
HAMPDEN, Maine — The people who most needed to hear what members of the Constitution Coalition of Maine had to teach them did not show up Saturday afternoon for a seminar on the Maine Constitution held at the Hampden municipal building on Western Avenue, according to organizers. Instead of the …
Ben Sprague, chairman of the Bangor City Council, said, “You need to help building the supply side by helping the farmers with logistics and getting their goods to market and working on the demand side so there is the demand for local food all over the state.”

Maine Food Strategy looking to connect state’s producers with consumers

By Julia Bayly on July 26, 2014, at 5:09 p.m.
FORT KENT, Maine — There is a conversation starting in Maine about how the state can help feed itself and the rest of the world and organizers are inviting everyone to the table. “We are trying to get together different groups and businesses with interests in food systems to start …
Rep. Mark Dion, D-Portland

Should the state do more to prevent the spread of disease such as Hepatitis C in prison? A Bangor woman thinks the answer is yes

By Abigail Curtis on July 26, 2014, at 3:03 p.m.
BANGOR, Maine — Sheila Ford of Bangor is an administrative assistant who recently has found herself on an unlikely mission: to educate Mainers about the risks of communicable diseases in prison, and hopefully to get them to care about the dangers to prisoners. That’s because her friend, a man serving …
From the community

Traffic sensors to be installed in Vassalboro

Bangor Daily News on July 25, 2014, at 1:56 p.m.
VASSALBORO, Maine — Maine Department of Transportation crews will install traffic sensors on Monday, July 28, in the pavement at the intersection of Route 201 and the north junction of the Cushnoc Road in Vassalboro.The project begins 1,500 feet south of the Cushnoc Road and 1,000 feet north of the …

Fire rips through two-bay garage in Gardiner

By Ryan McLaughlin on July 25, 2014, at 1:33 p.m.
GARDINER, Maine — An electrical issue is likely to blame for a fire that flattened a two-bay, single-story garage Friday morning. Firefighters were called to a West Street residence at 3 a.m. when a neighbor noticed the flames, according to Gardiner fire Lt. Rick Sieberg. The garage was not attached …
From the community
The Gardiner Food Co-op crew cooks up a storm

Gardiner Food Co-op and Cafe announces recipe contest winner

By sarah miller on July 25, 2014, at 12:29 p.m.
On July 19th, the Gardiner Food Co-op & Cafe held a recipe contest at the Gardiner Farmers’ Market. The smells of grilled cheese and hearty soups wafted from the Gardiner Common as more than 50 judges (from the general public) tasted the 10 competing recipes. The contest was held for …
Detainees sleep in a holding cell at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility in Brownsville, Texas June 18, 2014.

Border children’s plight, explained: Long court process could end with deportation or legal status

By Mario Moretto on July 24, 2014, at 8 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The immigration and humanitarian crisis created by tens of thousands of unaccompanied children illegally entering the United States became a minor controversy in Maine this week when Gov. Paul LePage learned that eight such boys and girls had been placed here sometime between January and July. The …
From the community
A contractor blows insulation into a Maine attic.

Hundreds of Mainers weatherizing, upgrading heating systems

Bangor Daily News on July 24, 2014, at 4:04 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine – During a period that is typically quiet for weatherization and insulation contractors, this summer, business is booming. Regardless of how cold next winter is — with or without a polar vortex — thousands of Maine homes will be warmer and more comfortable, in part due to incentives that …
Maine Deputy Attorney General William Stokes smiles, and his wife Diane Doyen applauds, as the Judiciary Committee unanimously votes to recommend him for a judgeship on the Superior Court in Augusta on Thursday.

Judiciary committee endorses nominees to state Supreme Court, Superior Court

By Judy Harrison on July 24, 2014, at 2:56 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The Legislature’s Judiciary Committee on Thursday unanimously endorsed the nominations of a seasoned jurist to Maine’s highest court and the state’s top prosecutor to replace him. In May, Gov. Paul LePage nominated Superior Court Justice Jeffrey L. Hjelm, 58, of Camden to replace Jon Levy, who is …

Purse-snatching suspect arrested in Augusta

By Ryan McLaughlin on July 24, 2014, at 1:46 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — A local woman allegedly involved in several purse-snatching incidents was arrested Wednesday afternoon, police said. Audra Purington, 37, is facing four charges of theft, five counts of misuse of credit identification and eight counts of violation of conditions of release, Augusta Deputy Chief Jared Mills said. Police …

Kennebec County man who asked for a beer after being freed from vehicle charged with DUI

By Ryan McLaughlin on July 24, 2014, at 11:37 a.m.
CHELSEA, Maine — A Kennebec County man, who needed to be freed by witnesses from his overturned van, wound up going to jail Wednesday night when police learned he had been driving drunk. Dana Darveau, 42, of Whitefield allegedly had been spotted taking out three mailboxes on the Windsor Road, …

Augusta fire displaces 10 tenants

By Ryan McLaughlin on July 23, 2014, at 1:44 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Ten tenants were displaced when a fire ripped through a five-unit apartment building on State Street on Tuesday afternoon. Smoke was pouring from the attic of the two-story building when firefighters arrived shortly before 3 p.m., according to Augusta Fire Chief Roger Audette. A tenant had seen …
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