Father William Dingwall, a Trappist Monk, monitors the brewing of Trappist Ale at Saint Joseph's Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts on July 22, 2014.

Monks tap brewing tradition to support aging members

By Scott Malone, Reuters on July 24, 2014, at 7:19 a.m.
SPENCER, Massachusetts — Tucked off a two-lane highway in a hilly, wooded section of central Massachusetts, a group of Roman Catholic monks has embraced a centuries-old tradition they hope can sustain their aging members in a world of rapidly rising health costs. The 60 monks of St. Joseph’s Abbey still …
Former NFL player Aaron Hernandez smiles during a hearing on Tuesday in Bristol County Superior Court in Fall River, Massachusetts.

Judge sets January start for murder trial of ex-Patriots star Hernandez

By Elizabeth Barber, Reuters on July 24, 2014, at 6:59 a.m.
BOSTON — Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be tried in January for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd last summer, a Massachusetts judge ruled on Tuesday. Superior Court Judge Susan Garsh ruled at a hearing in Fall River District Court that the former NFL star’s …

Dan Borislow, whose ‘MagicJack’ revolutionized telephone, dies at 52

By Laurence Arnold and Gabrielle Coppola, Bloomberg on July 24, 2014, at 6:56 a.m.
Dan Borislow, whose “MagicJack,” peddled in television infomercials, helped pioneer free phone calls through the Internet, has died. He was 52. His death was confirmed by Brad Shewmake, a spokesman for MagicJack Vocaltec Ltd., the maker of the device. Borislow was the founder and former chief executive officer of the …

Arizona inmate takes nearly two hours to die in botched execution

By David Schwartz, Reuters on July 24, 2014, at 5:49 a.m.
PHOENIX — An Arizona inmate took almost two hours to die by lethal injection on Wednesday, and his lawyers said he “gasped and snorted” before succumbing in the latest botched execution to raise questions about the death penalty in the United States. The execution of convicted double murderer Joseph Wood …
Deb Walters is kayaking from Maine to Guatemala, raising awareness and donations for Safe Passage, a charity that helps children in Guatemala.

Maine grandmother kayaking Guatemala to raise money for charity

By Ann Charlton, York County Coast Star on July 23, 2014, at 3:58 p.m.
WELLS, Maine — The Wells Rotary Club had the opportunity to listen to the story of one woman’s inspiring journey as she kayaks 2,500 miles from Maine to Guatemala in an effort to raise awareness and donation for a Maine-based nonprofit called Safe Passage. Deb Walters, a 63-year-old retired scientist …
Philip Chism, left, stands during his arraignment for the death of Danvers High School teacher Colleen Ritzer in Salem District Court in Boston, Massachusetts October 23, 2013.

Massachusetts teenager charged with killing teacher now accused of stalking worker at detention center

By Elizabeth Barber, Reuters on July 23, 2014, at 3:25 p.m.
BOSTON — A Massachusetts teenager accused of raping and murdering a teacher at his former high school appeared in a Boston court on Wednesday to face charges of stalking and attacking a staffer at the detention center where he is awaiting trial. Philip Chism, 15, was charged with following a …
A police officer looks on near the site of the train wreckage in Lac Megantic, July 9, 2013. The crude oil freight train that derailed and blew up in the small town of Lac-Megantic early on Saturday morning, July 6, 2013, was traveling far too fast when it went off the rails, investigators told reporters.

Maine delegates laud proposed steps to prevent Lac-Megantic-level railway disaster in US

By Nick McCrea on July 23, 2014, at 3:01 p.m.
BANGOR, Maine — The U.S. Department of Transportation rolled out a series of proposed new rail safety rules on Wednesday, including phasing out tens of thousands of older railway tanker cars used to transport flammable liquids, including crude oil, over the next two years. Maine’s congressional delegation celebrated the proposals …
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy announces steps under the Clean Air Act to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants during a news conference in Washington June 2, 2014.

EPA chief questioned as lawmakers dissect carbon rule

By Valerie Volcovici, Reuters on July 23, 2014, at 8:46 a.m.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy will field questions from lawmakers Wednesday about the agency’s plan to slash carbon pollution from power plants, even as industry groups seek to derail the proposal. McCarthy will testify before the Senate Environment and Public Works committee, where she will discuss …
Firefighters keep watch over a controlled burn while battling the Carlton Complex Fire near Winthrop, Washington on July 19, 2014.

Firefighters advance on biggest wildfire on record in Washington state

By Victoria Cavaliere, Reuters on July 23, 2014, at 7:51 a.m.
SEATTLE — Firefighters gained ground Tuesday against the largest wildfire in Washington state’s history, but the massive blaze that has destroyed 200 homes continued to threaten some communities and forced a fresh round of evacuations. The Carlton Complex fire burning east of the Cascade Mountains and 120 miles northeast of …

Two Ukrainian fighter jets shot down over rebel-held territory

By Natalia Zinets and Gabriela Baczynska, Reuters on July 23, 2014, at 7:50 a.m.
KIEV — Kiev said two of its fighter jets were shot down over the rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine on Wednesday, and the missiles that brought them down might have been fired from Russia. A spokesman for Ukraine’s military operations said the planes were shot down near Savur Mogila, not …

StubHub hit by massive international cyber fraud ring; arrests to be announced

By Deepa Seetharaman and Jim Finkle, Reuters on July 23, 2014, at 7:27 a.m.
SEATTLE/BOSTON — eBay Inc’s StubHub online ticket resale service said it was the victim of a massive international cyber fraud ring, the details of which authorities plan to disclose Wednesday as they announce arrests in the case. StubHub’s head of global communications, Glenn Lehrman, told Reuters late Tuesday his firm …
John Doe

Man accused of touring US hospitals, injuring himself to get painkillers, arrested in Maine

By Julia Bayly on July 22, 2014, at 6:42 p.m.
FORT KENT, Maine — A man who intentionally injured himself and used at least 10 different aliases while trying to obtain painkillers at hospitals around the country was apprehended in Maine last week, according to local, state and federal officials. Inspectors with the United States Postal Inspection Service are still …

‘Helter Skelter’ co-author Curt Gentry dies at 83

By Elaine Woo, Los Angeles Times on July 22, 2014, at 4:45 p.m.
Curt Gentry, a California historian who wrote or co-wrote more than a dozen books, including a bestselling biography of J. Edgar Hoover and the true-crime classic “Helter Skelter” about the Manson family murders, written with former prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi, died July 10 in San Francisco. He was 83. His brother …

Gifford’s ice cream makes its Capitol Hill debut

By Kathleen Pierce on July 22, 2014, at 1:37 p.m.
Is Maine-made ice cream rich enough to sweeten the sour gridlock on Capitol Hill? Gifford’s Famous Ice Cream is giving it a spin. On Monday, the Skowhegan frozen dessert maker was touted by state officials in Washington to herald the company’s expansion into the mid-Atlantic states. “The delicious and refreshing …
U.S. President Barack Obama walks across Lafayette Park back to the White House on June 30, 2014.

The VA was born from scandal: How its latest failure offers hope for reform

By Colin Moore on July 22, 2014, at 12:19 p.m.
Scandal is nothing new to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. General Eric Shinseki’s resignation adds another chapter to the beleaguered agency’s long history of mismanagement. Although Maine’s 150,000 veterans were largely spared from the problems that plagued other parts of the country, the reports of shameful waiting list manipulations …

US airlines halt flights to Israel citing instability

By Reuters on July 22, 2014, at 12:03 p.m.
U.S. air carriers Delta Air Lines, American Airlines Group and United Airlines said Tuesday they have halted flights to Israel to ensure passenger safety as the turmoil in the region has intensified. Delta and United said in separate statements they have suspended flights to and from Tel Aviv “until further …
A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday threw out a federal regulation that implements key subsidies that are vital to President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.

Federal courts disagree over Obamacare, creating uncertainty about Mainers’ health insurance subsidies

By Jackie Farwell on July 22, 2014, at 11:12 a.m.
Tens of thousands of Mainers could pay much more for health insurance if a legal blow dealt Tuesday to Obamacare by a federal appeals court is upheld. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the federal government can’t legally administer health insurance subsidies in …

‘Slenderman’ attack victim receives Purple Heart from an anonymous well-wisher

By Brendan O'Brien, Reuters on July 22, 2014, at 8:13 a.m.
MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin — A Wisconsin girl stabbed 19 times in a murder plot allegedly hatched by two classmates to win favor with a fictional Internet character, has been sent a prestigious Purple Heart medal by an anonymous well-wisher, the victim’s family said Tuesday. The Purple Heart recently was sent to …
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (left) speaks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo on July 22, 2014.

Israel pounds Gaza despite international peace efforts

By Nidal al-Mughrabi and Jeffrey Heller, Reuters on July 22, 2014, at 7:28 a.m.
JERUSALEM — Israel pounded targets across the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, saying no cease-fire was near as top U.S. and United Nations diplomats pursued talks on halting the fighting that has claimed more than 600 lives. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry held discussions in neighboring Egypt, while U.N. Secretary …
President Barack Obama presents the Medal of Honor to former U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ryan M. Pitts for gallantry in Afghanistan, while in the East Room at the White House in Washington, July 21, 2014.

Former paratrooper gets Medal of Honor for heroism in Afghanistan

By Ian Simpson, Reuters on July 21, 2014, at 9:37 p.m.
WASHINGTON — A former paratrooper who was the only survivor of one of the bloodiest battles of the war in Afghanistan was awarded the Medal of Honor on Monday in a ceremony at the White House as his family and comrades looked on. Former Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Pitts of …
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