Articles by Daniel Hartill

Penobscot County Sheriff Glenn Ross

LePage calls jail summit as sheriffs warn of overcrowding, budget crisis

By Daniel Hartill on April 28, 2013, at 6:50 a.m.
LEWISTON | A budget crisis threatening to force the early release of convicted criminals, layoffs of jail guards and even the closure of some Maine jails is headed to the governor’s office. Gov. Paul LePage said Saturday he is planning a summit this week with all 16 of Maine’s …
Cpl. Travys Fecteau issues razors and a squirt of shaving cream to trustees in the Androscoggin County Jail during one of his overnight 12-hour shifts.

What’s it like guarding inmates in the Androscoggin County Jail?

By Daniel Hartill on April 08, 2013, at 6:25 a.m.
AUBURN | Travys Fecteau never leaves home without a ball cap. In public, he uses it to hide his face when he spots people he met while working as a corrections officer in the Androscoggin County Jail. “Most of the time, I wear my hat down low,” Fecteau said. …
A long line of fans stretches behind Rocky Thompson and his fiancee, Rebecca Smullen, both of Conway, N.H., as they get an autograph from survival expert and musician Les Stroud on Thursday at Prose Gallery in Lewiston during the kickoff to the Lewiston Auburn Film Festival. Stroud's television show, "Survivorman," is aired on the Science and Discovery cable channels.

‘Survivorman’ Les Stroud greets fans in Lewiston

By Daniel Hartill on April 04, 2013, at 9:30 p.m.
Moments before Prose Gallery’s Lisbon Street doors opened Thursday to a stream of autograph seekers — kicking off the third annual Lewiston Auburn Film Festival — TV’s “Survivorman” Les Stroud looked out the street-level window and threw up his hands. “Send help!” he teased. On the sidewalk, …

Cigarette blamed for apartment house fire that left 9 homeless in Jay

By Daniel Hartill on March 17, 2013, at 6:30 a.m.
A discarded cigarette is being blamed for an afternoon fire Saturday that burned a three-story apartment house at 39 Church St., leaving nine people homeless. Everyone in the building, including three children, made it out safely, Jay Assistant Fire Chief Mike Booker said. Firefighters arrived about 12:30 …
P3 owner and former Maine candidate for governor Les Otten hits a golf ball into a net at his virtual golf manufacturing warehouse in Bethel on Thursday morning.

Former Maine candidate for governor Les Otten creating online hub for virtual golfers

By Daniel Hartill on March 08, 2013, at 6:25 a.m.
BETHEL | Les Otten wants to build a worldwide, virtual golfing community. The Bethel entrepreneur and former gubernatorial candidate has launched a new online network meant to link each of the 11,000 golf simulators he has sold through his company, P3. “We took something that had an original application, …
Steve Longley, known throughout the Appalachian Trail hiking community as "The Ferryman," passed away Saturday, March 2, at his home in Solon. Longley is seen in this undated photo during one of his annual stand-up rides in the Kendusgeag Stream Canoe Race.

Longtime Appalachian Trail ferryman dies unexpectedly

By Daniel Hartill on March 06, 2013, at 11:51 a.m.
LEWISTON | Stephen Longley, who achieved notoriety for his paddling across the Kennebec River rather than his Lewiston family’s politics, died Saturday. He was 55. “He was the most gentle person I ever knew,” his sister, former state Sen. Susan Longley, said Tuesday. He was quiet, independent and found …

Audiobody brothers to open ‘Freeport Theater of Awesome’

By Daniel Hartill on Feb. 28, 2013, at 1:09 p.m.
Jason and Matt Tardy discovered their new theater on Craigslist. The brothers from Turner tired of leaving their young families and packing their equipment-heavy act, Audiobody, into vans and planes. They wanted a high-traffic home base in Maine. They Googled “Freeport” and “stage” and were shocked when …
Source: Androscoggin County and Sun Journal analysis

Lewiston pays far less per inmate in county jail than any other town in Androscoggin

By Daniel Hartill on Feb. 24, 2013, at 8:16 a.m.
About half of all Androscoggin County residents confined in the county jail reside in Lewiston. Yet, Lewiston taxpayers pay less than one-third of the county’s jail costs, according to a Sun Journal analysis. The reason is more crime in the city and a state-mandated funding formula for county services that …

Andoscoggin commissioners want tighter security at county courthouse

By Daniel Hartill on Feb. 11, 2013, at 6:02 a.m.
AUBURN — Androscoggin County leaders are in talks with Maine court security officials to lock down the county courthouse about half the time, funneling all public traffic into the front entrance and through a metal detector. The aim is to make the entire courthouse safer, said Michael Coty, the director …

Money sought for more guards at Androscoggin County Jail

By Daniel Hartill on Feb. 07, 2013, at 6:02 a.m.
AUBURN | Commissioners unanimously approved a $6 million budget Wednesday for the Androscoggin County Jail, including additional money for four new guards. But even Capt. John Lebel, the jail’s longtime administrator, figures the new positions will not survive the state budget squeeze. “It’s disheartening,” he said. “My sense is …
Tony Gendron guides a load of rebar off a flatbed for excavator operator Todd Gendron Tuesday afternoon at Baxter Brewery Co. in Lewiston, which is in the midst of a major expansion.

Baxter Brewing expanding production in Lewiston

By Daniel Hartill on Jan. 31, 2013, at 9:18 a.m.
As cans clattered down the production line in the hops-heavy air of Baxter Brewing Co., founder Luke Livingston fretted over plans to quadruple the flow of beer from his corner of the Bates Mill. Outside, contractors had spent several days thawing the expansion site with heaters before …

Sears Hometown Store planned for Shaw’s Plaza in Auburn

By Daniel Hartill on Jan. 18, 2013, at 6:55 a.m.
Sears is coming back to Lewiston-Auburn in a smaller package. Jeromy and Jennifer Hood of Turner plan to bring the massive retailer back to the community as a Sears Hometown Store. Rather than the Lewiston Mall’s 80,000-square-foot anchor store, which closed a few days ago, customers looking …

Man accused of invading Auburn home dragged from courtroom after making comment to judge

By Daniel Hartill on Jan. 17, 2013, at 6:24 a.m.
LEWISTON | A Massachusetts man accused of invading an Auburn home and pistol whipping three people was dragged from a Lewiston courtroom Wednesday after a disagreement with Judge Rick Lawrence. Kourtney Williams, 22, of Dorchester, Mass., was in Lewiston District Court for his initial appearance on charges of aggravated …
Elizabeth Tremblay of Poland enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1980 when she was Donald Tremblay. She left the Marines in 1981. Last September, she was arrested on a charge of desertion.

Marines give accused Maine deserter discharge with honorable conditions

By Daniel Hartill on Jan. 14, 2013, at 6:54 p.m.
POLAND | Elizabeth Tremblay’s worries of prison are over. Tremblay, 57, of Poland received her general discharge Monday morning from the U.S. Marines. The discharge, which was “under honorable conditions,” ends a decades-long odyssey for Tremblay that began with her enlistment in 1980, her departure from the Marines a …
Ramsey Tripp has had to edit his movie, "The Peloton Project," on nights and weekends because lack of funds forced him to take bill-paying jobs. He is planning to showcase his work at the Lewiston Auburn Film Festival in April.

Filmmaker rushing to finish movie about 2,500 mile bicycle trek

By Daniel Hartill on Jan. 14, 2013, at 5:40 a.m.
LEWISTON | Documentarian Ramsey Tripp knows the date, the hour and the location his film, “The Peloton Project,” will be premiered to the world. The film is far from finished, though. Tripp doesn’t even know how many hours of high-definition footage were accumulated by him and a team of …
Elizabeth Tremblay of Poland enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1980 when she was Donald Tremblay. She left the Marines in 1981. Last September, she was arrested on a charge of desertion.

31 years — and a gender change — later, Poland woman arrested for desertion

By Daniel Hartill on Jan. 13, 2013, at 8:32 a.m.
Thirty-one years after Pvt. Donald Tremblay ignored his officers’ orders, drove away from a Marine Corps base in Southern California and returned home to Maine, Elizabeth Tremblay is facing the past. Elizabeth, 57, formerly known as Donald, was arrested and briefly jailed four months ago on a …

Poland Fire and Rescue building addition collapses under high winds

By Daniel Hartill on Jan. 11, 2013, at 6:21 a.m.
An unfinished, 8,000-square-foot addition to the Poland Fire and Rescue building collapsed early Thursday amid high winds. No one was hurt, Fire Chief Mark Bosse said. However, the collapse caused thousands of dollars in damage and likely will delay the project by about two weeks. The collision …

Maine jails working to help veterans

By Daniel Hartill on Jan. 07, 2013, at 5:38 a.m.
LEWISTON | Local courts have yet to host a veterans court, but local veterans hope to find their way into a specially created court anyway. Two local veterans have asked to be taken to a segregated area of the Kennebec County Jail in Augusta and appear before the state’s …

Emergency dispatching changes taking effect in Androscoggin County

By Daniel Hartill on Dec. 31, 2012, at 7:50 p.m.
LEWISTON | Moments after the new year begins Tuesday, emergency phone calls from Sabattus and Durham will take a new route. Calls for help to police officers, firefighters or paramedics will go first to Androscoggin County’s dispatch center, as they have for more than a decade. Then, in most …

Judge grants convicted stabber another new lawyer

By Daniel Hartill on Dec. 29, 2012, at 7:23 a.m.
AUBURN — Raikuez Melchoirre, who pleaded guilty to a June 2011 stabbing, was granted a new lawyer Friday. But it won’t happen again, Justice Robert W. Clifford warned during the hearing at Androscoggin County Superior Court. Clifford told Melchoirre, who is awaiting sentencing for elevated aggravated assault, that he’d better …