Morning Edition

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Every weekday for more than three decades, NPR's Morning Edition has taken listeners around the country and the world with multi-faceted stories and commentaries that inform challenge and occasionally amuse. Morning Edition is the most listened-to news radio program in the country. Irwin Gratz and the Maine Public Radio News team bring you regional updates throughout the morning.

PORTLAND, Maine — An autopsy has determined that Portland firefighter who died on a recreational scuba dive died of a massive heart attack.

Officials say 43-year veteran firefighter Capt. Michael Kucsma was diving with friends on Monday off shore near Tukey's Bridge when he didn't resurface. The Portland Press Herald reports that friends found him and were able to get him to a dock. His colleagues at the Portland Fire Department attempted resuscitation but were unsuccessful. He was pronounced dead at the scene Monday.

BANGOR, Maine — A federal judge has ruled that man who fired as many as 70 shots in Bangor on the Fourth of July, forcing the city's holiday parade to be re-rerouted, is competent to be sentenced.

The judge made the decision on Monday after getting a hospital report, but no date has been set for the sentencing of 44-year-old Perrin Oliver.

Oliver pleaded guilty in December to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

According to court documents, Oliver wasn't allowed to have guns because of a conviction five years ago in New York.

BANGOR, Maine — An Augusta woman has been sentenced to more than 2 years in prison for selling oxycodone pills to an undercover informant.

Federal prosecutors say 33-year-old Jennifer Dowling was also sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Bangor to three years of probation.

Prosecutors say Dowling sold 37 pills to a confidential informant for $1,000 on May 9, 2012, at the Interstate 95 park-and-ride lot in West Gardiner.

The informant was fitted with a recording device and was accompanied by a Maine Drug Enforcement Agency agent at the time of the buy.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The mother of a 3-month-old girl who died while in the care of a baby sitter has filed a lawsuit against the caretaker and her 12-year-old daughter.

The suit filed by Nicole Greenaway in Kennebec County Superior Court alleges negligence on the part of the Fairfield woman who was entrusted with the care of Brooklyn Foss-Greenaway and seeks unspecified damages.

The baby sitter's daughter, who was 10 at the time, had faced a manslaughter charge but pleaded guilty last month to several misdemeanors. Her mother was never charged.

PORTLAND, Maine — A zombie film by a Maine native who spent the past decade in Los Angeles making horror, comedy and science fiction films has spilled into public view on several streets in Portland.

Several blood-covered zombies stumbled onto two Portland streets and cars crashed during filming Monday of the low-budget zombie comedy "Night of the Living Deb."

The Portland Press Herald reported that a vintage Cadillac sped up and down the street and later crashed into a Taxi during filming.

PORTLAND, Maine — Portland, Maine is set to host a meeting of the New England Fishery Management Council.

The meeting begins Tuesday and continues through Thursday. The council — an intergovernmental body that represents state and federal interests — will consider a request for emergency action regarding the Atlantic herring fishery.

The Portland City Council last night adopted two measures designed to cut down on waste that are believed to be threats to the environment.

On identical, 6-3 votes, the council enacted a ban on single-use foam packaging. In the other measure, it imposed a nickel-a-bag fee on grocery bags.

The idea is to encourage people to use, and reuse, cloth and other bags that won't go into the waste stream.

Backers of the new restrictions say much of that plastic and foam winds up littering the landscape and finding its way into the ocean where it poses a risk to wildlife.

PORTLAND, Maine — Police are investigating the death of a Portland firefighter whose body was pulled from Casco Bay near the Maine Yacht Center.

Portland officials said in a news release Monday night that an off-duty firefighter died from an apparent scuba diving accident. The firefighter has not been identified.

The release says Portland Fire Chief Jerry LaMoria and Portland Police Chief Mike Sauschuck will hold a news conference at 11 a.m. Tuesday to provide additional details.

PORTLAND, MAINE — Three women who once worked at a Maine scented candle manufacturer say in federal lawsuits that the company's founder and president subjected them to "relentless sexual harassment."

The lawsuits were filed last week in U.S. District Court in Portland by the former vice president of sales, former retail sales manager, and former debt collector at Wells-based Village Candle.

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) _ The Maine's Human Rights Commission has determined that a veteran Franklin County Jail guard fired for allegedly assaulting an inmate was not the victim of discrimination.

The commission on Monday voted 3-1 to uphold its investigator's finding of no reasonable grounds that discrimination occurred in the firing of Robert Shufelt, of Jay, let go in March 2012 after 23 years on the job.

FARMINGTON, Maine (AP) _ A Maine judge has ruled that a lawsuit brought by a Delaware family injured in a ski lift accident in 2010 can move forward.

Michael Katz, who suffered a broken back and traumatic brain injury, was the most seriously injured of the eight people hurt in the December 2010 accident at Sugarloaf Mountain in Carrabassett Valley. His daughters, 13 and 11 at the time, suffered back and head injuries.

They sued the ski area's operators and associated entities in October, seeking unspecified damages.

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ A Brunswick woman has pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $300,000 from a nonprofit organization that received federal funds.

Stacey Backman pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Portland to federal program fraud and federal tax fraud.

Prosecutors say the 41-year-old Backman worked as a fund accountant at Coastal Enterprises Inc., a private nonprofit, charitable community development corporation and community development financial institution based in Wiscasset. That organization receives more than $10,000 in federal funds each year.

LePage Campaign Faces $210 Fine

Jun 10, 2014

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) _ Maine Gov. Paul LePage's campaign is facing fines for failing to report some contributions on time.

The Maine ethics commission is seeking $210 from the Republican governor's re-election team for missing reporting deadlines. The campaign failed to file two reports of contributions exceeding $1,000 within 24 hours, as required.

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) _ The suspect in the fatal stabbing of a 92-year-old Waterville man will need to find a new lawyer.

Forty-four-year-old Roland Cummings made his first appearance on a murder charge in Kennebec County Superior Court in Augusta on Monday. Defense attorney William Baghdoyan represented Cummings, but told the judge a new attorney will have to be appointed, because he isn't taking murder cases.

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) _ The VA Maine Health Care System fared better than many other facilities in a system-wide audit, but hundreds of veterans still had to wait more than a month for appointments.

A May 14 audit found that 99 percent of doctor visits took place in 30 days or less in Maine. But 664 veterans had to wait more than a month. It also showed that new patients waited 36 days on average, and six had to wait 120 days or more.

All told, 47,698 appointments were scheduled.

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