Maine news

NAPLES, Maine - Two good Samaritans pulled a Maine woman to safety after she became trapped in a burning car in a violent crash.
Twenty-five-year-old Alicia Szostak says she was driving in Naples when she jerked her steering wheel to avoid hitting a deer. The Bangor Daily News reports she crashed into two trees and the car was left on its side, where a fire began burning.
Szostak says her legs felt numb and she couldn't get out, before hearing two men stop their car and climb inside to help her out of the vehicle.

PORTLAND, Maine - Maine utilities say thousands of customers are without power in the wake of high winds and rain that hit the state hard overnight.
More than 3,000 Central Maine Power customers were without power at 8:15 a.m. Wednesday. Some 1,400 of those were in York County in southern Maine.
Emera Maine reports about 1,600 customers were without power on Wednesday morning. Hancock County was the hardest hit part of the utility's coverage area.

PORTLAND, Maine - Maine's public advocate says he's going to work to preserve Maine's 207 area code on a panel that makes recommendations on telephone numbers and area codes.
The Federal Trade Commission recently re-chartered the North American Numbering Council to ensure the efficient and impartial assignment of numbering resources.
Maine Public Advocate Barry Hobbins will represent the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates on the panel.

Sexual Harassment

Dec 6, 2017

While sexual harassment continues to make headlines, with allegations of misconduct bringing down dozens of men in power in the past few months, the problems are neither new, nor will they go away. Why does sexual harassment happen, and what can be done on an individual basis or as a culture?

Guests: Rebecca Webber, attorney with Skelton, Taintor & Abbott, based in Auburn

Pat Peard, chair of Bernstein Shur’s Education Practice Group; she's a former history teacher and she practices in all areas of employment and labor law.

As Congress moves through the process of potentially passing a major tax reform package, we're still just starting to get a sense of what's in there - and what it might mean. Advocates for affordable housing in Maine are saying the package could be disastrous.

A business-led group is out with its fifth annual Educate Maine report, and Executive Director Ed Cervone says, overall, it indicates that Maine students are generally well-served by the state's schools.   

"In here what we're seeing in terms of academic success, we see kind of a plateauing recently," Cervone says. "In terms of post-secondary - meaning college-going persistence and completion - we see a lot of the same numbers we've seen over time."

BRUNSWICK, Maine - Maine police and the Federal Railroad Administration are looking at setting up a drone patrol to monitor trespassers on railroad tracks.
The project, still in its infancy, involves the Brunswick Police Department. Brunswick is the current northern terminus point of Amtrak's Downeaster service line. The Portland Press Herald reports it would be the first police department in the state to use drones to monitor potential crime.

AUGUSTA, Maine - A former Maine corrections officer has pleaded guilty to charges of reckless conduct with a firearm stemming from an incident in which a fellow trainee was shot inside a pickup truck.
Twenty-five-year-old Matthew Benger was placed on deferred disposition for a year and will be allowed to withdraw that plea if he meets certain conditions. The incident happened when Benger, Matthew Morrison and Cody Gillis were in Gillis' truck in a police academy complex parking lot.

"Shots Fired"

Dec 5, 2017

We learn about police shootings in a conversation with the authors of the new book Shots Fired: The Misunderstandings, Misconceptions, and Myths about Police Shootings.

Guests:  Joseph K. Loughlin is a former assistant chief of police for the City of Portland, Maine, and also served as the commander of the Special Reaction Team and was a team member for more than twenty years. Loughlin is a graduate of the FBI National Academy Command training in Quantico, Virginia. He currently consults for 3SI International Security Systems and functions as a regional coordinator of police trainings and special projects.

Kate Clark Flora writes true crime, strong women, and police procedurals. A Good Man with a Dog is a memoir she co-wrote with a retired Maine game warden. Her fascination with people’ bad behavior began in the Maine attorney general’s office, where she chased deadbeat dads and protected battered children.

Loughlin and Flora previously collaborated on the true crime story Finding Amy, which was nominated for an Edgar Award.

Linda Lajoie / The Silouette Project

Maine has one of the highest rates of veteran suicide in the nation, according to a recent Veterans Affairs study. Advocates say it’s time to confront the issue and shine a light on it.

Mal Leary / Maine Public/file

The key to success in farming is work that's done before a single seed is planted.  That was the message from the state's top agriculture official in Augusta today.

Maine Agriculture Commissioner Walt Whitcomb says launching and maintaining a successful farming operation requires knowing the demand for your produce and being able to market it.

“Make sure you know where your products are going to go before - whether you are older or younger - you get into using the land to produce food," Whitcomb says. "We produce food very, very efficiently these days.”

AUGUSTA, Maine - A second agency has lowered MaineGeneral Medical Center's credit rating after the loss of several primary care doctors last year.
The recent credit downgrade came from Moody's Investor's Service as Fitch Ratings made a similar downgrade last spring. The Kennebec Journal reports MaineGeneral's parent organization took a $22.9 million operating loss the last fiscal year, in part because of the departure of doctors hindering their ability to accept new patients.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine Attorney General Janet Mills says a health products company and its owner are settling charges brought by herself and the Federal Trade Commission that alleged they deceived consumers.
Mills alleged Health Research Laboratories and Kramer Duhon marketed a pair of products using "false and unsupported claims.'' One was called BioTherapex, a dietary supplement touted to target the liver. The other, NeuroPlus, was a brain supplement.

BATH, Maine - The second in the stealthy Zumwalt class of destroyers is heading out to sea for the first time.
The future USS Michael Monsoor navigated the winding Kennebec River before reaching the North Atlantic.
The warship will be away for a couple of days during builder trials. The shipbuilder will make tweaks before it's presented to the Navy at a later date.
It's the second in a class of three ships that feature electric-drive propulsion, new radar and sonar, powerful guns and missiles, and a stealthy shape.

The number of short-term rental units in Portland has soared over the past year, thanks to home-sharing services like Airbnb. But city planners are concerned that less than a quarter have so far been registered with the city.

Last year, the Housing Committee passed several regulations on short-term rentals, including a requirement to register with the city annually by Jan. 1.

Michael Russell, who heads Portland's Permitting and Inspections Department, says the penalty for failing to register by is $100 a day.