Maine news

The body of missing WCSH-TV meteorologist was found in Auburn Thursday night. That's according to  Auburn Police, in a post on the department's Facebook page.

Johnston, 46, had been a meteorologist with the Portland NBC affiliate for three years, station officials say in a press release on WCSH's website. 

Auburn Police say Johnston's body was located with the help of the Maine Warden Service.  "Any suspicion of foul play has been ruled out and the investigation is focused on an apparent suicide," police said.

An autopsy is scheduled for Friday.

The first U.S. ambassador to Somalia in 25 years came to Lewiston Thursday morning, where he visited Somali-owned businesses that now dominate part of downtown.

Stephen Schwartz also held a community meeting where he told an audience of mostly refugees that he’s hopeful a newly elected Somali government can help turn the embattled nation they fled around.

Summer Job Market

Apr 7, 2017

As summer approaches, many Maine businesses are on the hunt for part-time or temporary help.  But Maine’s low unemployment rate and the tightening of the H1B visa program are making it a challenge for businesses to find workers. We’ll hear from the Maine Department of Labor as well from leaders of the Maine Tourism and Restaurant and Innkeeper’s associations about the challenges – and opportunities – facing Maine Businesses.

Guests:  Julie Rabinowitz, Director of Policy, Operations and Communication, Maine Department of Labor

PORTLAND, Maine — A popular television meteorologist in Maine’s largest city is missing.

The Portland Press Herald reports that Tom Johnston from WCSH-TV was reported missing Monday after he failed to return from a weekend event at the Sunday River ski resort.

Old Orchard Beach Police Detective Sgt. David Hemingway said Johnston is considered a missing person, but there’s been no indication that he’s in danger. Johnston’s last social media postings were made on Saturday, when a storm produced heavy snow in parts of Maine.

David Sharp / Associated Press

MOUNT VERNON, Maine - A soldier who lost all four limbs during an explosion in Afghanistan and went on to start a foundation to help veterans has an announcement: He and his wife are expecting another child.
Travis Mills, of Manchester, Maine, made the announcement to TV talk show host Ellen Degeneres this week. He and his wife, Kelsey, already have a daughter. Now they're going to have a baby boy.

PORTLAND, Maine - Prosecutors have dropped charges against a former high school cheerleading coach in Maine accused of having sex with a teenage student.

Investigators contended Nick Perry had a sexual relationship with an 18-year-old student at Bonney Eagle High School. But the district attorney dropped the charges at the request of the alleged victim, who didn't want to go forward.

The 21-year-old Perry coached for only a few months at the school from which he'd graduated in 2014. He was arrested in January, less than 24 hours after resigning.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Portland and Bangor airport representatives say it's time to regulate ride-booking companies that don't have to pay the same fees as taxi drivers.

The Portland Press Herald reports that Democratic Rep. Richard Farnsworth's bill would allow a municipality to adopt an ordinance governing a transportation network company's operations at an airport.

Taxi companies pay annual fees of $810 at Portland Jetport and up to $450 at Bangor International Airport.

Anti-Muslim Graffiti Found at USM’s Portland Campus

Apr 6, 2017
Troy R. Bennett / Bangor Daily News/file

PORTLAND, Maine — For the second time in recent months, police at the University of Southern Maine’s Portland campus are investigating anti-Muslim graffiti.

The phrase “Kill the Muslin” [sic] was found on Tuesday night written on a poster instructing people on what to do in the case of an active shooter, said USM spokesman Robert Stein. The phrase was written around an image of someone hitting a gunman with a chair beneath the header “Fight,” Stein said.

The implication of the graffiti appeared to be that a shooter would be Muslim, Stein said.

Shoemaking in Maine

Apr 6, 2017

From L.L. Bean and its iconic duck boots, to the relationship between New Balance and the U.S. military (not to mention Bass Weejuns and Dexter shoe), Maine shoemakers have a long and storied history. At its height, the Maine shoe sector employed 50,000 people. We’ll discuss the past, present and future of shoemaking in Maine.

Guests: Rachel Desgrosseiliers, executive director, Museum L-A, in Lewiston

Mike Rancourt, co-founder Rancourt & Co. in Lewiston

Jack Samson, LL Bean's VP of manufacturing and fulfillment

VINALHAVEN, Maine - A Maine lobsterman is accused of stealing more than 200 pounds of the crustaceans along with a small motor boat on Vinahaven
Forty-eight-year-old Jason Marriner has been charged with theft, unauthorized use of property and receiving stolen property following his arrest Saturday.
The Maine Marine Patrol says the Vinalhaven man had been stealing crates of lobsters from Carver's Harbor Market for months. They say Marriner was caught in the act on surveillance video.

PORTLAND, Maine - The U.S.'s ambassador to Somalia is visiting Maine this week and plans to stop by a Portland high school.
c is the country's first ambassador to Somalia in 25 years and has served in that capacity since last year. He is in the midst of a nationwide tour and is visiting cities that have Somali communities, such as Portland and Lewiston.
Schwartz will be at Deering High School in Portland on Wednesday talking to students in a moderated question-and-answer session from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

National Political Analysis

Apr 5, 2017

The investigations into Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election continues; the Neil Gorsuch supreme court nomination sets up a potential 'nuclear option;' and repealing and replacing Obamacare is dead - or is it? We'll discuss the latest news from the nation's capital.

Guests:  Ron Schmidt, professor of Political Science at University of Southern Maine

Jamie McKown, political science professor, College of the Atlantic

Stephen Engel, chair of Bates College politics department

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public file photo

Under President Donald Trump’s proposed budget, the federal Department of Education would see a drastic cut in almost every area except for one: it would add more than $1 billion in funding for “school choice.” That new emphasis has many educators in rural Maine concerned.

A national effort by a libertarian think tank to convince public school teachers that there is a division within the scientific community over whether human activity has accelerated global climate change is apparently having little to no effect in Maine.

In fact, at the Maine Education Association in Augusta, President Lois Kilby-Chesley says the DVDs and booklets sent out to about 25,000 teachers by the Illinois-based Heartland Institute are being used by faculty members as examples of how critical thinking can be used to debunk preposterous theories.

ACTON, Maine - Less than two months after a woman was charged with killing her estranged husband at an Acton home, a fire has destroyed the property.

Investigators say youths playing with matches in a barn started a fire that destroyed the house and left nearly a dozen people displaced on Sunday.

York County Sheriff Bill King says two children of Scott Weyland, who weren't responsible for starting the fire, were living at the home since Weyland was killed on Feb. 22. Kandee Weyland has been accused of killing her estranged husband.

The children were not hurt.