News from December 13, 2012

December 13, 2012

Assaulting jail officer added to man's charges

AUGUSTA -- A man awaiting trial on murder, arson, robbery and theft charges has been indicted by a grand jury in Kennebec County on a charge of assaulting a jail officer and damaging a cell.

December 13, 2012

Kaplan University in Augusta OK'd for nursing, IT degrees

AUGUSTA -- Kaplan University will start enrolling students next month for a nursing program set to begin in February, and two information technology degree programs should follow later in 2013.

December 13, 2012

Togus earns mixed reviews in federal inspection

AUGUSTA -- A federal report has found the VA Maine Healthcare System-Togus fell short of standards that govern training for end-of-life care and proper storage of oxygen tanks.

December 13, 2012

Rice pulls name from consideration; Kerry likely choice

Susan Rice WASHINGTON (AP) -- Susan Rice, the embattled U.N. ambassador, abruptly withdrew from consideration to be the next secretary of state on Thursday after a bitter, weekslong standoff with Republican senators who declared they would fight to defeat her nomination.

December 13, 2012

DEP's out-of-state mining choice attacked

The Natural Resources Council of Maine on Thursday renewed its attack on the Department of Environmental Protection's selection of an out-of-state contractor to help modernize Maine's mining rules, alleging that both the contractor and the DEP had "misrepresented" the company's credentials, experience and ties to the mining industry.

December 13, 2012

Ex-Augusta man found guilty in California murders

LAKEPORT, Calif. -- A former Augusta, Maine, man probably will spend the rest of his life in prison after a jury here on Thursday found him guilty of the first-degree murder of a Maine couple because of a drug dispute.

December 13, 2012

State flags at half-staff for Libby

AUGUSTA -- Gov. Paul LePage has ordered that the Maine state flag be flown at half-staff Saturday in Mount Vernon remembrance of Russell Libby, the tireless organic farming advocate.

December 14, 2012

Hartland officials smoking out aging sewer pipes

HARTLAND -- Town officials are using an unusual method to look for leaks and cracks in the town's aging sewer system -- releasing smoke into the pipes and then watching for escaping puffs.

December 13, 2012

Same-sex marriage questions addressed in webinar

With same-sex marriage set to become legal Dec. 29 in Maine, gay and lesbian advocacy groups want to make sure that same-sex couples who plan to get married soon have all the information they need.

December 14, 2012

Kid power rules at Skowhegan school

SKOWHEGAN -- It was all about kid power Thursday during a surprise assembly at Skowhegan Area Middle School.

December 13, 2012

School copes with first-grader's death

BENTON -- Classmates of a first-grade girl who died this week of illness are coping with the tragedy, while state health officials recommended members of the school community take typical steps to avoid the spread of germs.

December 13, 2012

Sen. Snowe says farewell, urges 'governing through consensus'

WASHINGTON -- In the farewell remarks of her congressional career, U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe called representing Maine "the greatest privilege of my life" but also expressed concerns the Senate was "losing the art of legislating" amid the partisan gridlock.

December 14, 2012

Madison may do away with Town Office weddings

MADISON -- The town is considering creating a policy that would prevent any couples from having marriage ceremonies in the Town Office.

December 13, 2012

Trista Reynolds losing hope Ayla case will be solved Several photos included in this story

WATERVILLE -- The mother of missing toddler Ayla Reynolds says she's losing hope that police ever will solve the case, but at least three law enforcement experts from around the country say there are plenty of reasons for optimism. Police probably are working quietly to build a stronger case, they said.

December 14, 2012

Man robs Skowhegan bank, flees with cash

SKOWHEGAN -- A Madison Avenue bank was robbed just before 5 p.m. Thursday by a man who said he had an accomplice with a rifle outside, police said.

December 14, 2012

Susan Rice won't seek secretary of state job; Kerry likely Video clip included

A lengthy and costly battle with Republicans "is simply not worth it to our country," Rice says.

December 13, 2012

Q&A on same-sex marriage in Maine

Local advocates answer questions about taxes, licenses, vendors and other issues facing same-sex couples who plan to get married.

December 13, 2012

LePage orders flags to fly half-staff for beloved organic farming advocate

Russell Libby, 56, died Sunday after a battle with cancer.

December 13, 2012

Lyford, Lachowicz to lead Charter Commission

WATERVILLE -- Peter Lyford and Edward Lachowicz will lead the city’s new Charter Commission which voters established in November.

December 14, 2012

Sen. Snowe caps career working for Maine Several photos included in this story Video clip included

At the end of a 34-year congressional career, Olympia Snowe urges her Senate colleagues to return to 'governing through consensus'.

December 13, 2012

Former President Bush could soon leave hospital

Bush has steadily improved and remains stable as he battles the lingering effects of bronchitis.

December 13, 2012

Update: Former Augusta man found guilty of double murder

LAKEPORT, Calif. — A former Augusta man will likely spend the rest of his life in prison after a jury here found him guilty Thursday of the first-degree murder of a Maine couple over a drug dispute.

December 14, 2012

Council: Mining rules contractor 'misrepresented' credentials

The Natural Resources Council also says the Michigan company has long-standing links to mining operations and shouldn't be updating Maine’s mining rules.

December 13, 2012

Google Maps finds its way back onto iPhone

The release comes nearly three months after Apple Inc. replaced Google Maps with its own, much-maligned map software.

December 13, 2012

Report endorses statewide standards for Maine teacher evaluations

Evaluations have traditionally been left to local districts. Now, districts will continue to oversee the process, but will have to meet the new state standards.

December 13, 2012

Snowe to deliver farewell remarks at 1 p.m.

The Maine Republican is retiring after 34 years in Congress.

December 13, 2012

Waterville, Clinton police logs, Dec. 12 and 13

Unwanted persons, harassment, threatening

December 14, 2012

Golden Globe nominations announced Several photos included in this story Video clip included

The 70th annual Golden Globe Awards will be presented Jan. 13.

December 13, 2012

Leading conservative says Obama will win tax fight

South Carolina Republican Jim DeMint calls it "a political trophy" within Obama's grasp.

December 13, 2012

Senate weighs bill to outlaw cyberstalking software

The bill would close a legal loophole that allows cyberstalking apps to operate secretly on a cellphone and transmit the user's location without a person's knowledge.

December 13, 2012

7 arrested in connection with NH meth lab

Police find a 4-year-old boy inside the home as they enter with search warrants.

December 13, 2012

Software pioneer in Miami after deportation from Guatemala Video clip included

Police in Belize still want to question John McAfee in connection with the death of a U.S. expatriate who lived near him on an island off Belize's coast.

December 13, 2012

Residents of Maine town complain of 'disgusting' odors

One Plymouth resident says the smells coming from a company that processes sludge prevents her from doing anything outside during the summer.

December 13, 2012

Dozens sue, but meningitis compensation uncertain

At least 50 federal lawsuits in nine states that have been filed against the New England Compounding Center, and more are being filed in state courts every day.

December 13, 2012

Maine police stepping up holiday sobriety patrols

More than $440,000 in federal funds will help 52 Maine law enforcement agencies pay overtime for patrols where drunken driving is most common.

December 13, 2012

Coroner: Nurse in British royal hoax found hanging

A chief detective said Jacintha Saldanha also had injuries to her wrists and three notes were found in the room.

December 13, 2012

Auburn celebrates completion of new airport terminal

The new terminal is 7,000 square feet, which is about double the size of the previous terminal, built in 1958.

December 12, 2012

Kennebec County Superior Court sentencings, Dec. 10-11, 2012

AUGUSTA — A number of people were sentenced Monday and Tuesday in Kennebec County Superior Court: