News from February 13, 2013

February 13, 2013

Friends and family mourn Tuesday's apartment explosion victim, Dale Fussell

BATH — Dale Fussell was known among her friends and family members as a generous soul, someone who lived frugally herself but was eager to help others and to cheer them up when they were down.

February 13, 2013

Quartets to deliver musical messages of love Thursday

WATERVILLE — Don’t be alarmed if four red-vested men with a single red rose appear on your doorstep today and launch into song.

February 13, 2013

Bill would ban driving with hand-held cells

AUGUSTA -- A sweeping bill that would expand Maine's distracted driving laws by banning the use of hand-held cellphones behind the wheel saw little opposition Wednesday at a public hearing.

February 13, 2013

Augusta school board votes to convert Cony, technical center to natural gas

AUGUSTA -- The Board of Education voted unanimously Wednesday to convert Cony High School and Capital Area Technical Center to using natural gas heat.

February 13, 2013

Second man pleads guilty to Augusta burglaries

AUGUSTA -- The second of three city men charged in connection with a series of home burglaries last year pleaded guilty Tuesday to 16 charges in Kennebec County Superior Court.

February 13, 2013

Prosecutor looking to reverse dismissal of charges against Mark Strong

PORTLAND -- A prosecutor in the Kennebunk prostitution case told the state's highest court Wednesday that prostitutes' customers are like secret lovers engaging in their activities behind closed doors.

February 13, 2013

Tears, applause for Pope Benedict's last public Mass

VATICAN CITY -- With a humble "Grazie" as bishops doffed their mitres and applause echoed through St. Peter's Basilica, a frail Pope Benedict XVI began his long farewell by presiding over Ash Wednesday services in a tearful, final public Mass.

February 13, 2013

Morning Sentinel area police log, Feb. 13, 2013

IN FAIRFIELD, Tuesday at 12:38 p.m., a report of larceny or fraud was investigated on Main Street.

February 14, 2013

Fairfield concert to benefit Maine Academy of Natural Sciences

FAIRFIELD -- Singer and songwriter Emily Mure has spent most of her musical career playing on the streets of Galway, Ireland, and the stages of New York City's Lower East Side.

February 13, 2013

Colby professor details modern, post-war life in Vietnam

WATERVILLE -- The echoes of the Vietnam War still can be heard in the Southeast Asian country, but not as loudly as one might expect, according to a local expert Wednesday.

February 13, 2013

Collins says she won't back Hagel for secretary of defense

WASHINGTON -- A moderate Republican senator once thought to be a possible backer of Chuck Hagel's nomination to be secretary of defense said she'll oppose his confirmation, while other GOP senators signaled they may delay a floor vote on the nomination unless the White House provides more information about the deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.

February 13, 2013

Bill to aid trauma victims; honors survivor

WASHINGTON -- A Maine woman who has struggled for decades to overcome the trauma of a sexual assault that ended her military career said Wednesday that it was a bittersweet honor to lend her name to a bill to help other veterans who are haunted by past assaults.

February 13, 2013

Madison man given 6 years in child porn case

BANGOR -- A Madison man convicted of possession of child pornography was sentenced Wednesday in federal court to six years in prison.

February 13, 2013

Legislature's budget committee OK's $153 M budget plan

AUGUSTA -- After several days of back-room negotiations, the Legislature's budget-writing committee on Wednesday unanimously passed a $153.2 million supplemental spending plan that closes a gap in the state's current budget.

February 14, 2013

Sheriff: Cabin not purposely burned in firefight Several photos included in this story Video clip included

Christopher Dorner Meanwhile, law enforcement officials find a charred body believed to be that of Christopher Dorner, in the ruins of the cabin that erupted in flames.

February 13, 2013

Phillips emergency workers rescue dog stranded on ice

PHILLIPS -- Emergency responders saved a dog stranded on a chunk of ice Wednesday morning in the Sandy River after a cry for help alerted a neighbor.

February 13, 2013

Boehner resists Obama's SOTU proposals; says spending cuts will strike

WASHINGTON -- House Speaker John Boehner said Wednesday it's unlikely the Republican-controlled House and Democratic-led Senate will prevent a wave of automatic spending cuts from beginning to strike the economy in two weeks. Yet he sounded hopeful about avoiding a partial shutdown of the government when a temporary spending bill expires next month.

February 14, 2013

LePage aims to reduce Maine's energy costs with natural gas conversion

AUGUSTA -- Gov. Paul LePage's energy director says the governor's recent promise to fast-track natural gas infrastructure projects and lower energy costs for residents and businesses will mean streamlined state environmental permitting, new programs to help Mainers convert to natural gas and other alternatives to oil heat.

February 13, 2013

Farmingdale man gets 4 years for gunpoint robbery

AUGUSTA -- A Farmingdale man will spend four years in prison for robbing a woman at gunpoint and striking her in the face with a handgun.

February 13, 2013

Augusta, Gardiner mull prospects for natural gas proposal

AUGUSTA -- Municipal, county, school and court buildings in Augusta and Gardiner could be hooked up to a natural gas pipeline through a joint project.

February 13, 2013

Maine bill seeks to end cozy relations between state officials, private firms

Adam Goode’s bill is one of a growing number of ethics bills to be proposed this session after Maine received an "F" for its corruption potential in a study last year.

February 16, 2013

Speaking and understanding chickadee

In our woods, the easiest birds to identify that aren’t crows or blue jays are the chickadees.

February 13, 2013

Union in strong opposition to proposed campaign donations bill

AUGUSTA — The Maine State Employees Association voiced strong opposition Wednesday to a bill that would prohibit it and other public employee labor unions from donating money to candidates for statewide office.

February 14, 2013

Proposed bill would expand gambling opportunities for nonprofit groups

AUGUSTA — Like many parents, Mike Mullett has tried to raise money for his children’s sports teams with raffles, candy sales and bottle drives.

February 14, 2013

Prosecutor: Kennebunk 'johns' have a right to privacy, too Several photos included in this story Video clip included

Maine's highest court is urged to reinstate 46 invasion-of-privacy charges against Mark Strong Sr. in the prostitution case.

February 13, 2013

Bills backed by abused Mainer go to Congress

The Ruth Moore Act would help people who suffered 'military sexual trauma' receive benefits.

February 13, 2013

Monmouth voters approve tax incentive plan

MONMOUTH—Voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a tax incentive plan aimed at attracting more business to town.

February 13, 2013

Winthrop man uses own blood to deface police station

WINTHROP — Police said a local man used his own blood to deface the police station before trying to dismantle the department’s generator.

February 13, 2013

Senate confirms Portland lawyer for federal judgeship

The Cape Elizabeth man is easily confirmed for the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals after a year of delays by Republicans.

February 13, 2013

Maine drug agents seize bath salts valued at $450K

The MDEA says the package was addressed to a man who has already been charged in a separate bath salts case.

February 14, 2013

Bath explosion claims a generous soul Several photos included in this story

 Dale Fussell, a soup kitchen volunteer killed at her apartment Tuesday, had been saving to buy her own home.

February 13, 2013

White House releases college cost website

The site is designed to help college-bound students get a better sense of how much their education will cost and how much they can expect to pay in student loans.

February 13, 2013

Somerset County police log

Wednesday's police summaries

February 13, 2013

Maine murder suspect wants statements thrown out

Daniel Porter, 25, is charged fatally shooting 31-year-old Jerry Perdomo, a firefighter from Orange City, Fla.

February 13, 2013

Police: Larry Bird's son tried to run over woman

Twenty-one-year-old Conner Anthony Bird faces preliminary charges including intimidation with a deadly weapon, battery with injury and possession of marijuana.

February 13, 2013

Woman accused of starving boy on trial in NH

On Tuesday, staff at the New Durham School, which the boy attended, testified they were instructed to take away a carrot from the boy's lunch every time he acted out.

February 13, 2013

Carnival cancels 12 cruises after Triumph fire

The cruise line contradicts the accounts of some passengers who told relatives of filthy, hot conditions, limited access to food. no running water and few working toilets on the Carnival Triumph.

February 13, 2013

Livermore accepts settlement for illegal logging

Town officials say John Korhonen cut down trees on his own land then inadvertently harvested about 1,250 trees on town land.

February 13, 2013

Maine Acadian license plates now available

They are the first commemorative plates produced by the state since the United States celebrated its Bicentennial in 1976.

February 13, 2013

Coast Guard Academy workers busted for sex on job

All six people misused computers at the academy and some of them participated in consensual sex acts on school grounds during the workday, an academy spokesman says.

February 14, 2013

Attention from Rubio's sip of Poland Spring worth bottling Video clip included

Social media light up after the senator’s pause while rebutting Obama’s speech, and the company joins in.

February 13, 2013

Maine drug agents charge 2 with selling oxycodone

Police arrest 33-year-old Andrew Goupil of Wiscasset and 68-year-old Joseph Dupaw of Dresden as they were about to board a ferry to Vinalhaven.

February 13, 2013

Judge to hear argument on Bulger's immunity claim

The former leader of the Winter Hill Gang is awaiting trial in a sweeping racketeering indictment accusing him of participating in 19 murders.

February 13, 2013

Pingree to introduce bill to aid victims of military sexual assaults

The legislation would make it easier for survivors of military sexual trauma to get benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

February 13, 2013

Shipyard official: Rotted frame may have helped sink ship

 A Maine shipyard official says the frame of a replica 18th-century sailing ship that sank during Hurricane Sandy was rotted.

February 13, 2013

New report documents costly toll of Sandy

 In the past 40 years, only Katrina exceeded the storm that pounded the northeastern region.