News from February 4, 2013

February 5, 2013

Veteran who killed 'American Sniper' had been in mental hospital

The suspect in the deaths of the ‘Sniper’ author and a friend is on suicide watch in a Texas jail.

February 4, 2013

New state GOP boss signals shift toward LePage re-election support

AUGUSTA -- The man who led Gov. Paul LePage's political arm is the Maine Republican Party's new executive director.

February 4, 2013

Maine students show improvement in writing; no change in reading, math

AUGUSTA -- A new batch of test scores released Monday by the Maine Department of Education shows little change in reading and math, but some improvement in writing.

February 4, 2013

SAD 59 chief doubts speedy Athens withdrawal from district

MADISON -- The committee in charge of finalizing a plan for the town of Athens to withdraw from the school district is confident a plan will be ready next week, but the superintendent doesn't think the plan will be done in time for the withdrawal to happen by the next school year.

February 4, 2013

New UMaine funding formula rewards Farmington, Augusta campuses for performance

AUGUSTA — The universities in Augusta and Farmington will reap major benefits under a new funding plan for the state’s university system if they stay on track producing graduates.

February 4, 2013

Morning Sentinel area police log, Feb. 4, 2013

IN ANSON, Monday at 8:02 a.m., an animal complaint was reported on Hilltop Road.

February 4, 2013

LePage's second State of the State speech addresses new realities, personalities

AUGUSTA — With state revenues scarce as ever and the political atmosphere as fickle as the Maine weather, Gov. Paul LePage will give his second State of the State speech this evening to a Legislature that’s far different from the one he addressed last year.

February 4, 2013

Cumberland Farms renovations evidence of Gerald Hotel project's economic boost

FAIRFIELD — The renovation workforce at the former Gerald Hotel is part of the reason for an expansion at the nearby Cumberland Farms, where the manager said a new coffee area was being installed Monday.

February 4, 2013

Waterville considers taking over Pine Grove Cemetery

WATERVILLE — The poor economy over the last few years may prompt the city to take control of Pine Grove Cemetery.

February 4, 2013

Hallowell pre-release center closing worries local legislators, officials Several photos included in this story

AUGUSTA — Rep. Corey Wilson said he’s concerned that the inmates who will be moved from the Central Maine Pre-Release Center in Hallowell to one in Warren won’t have the same kind of job opportunities they have now.

February 4, 2013

Augusta school board starts budget process Wednesday

AUGUSTA — The Board of Education meets Wednesday to work on next year’s proposed school budget.

February 4, 2013

Manchester crash victim remains hospitalized Monday

MANCHESTER — A Leeds woman remains hospitalized with serious injuries suffered when her car rammed into a tree on Western Avenue Friday.

February 4, 2013

St. Albans fire leaves four homeless Sunday

ST. ALBANS — Four people were left homeless Sunday night after their mobile home caught fire when heaters used to thaw frozen pipes ignited the floor.

February 4, 2013

Winslow, Benton snowmobiliers among weekend spate of vehicles going through ice

Winslow and Benton men were among those whose vehicles went through the ice in eight weekend incidents, according to a press release from the Maine Warden Service.

February 4, 2013

LePage finally meets with top Democrats

The leaders discuss various issues in a session long delayed by a dispute over 'tracking' of the governor.

February 4, 2013

Jay fugitive who escaped police hit with tear gas and arrested

JAY — Michael W. Gatcomb Jr., the 29-year-old man who eluded a police manhunt on Friday, was captured by a state tactical unit after an eight-hour-standoff at a North Jay mobile home Sunday night.

February 4, 2013

State House calendar, week of Feb. 4, 2013

Monday, 10 a.m., Taxation Committee; public hearings, room 127, State House, L.D. 10, "An Act to Provide a Property Tax Exemption for Family Burying Grounds." This bill exempts family burying grounds of a quarter-acre or less from property taxation.

February 4, 2013

Authorities storm Alabama bunker, rescue young boy Several photos included in this story

The incident ends a weeklong standoff, which started when Jimmy Lee Dykes shot and killed a bus driver and abducted a 5-year-old boy.

February 6, 2013

Two versions of teen party given at Falmouth couple's trial Several photos included in this story Video clip included

A prosecutor says they did nothing to stop teen drinking. They say the party got out of control.

February 4, 2013

Man suffers minor injury after interstate rollover

AUGUSTA — A Gardiner man walked away with only minor injuries Saturday after rolling his car several times on Interstate 95.

February 4, 2013

Wayne teen hurt in Winthrop crash

WINTHROP — A Wayne teenager was injured Monday morning when his car veered off U.S. Route 202 and went airborne before landing on Pineland Drive.

February 4, 2013

Health risk from CMP's smart meters low, study finds

 The results, however, provide little comfort to people who complain that the meters are hurting their health.

February 4, 2013

Pittsburgh girl, 6, crashes car in bid to see dad

Police say the girl hit two parked vehicles, pushing one of them into a third, before hitting a utility pole.

February 4, 2013

Pakistani girl shot by Taliban appears on video Video clip included

Malala Yousufzai drew the world's attention when she was shot by Taliban militants on Oct. 9 because she promoted girls' education and "Western thinking" and criticized the militant group.

February 4, 2013

Ex-Mass. chemist pleads not guilty in crime lab case

Annie Dookhan was indicted in December on a total of 27 charges related to her alleged misconduct at the lab. The scandal could jeopardize thousands of criminal cases.

February 4, 2013

Maine gas prices shoot up 14 cents in past week

The price is 16 cents a gallon higher than a month ago and 11 cents higher than a year ago.

February 4, 2013

Waterville police log, Feb. 3 and 4

Vehicle burglary, criminal mischief, harassment

February 4, 2013

Kerry has 'big heels to fill' at State Dept.

Kerry reached out to Israeli and Palestinian leaders in phone calls Sunday, assuring them the Obama administration will continue to pursue a Mideast peace agreement.

February 4, 2013

2 teens injured in Lincoln truck crash

Police say speed and alcohol are believed to be factors.

February 4, 2013

In Focus: No more winter of discontent for Richard III Several photos included in this story Video clip included

Scientists say remains are those of the king who died in battle, and fans hope to recast his reputation.

February 4, 2013

At least 8 killed in Calif. tour bus crash Video clip included

The bus driver survived and told investigators the bus had brake problems as it headed down the mountain, rear-ended a sedan and flipped, then struck a pickup truck pulling a trailer.

February 4, 2013

Maine-NH bridge steadily deteriorating, official says

The 73-year-old bridge was shut down last month after its span got stuck during a routine test.

February 4, 2013

Mass. gun crimes rise despite strict laws

Gun-control advocates point out that many of the gun-related crimes are committed with weapons bought out of state, particularly New Hampshire and Maine.

February 4, 2013

New Orleans braces for fallout from blackout

A joint statement from Entergy New Orleans, which provides power to the stadium, and Superdome operator SMG shed some light on the chain of events, although they weren't sure about the source of the problem.

February 4, 2013

Moxie Festival has its theme for 2013

The winning idea was submitted by a Texas man who's attended many of the festivals.

February 4, 2013

Obama: Scouts should welcome gays Video clip included

 The president also offers his first public support of allowing women in military combat roles.

February 4, 2013

Expansion of passenger trains in Maine takes slow track Several photos included in this story

 Taking the Downeaster beyond Brunswick hinges on crucial projects and powers of persuasion.

February 5, 2013

Long drive for car repair sparks call for legislation

 An Aroostook County lawmaker models a bill after a controversial Massachusetts law.