Warm temps force Maine town to haul in snow for winter festival

OLD ORCHARD BEACH, Maine — Much of the area snow may have melted away with this week’s warm weather, but there’s still plenty of snow on Old Orchard Street for OOB365’s Winter Carnival.

Town Manager Larry Mead said at Tuesday night’s Town Council meeting that the town’s Public Works Department had been hauling snow to Old Orchard Street to build up enough to make the carnival’s signature sledding hill.

“The show will go on,” said Mead. “There will be sledding.”

The annual event, sponsored by local community group OOB365, begins tonight with a sledding party from 4 to 8 p.m. All are welcome. …read more

Another proposal for recreational pot sales in Maine clears legislative hurdle

Another attempt to implement a sales and regulation system for recreational marijuana in Maine is headed to the Legislature with significant changes designed to attract more support.

The Legislature’s Marijuana Legalization Implementation Committee voted 13-1 Friday in favor of a broad bill that has been under stop-and-go development since early last year.

The bill, which must gain support from a Legislature that has so far rejected all attempts at creating a sales and regulatory system, would create a combined 20 percent sales and excise tax and would halve the number of plants Mainers can grow for personal use from six flowering plants …read more

Florida Gov. Rick Scott backs raising age for gun purchases to 21

Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Friday he will work to raise the minimum age for purchasing weapons in his state to 21 years old, marking his first major break from the policy priorities of the National Rifle Association.

Scott announced the proposed gun restrictions nine days after a deadly mass shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, as part of a broad package of legislative initiatives, including new school security measures and a program to deny guns from those deemed to pose a danger to the community.

“I’m an NRA member, a supporter of the Second amendment, and …read more

LePage will outsource Medicaid staff, even though it will cost state more

Gov. Paul LePage’s administration will outsource part of the state’s Medicaid application process to a Massachusetts organization even though it will cost the state more than having state employees continue doing the work.

In June, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services will eliminate the positions of 10 state employees and enter into a $5.6 million, 25-month contract with a division of the University of Massachusetts Medical School that determines whether people are disabled for the purpose of qualifying for state-funded health coverage.

The state chose the vendor without asking for bids from other potential providers. And the annual price tag …read more

UMaine names interim director of athletics

ORONO, Maine — Capt. James Settele, chief of staff to the president at the University of Maine, has been named UMaine’s interim director of athletics, effective March 12.

Settele, a member of the UMaine community since 2006, replaces Karlton Creech, who has been named vice chancellor for athletics, recreation and Ritchie Center Operations at the University of Denver, effective May 1.

Decisions on a national search for a permanent AD will be made by the next president of the University of Maine.

“Jim brings a wealth of leadership experience, institutional knowledge and organizational skills to the interim AD position,” says UMaine President …read more

Gun debate continues in Florida and Washington D.C.

Gun debate continues in Florida and Washington D.C.

WASHINGTON D.C. (ABC NEWS) – This morning, new details in Florida’s deadly mass school shooting. An armed school resource deputy at the Parkland high school has resigned after it was revealed he failed to act at the time of the shooting. The revelation comes as President Trump pushes arming teachers.

The sheriff in Parkland Florida said the armed school resource deputy stationed at Stoneman Douglas High School stayed outside the building during the massacre.

Scott Israel, Broward County Sheriff said “He never went in.”

When asked “What should he have done?” Israel replied “Went in. Address …read more

Report: FBI probe docs list range of payments to top NCAA players

NEW YORK — Bank records and other expense reports that are part of a federal probe into college basketball list a wide range of impermissible payments from agents to at least two dozen players or their relatives, according to documents obtained by Yahoo Sports.

Yahoo said Friday that the documents obtained in discovery during the investigation link current players including Michigan State’s Miles Bridges, Duke’s Wendell Carter and Alabama’s Collin Sexton to potential benefits that would be violations of NCAA rules. According to the report, players over the past several years and family members allegedly received cash, entertainment and travel …read more

Tug boat sinks off Maine coast

Tug boat sinks off Maine coast

KENNEBUNK – The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating a collision between tug boats that resulted in one of them sinking.

It happened early Thursday morning about three miles south of Kennebunk.

The Coast Guard said the crew of a 40 foot tug boat was towing an 80 foot tug boat when they collided. Rescuers raced to the scene and determined no one was injured and escorted the smaller tug to shore where it was safely moored.

They attempted to tow the other tug to Portland, but it began taking on water and the crew was forced to cut the towline. The …read more

Small town reacts to guilty verdict in murder trial

Small town reacts to guilty verdict in murder trial

EAST MILLINOCKET – When a Bangor judge determined that former East Millinocket resident Phillip Scott Fournier was guilty of murder in the 1980 death of local teenager Joyce McLain, the news spread like wildfire.

Residents expressed relief for McLain’s family and say the teenager’s violent death created a dark shadow that has hung over the small former mill town for nearly four decades.

That dark shadow remains because some residents believe that Fournier did not act alone.

…read more

Ex-Trump campaign aide agrees to guilty plea in Russia probe

WASHINGTON – Rick Gates, a former top official in President Donald Trump’s campaign, is expected to plead guilty Friday to charges brought by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III in his investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and cooperate with prosecutors, according to a person familiar with the situation.

It is not clear to what charges Gates intends to plead guilty.

Gates could provide the special counsel with valuable information about the inner workings of Trump’s operation: He served as a senior figure in the campaign and had access to the White House as an outside adviser in the early …read more