Federal prosecutor, MDEA agent honored for work on gang case

A federal prosecutor and a Maine Drug Enforcement special agent last week were honored at the Department of Justice’s 34th Director’s Awards Ceremony in Washington D.C. for their work to break up a drug and gun pipeline in Maine, according to a press release issued by the Maine U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel Casey of Bangor was one of 162 members of the DOJ recognized June 15. MDEA Special Agent Christopher Gardner was recognized posthumously.

Gardner, of Veazie, was a 27-year veteran of the University of Maine Police Department. Until his sudden death in November 2016 at the age of …read more

Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, condemns family separations

President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen condemned the president’s family separation policy as he quit the Republican National Committee.

Cohen cited the Trump policy separating immigrant children from parents caught illegally crossing the U.S. border with Mexico in his resignation letter, along with a federal criminal investigation into Cohen’s business dealings. The Republican National Committee received the letter before Trump announced Wednesday that he was reversing the policy.

“As the son of a Polish holocaust survivor, the images and sounds of this family separation policy is heart wrenching,” Cohen wrote. “While I strongly support measures that will secure our porous …read more

Drost’s late pass leads to victory in Modified Enduros racing feature race

HERMON, Maine — Keith Drost of Stetson worked his way up from the 12th starting position, then slipped past Dustan Durrell of Newburgh on the final turn to win the Cap’s Tavern Modified Enduros feature race on Wednesday night at Speedway 95.

Drost had been third when a red flag halted the race with five laps remaining. Danielle Beale of Hampden edged Hampden’s Jim Goodman for third place and Josh Merrill of Corinth finished five in the 16-car field.

On Saturday, The Varney Agency will present a fireworks show, displayed by Atlas PyroVision Entertainment Group, after the regular racing program.

Other Speedway 95 …read more

Maine native expected to be top-10 pick in NHL draft

A Maine native whose ice hockey notoriety began at age 9 with a trick shot during a televised shootout is expected to be a top-10 pick on Friday when the National Hockey League conducts its annual entry draft in Dallas.

Oliver Wahlstrom, 18, is expected to be picked between sixth and 10th overall in the first round, with the Detroit Red Wings (sixth pick) and Chicago Blackhawks (eighth) among the teams mentioned in connection with the 6-foot-1, 205-pound forward.

The Yarmouth native and son of former University of Maine and Swedish professional player Joakim Wahlstrom has played the last two years …read more

Supreme Court rules that states may require online retailers to collect sales taxes

WASHINGTON — A divided Supreme Court ruled Thursday that states may require online retailers to collect billions of dollars of sales tax revenue owed to them.

The decision was 5 to 4.

More than 40 states and the Trump administration asked the Supreme Court to overturn its 1992 decision in Quill v. North Dakota that restricts states from collecting sales tax from retailers without a physical presence in those states. They said a decision in a case involving mail-order catalogues is obsolete in an era of e-commerce.

[LePage budget would impose ‘Netflix tax’ in Maine]

After Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote Thursday’s majority …read more

Australian CEO whose company is buying Maine ski resort charged with fraud

RANGELEY, Maine — The Australian developer who’s buying Maine’s Saddleback Mountain ski resort has been arrested after a raid on his offices in his home country.

Australian news media report that Sebastian Monsour was charged Thursday with investment fraud after a search warrant was executed.

[Despite lawsuit, prospective Saddleback developer says he’s still committed to deal]

Monsour is CEO of the Majella Group, which is in the process of buying Saddleback.

The Rangeley ski resort has been closed for several seasons. Owners Bill and Irene Berry announced a year ago that they were selling to Majella Group.

[Prospective Saddleback buyer …read more

A boon for transparency in Maine’s court system

Maine’s judiciary has seen the sunlight: Court records will one day be available online.

The decision announced by Chief Justice Leigh Saufley earlier this month stands to open blinds on parts of the state’s judiciary that are difficult to access, currently requiring journalists, activists and members of the public to travel to courthouses in each county to read paper case files.

In those files, residents, businesspeople and government officials ask the government for something big: to deliver them justice under the law. They raise a hand to point out perceived wrongdoing. They put their names to sworn statements about what happened, …read more

FDA is looking for a way out of sticky label mess it created for state’s syrup, honey producers

Maine’s maple and honey producers applauded news coming out of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration this week, announcing the agency is reconsidering a plan requiring “added sugar” be included on all pure maple syrup and honey labels.

The state’s producers of the natural sweeteners feared the proposed labeling requirements would undo decades of industry marketing.

As part of a campaign aimed at educating consumers about excess sugar in their diets, the FDA had proposed that labels on pure maple sugar and pure honey contain the language “added sugar,” despite acknowledging no added sugar is present in either product beyond what …read more

Word Cup roundup: Australia gets crucial draw with Denmark

SAMARA, Russia — Mile Jedinak’s penalty kick gave Australia a 1-1 draw against Denmark and new life at the World Cup on Thursday.

The 38th-minute penalty was set up after Denmark forward Yussuf Poulsen was called for a handball following a video review. Poulsen was also given a yellow card and will be suspended for the team’s final group match against France because of accumulation.

The goal was Jedinak’s second from the spot at this year’s World Cup, and it snapped Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel’s five-match streak of shutouts for the Danes.

Christian Eriksen scored in the opening minutes for Denmark, which has …read more

Baseball fan injured by flying hot dog launched by Phanatic

PHILADELPHIA — It was a flying frankfurter and not a foul ball that left a baseball fan with a black eye in Philadelphia.

Kathy McVay says she was at Monday night’s Phillies game when the team’s mascot, the Phillie Phanatic, rolled out his hot dog launcher. McVay was sitting near home plate and, she says, all of a sudden a hot dog wrapped in duct tape struck her in the face.

McVay says she is suffering from a shoulder injury, so she was unable to swat the hot dog away.

She left the game to get checked out and was diagnosed with a …read more