River Flow Advisory
(Augusta) The State’s River Flow Advisory Commission met for the first time this season yesterday in Augusta to discuss ongoing ice conditions, snowpack, stream-flow, groundwater levels, and flood risk across the state. Maine Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Susan Faloon says the potential for flooding is well above normal. Faloon says MEMA is working closely with the Aroostook County E-M-A and has flood preparedness meetings planned in several communities as well as a flood exercise scheduled for March 25th.
Sheriff’s Cup Basketball
(Ellsworth) Restaurants, hotels, and traffic will be bustling in Ellsworth this weekend during the 2019 Sheriff’s Cup Basketball Tournament. Hancock County Sheriff Scott Kane tells Star 97-7 the tournament has grown since it began back in 2000. Games will be played on 4 separate courts – one at Ellsworth High School, the Downeast Family YMCA on State Street, and 2 courts at Ellsworth Elementary Middle School.
(Clifton) Court documents unsealed this week reveal more details about the death of a Clifton woman at her Route 9 home. The Bangor Daily News reports 37-year-old Dwight Jay Osgood was indicted last week on charges of intentional or knowing murder in connection with 35-year-old Kary Dill’s death. Osgood allegedly told police he was drunk and high when he found Dill’s body on the kitchen floor on January 14th. Osgood told police he thought she may have been loading the woodstove when she slipped and fell to her death. But police found shotguns and ammunition nearby. The medical examiner determined Dill died of gunshot wounds. Osgood was arrested the next day. He’s due in court on March 28th. A trial date is not expected to be scheduled for several months.
(Madawaska) Game wardens are investigating a snowmobile crash in Aroostook County that left a man in serious condition. The Maine Warden Service reports 57-year-old Luke Beaulieu of Saint David was traveling near the Gagnon Road in Madawaska late Wednesday night when he struck a tree and was thrown from his machine. Beaulieu was taken to a hospital in Fort Kent then transported to a Bangor hospital in critical condition. Warden say speed and alcohol are likely contributing factors.
Financial Aid Night
(Ellsworth) Speakers from the University of Maine will be at Ellsworth High School next week to talk about financial aid and the college admissions process. Students in grades 9 thru 11 are encouraged to attend with their parents to learn how to choose a college, set up a campus visit, and ask the right questions. The workshop is this Monday evening beginning with pizza served in the cafeteria at 6 o’clock followed by speaker presentations.
(Portland) A state panel approved new requirements for the exportation of baby eels or “elvers” on Wednesday. The Maine Department of Marine Resources wants to add a requirement that baby eel exporters notify the Maine Marine Patrol 48 hours before preparing to pack and ship the eels. The officer will then witness the packing. The new rule is designed to discourage illegal sales of elvers. Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher is expected to sign off on the changes before the elver fishing season begins on March 22nd.
(Lowell, MA) The attorney for a Rockport man who allegedly killed four people says he will use the insanity plea. WABI-TV reports 24-year-old Orion Krause stands accused of the 2017 murders of his mother, grandparents and their caretaker. Krause and his mother, who lived in Rockport, were visiting the older couple at their Massachusetts residence when the killings took place. Court documents show Krause was naked and covered in mud when he went to a neighbor’s home and said he used a baseball bat in the beating deaths. Krause was previously ruled competent to stand trial, but his attorney claims the right to conduct their own mental health evaluation. Krause is currently being held in a mental health unit at a Massachusetts jail.
(Maine) Love it or hate it, the time change arrives this weekend. We’ll spring forward an hour Sunday morning and begin to enjoy some extra daylight hours in the evenings. According to LiveScience, the practice was first proposed by Benjamin Franklin in a 1784 essay. A couple of centuries later, when Congress officially made the time change a law in 1966, it stated only that if the public decided to observe daylight saving time, it must do so uniformly. Clocks originally sprung forward on the last Sunday in April and turned back on the last Sunday in October; but the Energy Policy Act of 2005 shifted those dates to March and November. Those smart devices will automatically change at 2 am Sunday morning, but don’t forget to change your other clocks before you go to bed Saturday night.
(Skowhegan) The Indian mascot will no longer represent Skowhegan schools. The School Board voted 14-9 last night to retire the symbol, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. WMTW reports the decision comes after months of debate. In 2015, the board voted to keep the mascot, and a recent Native American group came to the school in support of it. But schools in Maine with indigenous mascots have gradually dropped them over the last few years, Skowhegan reportedly being the last holdout. The ACLU says the decision makes Maine the first state to end all indigenous mascots in schools. No word yet on when discussions for a replacement mascot will begin.
(Bangor) A man accused of killing two homeless people in Bangor last spring was in court yesterday (Thursday). WABI-TV reports 25-year-old John De Saint Croix pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and arson. De Saint Croix is accused of killing 43-year-old Michael Bridges and 36-year-old Desiree York. Court documents say De Saint Croix admitted to authorities that he had been drinking with the pair in the hours before they were found dead inside a burning box truck. DNA testing is currently underway, and the judge is set to make a ruling once the state obtains the results. De Saint Croix’s trial is set for later this month.
Palmyra Death Update
(Palmyra) Authorities have determined the man found dead in a Palmyra motel earlier this week died of natural causes. WABI-TV reports the body of 62-year-old Richard Langlais of Connecticut had been in the room for some time. The motel manager told authorities Langlais and a female companion had checked into the motel a few months ago and had been staying there. When workers realized they had not seen Langlais in some time, police were called to do a check. The woman staying with him was taken to a hospital for evaluation.
Thorndike Fire Department Rebuilds
(Thorndike) Last month’s contentious Select Board meeting left the town of Thorndike with just one member remaining in the Fire Department. But the Bangor Daily News reports local officials see things looking up for the department. Former Assistant Fire Chief John Levers, who left the department in June last year, has stepped up as the new Fire Chief, and six new fully-trained members have joined since February 20, when 27 members resigned. Levers and the new trainees are joined by Levers’s fiancée, Lauren Carter, a firefighter and medical technician, who was the one person not to step down and walk out of the February meeting. Thorndike officials are in the process of drafting an ordinance to ask townspeople to make the department a municipal one rather than an incorporated one, giving the town more control over it. Residents will vote on the proposed ordinance at the annual town meeting a week from Saturday.
BB Gun Found at School
(Corinth) Two students at Central Middle School in Corinth face disciplinary measures today after a BB gun was found at the school on Wednesday. A letter from RSU 64 Superintendent Rhonda Sperrey was sent home with students yesterday (Thursday). The Bangor Daily News reports other students at the Middle School reported the weapon, which turned out to be a BB gun and was not loaded. Sperrey declined to provide further information but told parents in the letter the students involved have been provided due process and stated appropriate disciplinary measures had been put in place. No students were charged with crimes, according to police.
(Augusta) Governor Janet Mills’ administration is asking the state to throw out a lawsuit brought against the state last year regarding then-governor Paul LePage’s restoring the state’s staff of public health nurses. The lawsuit was filed last July by State Senator Bownie Carson after the LePage administration missed a legal deadline to bring the state’s public health nursing program back to full staffing. The Bangor Daily News reports lawyers in the state attorney general’s office say the lawsuit is moot because the department has launched multiple recruitment efforts to fill vacant positions. Public health nurses visit at-risk mothers in their homes, provide school nurse services in rural schools, and assist in public health emergencies.
Bar Harbor Murder
(Bar Harbor) A trial date has been set in the case of a Bar Harbor man charged with murder in the death of a friend from high school. The Bangor Daily News reports the trial of 21-year-old Jalique Keene is set to begin May 20th in Ellsworth. Police say Keene raped and strangled 19-year-old Mikaela Conley on the grounds of a local elementary school in the early morning hours of June 1st and then attempted to hide her body in nearby woods. After her family reported Conley missing, authorities organized a search for her, and her body was found the next day. Keene and Conley had attended Mount Desert Island High School together, and Maine State Police say she had driven to Boston Logan International Airport on May 31st to pick up Keene and drive him back to Bar Harbor. Keene has pleaded not guilty to the charge of killing Conley.
(Biddeford) Authorities arrested a New Jersey man yesterday on two counts of Aggravated Trafficking in Crack Cocaine. The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency says an arrest warrant was issued to 53-year-old Melvin Paschal, along with a search warrant for his apartment, where Paschal was arrested without incident. Police say the MDEA’s York District Task Force has been investigating Paschal for selling crack cocaine in the Greater Biddeford area. During the search of Paschal’s apartment, agents recovered 45 grams of crack cocaine, 940 dollars cash from the sale of drugs, and other evidence of drug trafficking. Paschal remains at the York County Jail on 25 thousand dollars bond.