Crime/Public Safety Lubec Man Accused of Killing His Girlfriend Arrested in Virginia (Lubec)  A Lubec man suspected of killing his girlfriend earlier this week has been arrested in Virginia.  Public Safety Information Officer Shannon Moss tells Star 97.7, Washington County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a report of an altercation at a home at 69 James […]

Star 97.7 - Smooth Rock n' Roll Local News 01/13/22 - Star 97.7
409 High Street - P.O. Box 1171 - Ellsworth, ME 04605 - Phone: 207-667-0002 Fax: 207-667-0627

Local News 01/13/22

Crime/Public Safety

Lubec Man Accused of Killing His Girlfriend Arrested in Virginia

(Lubec)  A Lubec man suspected of killing his girlfriend earlier this week has been arrested in Virginia.  Public Safety Information Officer Shannon Moss tells Star 97.7, Washington County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a report of an altercation at a home at 69 James Head Road in Lubec on Monday and found evidence of suspicious activity.  On Tuesday, an expanded investigation led authorities to a body thought to be that of 58 yo Eva Cox locked in the trunk of a car at a nearby residence.  Further information then led police to issue a warrant for the arrest of Cox’s boyfriend, 65 yo Paul DeForest, who was found in Warrenton, Virginia.  DeForest is being held on a fugitive from justice warrant as the investigation continues.

(Lubec)  A 65 yo Lubec man has been arrested in Virginia after a body suspected to be that of his girlfriend was found in the trunk of a car on Tuesday.  Public Safety Information Officer Shannon Moss reports to Star 97.7, Troopers were called to a home on James Head Road Monday on report of an altercation.  While no one was found at the residence, evidence led authorities to a nearby residence the next day, where they found a body suspected of being that of 58 yo Eva Cox locked in the trunk of a car.  Further investigation led police to issue a warrant for Cox’s boyfriend, Paul DeForest, who was found in Warrenton, Virginia and arrested.  DeForest is being held on a fugitive from justice warrant as the investigation continues.

(AP/Lubec)  Police in Virginia arrested a Lubec man and charged him with murder after the body of a woman was found in the trunk of a car near his residence.  Police say Paul DeForest was found  in Warrenton, Virginia Wednesday. Police in Maine said they received information Monday that an altercation had happened at a Lubec home where 65-year-old DeForest lived with his girlfriend, 58 yo Eva Cox.  Authorities discovered the body in the car trunk after organizing a search on Tuesday.

Driver Who Caused Trooper to Lose A Leg to Serve Prison Time

(China, ME)  A driver who hit a Maine State Trooper with his car during a chase in China in June 2020 will serve 15 years in prison.  WMTW reports Robert Belmain pleaded guilty Tuesday to aggravated assault.  Belmain hit Trooper Mickael Nunez, who was seriously hurt and had to have his lower leg amputated.  Nunez has since recovered and is back on the job.

Authorities Identify Stabbing Suspect

(Waterville)  Authorities have identified a man accused of stabbing four other people in Waterville Tuesday.  Waterville Police say 43 yo Kenneth McIntyre of Freedom argued with a woman at a residence on County Road, then stabbed her and three other men who tried to defend her.  All four victims were taken to a hospital and later released.  Police say drugs were involved in the incident.  McIntyre faces charges including attempted murder, assault, and violating conditions of release.

Scarborough Shooting

(Scarborough)  A 36 yo man is in custody after a shooting in the Scarborough WalMart parking lot last night.  NewsCenter Maine reports a transient, Bryan Johns, was charged with reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon.  Authorities say they’re looking for a second vehicle involved in the incident and a possible victim.

(Scarborough)  A shooting last night in the WalMart parking lot in Scarborough.  NewsCenter Maine reports police arrested a transient, Bryan Johns, and charged him with reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon.  Johns was treated for superficial wounds and taken to Cumberland County Jail.  Authorities continue to look for a possible victim and a second victim that may have been involved.

Fifth Man Charged in Machias Death

(Machias)  A fifth man has been charged in connection with the November murder of a 17 yo in Machias.  The Attorney General’s office reports 23 yo Nathaniel Kerruish of Machias is charged with felony murder and robbery.

WABI-TV reports Kerruish is the first person from Maine charged in the drug-related shooting death of Brandin Guerrero of New York.  Three others were from Massachusetts and one from New Hampshire.

Education

More COVID-related Changes for Schools

(Augusta)  Another set of changes for schools and how they respond to COVID-19.  The Maine Department of Education and CDC announced Wednesday schools enforcing a universal masking policy may choose to suspend contact tracing.  The change follows discussions with school superintendents about the transmissibility of the Omicron variant, which is far more contagious and has a shorter incubation period than other variants.  MDOE says the change will free up staff to focus on other mitigating strategies such as pool testing, with the goal of keeping kids and staff in the classroom.

(Augusta)  Educators will tell you one big key to teaching is being flexible.  And when it comes to guidelines regarding COVID-19, things evolve rapidly.  On Wednesday the Maine Department of Education and CDC announced schools enforcing a universal masking policy may now choose to suspend contact tracing.  The change comes following discussions with school superintendents about the transmissibility of the Omicron variant, which is far more contagious and has a shorter incubation period than other variants.  The latest change for schools could potentially free up staff to focus on other mitigating strategies.

Local Politics

Public Advocate Nominee

(Augusta)  Attorney William Harwood of Yarmouth has been nominated to serve as the state’s Public Advocate.  Harwood received a unanimous vote this week from the Legislature’s Joint Standing committee on Energy, Utilities, and Technology, paving the way for the Senate to consider his nomination.

Mills Orders Flags at Half Staff

(Maine)  Per a directive from Governor Janet Mills, U.S. and State of Maine flags will be at half staff today in honor of the late Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, whose internment is set for today.

Collins Calls for More Timely Mail Delivery

(Washington, DC)  Whether it’s that package you ordered containing your 2022 calendars, or the birthday card that took three weeks to arrive, Mainers are reporting widespread delays and disruptions in mail delivery.   Senator Susan Collins has written to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, asking him to explain the cause of mail delays in Maine.  Collins pointed out the pandemic has necessitated timely mail service, not only as a way to combat isolation, but also as a conduit for such things as prescription medication and other vital goods.

Election Safeguard Bill Introduced

(Augusta)  A bill to safeguard Maine’s elections against ballot and voting equipment interference came before the Maine Legislature yesterday.  The measure, proposed by Democratic Representative Teresa Pierce of Falmouth, aims to prevent inequities such as occurred in Arizona after the 2020 election, when voting machines and ballots were turned over to unauthorized individuals with partisan agendas.  Pierce said Maine’s elections are well run by top-notch elections officials, but that the measure was a pre-emptive move, showing the state is doing everything possible to protect the votes of Maine’s electorate.

Bellows, Luchini Bill to Increase Access to Voting

(Augusta)  The 2020 election debacle that still has some crying “election fraud” has prompted a flurry of proposed legislation on voter protection laws.  Democratic Senator Louis Luchini of Ellsworth and Secretary of State Shenna Bellows are proposing several changes to Maine’s election laws to increase access to voting and streamline the process.  Among other things, the bill addresses proof of identity for tribal members, the right to vote for residents of nursing homes and other care facilities.

Health

LePage Floats Vaccine Mandate for Welfare Recipients

(Augusta)  In spite of speaking out against the state’s requirement for healthcare workers, former Governor Paul LePage is floating a vaccine mandate for Mainers who receive welfare benefits.  The Bangor Daily News reports LePage made the remarks this week, saying the proposal would encompass individuals receiving benefits from MaineCare, unemployment recipients, and other programs designed to assist people who are struggling.

Northern Light Health Shifts Five Hospitals to Contingency Staffing

(Bangor)  The number of staff out of work due to COVID-19 at Northern Light Health has reached a new high, prompting the healthcare facility to institute contingency staffing at five of its hospitals.  With a total of 605 employees out Wednesday, Northern Light Maine Coast and four other hospitals in the system will follow emergency protocol.  The quarantine period for infected workers will be five days, with a negative test required if asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic with improving conditions.  The next tier would be crisis staffing, which would allow infected workers to stay on the job as a last resort.

Environment

Residents Complain of Company’s Stench

(Ellsworth)  A composting business on Industrial Road in Ellsworth is making a stink.  Neighbors, including Kevin Wallace, who owns Wallace Moving & Storage across the road from Maine Organics, complained to City Council this week that the smell was killing his business.  Wallace said the smell is not constant, but frequent and often “horrible”, clinging to clothes, vehicles, and furniture.  Council Chair Dale Hamilton said the city would look into local laws  to see if there might be ways to address the issue.

(Ellsworth)  The smell reportedly attracts rats and seagulls that spread their poop everywhere.  Area business owners say it permeates clothing, furniture, and vehicles, and is reportedly causing nearby businesses to LOSE business.  Ellsworth City Council this week fielded complaints against Maine Organics, a composting business on Industrial Road.  Ted Williams, who owns neighboring Williams Irrigation told Council his bookkeeper stops in to get financial records but refuses to work at the office because of the smell.  Maine Organics says it’s working to mitigate the problem.  Council Chair Dale Hamilton said the city would look into local laws to see about ways to address the issue.

Glass Recycling

(New England)  You recycle plastic, cardboard and paper – but what to do with those non-returnable glass containers?  The Northeast Recycling Council has introduced Model Legislation intended as a starting point for legislation that would require the use of glass that has been processed to remove contaminants and is furnace ready for products sold in their state.  Among backers of the legislation is Anheuser-Busch, which has committed to having 100% of its packaging made from majority recycled content or be returnable by 2025.

Infrastructure

Portland International Jetport to Close for Renovations

(Portland) Portland International Jetport will close from April 18th through June 13th for renovation of the main runway and other areas.  During the closure, the airport will use a secondary north-south runway.

CMP Settlement

(Bangor)  Central Maine Power faced backlash last February when it told small solar operators it would cost far more than expected to connect projects to the grid.  This week, the company filed an offer with state regulators proposing a $700,000 settlement over two years. The settlement aims to appease developers of 18 solar projects whom CMP told it had underestimated the cost of infrastructure upgrades needed to connect to the grid by millions of dollars, and that they would have to pay more. The Bangor Daily News reports the utility quickly backed down when Governor Janet Mills called for an investigation.

Human Interest/Entertainment

Westbrook Ice Disk is Back

(AP/Westbrook)  Maine’s rotating ice disk has begun to form again in the Presumpscot River, three years after its famous first appearance in 2019. Westbrook city officials shared photos Wednesday on Facebook.   Ice disks form as a result of a collection of a current and vortex underneath the ice.  They begin to spin and then shape into symmetrical circles. But ice disks this large rarely form in locations like Westbrook. A 100-yard-wide formation appeared in the river three years ago and brought international attention to Westbrook before it dissipated with the advent of warmer weather.

Sports 

Celtics   119         Pacers  100    Celtics in Philadelphia Friday to take on the 76ers.

Bruins    5       Canadiens  1      Bruins face the Philadelphia Flyers tonight in Boston.