Archive for April, 2017

Boothbay Harbor man suggests rewriting Southport’s ‘dry town’ bylaw

April 26th, 2017

Marijuana caregiver consultant Darrell Gudroe of Boothbay Harbor voiced his concerns to Southport selectmen April 19, over the wording of the bylaw town meeting voters passed last month making Southport a “dry town” regarding retail marijuana.

The bylaw addition reads: “There shall be no commercial sale, retail production, retail establishments or marijuana social clubs within the confines of Southport, Maine. This is no way inhibits the personal use of marijuana as allowed by law.”

Gudroe asked if the rule was also meant to apply to caregivers.

“No, just commercial growing and selling. For anything medical, nothing changes,” Selectman Smith Climo responded.

Gudroe stated it does ban caregivers due to its ambiguity. He offered to draft new wording. According to Gudroe, under current Maine law, a medically licensed caregiver can open up a storefront out of their home, serving five patients at any one time. For each patient, a caregiver is allowed six flowering marijuana plants.

Selectman Gerry Gamage said the board would be more than willing to listen to Gudroe’s recommendations, but “if you have different verbiage, we would need to amend at a town meeting with the voters.”

Climo reiterated that he never wanted a new bylaw to impact the medical aspect of marijuana.

“We didn’t want smoking parlors or a storefront,” Climo said. “In people’s own houses if they want to grow, or smoke, bless them.”

Gudroe offered to draft a proposal and bring it to a future meeting. The selectmen thanked him for coming and voicing his concerns, and said they looked forward to seeing

Article source:

Lewiston fire started in marijuana growing room, officials say

April 26th, 2017

A fire that destroyed an apartment building in Lewiston Tuesday morning started in a marijuana growing room, investigators said.

The fire was reported at a three-unit building at 3 Vale Street at 9 a.m.

The grow room was legal, according to a Lewiston Fire Department shift commander, as the tenant has a medical marijuana card.

The American Red Cross is helping the three families.

Six people were displaced.

One tenant lost all of his belongings in a fire two years ago.

Article source:

Augusta officer fired without warning at knife-wielding patient, judge says

April 26th, 2017

An Augusta police officer only shouted “hey” three times before shooting without warning and injuring a knife-wielding psychiatric patient.

That’s according to a federal judge’s ruling that allows a civil lawsuit alleging an excessive use of force to move forward against the Augusta officer, Laura Drouin, who fired a trio of shots at Riverview Psychiatric Center outpatient Jason Begin during a confrontation in January 2015. Begin had become angry after being told he would be recommitted to the state psychiatric hospital after being allowed to live in a supervised home in the community, and began slicing his arms with a knife during a meeting with an outpatient team.

Firefighters and police escort Jason Begin after he was shot by an Augusta police officer on Jan. 12, 2015, following a confrontation at an office at the former MaineGeneral Medical Center building in Augusta.Firefighters and police escort Jason Begin after he was shot by an Augusta police officer on Jan. 12, 2015, following a confrontation at an office at the former MaineGeneral Medical Center building in Augusta.

The ruling in the case was issued by U.S. Magistrate Judge John Nivison in U.S. District Court in Bangor, and while it removes the city as a defendant, the claims will move forward against Drouin.

What exactly happened before Drouin fired at Begin will be the focus of the court case. Begin filed the suit against Drouin and the city in February 2016, saying his civil rights were

Article source:

Skowhegan public hearing on banning pot sales turns into blustery debate on town streets

April 25th, 2017

SKOWHEGAN — A public hearing was held Tuesday night by selectmen on a proposed ordinance that would ban marijuana retail sales, but the prickly issue of one-way streets between North Avenue and Madison Avenue in Skowhegan took over the discussion when it was over.

Opponents of the plan making Gem and Cowette streets one way and changes to other streets made their voices heard after no one showed up to discuss the marijuana ban.

Selectmen agreed to take the marijuana issues to Town Meeting. They also agreed 5-0 to give Road Commissioner Greg Dore flexibility on what to do with the streets and to hold a public hearing on the matter.

The public hearing to discuss traffic changes on Gem, Cowette, West and Cleveland streets, along with Madison and North avenues, was scheduled for 5:30 p.m. May 23 at the Municipal Building.

On the marijuana issue, selectmen agreed in January to move forward with a local ordinance that would prohibit all types of retail marijuana establishments and retail social clubs under the state’s municipal home rule authority.

The next step was Tuesday’s public hearing leading up to a vote of the people of Skowhegan in June at Town Meeting, when voters will have their say if they want to have retail marijuana shops or social clubs in Skowhegan.

If voters say they want retail marijuana in town, then they will be asked to approve a moratorium so town officials can have time to get the language of the guidelines in place.

Otherwise, if

Article source:

Portland mayor decries 4/20 free marijuana giveaway

April 25th, 2017

PORTLAND, Maine — The mayor of Portland said he’s disappointed by a free pot giveaway in Monument Square that drew a long line of people and a cloud of smoke.

Under state law and city ordinance, marijuana can’t be used in public, but the crowd enjoyed it anyway, uninterrupted.

“Well, we didn’t have a lot of complaints, but I don’t think we want our police department wasting a lot of resources on this,” Mayor Ethan Strimling said. “The war on drugs has never been successful.”

Strimling said he was disappointed by the event and believes it was irresponsible.

“If someone was out there handing out free shots of alcohol, I think people would have a similar reaction, saying this isn’t what we want to have happening in the middle of the city,” he said.

Crash Barry drew a crowd of about a hundred on Thursday afternoon, when he handed out free marijuana, along with copies of his new book “ Marijuana Valley.” It was a celebration he shared with a variety of people, from bartenders and homeless folks to lawyers and doctors.

“I’m giving everybody a present of a book and one gram of cannabis in celebration of Maine’s first, legal 4/20, which is kind of like Christmas, Easter, New Year’s and St. Patrick’s Day all rolled together for the cannabis community,” Barry said Thursday.

It’s the first “holiday” since Maine voted to legalize marijuana for recreational use in November, allowings adults age 21 and older to possess up to 2.5 ounces. Retail sales won’t start until

Article source:

Bill would force Maine-based PACs to shed light on secretive contributors

April 25th, 2017

The Maine Legislature could force shadowy groups bankrolling Maine political campaigns to reveal their top donors.

Lawmakers are reviewing a bill from the Maine Ethics Commission that would require organizations contributing more than $100,000 to Maine-based political action committees, party committees and ballot campaigns to report their top five funders.

The proposal would have affected 13 organizations that donated a combined $14 million to Maine-based PACs in the last election.

Among those groups is the Alliance for Healthy Marijuana, a nonprofit that gave more than $200,000 to oppose last year’s marijuana legalization referendum. Other than its address in an office park in Alexandria, Virginia, little is known about the group.

Similarly, it took a review of IRS records to find out who was behind the New Approach PAC, the group that gave over $2 million to the pro-legalization campaign. Among the donors, tax documents show, was a man who made his fortune selling auto insurance to high-risk drivers; another who inherited his wealth from his father, who had cashed in on scented soap; and another who launched a catalog that sells sex toys.

“Our bill is intended to give members of the public a fighting chance to understand who these out-of-state groups are,” says Ethics Commission Assistant Director Paul Lavin.

The Maine Ethics Commission oversees and enforces the state’s campaign finance laws. Its proposal, endorsed by the commission’s five-member board, would do something few state or federal campaign finance laws do: shed light on a growing number of pop-up nonprofits, limited liability companies and other organizations

Article source:

Story of wandering pygmy goats in Belfast goes viral

April 25th, 2017

The story of two pygmy goats that got lost in Belfast before ending up in a police cruiser went viral Sunday, with more than 1,475 people sharing the police department’s Facebook post on the meandering goats and 173 offering comments by Sunday night.

“Who is going to clean the car?” one woman asked. Another said, “Hope the kids get home soon.”

Sgt. Daniel Fitzpatrick of the Belfast Police Department found the goats in a woman's garage snacking on cat food. They were first spotted on High Street near the parking lot for the rail trail.Sgt. Daniel Fitzpatrick of the Belfast Police Department found the goats in a woman's garage snacking on cat food. They were first spotted on High Street near the parking lot for the rail trail.

A moose is seen Moose on the Veterans Memorial Bridge in Belfast last week.A moose is seen Moose on the Veterans Memorial Bridge in Belfast last week.

Belfast police also got in on the fun both before and after Louis and Mowgli’s owners were located Sunday afternoon.

“Louis and Mowgli enjoyed their day trip with Sgt. (Daniel) Fitzpatrick, but alas, all good things come to an end. Perhaps in the next budget year we can inquire as to getting some patrol goats,” police wrote on Facebook.

The tale of Louis and Mowgli – Mowgli is the name of the protagonist of Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book” stories – began around 9:45 a.m. Sunday, when the goats were

Article source:

Waterville man accused in stabbing is indicted in alleged drug rip-off

April 24th, 2017

A Waterville man accused of stabbing another man in what a prosecutor describes as an alleged a drug rip-off has been indicted on charges of elevated aggravated assault, robbery and violating a condition of release.

Kevin M. Coutu, 25, is accused of stabbing a man with a knife Jan. 24 in Waterville.

Kevin CoutuKevin Coutu

Coutu arranged a meeting to buy drugs from the other man and produced a knife, stabbing the man once in the neck and twice in the stomach, according to Assistant District Attorney Tyler LeClair.

The victim was in a vehicle and drove away from the scene, reportedly running over Coutu’s legs, on his way the hospital.

An affidavit from Waterville police Detective David Caron says Coutu told police he was buying marijuana from the victim near Silver Place and when Coutu handed over his $15 for the marijuana, the vehicle started to drive off.

Caron said he found a folding knife with its blade extended on the floor of the vehicle the victim had been driving.

Coutu was indicted on a robbery charge in the same incident for allegedly committing or attempting to commit theft from a woman who was in the victim’s vehicle.

An indictment is not a determination of guilt, but it indicates that there is enough evidence to proceed with formal charges and a trial.

Coutu’s was one of many indictments handed up Thursday last week by a grand jury in Kennebec County.

Other indictments included:

• Todd Collins, 31, of Augusta, unlawful possession

Article source:

Rockland City Manager’s Report

April 24th, 2017

ROCKLAND – In recent days, the Fire/EMS department welcomed a new EMT and promoted a firefighter. Plans are in the works for Habitat for Humanity projects in the south end. Comparison surplus funds balances were requested. Katie Drago started as a new library employee. The Public Services Department started planning for MDOT rail repairs. A medical marijuana forum will take place in Rockport, and ten building permits were issued.

Read the entire Rockland City Manager’s Report below.


 As requested by Cr Geiger, the Council’s auditor provided the following municipalities for comparison for surplus funds balances:

o Belfast 2016 – $2,068,254 (10.15%)

o Belfast 2015 – $1,832,778 (9.16%)

o Ellsworth 2016 – $3,158,815 (13.94%)

o Ellsworth 2015 – $1,622,311 (7.22%)

o Wiscasset 2015 (2016 not reported) – $1,181,509 (6.9%)

 I met with Tia Anderson from Habitat for Humanity to discuss the large number of projects they have planned for Rockland. There are a number of properties they will be building new homes on in the South End over the summer (on Fulton Street and Carroll’s Lane) before moving on to 17 Warren Street in the North End which will be worked on this fall. Habitat has a group of AmeriCorps volunteers who will be making improvements to the outside of 17 Warren Street (including installing new siding, windows and front entryway) within the next few months before moving on the South End properties. This should help improve the impact this building is having on the surrounding neighborhood.

 The

Article source:

Kennebec Courts April 13-19, 2017

April 24th, 2017

AUGUSTA — Here is a list of cases closed April 13-19, 2017, in courts in Augusta and Waterville.

Vadim P. Albert, 21, of Gardiner, operating under the influence Oct. 28, 2016, in Hallowell; $500 fine, 96-hour jail sentence, 150-day license suspension.

Stephen L. Arsenault, 45, of Augusta, operating under the influence Oct. 29, 2016, in Hallowell; $500 fine.

Joseph Baldinelli, 35, of Skowhegan, failure to register vehicle March 3, 2017, in Winslow; $100 fine.

Dean R. Barber Jr., 24 of Milton, New Hampshire, criminal mischief April 16, 2017, in Winslow; $200 fine, $53.44 restitution.

Dyan Belomizi, 36, of Norridgewock, operating while license suspended or revoked March 10, 2017, in Oakland; dismissed.

Patricia B. Bolduc, 55, of Wales, operating under the influence Sept. 28, 2016, in Winthrop, $650 fine, 150-day license suspension.

Kim Bolduc-Bartlett, 53, of South China, passing stopped school bus March 17, 2017, in Oakland; $250 fine.

Nolan G. Brann, 28, of Augusta, displaying fictitious vehicle certificate Nov. 2, 2016, in Winthrop; $150 fine.

Joshua D. Berard, 36, of Fairfield, operating under the influence March 1, 2017, in Waterville; $500 fine, 150-day license suspension.

Sulaika Berrios-Santana, 30, of Waterville, operating vehicle without a license Feb. 20, 2017, in Waterville; $100 fine.

Nathaniel A. Brewer, 19, of Harpswell, failure to register vehicle Dec. 15, 2016, in Windsor; $100 fine.

Jeffrey Charette, 48, of Winslow, violating condition of release May 19, 2016; 24-hour jail sentence. Unlawful possession of scheduled drug and violating condition of release, same date and place, dismissed.

Todd R. Collins, 30, of Chelsea, violating condition of release April

Article source: