Archive for February, 2016

Kennebec Journal Feb. 27 police log

February 27th, 2016


Friday at 8:41 a.m., disorderly conduct was reported on Water Street.

8:49 a.m., suspicious activity was reported at the intersection of State and Union streets.

9:26 a.m., a suspicious vehicle was reported on Western Avenue.

10:29 a.m., disorderly conduct was reported on North Belfast Avenue.

11:30 a.m., criminal trespassing was reported on Green Street.

12:17 p.m., a disturbance was reported on Water Street.

3:34 p.m., criminal trespassing was reported on Hospital Street.

3:53 p.m., disorderly conduct was reported on Stone Street.

4:20 p.m., suspicious activity was reported on Meadowrue Drive.

5:14 p.m., a 32-year-old Augusta man was summoned on a charge of possession of marijuana on Elm Street.

5:49 p.m., a past burglary was reported on North Belfast Avenue.

9:30 p.m., a New York woman was summoned on charges of assault and refusing to sign a uniform summons at Ninety Nine Restaurant Pub on Civic Center Drive. Police said the woman became unruly after she was refused alcohol and spit on the manager after she was asked to leave.

10:04 p.m., disorderly conduct was reported on Water Street.

11:02 p.m., police responding to a report of underage drinking at the Comfort Inn hotel summoned two juvenile females on charges of possession by consumption of alcohol by a juvenile, a 20-year-old man on a charge of possession by consumption of alcohol by a minor, and a 21-year-old man with providing a place for juveniles to consume alcohol.

11:28 p.m., a disturbance was reported on Bond Brook Road.

Saturday at 3:11 a.m., a disturbance was reported on Cedar Street.

1:30 p.m., a man was reported taking his

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Community calls for more action on addiction

February 27th, 2016

Rockport — Youth consumption rates of marijuana, cocaine and tobacco products are higher in the Midcoast than the state average. The rate of prescription drug misuse among adults in the region was the second-highest across public health districts. And more than 10 percent of those ages 18 to 25 misused prescription pain relievers between 2010 and 2012, says the Maine Department of Health and Human Services in a 2015 report on an area that includes Knox, Lincoln and Waldo counties.

Stopping addiction before it starts

A Jan. 2 opinion piece by Liz Blackwell-Moore in the Portland Press Herald said, “Preventing addiction before it happens is the best way to end this current opiate crisis.”

Locally, the Knox County Community Health Coalition, headed by Director Connie Putnam, is the agency charged with prevention. Funded by the Maine Tobacco Settlement, KCCHC works to decrease tobacco use, develop a public health structure and decrease substance abuse among young people up to age 25.

“The biggest bang we get for prevention dollars is with youth,” Putnam said. “For every dollar we spend with prevention, we get about $7 back.”

Her agency focuses on educating young people about the effects of alcohol and tobacco use, as well as prescription medications and street drugs like heroin and cocaine. It got a planning grant last May from the Maine Health Advocacy Foundation, or MeHAF, to develop a plan for substance abuse prevention; the plan is to be presented to MeHAF by October.

Putnam said the substances of choice for youth are, in

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The Phoenix Potpourri: Clinton opens offices in Maine; James Beard semifinalists announced; tragedy on the …

February 27th, 2016

In the same week that Hillary Clinton won the Nevada caucus by a narrow margin, 52 percent for Clinton to 47 percent for Democratic rival Bernie Sanders, the Clinton campaign opened a string of organizing offices in Maine.

Hillary for Maine opened four regional organizing offices in Portland, Bangor, Lewiston and Augusta, “building on a grassroots organization that has already activated hundreds of volunteers across the state,” a press release reported. The offices are in place partly to underscore the “importance of caucusing for Hillary on March 6.”

The Hillary for Maine campaign opened Clinton’s Portland office on Thursday, Feb. 18 at 185 Lancaster St., Suite 221. On Sunday, Feb. 21, Cecile Richards, the President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, joined U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, for a Women for Hillary Launch at the new headquarters in Portland.

“Mainers need a president who can deliver results for families that make a real difference in their lives,” said Hillary for Maine state director Jake Hajdu in the press release. “Hillary Clinton understands that we don’t live in a single-issue country, and she is ready to tear down the barriers that families in Maine struggle with every day, whether that’s the rampant epidemic of opioid abuse or repeated attacks on women’s access to health care. That’s why hundreds of volunteers throughout Maine have already gotten involved with her grassroots campaign — because they know she is the only candidate who will deliver real progress for them.”

The public can visit to find

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Riverview outpatient who was shot sues Augusta, police officer

February 25th, 2016

A Riverview Psychiatric Center outpatient shot three times by an Augusta police officer on Jan. 12, 2015, in an effort to stop him from stabbing himself and threatening others, is now suing that officer and the city of Augusta, seeking $2.5 million in damages.

The civil lawsuit by Jason Begin, 37, who is now back in the state’s psychiatric hospital in Augusta, says his civil rights were violated when he was shot and that he did not give Augusta police Officer Laura Drouin permission to shoot him.

Firefighters and police escort Jason Begin who was shot by Augusta Police Officer Laura Drouin in January 2015 following a confrontation at an office at the former MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta.Firefighters and police escort Jason Begin who was shot by Augusta Police Officer Laura Drouin in January 2015 following a confrontation at an office at the former MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta.


The complaint, filed Feb. 16 in U.S. District Court in Bangor by attorneys Bradford Pattershall and Matthew Bowe, says Drouin was acting in her capacity as a law enforcement officer for the city at the time.

Last month, the state attorney general ruled that Drouin was defending her life and others’ lives when she shot Begin, who was angry at the prospect of returning to the hospital after he had been allowed to live in the community.

And on Thursday, attorney Edward Benjamin Jr., who represents both Drouin and

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Arris succeeds Edmonds as Freeport library director

February 24th, 2016
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FREEPORT — The Town Council on Tuesday night approved the appointment of Arlene Arris as director of the Freeport Community Library.

The vote was 6-0. Councilor Leland Arris abstained because Arlene Arris is his sister-in-law.

Councilors on Feb. 23 also discussed zoning requirements for providers of medical marijuana and whether there should be limits on where dispensaries, growing facilities and opiate addiction treatment facilities can be located.

Arlene Arris, who has worked at the library for 18 years, replaces Beth Edmonds, who retired earlier this month. Arris has spent most of her time as the director’s assistant and also worked for the town in other capacities before starting at the library.

“I love my job and have loved working with the directors,” Arris said. “I feel like I’ve been preparing for this for a while.”

Town Manager Peter Joseph said the town did an internal search for a new library director and Arris was chosen after being interviewed by a panel of town employees.

“She’s very well known,” Joseph said. “There’s a lot of community support and support from her employees.”

Arris said the library staff works well as a team and she’s excited to be overseeing them and library operations.

“I’m looking forward to steering the staff,” she said. “It’s kind of fun to know they’ll come to me, and Beth has given me the confidence to know I can give the best answers.”

Arris said Edmonds taught her a lot about running a library.

“Beth has been such a mentor,” Arris

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Inside the life and fall of a young Maine man addicted to heroin

February 24th, 2016

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What needs to change to increase the chance people with a substance use disorder will survive — and go on to thrive?

Click or touch here to share your thoughtful comments.

First published February 24, 2016. © BDN Maine

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Waterville hearing on medical marijuana businesses spurs heated discussion

February 24th, 2016

WATERVILLE — The wording of a draft ordinance governing medical marijuana-related operations evoked confusion and heated discussion at a public hearing Monday, as the Planning Board tried to gather input on where the businesses should be allowed and what restrictions there should be.

Some members of the public at Monday’s hearing had issues with a proposed draft ordinance that they said is too restrictive on businesses that are allowed by law. City officials said the proposal was based on the city’s “adult business” ordinance.


The City Council at its Feb. 16 meeting voted 6-0 to adopt a 180-day moratorium on considering applications or permits for medical marijuana-related businesses in the city. Councilors also voted to refer to the Planning Board a request to develop recommendations for places where medical marijuana-related businesses should be and what restrictions should be associated with them.

Monday’s public hearing was the first step in the board’s process to draft recommendations.

City Planner Ann Beverage has propoposed an ordinance draft that includes requirements that medical marijuana-related businesses be at least 250 feet away from a school or place of worship, as well as 250 feet from any residential district. The business must also be at least 1,000 feet from any other medical marijuana-related business. Businesses may not be located with other businesses, they must have no medical marijuana products visible from the exterior of the property and be restricted to operate between 7 a.m. and 9

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Study shows most teens not drinking, using drugs

February 23rd, 2016

Posted Feb. 23, 2016 at 3:01 PM
Updated at 4:07 PM

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Ellsworth Police Log: Police respond to unattended deaths

February 23rd, 2016

ELLSWORTH — Police responded to two unattended deaths last week.

On Feb. 19, just after 7 a.m., police were called to a Foster Street address by EMTs with County Ambulance, who reported a 27-year-old woman was dead.

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Lt. Harold Page said the woman’s death “appears to be drug-related,” and that her death is now under investigation by the Medical Examiner’s Office in Augusta. It will likely take weeks until the results of that investigation are released.

On Feb. 20, police received a report of an “unresponsive 57-year-old” Ellsworth man at a Main Street address. The man died at the scene. Page said

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Waterville fleshing out marijuana dispensary regulations

February 23rd, 2016

Waterville’s planning board will host a public hearing Monday evening to discuss appropriate sites for and possible restrictions on medical marijuana-related businesses, the Kennebec Journal reported.

Medical marijuana continues to be a growing industry for the state, as the Maine Revenue Service reports that in 2015 the $23.6 million in sales at dispensaries generated $1.29 million in sales tax.

This $23.6 million in sales is up 46% compared to 2014, when dispensaries sold $16.2 million worth of medical marijuana and related products, generating more than $892,000 in tax revenues for the state.

Maine is currently part of the 34-state majority allowing some form of medical cannabis after legalizing medical use in 1999, with the first dispensaries opening in 2011.

In Waterville, city councilors recently voted to ask the planning board to recommend appropriate places for medical marijuana dispensaries, storage sites and other related operations, as well as restrictions for those businesses, although the city hasn’t received requests from people wanting to open such operations.

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