Archive for December, 2016

Maine marijuana debate continues to heat up

December 29th, 2016

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A look back at 2016 – Courier

December 29th, 2016

The biggest news story of 2016 on the national stage was the election of Republican Donald Trump as president.

Here in Knox County, the fatal tractor-trailer crash that killed two in Washington in March was probably the biggest single news story of the year, while week-to-week headlines for the first half of 2016 were dominated by controversy in Rockland’s City Hall.

The second half of the year, locally, statewide and nationally was dominated by news of the November election.

We have compiled some of the highlights and some of the moments touched by tragedy that made up the year that was 2016.

Wearing uniforms and military hats, ribbons and medals and, in some cases, decorated leather jackets or vests, veterans attended and participated in a moving tribute Saturday, May 28, at Montpelier as the annual “Boots on the Ground” Memorial Day weekend event focused on Vietnam and honored all who serve. The event was part of a five-day visit of The Moving Wall, a memorial that displays the names of 58,228 Americans who lost their lives in Vietnam, including 13 from Knox County, six from Waldo County and eight from Lincoln County. The wall was visited by many local residents and those traveling to the area during its stay, as well as students from area schools.

Pennie Alley was the winner of the first Courier Publications Golden Weather Vane Award, given in recognition of volunteerism, community spirit and inspiration to others. She

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Top story of 2016 in Maine: Legalized marijuana

December 28th, 2016

Maine town to consider pot moratorium after vote to legalize – Bryan

December 28th, 2016

Posted: Tuesday, December 27, 2016 2:48 am

Updated: 3:15 am, Tue Dec 27, 2016.

Maine town to consider pot moratorium after vote to legalize

Associated Press |


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Top story of 2016 in Maine: Legalized marijuana

December 27th, 2016

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) – A hard-fought battle to legalize marijuana for recreational use in Maine was part of a crowded referendum ballot that included an election overhaul, a gun control proposal and a minimum wage increase.

Maine and Massachusetts became the first states on the East Coast to legalize marijuana on Election Day. Maine’s law allows residents to legally grow marijuana and smoke it as soon as early 2017, but legislative tweaks will be necessary for the sale and taxation of marijuana.

Also approved were proposals for ranked-choice voting for statewide elections, a minimum wage increase and a tax increase for high-income earners for education.

The high-profile referendums were voted the top story of 2016 in Maine by The Associated Press and its member organizations.

The No. 2 story was the continuing epidemic of heroin and fentanyl abuse that has led to an average of an overdose death a day, and a record for deaths.

President Barack Obama’s creation of a new national monument was voted the No. 3 story. The donation of 87,000 acres to the National Park Service fulfilled a dream of the land owner, Burt’s Bees co-founder Roxanne Quimby.

The No. 4 story was a presidential election that revealed a divide in Maine, which split its electoral votes for the first time. The 2nd Congressional District voted for Republican President-elect Donald Trump, while the 1st Congressional District voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Rounding out the Top 10:


5. IMPEACHMENT ATTEMPT: Republican Gov. Paul LePage survived an impeachment attempt after coming under fire for

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Search continues for missing college student

December 27th, 2016

ORONO, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — The search continued for a missing student from Maine Maritime Academy on Monday. Maine Game Wardens have set up a command center in the search for David Breunig.

On Monday, a team of roughly 60 people searched for Breunig, including the Maine Association of Search And Rescue and State Police — both with K-9 teams.

A Marine Patrol aircraft and a helicopter from the Department of Conservation were also dispatched.

Lieutenant Dan Scott from the Maine Warden Service said they were focusing on all of the remote wooded areas, as well as the Stillwater and Penobscot Rivers.

Lieutenant Scott said they are asking people to keep an eye out.

“You can check your own backyard, check your out buildings check your sheds, check your dumpsters, look around and see if there’s somebody unresponsive in the area, but as far as the remote areas we need to search, we have enough persons at this time, and really the help from the community is just if you see anything out of the ordinary to call Orono Police Department,” said Lieutenant Scott.

David Breunig of Westbrook has been missing since last Friday. Breunig is a 21-year old student at the Maine Maritime Academy.

He was last seen Friday at 11:30 p.m. leaving a residence in the Crosby Street neighborhood in Orono and has not been heard from since.

The Orono Police department, Maine Game Wardens and Down East Emergency Medical Institute

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Belfast advances marijuana moratorium

December 26th, 2016

Maine voters approved the recreational use of marijuana in November, opening the door to marijuana social clubs and other retail businesses. But in Belfast, those developments are probably more than a year away.

The City Council on Dec. 20 approved a first reading of a six-month moratorium on recreational marijuana establishments. City Planner Wayne Marshall said 28 other municipalities in the state have done the same.

The moratorium would, in effect, pause the action, giving city officials time to sort out potential complications of the new law. In recent years, a number of municipalities in Waldo County used moratoriums related to wind energy, either because a developer had already applied to erect commercial wind turbines, or town officials recognized that they didn’t have rules in place if that did happen.

Many of those towns went on to pass ordinances that specifically addressed wind energy development. With recreational marijuana, municipalities could eventually regulate retail businesses that sell and cultivate marijuana and social clubs where, like a bar or restaurant, the drug is consumed on site.

Marshall stressed that passing a moratorium should not been seen as a statement about the legalization of marijuana, but as a way to properly prepare for the change.

He noted that the state Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry has up to nine months to make its own regulations for retail sale, cultivation and social clubs. The city’s moratorium would end well before then and Marshall advised that the Council would probably want to extend it another six months at that

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Visions of legal made-in-Maine pot brownies dance in their heads

December 26th, 2016

PORTLAND, Maine — At least in the minds of profit-hungry Maine entrepreneurs, the marijuana-spiked buns are already in the oven.

Maine voted in November to legalize recreational marijuana, but that law has not yet taken effect. And Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, who is President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general, has strongly criticized the Obama administration for not strictly enforcing federal marijuana laws in states that have decriminalized the drug.

So, Mainers planning to cash in on pot’s legalization by infusing food with cannabis fret their dreams may go up in smoke. But even as they fret, they are pushing toward production of made-in-Maine pot goodies.

“It is a total blank canvas,” D. Michael Brooks, a Freeport tech executive exploring the world of cannabis-infused edibles, said. “We have a palette full of colors, and it’s my job to fill it.”

By the end of 2017, Brooks, a former medical marijuana caregiver in California, intends to launch a company called The Stockholm Group, named for Portland’s similarity to the Swedish capital. Both are historic, coastal, food-friendly cities.

He is looking for space in Greater Portland to manufacture and sell pot-powered nutrition sports bars and open a boutique or social club.

A former caterer, Brooks has studied the edibles market and sees an opportunity for a “luxury, upscale sophisticated product” handcrafted in Maine.

Meanwhile, two farmers in Jay are developing a marijuana-infused maple sugar that will be sold in low-dose packets. The owners

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Lewiston Police: Officer stabbed 5 times by local man

December 26th, 2016

Police: Man stabbed officer 5 times

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Amber Alert canceled, missing 3-year-old Lenore found safe

December 25th, 2016

AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — A 3-year-old girl last seen Tuesday in a home on Sewall Street in Augusta was found safe approximately 10 hours later, authorities say.

She was returned by one man who carried her into the police department – he was NOT China or Dollar, the two people who police believed Lenore was with.

Augusta police are hoping China and Dollar will return and help fill in some of the blanks. 

Maine State Police say they have identified the man who brought her in, but they will not release his name until Wednesday.  We do know he is an acquaintance of  Lenny’s family.

Three-year-old Lenore Wilson, who goes by Lenny, was missing since around 7 a.m. Tuesday morning, when crews responded to a medical emergency at her home on Sewall Street in Augusta. Police say Lenny was not at the apartment where she was supposed to be.  

NEWS CENTER will continue to follow this story – We could know more Wednesday afternoon. 


UPDATE* 10/4 11p – Lenore Wilson has been safely returned to the Augusta Police Department, and went home with family members.

She was brought by one man who carried her in – he was NOT China or Dollar, the two people who police believed Lenore was with.

Lenore’s grandmother and aunt were in the Augusta Police Department when the

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