<![CDATA[NECN - ]]>Copyright 2018https://www.necn.com/feature/mainehttp://media.necn.com/designimages/clear.gifNECNhttps://www.necn.comen-usTue, 19 Jun 2018 08:18:44 -0400Tue, 19 Jun 2018 08:18:44 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations<![CDATA[China Tariffs Not Good News for Maine's Lobster Industry]]>Tue, 19 Jun 2018 08:10:00 -0400https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/Lobsters_Included_in_Tariffs_From_China.jpg

In an escalating trade war with China, an American crustacean is caught in the cross hairs.

Lobster has landed on the list of American goods now facing a 25-percent tariff from the Chinese government.

"It's a very big deal for my company," said Stephanie Nadeau, the owner of the Lobster Company in Arundel, Maine. She said 70 percent of her lobster exports go to Asian markets. Now, she worries she can't compete with Canadian lobster.

"The Canadian lobsters look the same, act the same, but now cost 25-percent less," she said.

The new tariffs are retaliation against the United States for imposing a 25-percent tariff on certain Chinese goods.

"The tariffs are not great news for our industry," said Matt Jacobson, Executive Director of the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative. "China is a market we have invested in and we hope a solution can be found."

China has become an important export market for Maine lobster in the last decade. An emerging middle class in China can now afford the luxury item, and it has become a popular dish for the Chinese New Year celebrations every winter.

"What used to be a traditional slow time in Maine lobster business, January, February and March, is actually the busiest time of year in China," said Nadeau. "It has enabled me to employ more people on a year-round basis."

Nadeau said if Chinese customers buy less American lobster due to the new tariffs, there could be an excess of lobster supply. That would drive prices down, and jeopardize Maine jobs.

Maine's Congressional delegation saw this coming. Senators Collins and King, and Representatives Pingree and Poliquin held a summit with US Trade Representatives two weeks ago, and told them that they feared retaliatory tariffs from China would put Maine's lobster industry in a pinch.

In a statement, the Congressional delegation says it will reach out to the USTR again, outlining concerns with these latest Chinese tariffs. They go into effect July 6.

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<![CDATA[New Gruesome Details Come to Light in Maine Teen's Murder]]>Fri, 15 Jun 2018 15:03:07 -0400https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/Mikaela+Conley.jpg

New details are highlighting the gruesome death of a Maine teenager killed last week, allegedly at the hand of her former classmate.

According to an affidavit released Friday, obtained by WCSH-TV, 19-year-old Mikaela Conley died from blunt force trauma to the head and strangulation.

Police said Conley was reported missing from her home in Bar Harbor on May 31. She was found dead two days later near a Bar Harbor elementary school.

Investigators arrested and charged her former Mount Desert High School classmate, 21-year-old Jalique Keene, in her murder.

According to the affidavit, Keene was seen on a security camera dragging Conley's body across a school playground near the area where she was later found.

Conley and Keene once attended Mount Desert Island High School together, according to WCSH-TV.

Keene was denied bail when he made his first court appearance. He is being charged with murder in connection to Conley's death.

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<![CDATA[13 Places to Visit in Maine's Lakes Region]]>Mon, 18 Jun 2018 22:18:10 -0400https://media.necn.com/images/160*120/VW+2018+Maine+Frye+Island+photo.jpg

Heading to Maine this summer? Check out these great places in the state's Lakes Region:

  1. Sebago Lake State Park, Casco: More than a quarter of a million visitors each year can’t be wrong. Visit Sebago Lake State Park in Casco, Maine for a quintessential lake vacation. There’s 250 camp sites, places to picnic, 12 miles of hiking trails, and endless ways to get out on the water, including boating, swimming, fishing, and watching the historic Songo Locks. The park is open year-round, and camp sites fill up in the summer. Book your reservation in advance during peak season. Click here for more.
  2. Carousel Horse Farm, Casco: Beginner riders and expert equestrians alike will enjoy a horseback ride at the Carousel Horse Farm in Casco – Maine’s only full-time guided trail stable. A tour guide takes you along trails in the Jugtown forest and along the Crooked River. You can opt for a ice cream ride that stops at a shop in town. They also offer carriage rides, wagon services, and a sunset trail ride. Click here for more information.
  3. Snug Harbor Fishing Guide, Casco: Fishing can often be a solitary activity, but there’s nothing like getting a group together and going on a guided fishing tour, led by a local. Scott Bartlett operates the Snug Harbor Guide Service, and lives on Sebago Lake. He guarantees you’ll catch a fish, and learn a lot about the region. Snug Harbor offers everything from 4 to 8 hour tours, lighthouse and sightseeing excursions, off-shore and salt water trips, and shark fishing on his spacious Trophy boat. Click here for more.
  4. Frye Island/Cafe, Frye Island: Locals call it the hidden gem of Seabgo Lake for a reason. Only accessible by boat or ferry, Frye Island is home to several hundred summer residents and 12 beaches. Right at the dock is the Frye’s Leap Café, the island’s only restaurant and general store. Enjoy a meal and a drink, listen to music and play corn hole as Sebago’s busy boat traffic buzzes by. Ask a local to tell you about the legend of Captain John Frye, and show you where to cliff jump and replicate "Frye’s Leap." Click here for more information.
  5. Songo River Queen, Naples: Naples, Maine is the only place in New England to ride a replica of a Mississippi Paddle Wheeler. The Songo River Queen is docked at the Naples Causeway – and you can’t miss the giant 100-ton red and white ship. Take a narrated tour around Long Lake and learn the region’s history on the Songo River Queen this summer. It’s available for public tours, private charters, and special occasions. Click here for more.
  6. TP's Rad Jet Ski Rentals, Naples: A thrilling way to take in the beauty of Maine’s Lakes Region is a jet ski ride. Visit TP’s Rad Jet Ski Rental in Naples to start your excursion on Long Lake. The business on the Causeway also offers hydro and aqua bikes, Hobie water elipticals, power boats, jet boats and kayaks. Click here for more information.
  7. Bomb Diggity Cafe, Windham: On your way to Sebago Lake, stop at this Windham café for breakfast, brunch or lunch. The creative dishes use as many locally sourced ingredients as possible. Try the maple almond latte, made with real Maine maple syrup – or The Bog, a breakfast dish that comes with kale, sauerkraut, tomatoes and poached egg. The cinnamon rolls are the size of your face! And the menu includes vegan and gluten-free options. But what makes Bomb Diggity stand out is its staff. The café started as a way to employ people with intellectual disabilities. The inclusive kitchen helps adults of all abilities learn new skills in the kitchen! Click here for more.
  8. The Mosquito, Raymond: Every Maine summer should have a sample from The Mosquito – not the insect, the ice cream shop! Located in Raymond, Maine, The Mosquito serves 50 flavors daily. The family-owned business has become a staple in the lakes region, and offers ice cream made at Blake’s Creamery in Manchester, New Hampshire. Click here for more information.
  9. Bray's Brewing Company, Naples: What happens when an environmental chemist leaves the lab and starts a brewery? Bray’s Brewing Company. Owner Mike Bray opened his brew pub in Naples in 1995, at the start of Maine’s craft brewing scene. He specializes in drinkable IPAs and ales that are more malty than hoppy. Enjoy a brew at Gary’s Old Towne Tavern next door, or take your drink out back to the beer garden. Click here for more.
  10. Rick's Cafe, Naples: Visit this Casablanca-themed restaurant in Naples, Maine for a bite by the water. Rick’s Café has a large patio and upper deck across the causeway on Long Lake. Enjoy their famous nachos, comfort food, mixed drinks, and fresh sea food. There’s music and entertainment on the weekend. Rick’s is the entertainment center of Naples, located inside the historic Naples casino building. Click here for more information.
  11. Amtrack Downeaster, Old Orchard Beach: On the Amtrak Downeaster, planning your New England vacation has never been easier. The train makes five round-trips to Boston each day, and connects to some of the most desirable communities in Maine, like Portland and Freeport. Take the train to Old Orchard Beach, and you’re steps away from the sandy beach, pier, Palace Playland amusement park, and more. The new Discover Maine rail pass gives you 10 one-way trips on the Downeaster in one week, for just $19! Click here for more information.
  12. The Brunswick, Old Orchard Beach: The largest patio, and the only beachfront bar in Old Orchard Beach is the hot spot for tourists and locals alike. Enjoy pub food and a frozen drink after a day out in the sun, while listening to live music. There’s entertainment each night. The Brunswick is also a hotel. Visit their website to book a room and see the entertainment schedule. Click here for more.
  13. Sabbathday Shaker Village, New Gloucester: Visit the world’s only active Shaker Community at the Sabbathday Shaker Village in New Gloucester, Maine. At the height of this religious movement, there were thousands of members – but today, there are just two living members. Shakers are known for their furniture and hand-made crafts. Visit the store, go to the museum, or take a tour of the grounds to learn more about the Shaker history and culture. Click here for more.



Photo Credit: necn]]>
<![CDATA[Father, Son Seriously Burned in Gas-Fueled House Explosion]]>Fri, 15 Jun 2018 16:49:28 -0400https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/Waldoboro+PD+Maine+gas+explosion+house+fire.jpg

A father and son from Dracut, Massachusetts, suffered third-degree burns when a home they were repairing in Waldoboro, Maine exploded Thursday night.

Fire investigators said a house at 1038 Dutch Neck Rd. exploded and ignited around 8:30 p.m.

Sgt. Joel Davis from the Maine State Fire Marshal’s office said the burn victims, Robert Keefe, 59, and his son, Ryan Keefe, 29, are lucky to have survived.

"We are still amazed at that," said Davis.

Investigators believe a propane leak caused dangerous levels of gas to build up inside the home. The two men turned on a dryer in the basement, which caused the explosion that knocked the home off of its foundation. They escaped through a basement window.

"We’re pretty confident that the house was full of that gas, and when people arrived, through normal activity like turning on a light switch, something sparked," said Davis.

Only a smoldering foundation and scattered debris remain.

"It was huge, the whole house shook," said neighbor Barbara Brewer.

She said she heard two explosions, then saw the massive flames.

"It was a big conflagration, but it seemed mostly at ground level. I think the house blew apart," Brewer recalled.

The home belongs to Robin Pancygrau, of Chelmsforld, Massachusetts. She was not at the home at the time. It was her boyfriend and his son attempting to make repairs.

Davis said the victims were taken to Maine Medical Center where they are recovering.

Davis said this serves as a reminder to be extra cautious when opening a home that has been sitting empty. If there is a smell of rotten eggs or garbage, it may actually be a dangerous gas. The fire department should be called immediately.



Photo Credit: Waldoboro Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Coast Guard Cutter Returns After Seizing $209M in Cocaine]]>Fri, 15 Jun 2018 11:54:11 -0400https://media.necn.com/images/279*120/Cutter+Campbell+6153.jpg

A Coast Guard cutter returned to its homeport in Kittery, Maine, on Friday following a productive 80-day counter-narcotic patrol that resulted in the seizure of 12,000 pounds of cocaine worth $209 million, according to the Coast Guard.

The Campbell's crew disrupted six narcotic smuggling ventures and detained 24 suspected smugglers during its patrol in the known narcotic transit zones in the Eastern Pacific Ocean off the coast of Central and South America.

"During this challenging deployment, the crew excelled in all assigned missions and should be exceptionally proud of their accomplishments," said Cmdr. Mark McDonnell, commanding officer of the Campbell.

McDonnell noted that partnerships at other agencies and with other nations were key to the operations "as we work together to remove cocaine bound for the United States and help dismantle criminal networks."

Campbell's crew also rescued three sea turtles found entangled in loose fishing gear.

Campbell is a 29-year-old Famous-Class cutter with a crew complement of 100.

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<![CDATA[Maine School District to Remove Native American Imagery]]>Thu, 14 Jun 2018 18:46:02 -0400https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/Wells+Warriors.JPG

Schools in Wells, Maine, will be getting a makeover, removing all Native American imagery associated with their mascot, the warrior.

The school board accepted the recommendation of a special Mascot Advisory Committee to keep using the "Warriors" name, but to remove the Native American logo.

It comes after a Native American woman attended a Wells football game last fall and complained that the portrayal of her culture was offensive.

"Times have changed, and now they don't look at it like we're honoring them — it's an embarrassment," said committee chair Rick Coyne.

The superintendent said the Native American imagery will be removed from inside school buildings and outdoor athletic fields — a project that could take several months and cost around $10,000.

The decision comes with mixed emotions in the community. Some say it's a long-overdue overhaul, while others feel it erases important school history.

"We saw it as respectful [to Native Americans] and honoring an important part of history here," said Wells High School graduate Breanna Blake. "But I guess it has to change. Times have changed."

The committee listened to a panel of Native Americans from in and around the community, like Harry Tomah.

"Nobody really wants to be a mascot," he said. Tomah was a longtime teacher at Wells, and he still lives in town.

"Did they go out and ask people if they wanted to be a mascot? No," he said. "It was just always here."

Tomah feels keeping the name "warrior" while removing the Native American imagery strikes the right balance.

The Skowhegan School District is now the only school system in Maine still using a Native American mascot.



Photo Credit: necn]]>
<![CDATA[Couriers Deliver Ranked Voting Results to Maine's Capital]]>Thu, 14 Jun 2018 15:03:52 -0400https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/vote-here-in-maine.jpg

Couriers began delivering ballots to Maine's state capital on Thursday as residents await the results of the nation's biggest test of ranked-choice voting.

The courier service contracted to retrieve ballots for additional rounds of ranked-choice tabulations says the process is going smoothly.

Mike Israelson from General Courier said drivers had already stopped at about 80 communities by 9 a.m. Thursday. All told, courier drivers have to visit hundreds of towns, including some islands, to retrieve ballots.

Maine was the first state to employ the ranked-choice voting system in statewide primaries on Tuesday.

Additional rounds of tabulations are required in the Democratic gubernatorial primary and 2nd Congressional District race.

Once all of the ballots are in Augusta, state election officials will eliminate the last-place candidate, reallocate votes, and run more tabulations. The goal is to get a majority, consensus winner.

Vote counting will begin on Friday and continue next week.

Residents voted in Tuesday's primary to retain the voting system, nullifying a legislative delay and allowing it to be used in November's federal elections in Maine.

Republican businessman Shawn Moody was a majority winner. But no one came close to getting an outright majority to claim victory in the seven-candidate Democratic gubernatorial primary.



Photo Credit: Charles Krupa/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Teenage Boy Who Drowned at Maine State Park ID'd]]>Wed, 13 Jun 2018 20:50:42 -0400https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/Rayan+Issa.jpg

Parents and community members in Lewiston, Maine are asking for answers after a middle school student drowned during a school field trip Tuesday.

Police say 13-year-old Rayan Issa died at Range Pond State Park Tuesday afternoon.

Lewiston Superintendent Bill Webster said there were 113 middle school students on the field trip. According to a preliminary investigation, Issa could not swim. He was standing in the water, throwing a football with friends.

Webster said Issa stayed within the roped off designated swimming area, but went to the edge to retrieve the football. The water is between 6-10 feet deep in that area, according to state park spokesman John Bott.

Issa went under the water, and never resurfaced. Due to the murky condition of the pond, it took several minutes to find him.

"We need a lot of answers as to what happened," said Webster. "It should have never happened, and it certainly should never happen again."

Webster said there was one adult chaperone for every 10 students on the trip, and one lifeguard on duty.

"It wasn't enough in this case," said Webster.

The school district has hired law firm Brann & Isaacson to conduct an external review of the incident, and the Androscoggin County Sheriff's Department is investigating.


Multiple witnesses at the park said the adult supervisors did not seem to act quickly when students reported Issa missing.

"There were no screams, no panic, nothing," said Alexis Caron, who was at the park with family. "I thought they had lost, like, an earring. They were so nonchalant."

One mother, who did not want to be identified, said her son told her the teachers thought the kids were joking when they said Issa was missing.

"They had them look on the ground area at first," said the mother. "Why weren't the teachers in the water right away?"

Another witness, Shandra Bishop, arrived at the beach before the drowning and remarked to her family that the environment was so loud, "if someone drowned, we would never know."

Bishop said she only noticed a handful of adults at the beach, and never saw the lifeguard. She said she ran into about six students outside the bathroom, who said they were looking for a missing classmate.

"It was very calm," she said. "It was weird."

Webster said everything from staffing ratios to response time will be part of their investigation. For now, all water-related school activities have been cancelled. Grief counselors are available for students and staff, and a vigil will be held to remember Issa Wednesday evening.

"He was a really great kid," said classmate Collin Taylor. "He had a great personality, and he was a really close friend to everyone."

Taylor was at Range Pond when Issa died.

"All the kids witnessed it," said his mother, Jenny Taylor. "It's heartbreaking."


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<![CDATA[Alleged Shooter of Maine Sheriff's Deputy Pleads Not Guilty]]>Tue, 12 Jun 2018 18:29:20 -0400https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/Suspect_Pleads_Not_Guilty_in_Maine_Deputy_s_Death.jpg

The man accused of shooting and killing a sheriff's deputy in Norridgewock, Maine, in April has pleaded not guilty to murder.

John Williams was arraigned in a Portland courtroom Tuesday afternoon.

"I'm very confident in the state's case," said Assistant Attorney General Lisa Marchese. "I believe we will prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, and we will be asking for a life sentence."

On the day Williams was due in court in Massachusetts on firearm charges, police say Williams shot Corporal Eugene Cole in the head in Norridgewock. Williams allegedly stole Cole's cruiser, stole cigarettes and water from a nearby gas station, abandoned the cruiser on Martin Stream Road and hid in the Norridgewock woods for days.

The case received so much attention, a judge ordered a change in venue, moving criminal proceedings to Cumberland County Court.

"I believe we will be able to get a fair and impartial jury," said Marchese.

In the courtroom Tuesday were several people supporting John Williams, including his girlfriend Kristina Pomerleau. She was with Williams when he was arrested on drug charges in Massachusetts, and she was arrested by Cole days before the murder.

With Pomerleau was Williams' mother, Marge Williams. She said her son looks much different now because he is sober, and that drugs played a large role the night Cole died.

Williams' attorney, Verne Paradie, said his client is in "good spirits." He said they are waiting on results of a court-ordered mental health evaluation.

Williams is being held without bail. Paradie said after reviewing the state's evidence, he will decide if he should ask for a bail hearing.

Attorneys expect this case to go to trial next May.

Hours before the court hearing, Cole's wife, Sheryl Cole, wrote an emotional post on Facebook describing how much she misses her husband.

"I still cry a little every night," she wrote. "I have chosen to let go of any hate and anger... but one thing I will never let go of is you."



Photo Credit: necn]]>
<![CDATA[13-Year-Old Dies During School Field Trip in Maine]]>Tue, 12 Jun 2018 16:29:09 -0400https://media.necn.com/images/215*120/Range+Pond+State+Park+612.PNG

A 13-year-old boy is dead after being underwater for more than 20 minutes on a school field trip at Range Pond State Park in Poland, Maine, according to News Center Maine.

The seventh-grader from Lewiston Middle School was taken to Central Maine Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, according to officials.

The middle schooler was playing football in a roped-off area Tuesday when he slipped and fell into the pond, which was murky and deep, according to school superintendent Bill Webster.

The boy was found unconscious after about a 20-minute search.

Androscoggin County Sheriff's Department is investigating the death.

The victim's identity has not been released.



Photo Credit: News Center Maine]]>
<![CDATA[Gov. LePage Denounces 'Horrific' Ranked-Choice Voting System]]>Tue, 12 Jun 2018 17:18:51 -0400https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/Paul+LePage+Closeup+070317.JPG

On the day Maine residents headed to the polls to use ranked-choice voting for the first time in a statewide primary, Gov. Paul LePage said Tuesday he may not certify the election results.

LePage told WCSH-TV the voting was "the most horrific thing in the world" and he sides with people who raise questions about its constitutionality.

LePage said his feelings about the ranked-choice voting are so strong that he will "probably not certify the election," and leave it up to the courts to decide instead, according to WCSH-TV.

However, Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap says certification doesn't apply to primaries, so LePage doesn't actually have anything to certify.

"He can bluster all he wants, but he can't change the results," he told Michael Shepherd of the Bangor Daily News.

Maine is the first state in the nation to implement ranked-choice voting in primary elections.

Voters rank candidates from first to last on their ballot, and the election is over if one candidate wins a majority — 50 percent plus 1 — of the vote. If not, candidates are eliminated one by one and their remaining votes reallocated in what amounts to a mathematical game of survival.

The eventual winner might not be the candidate who had the most first-place votes, but rather the one who tallies the highest number of second- or even third-place votes.

Voters can also simply fill in one oval with their first-choice candidate and leave the rest of the ballot blank, as at least one Republican candidate is asking supporters to do.

Advocates say it helps promote civility, end election spoilers and ensure the eventual winner receives majority support.

Some proponents have pointed with dismay to LePage's election in 2010 with 38.1 percent of votes in a five-way race.



Photo Credit: necn]]>
<![CDATA[Officials: Vandals Start 3 Fires at Maine High School]]>Mon, 11 Jun 2018 09:23:40 -0400https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/Sanford+High+School+vandalism.jpg

Vandals started three small fires at a Maine high school under construction, which were discovered during a routine check Monday morning, according to officials.

Sanford Fire Chief Steve Benotti told WCSH-TV that on officer on patrol drove by the construction site at Sanford High School at about 4:30 a.m. and noticed one fire.

When firefighters arrived and went inside the building, two additional smoldering fires were discovered in other parts of the building.

Sanford Superintendent David Theoharides told the Press Herald that a large window in an office had been broken and a scissor lift had been driven through one of the school's wings.

The damage to the $100.2 million building is still being accessed, but Theoharides does not think it is extensive. Authorities said they hope construction can resume Tuesday.

The state fire marshal is investigating the incident.

The new high building, which is said to be the most expensive school construction project in Maine history, is supposed to be ready for September but construction has been lagging.



Photo Credit: WCSH-TV]]>
<![CDATA[4 People, Including 7-Year-Old, Killed in Maine Crash]]>Sun, 10 Jun 2018 21:29:37 -0400https://media.necn.com/images/211*120/berwick+maine+crash.JPG

Police in Berwick, Maine have released additional information about the crash that killed four people, including a child, and injured four others on Saturday. 

The collision happened after a driver lost control of his vehicle following an improper pass into the path of another car. 

Emergency crews responded around 1:31 p.m. Saturday to the two-vehicle crash on Portland Street (Route 4) in Berwick. 

Police say 31-year-old Robert Howard, of Buxton, was driving a 1994 Honda Civic with three passengers when he made an improper pass, lost control and slid into the path of a 2014 Ford Explorer where they collided. Forty-six-year-old Hope Stamps, of Woburn, Massachusetts, was driving the Ford Explorer, and she had three passengers in her vehicle, as well.

Three male occupants from the Honda Civic were pronounced dead at the scene, including Howard and two of his passengers, 29-year-old Kevin Clark of North Berwick and 7-year-old Davin Clark.

The fourth Honda occupant, 22-year-old K-La Scott, of Gorham, Maine, suffered serious but non-life threatening injuries.

Barbara Allen, 73, of Wells, Maine, who was in Stamps' Ford Explorer, was pronounced dead at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital in Dover, New Hampshire.

The two other passengers in Hope Stamps' car were Eurie Stamps, 49, of Woburn, and 17-year-old Shannon Stamps.

Hope, Eurie and Shannon Stamps suffered non-life threatening injuries in the collision.

A woman who lives near where the crash happened described the chilling moment she heard the collision.

"While I was upstairs painting, I heard the loudest boom I've ever heard in my life, and it shook the building. And my grandfather out back said it shook his house, too," she recalled. "The car was completely in half, only held together by the emergency break cable."

The crash is under investigation.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Sergeant Jeffrey Pilkington or Detective Wilfred Vachon at the Berwick Police Department at 207-698-1136.

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<![CDATA[Four Dead in Berwick, Maine Crash]]>Sun, 10 Jun 2018 11:26:32 -0400https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/ambulance-shutterstock_1407669410.jpg

A fatal crash Saturday afternoon on Route 4 in Berwick, Maine resulted in the death of four people.

Three individuals were prounounced dead at the scene and a fourth was transported to a local hospital where they were later pronounced dead, according to NBC-affiliate WCSH.

Police say that the crash happened after a driver made an improper pass into the path of another car. 

The accident occured around 1:30 p.m. At the time, Route 4 was expected to be closed for "hours" pending an investigation, according to WCSH.

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<![CDATA[Barbara Bush Remembered on What Would've Been 93rd Birthday]]>Fri, 08 Jun 2018 12:03:42 -0400https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-142074599.jpg

Former President George H.W. Bush is remembering his wife, Barbara Bush, on what would've been her 93rd birthday.

He tweeted on Friday about how she loved helping others. He said knowing there are so many out there who share her passion "puts joy in our hearts."

Her daughter-in-law, Margaret Bush, is attending an event Friday at The Barbara Bush Children's Hospital at Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine. She will read to patients and then join them in having some cake.

George and Barbara Bush were married for 73 years. She died April 17 in Houston after declining additional treatment for a life-threatening illness.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Ex-Running Back Held Without Bail in Classmate's Death]]>Wed, 06 Jun 2018 17:01:11 -0400https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/Jalique+Keene+mugshot+Hancock+County+Jail.jpg

A community in downeast Maine is devastated — and in the dark — about the murder of a popular teenager, and the arrest of a well-known athlete.

Police say 19-year-old Mikaela Conley was reported missing from her home in Bar Harbor last Thursday. She was found dead Saturday near a Bar Harbor elementary school. Investigators arrested and charged her former Mount Desert High School classmate, 21-year-old Jalique Keene, in her murder Monday night.

"This is a small community and everybody knows everybody," said Joe Minutolo, owner of a downtown Bar Harbor business. "It's just really difficult to imagine this could happen in our community."

Keene made his first court appearance Wednesday morning. A judge denied him bail, and ordered all court documents in the case sealed — leaving many questions about the circumstances surrounding Conley's death.

Minutolo said Conley was a vibrant, well-known teenager in the community who worked at a local bakery. "She was just a sweet girl behind the counter," he said.

Her parents own the popular breakfast spot, 2 Cats, in Bar Harbor. Their Facebook page had a message thanking the community for its support and concern, adding "Life is too short."

Keene was a star running back at Mount Desert who went on to play college football at West Virginia State University. Most recently, he played in a professional league in Serbia. According to social media accounts, Keene recently returned to the country.

"This is a tragedy — a plain tragedy," said Minutolo. "We don't understand what has happened."



Photo Credit: Hancock County Jail/WCSH]]>
<![CDATA[Maine Man Who Mysteriously Disappeared Found Dead]]>Wed, 06 Jun 2018 14:06:15 -0400https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/Few_Clues_in_Disappearance_of_Maine_Man.jpg

A Maine man whose mysterious disappearance had baffled authorities has been found dead.

Twenty-six-year-old Brunswick resident Daniel Gagnon was reported missing nearly a week ago, leaving behind no clues for investigators.

His body was found just before 11 a.m. Wednesday during a search in a dense wooded area off of River Road in Brunswick by a Maine Warden Service officer and K9, according to Brunswick police.

Although the investigation is ongoing, his death is not considered suspicious, police said.

Brunswick police spoke with necn about the investigation on Tuesday, which was described as "frustrating."

"It's extremely unusual to have very few clues," Brunswick Police Commander Thomas Garrepy said.

Sister-in-law Krystal Brewer said Gagnon loved his job working security at Bowdoin College, and had plans to buy a house in the Brunswick area. She said he was happy in his relationship, loved his niece and stepdaughter, and kept in close touch with friends and family. No one had any indication something could be wrong.

"He was happy... so it makes it even harder," said Brewer. "Where would somebody like that go? And why?"

Police said on Tuesday that Gagnon left his home on Pleasant Street on foot sometime during the afternoon on May 30. He left his car and bicycle behind, only taking his cell phone, which has since been turned off.

Investigators scoured surveillance footage, examined computer searches, probed whether Gagnon had troubles with substance abuse or mental health — but all of it turned up empty.

A spokesman for Bowdoin College said: "Dan is a valued employee. We share the deep concern of his family and friends, and that of local authorities who are trying to locate him, and we are doing what we can to assist.”

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<![CDATA[Police Investigate Maine Man's Mysterious Disappearance]]>Wed, 06 Jun 2018 13:44:28 -0400https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/Few_Clues_in_Disappearance_of_Maine_Man.jpg

BREAKING UPDATE: Daniel Gagnon's body has been found, according to family and his employer

Earlier story below:

Police say it's like someone planned the perfect disappearance. Daniel Gagnon, 26, of Brunswick, Maine was reported missing nearly one week ago, leaving behind no clues.

"We know very little about his disappearance, and that's the thing that's frustrating all of us," said Brunswick Police Commander Thomas Garrepy. "It's extremely unusual to have very few clues."

For the first time, his family is speaking out about the mysterious circumstances.

"For him to go without a trace like he didn't exist is just unreal," said Gagnon's sister-in-law, Krystal Brewer.

She said Gagnon loved his job working security at Bowdoin College, and had plans to buy a house in the Brunswick area. She said he was happy in his relationship, loved his niece and stepdaughter, and kept in close touch with friends and family. No one had any indication something could be wrong.

"He was happy... so it makes it even harder," said Brewer. "Where would somebody like that go? And why?"

Police believe Gagnon left his home on Pleasant Street on foot sometime Wednesday afternoon. He left his car and bicycle behind, only taking his cell phone, which has been turned off.

Commander Gerrapy said his cell phone pinged in the area of Pleasant Hill Road, but the cell phone location information is still vast, and includes difficult terrain to search.

Investigators have scoured surveillance footage, examined computer searches, probed whether Gagnon had troubles with substance abuse or mental health -- but all of it has turned up empty.

"We just ask the public to call us with any information that they have," he said.

Police and the Maine Warden Service plan to resume search efforts in the area Wednesday.

Brewer said friends and volunteers have been coordinating their own search parties. She hopes the public will keep circulating Gagnon's photo, to keep his case in the spotlight.

"Your niece, your stepdaughter, they miss you and they want you back," she said.

A spokesman for Bowdoin College said: "Dan is a valued employee. We share the deep concern of his family and friends, and that of local authorities who are trying to locate him, and we are doing what we can to assist.”

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<![CDATA[Woman Charged in Fatal Crash on Field Held on High Bail]]>Mon, 04 Jun 2018 18:33:57 -0400https://media.necn.com/images/216*120/maine21.jpg

The Maine woman accused of driving her car through a Sanford little league ball field, hitting and killing an elderly man, then fleeing the scene, has been ordered held on $500,000 bail.

Fifty-one-year-old Carol Sharrow of Sanford has been charged with manslaughter in the death of Douglas Parkhurst, 68, of West Newfield.

Sharrow's defense attorney Robert Ruffner said the charge is a Class A crime, punishable by up to 30 years in prison. He offered no explanation or motive for the incident, and said substance abuse did not appear to play a role in the incident Friday evening. Sharrow has two previous convictions for drunk driving.

Cellphone video from Goodall Park shows a maroon vehicle speeding onto the ball field, where a little league team was playing a game. The vehicle appears to round the bases, after people ran out of its path. Witnesses say Parkhurst was hit near a gate, trying to push other people out of the way.

"I think [Parkhurst's] military training kicked in," said his friend, Glenn Emmons. "It was his way of getting everyone out of the way, saving everyone he could."

Emmons lived across the street from Parkhurst for years, and called him his best friend. He is still coming to terms with the sudden and traumatic loss.

"I can't fathom it, to be honest with you," he said, calling Parkhurst a "true hero" and a loving, caring man, who would "do anything for anybody."

Emmons is upset that in his death, people have dug up a dark chapter in Parkhurst's past. Police say Parkhurst confessed to a 1968 hit-and-run in upstate New York that killed 4-year-old Carolee Ashby. The case was cold for decades, and Parkhurst confessed after the statute of limitations expired.

"Everyone has a past," said Emmons. "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

To Ashby's family, Parkhurst's death brings a sense of closure.

"It is sad to say I feel relief, because a person died," said Ashby's sister, Darlene Ashby McCann. "I talked to my pastor about it. I know it's wrong, but I am relieved."

The next step in Sharrow's case is to undergo a mental health evaluation. She is scheduled for a dispositional conference in September. Sharrow did not have to enter a plea Monday.



Photo Credit: necn]]>
<![CDATA[Maine Man Killed in Hit-and-Run Confessed to 1968 Fatality]]>Sun, 03 Jun 2018 14:28:48 -0400https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/06032018parkhurst.jpg

A Maine man credited with saving the lives of kids before he was killed by a hit-and-run driver at a Babe Ruth baseball game was himself involved in a fatal hit and run in New York nearly 50 years ago, according to a report.

The Portland Press Herald reports that Douglas Parkhurst, a Vietnam veteran, confessed in 2013 to a hit and run in 1968 that killed a 4-year-old girl in Fulton, NY. Despite his confession, Parkhurst was never faced charged in the case since the statute of limitations had expired, according to the paper.

Parkhurst died in Sanford on Friday night when 51-year-old Carol Sharrow drove onto the Goodall Park ballfield during a baseball game, according to police. Parkhurst reportedly helped kids move out of the car's path but was struck and killed himself while trying to close a gate and prevent the car from fleeing. Sharrow allegedly fled the scene in her car and was later arrested. She has been charged with manslaughter.

The Portland Press Herald, located in Portland, Maine, reports there was no connection between Sharrow and Parkhurst prior to the incident.

In 2013, Parkhurst confessed to being the driver in an unrelated hit-and-run incident that led to the death of Carolee Ashby on Halloween night 1968. Ashby was walking along a road in Fulton, NY, with her older sister when she was struck by a car and thrown 133 feet, according to the newspaper. Parkhurst sped away, according to the news report.

According to The Post Standard in Syracuse, NY, police questioned Parkhurst twice about the incident. Parkhurst, who was then living in Oswego, NY, went to the Fulton police station and admitted in a four-page confession to driving the car in 1968, the Portland Press Herald reports.

“I know in my heart and I am 99.9 percent sure I hit that little girl with my 1962 tan Buick Special. I am oh so sorry. I can’t change anything but I hope this apology will be accepted and I beg for forgiveness,” the paper quotes from the confession.

In an interview Saturday with one of the Fulton police officers who investigated the case, he commented on the irony of Parkhurst's death in Maine.

“God works in mysterious ways,” Johnson said in a telephone interview with the paper.

On Friday night, witnesses credited Parkhurst with saving others during the Maine incident.

"I saw the car pull out of the gate," witness Justin Clifton, who was playing basketball at the time, told News Center Maine.

Clifton said that the man pushed some children out of the way.

"He took the hit for the kids," he said.



Photo Credit: Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Driver Arrested After Hitting, Killing Man on Baseball Field]]>Sat, 02 Jun 2018 23:24:16 -0400https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/sanford+maine+baseball+field.JPG

A woman has been arrested after police say she hit and killed a man on a Maine baseball field and sped away.

Police confirmed around 11 p.m. that 68-year-old Douglas Parkhurst of West Newfield died from his injuries after being hit at Goodall Park in Sanford Friday evening. He died en route to the hospital, according to police.

The driver, 52-year-old Carol Sharrow of Sanford, was taken into custody. She has been charged with manslaughter, police said.

Investigators say they responded to the field at 7:09 p.m. after someone reported a woman driving a car on the field, according to police. 

"Bystanders and ballplayers scattered to avoid the vehicle as it drove erratically on the ballfield," police said.  "The vehicle struck a closed gate and then sped toward the open main gate. The vehicle struck a pedestrian who was near the main gate, and then sped from the scene."

News Center Maine reported that the man was taken to an area hospital after being hit around 5 p.m.

Video shows a car circling the bases clockwise. The video begins as the car is between second and first, and it can be seen veering off near third base. People on the field can be seen moving away from the car.

"I saw the car pull out of the gate," witness Justin Clifton, who was playing basketball at the time, told News Center Maine.

Clifton said that the man pushed some children out of the way.

"He took the hit for the kids," he said.

After hitting Parkhurst, Sharrow allegedly went through the gate and drove off, according to News Center Maine.

Roberts Street was closed as police investigated Friday. Police say the case remains open and under investigation by both Sanford Police and Maine State Police. Anyone who has video of the incident is asked to call police at 207.324.9170 Ext. 1. 

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<![CDATA[Police: Maine School Bus Driver Took Upskirt Photos of Kids]]>Fri, 01 Jun 2018 21:36:26 -0400https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/generic-school-bus.jpg

Police in Bath, Maine, say a school bus driver took upskirt photos of young children he was transporting.

Fifty-year-old Timothy McGowan of Bath was arrested after a weeklong investigation and charged with violation of privacy. According to police, McGowan, a driver for the Bath Bus Service, is accused of taking illegal photos of six children while he was taking them to and from school and events.

The children photographed were identified by police and staff from RSU1 and West Bath School. They attend elementary, middle and high school.

Homeland Security notified Bath Police on May 23 that the photos had been uploaded to a foreign website. McGowan was identified as the photographer following a subpoena and email traces, police say.

The Maine State Police Computer Crimes Unit searched several of McGowan's electronic devices; they found the same images that were uploaded online, according to Bath Police.

McGowan was served a criminal summons Wednesday at his home. The following day, the parents of the children involved were notified of the incident by school officials.

McGowan is due in West Bath District Court on July 7. It was not immediately clear if he had an attorney.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Maine Lawmakers Fear Impact of Tariff Retaliation on Lobster]]>Fri, 01 Jun 2018 19:42:46 -0400https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/Maine_Lawmakers_Concerned_About_Tariff_Retaliation.jpg

Nothing brings people to the table quite like Maine lobster. On Friday, the table was set for Maine's congressional delegation to meet with U.S. trade representatives to talk to lobster trade.

"This is a big deal," said Rep. Bruce Poliquin, R-Maine.

Their meeting comes one day after President Donald Trump announced plans for new tariffs on aluminium and steel from Canada, the European Union and Mexico.

"Our trade policy seems to be rather chaotic in this country," said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine.

Maine's federal delegation worries that the Trump administration may be rocking the boat, and they want some stability on trade policy.

"It is never helpful in my judgement for the president to try and establish important policies through tweets," said Collins.

Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, and Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, said they were worried that countries will retaliate against new tariffs, and hurt American products like lobster.

"This cannot be a chaotic policy," said Rep. Pingree. "The collateral damage can happen to lobsters."

In some markets, Maine lobster dealers are already at a competitive disadvantage. The European Union and Canada made a deal last year to lower the price of tariffs dramatically on Canadian lobster.

It's already impacting Maine businesses like the Calendar Islands Maine Lobster, which ships frozen lobster products domestically and internationally.

"We've had to transition business, tried to look for new markets," said John Jordan, president of Calendar Islands.

In a closed door meeting, members of Maine's congressional delegation urged federal trade representatives to consider new ways to make Maine lobster competitive, like reducing inspection fees on export products. King and Poliquin said they'd like to include lobster negotiations in an ongoing deal to trade U.S. beef products.

"In other words, surf and turf," said King.

"Why not add lobsters to the mix?" asked Collins. "That, to me, seems to be the promising short term solution, but this is very complicated."

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<![CDATA[Police: Speed Likely Factor in Crash That Killed Teen]]>Fri, 01 Jun 2018 11:09:09 -0400https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/Weld+Maine+Fatal+Crash.jpg

A Maine teenager was killed and two others injured in a one-vehicle crash in Weld on Thursday night.

State police said the crash happened around 11:30 p.m. on West Side Road when the driver of a Toyota Corolla lost control, struck a tree and overturned the vehicle.

Griffyn Smith, 19, of Dixfield, a passenger in the vehicle, was killed.

The driver of the vehicle, Ethyn Buotte, 18, of Dixfield, and his 17-year-old female passenger were taken to Rumford Hospital for injuries not believed to be life-threatening.

Police said Buotte and the female passenger are students at Dirigo High School in Dixfield. Smith graduated from the school two years ago.

The exact cause of the crash remains under investigation, but police believe speed was a factor.

It's unclear if Buotte will face charges.



Photo Credit: Maine State Police]]>
<![CDATA[Man Killed After Being Pinned Under Piece of Farm Equipment]]>Fri, 01 Jun 2018 11:49:57 -0400https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/Man+Pinned+Under+Farm+Equipment+Maine.jpg

A Maine man was killed after being pinned under a piece of farm equipment in Norridgewock.

Police told WCSH-TV they were called to a home on Ward Hill Road on Thursday where they found 56-year-old Francis Smith pinned underneath a manure spreader.

Authorities said Smith was trying to repair the machine when it somehow malfunctioned.

Smith was pronounced dead at the scene.

It was unclear exactly when the accident happened. Police told WCSH-TV that family hadn't been in touch with Smith since Monday.



Photo Credit: Somerset County Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[An Emu Is on the Loose in Maine]]>Thu, 31 May 2018 19:21:57 -0400https://media.necn.com/images/213*120/EMU+on+the+loose.png

Officials are warning residents to be on the lookout for an emu in the Lisbon, Maine.

The emu escaped from the Rockin' T Equine Sanctuary and Rescue facility located at 60 Edgecomb Road in the Lisbon Falls area on Wednesday. The bird is a rescue and dark colored and is believed to be in the area of Edgecomb and Summer Street.

Native to Australia, the emu is taller than any bird on Earth besides the ostrich.

Residents should not approach or chase the emu if they see him. Rather, they are encouraged to immediately call the rescue at 207-353-6581 or the Lisbon Police Department at 207-353-2500.



Photo Credit: Rockin' T Equine Sanctuary and Rescue via News Center Maine]]>
<![CDATA[Threat Thwarted as Guns Confiscated From Maine Man ]]>Thu, 31 May 2018 18:05:31 -0400https://media.necn.com/images/212*120/siren-generic-2-cc.PNG

A potential threat was thwarted in Rockland, Maine, after police say a tipster alerted them to a man with multiple firearms who claimed voices inside his head were telling him to carry out a school shooting.

Police say they got the information from a concerned friend this Tuesday, and took the man into a custody. He is at a local hospital for a mental health evaluation.

They executed a search warrant at his home, right across the street from the Rockland elementary school, and seized eight guns and ammunition.

According to the search warrant, the man admitted to police that he was hearing the voices but told them he could keep the voices at bay, and wouldn't hurt anyone. Officers said after a brief struggle, was arrested.

Police say he may face terrorizing charges after he is released from the hospital.

Schools in the RSU 13 district were put on "lock out" mode, and officers from the local police department and Sheriff's office responded to secure the buildings within minutes.

"These kind of incidents are very concerning, and this was very unexpected," said RSU 13 Superintendent John McDonald. "What it did show us, is that our safety protocols work."

The district does not have a dedicated resource officer, but that may change. McDonald said the school board was already considering the hire, and this incident may speed up their time table.

"We need more security guards, and security checks," said Debbie Turnbull, whose 7-year-old grandson goes to the Rockland elementary school and said this incident has shaken the family. "I'm fearful now. I never thought it would happen here in Maine."

Joshua Wallace, who lives in the next town over, has two sons who go to a different elementary school. He wants to see a school resource officer in every building.

"I think a lot of parents want change," he said. "It's troubling. There's no easy solution, and that's the scariest part."

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