Central Maine News: Dec 18, 2015
These are some of the stories central Maine is talking about today.
(AP) — Maine lawmakers are going to consider a proposal to address the use of video recording at polling places. The Legislative Council voted to forward to lawmakers a bill sponsored by Sen. Bill Diamond of Windham. It's entitled, "An Act to Protect Maine Voters from Intimidating Videotaping at the Polls." Diamond said his bill would give election wardens clear authority to remove people who are videotaping at the polls. He said the idea is to prevent the intimidation of voters. Last month, a group calling itself Project Dirigo videotaped voters who signed a gun control petition that was circulated at polling places on Election Day.
(AP) — A Somerset County jury has convicted a Palmyra man charged in a brutal killing in which the victim was struck repeatedly with a pipe.The prosecutor said Jason Cote delivered the fatal blow to Ricky Cole as he lay defenseless inside his home Detroit, Maine. Cote said he acted in self-defense. Authorities say the slaying was drug related. Detectives found Cole's body in his blood-spattered mobile home on July 18, 2013. DNA samples taken from Cote's clothing the day after the killing matched the DNA from Cole's blood.
(AP) — Maine retailers say this year's Black Friday weekend had strong sales that are continuing in December.Curtis Picard, executive director of the Retail Association of Maine, says most retailers across the state have been reporting healthy sales for the first half of December.Maine shoppers spent nearly $390 million on general merchandise last December, the strongest December showing since 2007. Picard says numbers for this month won't be available until February. Picard says unusually low fuel prices appear to be helping retailers because less income is going toward gasoline and heating oil.
(AP) — Dozens of new police officers are graduating from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy just in time for holiday patrols. All told, 60 men and women are graduating today during a ceremony at the academy in Vassalboro. Steve McCausland of the Maine Public Safety Department says the officers are going to be put to work. He says most of them will begin patrols immediately, in time for holiday enforcement efforts.
(KJ) – Augusta City councilors voted to do away the curbside collection of residents’ recyclables. According to the KJ, that will end May 1. Taking its place will be an expansion of rubbish collection, from the current 40 weeks, to a full 52 weeks a year. Residents still will be able to recycle, but doing so will require a trip to one of the city’s three and soon to be four single-stream recyclables drop-off locations. Mayor Rollins, who cast a tie breaking vote, stressed that the city is not doing away with recycling, as residents can still use the drop-off containers and councilors probably still will debate creating a new, curbside single-stream recycling program to replace the outgoing sorted curbside recycling program as part of their budget deliberations for the following year’s budget.
(AP) — A partnership between an Indian-based tech support company and a Lewiston-based call center operator that called for up to 300 jobs has dissolved. Lewiston-based Argo Marketing terminated the contract with iYogi in October and filed a lawsuit for nonpayment this month. In the end, only 30 people were hired.Argo CEO Jason Levesque said Thursday that he felt "deceived."His remarks came a day after the Washington state attorney general filed a lawsuit accusing iYogi of scamming customers into buying software and services they didn't need.Company co-founder and president Vishal Dhar denied scamming customers, calling the accusations "false and baseless." He described the company's Maine venture as important for delivering "baseline metrics" for a re-launch of U.S. operations in the new year.
(AP) — A bail hearing is scheduled for Monday for the man who bought the assault rifles his friend used in this month's massacre in San Bernardino, California. Enrique Marquez is also charged with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists for allegedly conspiring with Syed Rizwan Farook to plot attacks in 2011 and 2012. Those attacks never happened. Farook and his wife were killed in a police shootout hours after killing 14 people at a holiday luncheon earlier this month.
(AP) — President Barack Obama says Americans should be vigilant this holiday season, but he also says intelligence and counterterrorism officials have received no specific, credible information suggesting a potential terrorist attack against the United States. Obama on Thursday visited the National Counterterrorism Center, where he said, "We will not be terrorized."<
(AP) — The White House is promising that President Barack Obama will deliver a "non-traditional" State of the Union address next month, and will discuss the broader challenges facing the country. Obama is scheduled to deliver his last State of the Union on Jan. 12. White House officials say Obama's agenda for his last year in office includes securing congressional approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, additional steps to address climate change, and bolstering gun control measures.