Central Maine News: February 11, 2016
These are some of the stories central Maine is talking about today.
(KJ) -- The Board of Education approved a policy on student medical marijuana and several other new or updated policies. According to the KJ, the new policy on students who are certified by a medical professional to use medical marijuana was added in light of state law which allows its use, board members said, not out of concern about the issue locally. The policy is based on a model policy from the Maine School Management Association. The policy is meant to give guidance to staff members in dealing with students who use medical marijuana.
(WGME) -- An animal shelter in Farmington says someone dumped two cats outside in the cold in a zipped up duffel bag. The two were found outside of the Franklin County Animal Shelter this week, zipped inside a duffel bag. According to WGME, officials believe the person who did this just did not want to face anyone. Typically, surrendering an animal comes with a $30 fee, which helps to spay and neuter the animals and covers some of the medical costs, but if the person couldn’t afford it, the shelter says it would have worked with them. For these two, they were probably outside for only 15 minutes, but that's not always the case. Last month, someone left a dog outside the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society in Lewiston, and it was later hit and killed by a car. Their goal now is to get the cat and her kitten into a loving home.
(WGME) -- After a 73-year-old woman was brutally attacked in Waterville, was speaking about the crime. Over the weekend, investigators say 32-year-old Mark Halle broke into the victim's home and beat her then sexually assaulted her at gunpoint. Chief Massey said “This is the type of case one could make an argument that citizens should arm themselves. That a gun in the hand will probably protect you more than someone on phone saying, ‘The police are coming,’” The chief says he knows gun control is a hot button issue, but he thinks it's worth starting a conversation with seniors about protecting themselves.
(AP) -- Fees for camping at state parks have been raised by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry for the first time in 14 years. The raises are "relatively modest" when compared to what other states have done with state park camping fees recently. Despite the increase, more people have registered for camping online than ever before. Camping reservation fees, which themselves hadn't been raised in 26 years, now cost $5 instead of $2. And even with the fee hikes, the state still can't cover all the costs for programs and maintenance at the state parks. Not all fees were raised, with the Maine State Park pass remaining at $70. Children under the age of five are still free.
(AP) -- A Maine man has been sentenced to less than a month in prison after he admitted to possessing sexually explicit materials of minors under 16. 41-year-old Justin Nichols, of South Gardiner, was sentenced to 14 days behind bars after completing a year on a deferred disposition. He was placed on a year of probation and prohibited from having contact with children under 16. Nichols pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of possession of sexually explicit materials of minors under 16. The father of four was arrested in his home on Jan. 13, 2014. He must register for 10 years under the state's Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.
(AP) — The more than month-long standoff at an Oregon wildlife refuge could be ending in just a few hours. The final four activists inside the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge say that Thursday morning they'll leave their weapons behind and surrender to authorities, who've been surrounding them. Wednesday night, an open phone line that was livestreamed showed the frustration of occupier David Fry, who shouted, "The only way we're leaving here is dead or without charges."