Central Maine News: January 22, 2016
These are some of the stories central Maine is talking about today.
(AP) — A top election official says a ballot question that would provide ranked-choice voting in Maine elections could violate the state Constitution. Deputy Secretary of State says she's concerned that candidates elected under the system could be challenged in court if voters approve the ballot question. The issue involves whether elected officials can be chosen by a majority, rather than a plurality, as the constitution provides. The campaign manager for the Committee for Ranked Choice Voting, says the group consulted with legal experts and was assured that the system is constitutional.
(KJ) --Uncle Dean’s Good Groceries on Grove Street in the Waterville’s South End has a new owner. According to the KJ, Jim and Katie Hoving, of Wildwood, Missouri, bought the store, which specializes in natural and organic food, two weeks ago. They plan to move their children and their farm animals to the Waterville area as soon as they sell their Missouri farm and find a suitable site here.
(KJ) -- Nearly 100 people attended an opiates forum at Gardiner Regional Middle School last night. The focus of the event was to give those who attended information to understand how illegal drug use has made its way into central Maine and what they can do to start to halt its spread and to help support people who are in recovery. The next forum in the series due to happen in March will focus on drugs and schools.
(AP) — Roland Cummings will spend life in prison for stabbing a 92-year-old Waterville man to death as he slept in his bed. According to the KJ, the sentence was imposed Thursday at the Capital Area Judicial Center, where 46 year old Cummings of Waterville, spent six days on trial in November before a jury convicted him of murder, burglary and theft, all offenses connected to the slaying of Aurele Fecteau on May 20, 2014.
(AP) — A bill that revives $6.5 million in voter-approved Land for Maine's Future conservation bonds is heading to the desk of Gov. Paul LePage. The Maine Senate on Thursday voted unanimously to give final approval to the bill, following the unanimous approval by the House on Tuesday.The bill revives $6.5 million conservation bonds that expired last year after the governor refused to sign them. LePage has been sitting on the bonds, trying to use them as political. LePage has 10 days to sign the bill into law, veto it, or let it pass into law without his signature.
(AP) -- The Governor's Energy Office says the average statewide cash price for heating oil is $1.77 per gallon, down 4 cents since last week and the lowest price recorded since the office began its fuel price survey in 2004. The average kerosene price declined 4 cents as well, now $2.38 per gallon, while the average statewide propane price remained the same at $2.22 a gallon.
(WGME) -- Maine DEA agents in Augusta arrested a New York City man and an Oakland woman. They charged the pair with aggravated trafficking in heroin. A significant amount of heroin was seized. According to WGME police say 27-year-old Kendell Cagle, aka “Gudda,” of New York, NY was arrested and charged with aggravated trafficking in schedule W drugs. Bail was set at $25,000 cash. Police also arrested was 25-year-old Shayna Shaw-Jenney of Oakland, Maine. Shaw-Jenney was also charged with aggravated trafficking in schedule W drugs.This investigation is continuing and more arrests are likely.
(AP) — Government offices in Washington will be closing at noon. Flights have been canceled. And states of emergency have been declared in Washington, D.C. and five states. The National Weather Service is warning that a paralyzing storm could bring more than 2 feet of snow to Washington and cause more than $1 billion in damage to the Eastern third of the nation. The snow should start falling late Friday and continue into Sunday.
(AP) — North Korea says it has arrested an American university student for alleged anti-state acts. Pyongyang's Korean Central News Agency identifies the student as Warmbier Otto Frederick, a student at Virginia University. The reports say Frederick entered the North as a tourist, and allegedly plotted to undermine the North's system.