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Central Maine News: 2014 Another Big Year for Lyme Disease in Northern New England

Scott Olson, Getty Images

These are some of the stories central Maine is talking about today.

A man killed his girlfriend and her two children, whose bodies were found in the mobile home they shared. State police say 27-year-old Keith Coleman of Garland has been charged with three counts of murder. Their bodies were discovered Saturday night. Police say Coleman was taken into custody Sunday afternoon at an apartment building in Bucksport while visiting friends. Autopsies are schedule for Monday. Authorities have not said how they think the family was killed. (AP)

A Wilton man has been charged with murder in the death of his grandmother. Police say 22-year-old Dana Craney lived with his grandmother, 67-year-old Joanne Goudreau, whose body was found in the backyard of their mobile home on Saturday afternoon. Police had been called to the home by relatives to check on the woman’s well-being. An autopsy on Goudreau is scheduled for later Sunday in Augusta. (AP)

Maine officials say that revenues are up $31.7 million over estimates so far this fiscal year. Tax receipts in November came in $4.1 million above projections. Sales tax revenues beat projections for the first time in a while and  lower-than-expected energy prices are in part driving the increase in revenues and warns that energy prices could change. (AP)

Big-city police departments and union leaders around the country are warning the rank and file to wear bulletproof vests and avoid making inflammatory posts on social media following the weekend ambush of two New York City police officers. Police say gunman had vowed in an Instagram post to put “wings on pigs” as retaliation for the slayings of black men at the hands of white police. The policemen killed were Hispanic and Asian. Police say before a gunman ambushed two New York City police officers, he shot his ex-girlfriend in the stomach in Maryland.  A former NYC officer now a Tarpon Springs, Florida police officer was shot and killed early Sunday by a fugitive trying to evade a warrant. Officials say this shooting does not appear to have any connection to the ambush killings of two New York police officers. (AP)

Public health officials in northern New England say 2014 was another big year for Lyme disease in the region. Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention says the state is likely to exceed last year’s record high of 1,384 cases of the illness. Vermont officials say their state is on track for its second- or third-highest total on record following the 2013 high of 671. New Hampshire officials say the Granite State’s numbers are in line with recent years, which included a record-high in 2013. Officials in the three states say better reporting methods and environmental factors caused the surge.(AP)

Governor Paul LePage’s administration says more than 6,000 Maine residents are about to lose their food stamp benefits. The Republican governor is enforcing a three-month limit on benefits for childless adults in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program unless they work at least 20 hours a week, volunteer or participate in a work-training program. (AP/centralmaine.com)

The Wilton Select board is scheduled to discuss buying a nearly new aerial fire truck Tuesday night with $500,000 approved by voters at a special town meeting. In November, residents voted to approve spending up to $500,000 on a used aerial firetruck to replace their former 40-year-old ladder truck. It would be paid for by a mix of traditional property tax money and tax-increment financing district money. The truck would come with everything that town needs in a firetruck except a generator and lettering. If approved they could have the truck in a couple of months. (centralmaine.com)

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