2011-12-19 / Maine

MAINE BRIEFS

Bank robber flees on bicycle in China

CHINA (AP) — Police say a man who robbed a central Maine bank made his getaway on a bicycle before jumping into a pickup truck driven by an accomplice.

The Kennebec County Sheriff ’s Department says a man armed with a handgun and wearing a ski mask pulled over his nose and mouth robbed the Border Trust Co. in China of an undisclosed amount of cash at about 10:30 a.m. Friday.

Wildlife department offers bird bands

AUGUSTA (AP) — Maine’s wildlife department is offering up its Maine Birder Band program for a fourth straight year, giving bird enthusiasts a chance to voluntarily support the department’s non-game bird conservation efforts.

For a $20 contribution, participants in the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife program get an individually numbered bird band, like the ones that wildlife biologists put on migratory birds to help track their distribution. Wildlife officials say the bands are often put on binocular straps, cameras and other outdoor gear to show support for bird conservation

2 fire departments getting $170,000

PORTLAND ( AP) — Two Maine fire departments are getting $170,000 in grant funding from the federal Department of Homeland Security.

Officials say the Berwick Fire Department is getting $118,000, while the Cumberland Fire Department has been awarded more than $ 52,000. The money comes from the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.

Company adds new seafood websites

BIDDEFORD ( AP) — A Maine Internet company that focuses on seafood is casting a wider net as it launches new websites listing companies that sell various kinds of seafood.

A Biddeford company called SeafoodDirectory.com launched its first website, www.LobsterSuppliers.com, last February where seafood buyers could find profiles and ratings of companies that sell lobsters.

Since then, CEO Neal Workman has added more sites that are specific to other seafoods, including crab, scallops, salmon, shrimp and groundfish.

In the weeks and months ahead, Workman says the company will be launching 19 additional sites for seafood species, ranging from tilapia and swordfish to tuna and squid.

Somalis mark 10 years in Lewiston

LEWISTON (AP) — Lewiston’s Somali community is marking its first decade in Maine’s second-largest city.

In the last 10 years, Somalis’ influence in Lewiston can be seen in many ways. Their influence in felt on the city’s streets, schools and economy. Somalis have rapidly become active, full-fledged members of the community, and a growing number have received citizenship.

Police ask for help on missing toddler

WATERVILLE ( AP) — Police in Waterville are appealing to the public once again for help in locating a 20- month-old girl who was last seen Friday night.

Waterville Police Chief Joseph Massey held a news conference Sunday afternoon to ask anyone with information about Ayla Reynolds to call police at 680-4700.

Ayla’s father called police Saturday morning to report that his daughter was not in her bed and couldn’t be found. She was last seen sleeping at about 10 p.m. Friday by a family member.

Marijuana dispensary operator alters name

PORTLAND ( AP) — An organization that will be operating half of Maine’s eight medical marijuana dispensaries is changing its name.

The nonprofit that was known as Northeast Patients Group is now called Wellness Connection of Maine.

Wellness Connection of Maine operates a dispensary in Thomaston, and plans to open additional sites in Brewer, Hallowell and Portland in the coming weeks.

Gambling board to take up new casino

AUGUSTA (AP) — A new casino under construction in western Maine will be on the agenda when the state’s Gambling Control Board meets.

The board’s executive director, Patrick Fleming, will discuss suggestions for increased staffing because of the planned June opening of the casino in Oxford and the addition of table games at Hollywood Slots in Bangor. Voters in November approved an expansion of gambling at Hollywood Slots to also include table games.

Fleming has been developing standards for surveillance over table games, how the money is handled and how it’s accounted for. Regulations will include details such as how big the dice are.

Occupy Maine fights eviction in court

PORTLAND ( AP) — A lawyer for Occupy Maine says protesters plan on filing a lawsuit against Portland that argues that the city’s effort to remove their encampment is a violation of their constitutional rights.

Protesters today also plan on asking a Superior Court judge to grant an injunction to stop city officials from acting on a “notice to vacate” Lincoln Park by noon as previously announced.

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