Author: Edward Tomic

Edward Tomic is a reporter for The Maine Wire based in Southern Maine. He grew up near Boston, Massachusetts and is a graduate of Boston University. He can be reached at tomic@themainewire.com

The leadership Political Action Committee (PAC) led by Maine House Speaker Rachel Talbot Ross (D-Portland) ended 2023 in a deficit after spending tens of thousands of dollars on overseas travel and meals at various restaurants, according to filings with the Maine Ethics Commission. [RELATED: Maine Speaker’s Racial Equity Board Gave Her Sister’s Nonprofit $12,000 for Black History Month…] Under Ethics Commission rules, leadership PACs — committees led or controlled by a current member of the Legislature — are not restricted in how they spends their funds, except for a prohibition on compensating the legislator or members of their immediate family.…

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A federal jury in Washington, D.C. convicted two Chinese nationals Tuesday for participating in a multimillion-dollar scheme to defraud Apple Inc. out of 5,000 iPhones. [RELATED: Four Chinese Nationals Charged With Illegally Exporting U.S. Military Technology to Iran…] Haotian Sun (aka Hao Sun, Jack Sun, and Frank Sun), 33, of Baltimore, Maryland, and Pengfei Xue, 33, of Germantown, Maryland were convicted of mail fraud and conspiracy to commit mail fraud. According to court documents, Sun and Xue, along with other co-conspirators, submitted counterfeit iPhones with spoofed serial numbers to Apple for repair, aiming to get Apple retail stores and Apple…

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Auburn Police announced Tuesday that a man has been arrested on drug trafficking charges after a search warrant executed at the man’s home and business led to the seizure of large quantities of narcotics and firearms. Auburn Police say they conducted a traffic stop at about 1 p.m. Tuesday in connection to an ongoing narcotics investigation. The operator of the vehicle, 43-year-old Darren Douin of Auburn, was found to be in possession of narcotics and a firearm, police said. Darren Douin, 43, of Auburn | Source: Auburn Police Department Based on the evidence obtained during the traffic stops, Auburn Police…

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The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) voted unanimously last week to allow election officials to allocate federal funds toward countering disinformation in elections caused by artificial intelligence (AI). The decision comes after U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) sent a letter in January calling on the commission to assist state and local election officials in addressing deceptive AI-generated content. [RELATED: Maine Bans Artificial Intelligence Use by State Agencies for 6 Months Due to ‘Cybersecurity Risks’…] The bipartisan duo’s letter followed reports of an apparent robocall in the lead-up to the New Hampshire primary election that used AI…

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The Oxford County Republican Committee announced Tuesday that they plan to host a debate for the 2024 Maine Second Congressional District Primary scheduled for Saturday, April 20, a week ahead of the Republican state convention. The debate, which aims to draw up to 300 attendees, is set to be held at the American Legion Jackson-Silver Post 68 Hall in Greenwood, and to be moderated by Steve Robinson, Editor-in-Chief of the Maine Wire. Both candidates, State Reps. Mike Soboleski (R-Phillips) and Austin Theriault (R-Fort Kent), have been invited to attend the debate to answer questions before CD-2 voters in Oxford County.…

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A Portland man was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Portland to 16 years in prison for drug trafficking and for sexually exploiting a 14-year-old child he met online. U.S. District Judge Nancy Torresen sentenced 32-year-old Sebastian Demers to 15 years on the child exploitation count, and one year on the drug trafficking count, with the sentences to be served consecutively followed by 10 years of supervised release. Demers was also ordered to pay the victim and the victim’s family $15,843.27 in restitution. He pleaded guilty on Dec. 9, 2022. According to court records, Demers befriended a 14-year-old child online…

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A Maine school district has agreed to change how it promotes “affinity groups” for students of color after receiving pushback from an anti-critical race theory activist organization. [RELATED: Maine Private School Teacher Was Fired After Criticizing Critical Race Theory and Posting Jordan Peterson Videos…] In December, the New York-based Foundation Against Intolerance & Racism (FAIR) sent a letter to Mt. Ararat High School Principal Chris Hoffman over concerns related to how the school was marketing skin-color based affinity groups. FAIR’s complaint centered around the Topsham school’s promotion of their “Students of Color Coalition.” The nonprofit organization cited a notice to…

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Portland Police announced Tuesday that a man has been arrested in connection to a January assault and home invasion on Congress Street. On Jan. 19th, at around 3:18 a.m., police responded to a report of an assault and home invasion at 723 Congress St. in Portland. Upon arrival, a 62-year-old female told police that someone broke into her apartment and severely beat her, Portland Police said. Following a month-long investigation, Portland Police arrested 53-year-old Stephen Brichetto on Monday, Feb. 19. Brichetto was charged with Aggravated Assault and Burglary and booked at Cumberland County Jail, according to Portland Police spokesperson Brad…

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A Portland man has been arrested in connection to a Monday stabbing on Portland Street. Portland Police responded to 5 Portland St. on Monday, Feb. 19 at approximately 11:22 a.m. for a report of a stabbing. Upon arrival, a 36-year-old man was found lying on the ground with an apparent stab wound, police said. The man was transported to Maine Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries. Just over an hour after launching their search for the assailant, Portland Police located the suspect at 1 City Center. Eliot-James Nelson, 33, of Portland, was taken into custody after a brief struggle and…

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Lewiston Police are investigating a shooting that occurred early Sunday morning at a Pine St. apartment building. Police say they were dispatched just before 5 a.m. Sunday to the area of 189 Pine St. in Lewiston for a report of multiple gunshots fired from outside a multi-unit apartment building. Upon arrival, officers discovered that numerous shots had been fired into an apartment, and located shell casings outside the building. Lewiston Police say the suspect may have fled in a vehicle following the shooting, and that the shooting was not random but directed toward a specific apartment. No one was injured…

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A Mexican national who was previously removed from the United States twice was sentenced Friday to 27 months in prison for illegally crossing the U.S.-Canada border in Hamlin, Maine. Alberto Beltran-Martinez, 44, of Mexico pleaded guilty to entering the U.S. after a prior removal on Sept. 25, 2023, and has been incarcerated since he was arrested on April 29, 2023. According to court records, Beltran-Martinez and six other individuals were pulled over in Hamlin near the U.S.-Canada border by a U.S. Border Patrol agent from the Van Buren Border Patrol Station. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maine…

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A two-vehicle accident in Eustis early Saturday left two seriously injured and resulted in three undocumented Ecuadorian nationals being taken into custody by Border Patrol, according to police. Franklin County Sheriff’s deputies and Maine State Police responded to the crash around 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 10 on The Arnold Trail Road off state Route 27 in Eustis. According to police, 28-year-old Luis Mayancela-Yunga of Biddeford was driving a silver 2010 GMC passenger van south transporting undocumented individuals from Ecuador, when he lost control of the van on the icy road and skidded sideways across the centerline. The van collided…

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A Democratic Kansas State Representative criticized a bill currently being considered by the Kansas State Legislature that would ban the purchase of candy and soft drinks with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits by saying her obesity was not caused by eating sugary foods. SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, is a federally-funded welfare program that provides low-income families with assistance to buy “nutritious food essential to health and well-being.” [RELATED: Maine DHHS Indiscriminately Issues $13.5 Million in Food Stamps for Those Affected by the December Storm…] The bill in question, HB 2673, would direct the secretary of…

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The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit against the State of Tennessee and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) Thursday alleging that the state’s aggravated prostitution statute discriminates against prostitutes with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Tennessee’s aggravated prostitution statute, which dates back to 1991, makes it a Class C felony when a person who is knowingly infected with HIV engages in sexual activity as a business, or seeks to be hired for sexual activity in a house of prostitution or public place. The DOJ alleges that the enforcement of Tennessee’s aggravated prostitution statute violates the Americans with Disabilities…

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A 6-year-old missing child from Iowa has been found safe on Peaks Island off the coast of Portland. Avery Doherty, 6, of Ames, Iowa was found by police on Peaks Island on Wednesday, Feb. 14. Ames Police said that Esther Bender, the child’s mother, unlawfully removed Avery from Iowa on or about Oct. 14, 2023, in violation of a court order. Bender, 41, was arrested on Peaks Island and charged with Violation of a Custodial Order, a serious misdemeanor under Iowa state law. “We want to that the Story County Sheriff’s Office, Maine State Police, Portland (ME) Police Department and…

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U.S. Attorney for the District of Maine Darcie McElwee announced Wednesday that her office collected a total of $24.4 million from civil and criminal actions during fiscal year 2023. Nearly all of the $23 million collected by the Maine U.S. Attorney’s Office from civil actions was the result of a $22.5 million settlement in July 2023 in United State of America v. Martin’s Point Health Care, Inc. [PAGING DARCIE: The Mortgage Broker Troy Jackson Threw Under the Bus Denies Wrongdoing: “Something seems a little fishy here”…] The settlement with Portland-Based Martin’s Point was the largest Medicare fraud settlement in state…

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Maine Gov. Janet Mills has proposed creating an “Office of New Americans” to bring 75,000 low-skill workers to Maine, but a new dire warning from the City of Portland’s Sustainability Director suggests the new office may be unnecessary. That’s because rising temperatures caused by global climate change will lead thousands of migrants from developing countries to relocate to Maine without additional incentives and recruitment efforts. City of Portland Sustainability Director Troy Moon says that climate change could drive additional refugees from Africa, Asia and Central America to migrate to Portland. Moon described the phenomena in his “Resilience and Climate Vulnerability”…

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U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) Chief Jason Owens has appointed Juan Bernal as the new Chief Patrol Agent (CPA) of Maine’s Houlton Sector, which encompasses the entire state and the northeastern corner of the U.S.-Canada border, as well as Maine’s sprawling coastline. [RELATED: Border Patrol Apprehends 20 Romanian Nationals Who Illegally Crossed US-Canada Border into Hodgdon…] Chief Bernal, prior to assuming command as the Houlton Sector’s 28th CPA on Feb. 12, was the Acting CPA of the Del Rio Sector — a 242-mile stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border. Newly-appointed Houlton Sector CPA Juan G. Bernal | Source: U.S. CBP “It is…

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Three people were arrested Wednesday after a search of a Pittsfield home by Maine State Police led to the discovery large quantities of illegal drugs and multiple firearms. State Troopers executed a search warrant at 693 Canaan Rd. in Pittsfield at around 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 14. The search led to the seizure of 32 grams of cocaine base, 5.5 grams of fentanyl, oxycodone, 13 pounds of processed marijuana, prescription pills and firearms. Source: Maine State Police The owner of the Pittsfield home, 46-year-old Michael Wyllie, was arrested on charges of Aggravated Trafficking of Fentanyl, Cocaine Base, and Marijuana,…

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Maine Senator Angus King (I) is calling for the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to protect humorous and witty highway signs that he says “breaks through the traffic jam of information” and are more memorable to drivers. In his pun-filled letter to DOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg, King quipped that he is writing to ensure that with Buttigieg “at the wheel” the DOT is not “driving distracted in our nation’s quest for safer streets.” Sen. King’s letter comes after the U.S. Federal Highway Administration released regulations in January strongly recommending against overhead electronic highway signage with quirky messages or pop culture…

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The Portland Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released a 2023 year-in-review report on the city’s response to homelessness, detailing demographic data and statistics related to residents of the Homeless Services Center (HSC), overdoses, housing, and other social services. [RELATED: Portland’s Homeless Services Center Reports High Number of “Out-of-State” Intakes…] Portland HHS Interim Director Shaza Stevenson presented the report during the Portland HHS and Public Safety Committee meeting Tuesday afternoon. Throughout 2023, the HSC received a total of 1,252 unique guests — broken up into 887 males, 357 females, five transgender individuals and three “Gender Nonconforming guests,” according…

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Maine Gov. Janet Mills signed into law Tuesday a bill that grants the Independent Commission investigating the Oct. 25, 2023 mass shootings in Lewiston subpoena power. [RELATED: Mills’ Lewiston Shooting Commission Seeks Power to Force Testimony from U.S. Military Personnel…] The bipartisan legislation, which was sponsored by all four of Maine’s legislative leadership and passed the Legislature unanimously Tuesday, will grant the Independent Commission the power to obtain documents and compel witness testimony in the course of their investigation. “With my signature, the bill is now law, and the Independent Commission now has the power of subpoena,” Gov. Mills said Tuesday.…

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A taxpayer-funded commission originally proposed and currently co-chaired by Maine House Speaker Rachel Talbot Ross (D-Portland) is celebrating Black History Month by giving a $12,000 contract to the nonprofit founded by the Speaker’s sister, Portland City Councilor Regina Phillips. The “Permanent Commission on the Status of Racial, Indigenous & Tribal Populations” (PCRITP), which is co-chaired by Speaker Talbot Ross, awarded the chunk of change to Phillips’ group as payment for a Black History Month event in which another of Ross’s sisters is listed as a speaker. Neither Talbot Ross nor any PCRITP representative disclosed the familial ties between the grant…

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Maine Republican lawmakers held a press conference Tuesday on the state’s homelessness crisis and spending related to providing taxpayer-funded housing for asylum-seeking migrants. “These costs have largely been hidden from the public and are now being exposed in an effort to demand accountability and a results-driven plan,” the Republican lawmakers said in a Tuesday press release. “Taxpayer money is being diverted away from pressing state needs as Mainers languish on housing lists for years or waiting lists for nursing homes.” The legislative Republican’s presentation included graphics showing how homelessness and drug overdoses have skyrocketed in recent years as the state…

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President Joe Biden met with the chairman of a Chinese government linked energy firm that later wired millions of dollars to Hunter Biden and his business partners, an ex-associate of the Biden family testified to congressional investigators. [RELATED: Biden Campaign Joins TikTok Despite Persistent Security Concerns…] The House Oversight and Judiciary Committees on Tuesday released the transcript of their closed-door interview with former Biden family associate Rob Walker as part of the House impeachment inquiry against President Biden. That inquiry is examining whether Biden inappropriately engaged in business dealings with foreign companies, including companies linked to adversarial foreign governments. Walker…

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A homeless man was arrested on Riverside Street in Portland Sunday on charges of drug trafficking, refusing to submit to arrest, and assaulting an officer, according to Portland Police. Portland Police say they received a report of a person refusing to leave the Ramada Plaza hotel at 155 Riverside St. at 1:16 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 11. Upon arrival, the suspect had fled the area, but was tracked down within minutes to a parking area near 242 Riverside St., police said. According to Portland Police, a physical altercation occurred when trying to take the suspect into custody. 29-year-old Scott Thomas,…

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Portland’s Homeless Services Center (HSC) received a total of 178 intakes in January, including two dozen homeless individuals from out-of-state, according to the city’s Emergency Shelter Assessment Committee (ESAC) January shelter statistics report. [RELATED: Portland Budget Woe: Decline in State, Federal Funding, Staffing Shortages, Shelter for Homeless and Asylum Seekers…] According to the ESAC report, out of the 178 intakes into the HSC last month, 24 homeless individuals came from out-of-state and 81 came from other Maine town. Just 71 — less than half — were categorized as Portland residents. Throughout January the HSC had an average of 240 homeless…

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According to the most recent state data, there were nearly 10,000 drug overdoses in Maine during 2023, though the number of fatal overdoses fell by 16 percent compared to 2022. [RELATED: Maine Lawmakers Consider Decriminalizing Possession of Hard Drugs and Paraphernalia…] The December Monthly Overdose Report from the Maine Drug Data Hub reported that there were a total of 607 fatal drug overdoses in the state in 2023, down from 723 in 2022. The Maine Drug Data Hub is a collaboration between several state departments, including the Maine Attorney General’s Office, the governor’s office, and the University of Maine. The combined…

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The Penobscot Sheriff’s Office is investigating a fire at an abandoned home in Eddington that was allegedly started by a group of juveniles. The Sheriff’s Office says they received a report shortly after 3 p.m. Wednesday that a group of juveniles were observed walking into one of two abandoned homes on Clewleyville Road in Eddington. The two adjacent properties have been targets of vandalism in the past and have been unkept by the property owners for several years, according to the Sheriff’s Office. A deputy sheriff alongside other deputies responded to the report, and upon arrival the deputies observed subjects…

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A co-founder and former CEO of a sustainable fuel company pleaded guilty Thursday to wire fraud in connection to a multimillion-dollar embezzlement scheme. Bryan Sherbacow, 55, of Charleston, South Carolina, and Washington, D.C. was indicted by federal prosecutors in May 2023 for allegedly embezzling at least $5.9 million and defrauding investors out of $15 million when CEO of the biomass aviation fuel startup Alder Fuels. [RELATED: Maine Congresswoman Who Once Paid FEC Fines for Undisclosed Private Jet Trips Mends Staffer’s Jeans to Stop Global Warming…] In court documents, federal prosecutors alleged Sherbacow defrauded the company he co-founded between 2021 and…

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A U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) K-9 unit at Boston’s Logan Airport thwarted an attempt to illegally import four dehydrated monkey corpses, the agency announced Friday. According to the CBP, an individual returning to the U.S. on a flight from Paris after a visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo was sniffed out during a preliminary baggage screening by the CBP K-9 “Buddey” on Jan. 8. CBP K-9 Buddey | Source: U.S. CBP When questioned about the contents of the bag, the individual declared that it only contained dried fish, CBP said. Upon a search of the luggage, a…

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Maine’s liberal Members of Congress are either keeping quiet, pointing at former President Donald Trump, or defending President Joe Biden after the Commander-in-Chief delivered a confusing and widely-panned press conference Thursday evening. The presser came in response to a Department of Justice report that said the Special Counsel investigating Biden’s mishandling of classified documents would not seek charges — but only because Biden’s memory was too poor for him to stand trial. Special Counsel Robert Hur, who was leading a probe into President Joe Biden’s handling of classified materials, released a 388-page report Thursday finding that Biden “willfully retained and…

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U.S. Senator from Maine Susan Collins was one of four Republican Senators to join Democrats in voting in favor of the $118 billion border and foreign aid package in key vote Wednesday. The long-awaited bill, the product of months of bipartisan negotiations, was blocked by the Senate in a 49 to 50 vote. [RELATED: ‘Dead on Arrival:’ Senate Border and Foreign Aid Package Faces Immediate Backlash…] Sen. Collins, Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee and Subcommittee on Defense, played a role in shaping certain provisions in the legislation, including one that would have granted asylum-seeking migrants quicker access to…

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Maine’s Permanent Commission on Racial, Indigenous & Tribal Populations (PCRITP) have released a report detailing the legislative initiatives they are supporting for the second session of the 131st Legislature. The PCRITP was created by the Legislature in 2021 and tasked with “eliminating disparities for historically disadvantaged racial, indigenous and tribal populations in the State.” In practice, PCRITP has become a taxpayer-funded lobbyist organization for left-wing ideology and Critical Race Theory (CRT). [RELATED: Maine Racial Equity Commission Banned White People from Talking at Lewiston Public Meeting…] The January report, entitled “Justice for all,” centers around the state racial equity commission’s advocacy…

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The American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds) released a statement Wednesday following a review of 60 studies that concluded “social transition, puberty blockers, and cross-sex hormones have no demonstrable, long-term benefit on psychosocial well-being of adolescents with gender dysphoria.” The ACPeds paper, entitled “Mental Health in Adolescents with Incongruence of Gender Identity and Biological Sex,” details how adolescents diagnosed with gender dysphoria have an increased incidence of mental health issues both before and after receiving “gender affirming therapy.” [RELATED: Maine Governor Approves Bill Allowing 16-Year-Olds to Get Sex Change Drugs Over Parents’ Objections…] “Gender-affirming care” is an umbrella term encompassing cross-sex hormones,…

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Portland Police are investigating a shootout between the occupants of two cars that occurred Tuesday evening in the city’s Sagamore Village neighborhood. Police responded to the area of 77 Taft Ave. in Portland for a report of a shooting shortly after 7 p.m. Tuesday. According to witnesses, a black Lexus pulled up alongside a small sedan that was pulled over on the side of the road and a shootout occurred, with occupants of both cars firing at each other. The Lexus then sped away and turned onto Godfrey Street and then proceeded to Josslyn Street, police said. Sagamore Village, the…

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The South Portland City Council approved an order Tuesday that freed up $150,000 in state funds that will be used to help asylum-seeking migrants currently staying at one of the city’s hotels find permanent housing. Over one hundred asylum seekers have been staying at the Howard Johnson hotel in South Portland on the taxpayers’ dime since the city approved a one-year contract with the hotel on June 27, 2023. [RELATED: South Portland Approves State-Funded Agreement to Keep Housing Migrants at Howard Johnson for 12 More Months…] That contract, which turned the hotel into a temporary transitional housing facility for the…

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A bipartisan group of 50 members of Congress sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland last week demanding answers from the Department of Justice on reports of illegal Chinese-owned marijuana operations across the nation. The entire Maine congressional delegation signed onto the letter, with Democratic CD2 Rep. Jared Golden leading the letter alongside Reps. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), David Valado (R-Calif.), and Sens. Angus King (I-Maine) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa). [RELATED: Maine’s Congressional Delegation Repeats Call for Federal Crackdown on Illegal Chinese-Owned Marijuana Operations…] Maine’s delegation has been calling for federal action to be taken against the network of…

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For the second time in less than three months, the Lewiston Police Department executed a search warrant at 149 College St. in Lewiston and arrested individuals allegedly involved in illegal drug activity. [RELATED: Eight Arrested, One Oz of Fentanyl Seized After Police Raid Lewiston Drug House…] The latest raid, conducted on Monday, Feb. 5 resulted in the apprehension of five individuals. A previous search warrant executed at the same address on Dec. 12, 2023 led to the arrest of eight people and the seizure of about one ounce of fentanyl. Three out of the five people arrested Monday had a…

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A bill aimed at establishing an state advisory board to facilitate renaming place names in Maine had a public hearing Tuesday afternoon by the Maine Legislature’s State and Local Government Committee. The bill, LD 1667, comes after Maine’s taxpayer-funded Permanent Commission on the Status of Racial, Indigenous and Tribal Populations (PCRITP) held a webinar in early January on “problematic” place names in the state. [RELATED: Taxpayer-Funded “Place Justice Project” Bemoans “Problematic” Place Names in Maine…] The state racial equity commission paid the nonprofit organization Atlantic Black Box $132,804 in taxpayer funds in order to research and give a 30 minute presentation…

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The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maine put out a statement on X Tuesday condemning female genital mutilation (FGM) as “a form of child abuse,” and “a serious human rights violation.” The statement came in response to a Department of Justice (DOJ) statement recognizing Feb. 6 as the “International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation.” “Female genital mutilation, a form of gender-based violence and child abuse, will not be tolerated today — or any day — in the United States,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole Argentieri of the DOJ’s Criminal Division said Tuesday. “The Justice Department…

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The Portland City Council unanimously approved an order Monday accepting a $364,000 grant from the Maine State Housing Authority (MaineHousing) to extend the city’s migrant Resettlement Program for 12 months. [RELATED: Portland Budget Woe: Decline in State, Federal Funding, Staffing Shortages, Shelter for Homeless and Asylum Seekers…] According to the order memorandum, since January 2020 the city’s Resettlement Program has assisted an estimated 4,200 migrants. Services provided under the program are aimed at helping the asylum-seeking migrants “achieve self-sufficiency” by connecting them with housing resources, assisting with their applications for benefits, and providing casework assistance. Portland’s Resettlement Program in the…

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Maine Sen. Angus King (I) joined a group of Democratic U.S. Senators on a letter calling on the Biden administration to work with Israel to facilitate the distribution of humanitarian aid into Gaza. [RELATED: Maine Senators Join Bipartisan Resolution Condemning Hamas’ Use of Rape in Oct 7 Attack on Israel…] On Oct. 7, 2023 the Islamist terrorist organization Hamas launched an attack on southern Israel from the Gaza Strip, killing more than 1,200 Israelis. Since the Oct. 7 attack, Israel has engaged in an extensive bombardment and ground invasion of Gaza, with the objective of eliminating Hamas. The Hamas-controlled Gaza…

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On Jan. 25, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents in Lynn, Mass. arrested an illegal alien with Mexican and Guatemalan citizenship who had been previously convicted for child rape and prostitution charges. [RELATED: Haitian Illegal Alien Charged with Raping Developmentally Disabled Person Arrested by ICE After Being Released…] ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Boston arrested the 42-year-old illegal alien as part of a nationwide apprehension operation from Jan. 16 through Jan. 28, that resulted in the apprehension of 171 unlawfully present noncitizens with charges or convictions for murder, homicide or assault against children. According to ICE, the 42-year-old…

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Maine’s congressional delegation renewed their call for federal action to be taken against a sprawling network of illegal Chinese-owned marijuana growing operations across the state in a Jan. 25 letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland. The delegation’s letter comes as a follow-up to an initial letter sent in August in which Maine’s members of Congress called upon the Department of Justice (DOJ) to shut down the illegal grow operations. [RELATED: Maine Congressional Delegation Urges DOJ to Shut Down Illegal Chinese-Owned Marijuana Grows…] Since June 2023, 15 raids on Chinese-controlled marijuana grow operations in Maine have resulted in the seizure…

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The City of Portland Director of Permitting and Inspections (PID) Jessica Hanscombe sent a Jan. 25 letter to City Manager Danielle West rebutting the claims of the Portland Press Herald that the city is not adequately enforcing its rent control ordinances. Portland voters approved the city’s rent control ordinance via a referendum spearheaded by the Maine Democratic Socialist of America in November 2020, which established a base rent on most of the city’s rental units, and capped the amount by which landlords can increase rent annually. [RELATED: “It’s very real and very powerful”: Outgoing Portland Mayor Kate Snyder on the…

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Note: This story was updated to include a statement from State Rep. Austin Theriault. Democratic Congressman Jared Golden (ME-02) released a statement Monday accusing House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) of not wanting to secure the border and of preferring a victory for Vladimir Putin in Russia’s war against Ukraine. Rep. Golden’s accusations follow the Sunday release of a Senate border security and foreign aid package that would direct roughly $60 billion in aid to Ukraine, alongside $14.1 billion in security assistance to Israel. [RELATED: ‘Dead on Arrival:’ Senate Border and Foreign Aid Package Faces Immediate Backlash…] House Speaker Johnson said…

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The details of a border security bill tied to a foreign aid package for Ukraine and Israel were released by several Senate negotiators on Sunday, and is expected to face an uphill battle as it met with immediate backlash from Republican leaders. [RELATED: Former FBI Officials Warn Congressional Leaders of National Security Threats Posed by Southern Border ‘Invasion’…] The deal comes as the product of months-long bipartisan negotiations between Sens. James Lankford (R-Olka.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), and Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) to package together border security funding and immigration reform with foreign aid to Ukraine and Israel. The $118.3 billion legislative…

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Three individuals who were previously arrested and charged in November 2023 in connection to a high-end brothel network operating out of the greater Boston area and eastern Virginia were indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury in Boston. The three defendants, Han Lee, aka “Hana,” 41, of Cambridge, Mass.; James Lee, 68, of Torrance, Calif.; and Junmyung Lee, 30, of Dedham, Mass. have each been indicted on one count of conspiracy to persuade, induce, entice, and coerce one or more individuals to travel in interstate or foreign commerce to engage in prostitution; and one count of money laundering conspiracy. In…

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Eleven people were arrested Friday afternoon after a group of pro-Palestine protestors blocked both ramps at Exit 7 of I-295 in Portland, a demonstration that saw left-wing activists defend the Palestinian terror group Hamas and compare Israel to Nazi Germany. [RELATED: Maine DSA Stages Pro-Hamas Rally in Portland, Calls Terror Attacks on Israel “Morally and Legally Legitimate”…] The large mob of protestors began blocking the Franklin Street Arterial around 1:30 p.m. Friday, near the intersection of Franklin Street and Marginal Way, according to the Portland Police Department. https://twitter.com/TheMaineWire/status/1753514095460995554?s=20 Police say both the off-ramp and on-ramps to Exit 7 were blocked…

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The University of Maine Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) held a ceremony Thursday commemorating the start of Black History Month by raising a “Black Lives Matter” flag outside of the university’s bookstore. “[T]he UMaine Community celebrated the start of Black History Month with the annual raising of the Black Lives Matter flag in the Memorial Union,” the taxpayer-funded university posted on Facebook. “Thank you to the UMaine Office for Diversity and Inclusion for organizing this event!” [RELATED: UMaine Law Professor Can’t Say Whether U.S. Bill of Rights Limits Federal Government or Citizens…] The flag was raised during a noon…

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South Portland Police announced Friday morning that man has been arrested in connection to the robbery of Key Bank last week. South Portland Police responded to Key Bank at 445 Gorham Rd. in South Portland for a reported robbery last Friday, Jan. 26 shortly before noon. After an initial investigation, police released photos of a person of interest in the case, which led to several tips from the public and eventually resulted in the identification of a suspect. On Thursday, Feb. 1, at around 10 p.m. the South Portland Police located the suspect inside of his parked vehicle on Mabel…

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The Portland City Council is set to consider an order Monday that would extend the 50-bed expansion of the city’s Homeless Services Center (HSC) until June 3, 2024. [RELATED: Portland Budget Woe: Decline in State, Federal Funding, Staffing Shortages, Shelter for Homeless and Asylum Seekers…] The City Council voted to expand the shelter by 50 beds via an emergency declaration in November, in response to public health and safety concerns for the large population of homeless individuals living in encampments throughout the city. In the proposed amendment extending the order, the city writes that as a result of the HSC…

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Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek (D) declared a 90-day state of emergency Tuesday in response to a “public health and public safety crisis” driven by fentanyl in Portland, the state’s largest city. [RELATED: Maine Lawmakers Consider Decriminalizing Possession of Hard Drugs and Paraphernalia…] The emergency declaration was joined by two concurrent emergency declarations from Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler. “Our country and our state have never seen a drug this deadly and addictive, and all are grappling with how to respond,” Gov. Kotek said Tuesday. “The Chair, the Mayor and I recognize the need to…

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Democratic Congressman Jared Golden (ME-02) received donations to his 2024 campaign committee from several family members of billionaire left-wing megadonor George Soros, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) documents published Wednesday. [RELATED: George Soros, Pierre Omidyar Fund Org That Now Controls Most Maine Newspapers…] Rep. Golden’s “Committee to Elect Jared Golden” received a net total of more than $730,000 in contributions during the year-end quarter, and closed out 2023 with over $1.4 million on hand. Among those who contributed to his campaign during the quarter were two sons of George Soros: Jonathan Soros, and Alexander Soros. According to the FEC…

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A Portland homeless man is facing multiple charges for allegedly assaulting people with a machete, possessing scheduled drugs and trafficking in prison contraband, according to a Thursday press release from the Portland Police Department. [RELATED: “Zombie Slasher” Machete and Loaded Shotgun Horrify Store Owners Across from Portland Homeless Encampment…] Portland Police say the were called to 211 Cumberland Ave. (Franklin Towers) on Wednesday, Jan. 31, shortly after 9 p.m. for a report of a fight. The fight was reported to involve a man who was “moving around the building with a machete and assaulting people.” Police located and arrested the…

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Maine law enforcement agencies have seized more than 18,000 pounds of illegally grown marijuana from properties across rural Maine owned and operated by Chinese individuals that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) believes are part of Asian Transnational Criminal Organizations (ATCOs). In a leaked DHS memo, a federal official estimated that there are more than 270 such sites operating in Maine alone and hundreds more in other states. The proceeds of the illicit drug manufacturing and trafficking operation are used, according to the memo, to finance human trafficking, narcotics trafficking, and other criminal activities. An exclusive investigation by the Maine…

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The U.S. Attorney’s Office for Washington, D.C. announced Wednesday that four Chinese nationals have been charged for an alleged years-long conspiracy involving the illegal smuggling of U.S.-origin electronic components with military applications to the Islamic Republic of Iran. [RELATED: Chinese Nationals Caught Illegally Entering U.S. Reached Record High in December…] The federal indictment accuses Baoxia Liu, aka Emily Liu; Yiu Wa Yung, aka Stephen Yung; Yongxin Li, aka Emma Lee; and Yanlai Zhong, aka Sydney Chung, of unlawfully exporting the U.S.-made electronic components through China and Hong Kong. The D.C. prosecutors allege that the manufactured parts were smuggled to entities…

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Independent U.S. Senator from Maine Angus King announced Wednesday that he is cosponsoring legislation that would remove the green card cap for immigrants who have graduated with certain advanced science and technology degrees from U.S. educational institutions. [RELATED: Maine Senators Announce More Than 64,000 Supplemental Temporary Work Visas for Foreign Nationals…] The “Keep STEM Talent Act of 2023” would grant immigrant Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) degree-holders who have American job offers with lawful permanent resident (LPR) status in the U.S. Granting noncitizen STEM graduates at the master’s level or higher with LPR status would exempt them from current…

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Note: This story was updated to include data from Republican CD-2 candidate Mike Soboleski’s year-end FEC filing. State Rep. Austin Theriault (R-Fort Kent) raised over $350,000 in the first fundraising quarter of his campaign to challenge Democratic Congressman Jared Golden in Maine’s 2nd District this November, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings published Wednesday. The former NASCAR driver entered the race in late September, and has received several notable endorsements, including House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) and Chair of the House Republican Conference Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) [RELATED: Maine CD-2 2024 Challenger Austin Theriault Set to Receive Support from…

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Democratic Congressman Jared Golden (ME-02) issued a statement Monday calling upon Congress to pass the border security deal negotiated between the Senate and the Biden administration. [RELATED: “Enforce the Immigration Laws”: Maine Democrat Lays Blame for U.S. Border Catastrophe on Biden…] While specifics of the Senate deal have not yet been made public, President Joe Biden said Friday that legislation would be “the toughest and fairest set of reforms to secure the border we’ve ever had in our country.” “[The legislation] would give me, as President, a new emergency authority to shut down the border when it becomes overwhelmed. And if…

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Republican Maine Sen. Susan Collins announced Monday that 15 Maine organizations and state agencies aimed at combatting homelessness have been awarded more than $20 million in federal grants. [RELATED: Portland Democrat Wants to Amend Maine’s Constitution to Establish a “Right to Housing”…] The federal funds were awarded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Continuum of Care (CoC) Program, which has a stated goal to “promote a community-wide commitment to the goal of ending homelessness,” with an emphasis on rehousing individuals feeling domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. “Too many Mainers will be forced this winter to…

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Maine Gov. Janet Mills’ proposed migrant resettlement plan received a public hearing Tuesday afternoon before the Legislature’s State and Local Government Committee [RELATED: Maine Governor Signs Executive Order Creating New Migrant Resettlement Office..] The bill, LD 2167, would establish the so-called “Office of New Americans” within the governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future (GOPIF), as well as create an advisory council for the office comprised of representatives from schools, small businesses, migrant resettlement agencies, and other stakeholder organizations. The Mills Administration has said the ONA is aimed at helping the state meet its goal of attracting 75,000 new…

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The Maine State Legislature’s Judiciary Committee held a public hearing Monday on an emergency bill that would grant subpoena power to the Independent Commission tasked by Gov. Janet Mills with investigating the Oct. 25 mass shooting in Lewiston. [RELATED: Independent Commission on Lewiston Shooting to Hold Series of Public Meetings, Featuring Testimony from Law Enforcement, Victims, Army Personnel…] The bipartisan legislation, LD 2192, is sponsored by the legislative leaders of both parties, is supported by Gov. Mills, and was a measure requested by the Commission itself. The Independent Commission was established via executive order by Gov. Mills on Nov. 9,…

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Maine’s Republican State Senators and Representatives issued a joint statement Monday in support of the State of Texas’ constitutional right to defend its borders from illegal crossings by migrants. “The Biden Administration is purposefully jeopardizing our national security and economic and public safety by its outright refusal to enforce our southern border,” the Maine GOP lawmakers stated Monday. “This extraordinarily dangerous action is allowing millions of illegal immigrants, poisonous drugs and human traffickers to flow into our country.” [RELATED: SCOTUS Votes 5-4 to Vacate Injunction Barring CBP Agents from Removing Razor Wire Along Southern Border in Texas, 5th Circuit Ruling…

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At the Androscoggin County Republicans’ 2024 caucus over the weekend, State Rep. Mike Soboleski (R-Phillips) won the caucus’ CD2 primary straw poll by 11.5 percent. [RELATED: State Rep Mike Soboleski Officially Announces Campaign for Maine’s Second Congressional District…] The Saturday caucus gave candidates for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, County Commissioner, State Representative and State Senator an opportunity to make their pitch to the county’s Republican voters. https://twitter.com/mike_soboleski/status/1751337687552770329?s=20 The straw poll results are among the first indication of how Republican activists view the 2024 GOP primary race for Maine CD2, in which Soboleski is set to face off against his fellow…

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A Connecticut woman was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Bangor Friday to a year-and-a-half in prison for trafficking cocaine and fentanyl in Franklin County. Chrissie LaForge, 43, was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release for possessing fentanyl and cocaine base with intent to distribute. LaForge had previously pleaded guilty to the charges in June 2023. According to court records, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation into a suspected drug trafficking operation out of a residence in Avon in 2020. Over the course of a months-long investigation, law enforcement observed vehicles rented…

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Three U.S. Army soldiers were killed and more than thirty service members were injured in a drone attack on a U.S. base in northeast Jordan near the Syrian border Sunday night. In a statement issued Sunday, President Joe Biden said the attack was carried out by radical Iran-backed militant groups operating in Syria and Iraq. [RELATED: Whoops: Biden Admin Flip Flops on Whether Iran-backed Houthi Terrorists Are Terrorists…] “We will hold all those responsible to account at a time and in a manner our choosing,” President Biden stated Sunday. Iran has denied any involvement in the attack on the U.S.…

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The Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) announced Friday that Maine Gov. Janet Mills has been elected by her fellow governors to serve as co-chair on the commission. [RELATED: “Unique times call for a unique approach”: Mills Plans to Give Two-Part State of the State Address to Speak About Lewiston Shooting, Recent Severe Storms…] The NBRC is a federal and state partnership created in 2008 that directs federal funds to development projects in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York. The commission is headed by a federal co-chair nominated by the president and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, and a state…

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The Lewiston Police Department announced Friday that a man has been arrested in Lewiston in connection to an ongoing sexual assault investigation in Nashua, New Hampshire. Lewiston Police said Friday that they have been assisting the Nashua Police Department with an ongoing sexual assault investigation for the past several weeks. On Thursday, Jan. 25, Lewiston Police executed a search warrant at 999 College St. in Lewiston, arresting 44-year-old Michael D. Borges. Borges is charged with Aggravated Felonious Sexual Assault on an extraditable warrant out of New Hampshire. He is being held at the Androscoggin County Jail awaiting extradition.

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The City of Portland’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Allocation Committee revealed on Thursday that they have made a preliminary recommendation to direct $136,000 to a “Immigrant-Owned Business Accelerator” program. [RELATED: Portland Budget Woe: Decline in State, Federal Funding, Staffing Shortages, Shelter for Homeless and Asylum Seekers…] The CDBG Allocation Committee recommends the allocation of federal funds to city projects through an annual competitive selection process, by which applications for funding are reviewed and scored. Final recommendations for funding are determined and voted upon by the Portland City Council. During their Thursday meeting, Portland Housing and Community Development (HCD) program…

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Maine Gov. Janet Mills announced Friday that she plans to present a “novel” two-part State of the State Address next week in order to focus on the tragic Oct. 25 mass shooting in Lewiston and recent severe storms that have battered the state’s infrastructure. [RELATED: Gov. Mills and AG Frey Request Subpoena Power for Commission Investigating Lewiston Mass Shooting…] “This past year – especially these past few months – has been anything but normal for Maine. It has been a period of extraordinary challenge for our state,” Gov. Mills said Friday. “Traditionally, as Chief Executive, I have stood before the…

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Former FBI officials sent a letter to Congressional leaders earlier this month warning the surge in “military aged men from across the globe” entering the U.S. through the southern border has severely weakened national security and put the country at risk of a terrorist attack. [RELATED: “Enforce the Immigration Laws”: Maine Democrat Lays Blame for U.S. Border Catastrophe on Biden…] The letter, shared by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) on X Thursday, was addressed to House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and the Chairs of the House and Senate Intelligence and Homeland Security Committees . “As…

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Former President Donald Trump’s trade adviser Peter Navarro was sentenced on Thursday to four months in prison for contempt of Congress after he refused to cooperate with a congressional investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol. In February 2022, the Democrat-led House Select Committee investigating Jan. 6 issued two subpoenas to Navarro, one requiring him to produce documents, and the other requiring that he give testimony to the committee. After Navarro refused to comply with either subpoena, he was referred to the Justice Department and charged on two counts of contempt of Congress. The former Trump…

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A counselor from Corinna, Maine was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Bangor Wednesday for falsifying treatment records in order to obtain higher reimbursement’s from MaineCare, the state’s taxpayer-funded health insurance program. 47-year-old April McKinney, who professionally went by the name April Taylor, was ordered to pay $13,087.62 in restitution to the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (Maine DHHS) — the department that administers the MaineCare program. She was also sentenced to three years of probation and fined $2,500. According to court records, between April and December 2020, McKinney — who was at that time a licensed counselor…

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Former President Donald Trump bashed his GOP primary opponent Nikki Haley Wednesday evening and warned that anyone who contributes to her campaign “will be permanently barred from the MAGA camp.” “When I ran for Office and won, I noticed that the losing Candidate’s ‘Donors’ would immediately come to me, and want to ‘help out,'” Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform. “This is standard in Politics, but no longer with me.” Referring to donors to Haley’s campaign, the former commander-in-chief stated “We don’t want them, and will not accept them, because we Put America First, and ALWAYS WILL!” Trump’s announcement…

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The Maine Department of Health and Human Services’ (Maine DHHS) Office of Child and Family Services (OCFS) introduced a new “LGBTQI+ Policy” in October 2023 directing caseworkers to affirm children’s “gender identity,” shield information from parents, and to facilitate children’s access to “gender affirming” sex change hormones and surgeries, according to a copy of the policy obtained by the Maine Wire. The policy was developed in coordination with the Maine Medical Center and Northern Lights Hospital’s Gender Clinics, which both provide “gender affirming” hormone therapy to children. [RELATED: MaineHealth DEI Exec Holds ‘Antiracist’ Prayer Service, Tells White People to Feel…

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The Independent Commission tasked by Maine Gov. Janet Mills with investigating the facts and circumstances surrounding the Oct. 25 mass shooting in Lewiston is slated to hear testimony from members of the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) Thursday morning. [RELATED: Maine Gov Calls for “Independent” Commission to Review Police, Army Failures and Botched Investigation Around Robert Card’s Lewiston Murder Spree…] Members of the SCSO were made aware of the Lewiston shooter Robert R. Card, Jr.’s declining mental health as early as May 2023, when Card’s son and ex-wife voiced their concerns about Card’s paranoia and access to firearms to law enforcement.…

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Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins has said she will not be endorsing Donald Trump in 2024, even if the former president secures the Republican Party’s nomination. However, Collins also said she will not be endorsing former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley — Trump’s last-remaining rival in the 2024 Republican primary. When asked Wednesday if she could see herself endorsing Trump if he wins the nomination, Collins said “I do not at this point,” the Hill reported Wednesday. Collins’ statement comes on the heels of Trump securing an 11-point victory over Nikki Haley in Tuesday’s New Hampshire Primary. [RELATED: Trump Notches…

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The Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) Foundation’s Center for Legislative Accountability released a legislative scorecard Tuesday rating the conservative voting record of members of the 131st Maine State Legislature. [RELATED: Here’s What the Maine State Legislature Did (and Didn’t Do) This Year…] https://twitter.com/mschlapp/status/1749869549552365637?s=20 The conservative organization’s ratings are based on an evaluation of how Maine lawmakers voted on certain bills during the Legislature’s first session, and whether their votes align with the organization’s vision of conservatism. According to CPAC: “The bills featured in CPAC’s 2023 Ratings of Maine expanded handouts for electric vehicles, increased workplace mandates, and increased welfare spending.…

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Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has collected the 3,000 signatures required to qualify for the 2024 general election ballot in New Hampshire, his campaign announced Tuesday. [RELATED: RFK Jr Confronted by Pro-Palestine Heckler Calling for Ceasefire at Portland Event…] The Kennedy campaign collected the required signatures in New Hampshire in just one day, with volunteers gathering voter signatures across nearly 100 precincts from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday — the same day as the New Hampshire Republican and Democratic presidential primaries. New Hampshire is now the second state where RFK Jr. has reached the signature threshold to…

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Democratic State Rep. Benjamin Collings of Portland is seeking to amend Article I of the Constitution of Maine to include a “right to housing” for all individuals. [RELATED: NYC Mayor Seeks to Change ‘Right to Shelter’ Law After Asylum Seeker Influx…] Rep. Collings’ LD 853 is a resolution that, if passed by two thirds of each branch of the State Legislature, would give Mainer’s the opportunity to vote in a statewide referendum on whether the “right to housing” should be added to the Maine Constitution. The “right to housing” as it appears in Collings’ resolution, reads: “All individuals have a…

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Maine State Rep. Colleen Madigan (D-Waterville) has sponsored a bill that would provide the state’s “low-barrier” homeless shelters with a $2.5 million subsidy. [RELATED: Voluntarily Homeless: Portland Spent $65,000 Offering Shelter and Housing to 100 “Unhoused Individuals” — Only 18 Accepted…] According to the Maine State Housing Authority, a low-barrier shelter is an emergency shelter for the homeless that does not require residents to submit to criminal background checks, to provide identification or income verification, to participate in any mental health or substance use disorder program, or to be sober. Currently, there are five low-barrier shelters in Maine, all run…

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A coalition of nine Democratic state governors, led by Gov. Kathy Hochul of New York, sent a letter to the Biden Administration and congressional leaders Monday calling for federal action to be taken to secure the Southern border. [RELATED: “Enforce the Immigration Laws”: Maine Democrat Lays Blame for U.S. Border Catastrophe on Biden…] “As Governors representing over 100 million Americans, we write to call on Washington to work together to solve what has become a humanitarian crisis,” the governors of New York, Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New Mexico wrote. “The sustained arrival of individuals seeking…

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Portland’s Arts and Technology and Casco Bay High Schools were put on lockdown Monday afternoon over alleged threatening comments made by a student. Portland Police were called to the school shortly before 2 p.m. on Monday, and were informed that a student had made threatening comments to Casco Bay High School online during the afternoon. The schools were put on lockdown until Portland Police arrived and ensured the students were safe. The lockdown was lifted and the school went back to normal operations at approximately 2:43 p.m. According to Portland Police, while the school was on lockdown, other officers responded…

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The Kennebec County Superior Court has ordered the Maine County Commissioners Association Self-Funded Risk Management Pool (Risk Pool) to pay $130,000 to a non-profit prisoner advocacy organization after finding that the Risk Pool unlawfully withheld public records from the organization in bad faith. The award comes after the Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled in August 2023 that the Risk Pool, a government entity responsible for covering the costs of legal settlements, had acted in bad faith in not fulfilling a Freedom of Access Act (FOAA) request from the Human Rights Defense Center (HRDC) in June 2021. [RELATED: Maine Supreme Judicial Court…

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Portland Police announced Monday that a man has been arrested in connection to the ransacking of a downtown Portland building over the weekend. Police say they were called to 465 Congress St. in Portland on Sunday, shortly before 8 a.m. Upon arrival, officers were informed that someone had entered the building and “ransacked the area,” which had also been done on Saturday night, according to Portland Police. Officers then entered the building, located the suspect and placed him under arrest. Kenneth A. Donis, 52, was arrested and charged with burglary, theft by unauthorized taking and criminal mischief. He was taken…

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A non-governmental organization (NGO) partnered with former U.S. Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton is teaming up with American Express Global Business Travel (AmexGBT) and the non-profit organization “Miles4Migrants” to fund flights into the U.S. for migrants. [RELATED: “Enforce the Immigration Laws”: Maine Democrat Lays Blame for U.S. Border Catastrophe on Biden…] The NGO, Welcome.US, was formed in 2021 after the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, when they first partnered with Miles4Migrants to raise $2 million to fund the travel of over 18,000 Afghan refugees to the United States. That fundraising effort was supported by companies including Starbucks,…

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A 31-year-old Haitian national who is unlawfully present in the United States, and who was recently charged with raping a developmentally disabled person in Massachusetts, has been arrested by Boston U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. According to ICE, the 31-year-old Haitian national arrived at a Texas port of entry in December 2022, where he was deemed inadmissible and issued a notice to appear before an immigration judge in Boston. In September 2023, Boston police arrested the Haitian national for rape and indecent assault and battery on a developmentally disabled person in Dorchester, Massachusetts. Following his arrest, ICE Enforcement…

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The Portland City Council held a workshop Tuesday to discuss the challenges the city expects to face in crafting their Fiscal Year 2025 (FY25) budget, which include a decline in state and federal funds, staffing shortages, and financing the operation of the city’s multiple homeless shelters. [RELATED: Portland Spends 50 Times More Per Person on Welfare Than Other Maine Cities, Spent 73% of All General Assistance Dollars Since 2019, Records Show…] In a “FY25 Budget Primer” presentation prepared for the Tuesday workshop, City of Portland Finance Director Brendan O’Connell lists the “significant budget challenges” which could result in a substantial…

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The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) are in a “financial crisis” amid a $2 million budget deficit which may require the organization to make seven-figure budget cuts and layoff staff, according to several members of the DSA’s Marxist “Bread & Roses” caucus. [RELATED: Maine DSA Stages Pro-Hamas Rally in Portland, Calls Terror Attacks on Israel “Morally and Legally Legitimate”…] In an article published last week in The Call, a news outlet run by the DSA’s Bread & Roses caucus, DSA members Alex Pellitteri, Kristin Schall, and Laura Waldin outlined their proposal to the organization’s National Political Committee (NPC) for sweeping…

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A Maine man pleaded guilty Thursday in a Washington, D.C. federal court to assaulting law enforcement during the breach of the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 6, 2021. [RELATED: U.S. Recommends Only Six Months in Prison for Ray Epps Who Incited People to Enter the Capitol on Jan. 6…] Matthew Brackley, 40, of Waldoboro pleaded guilty to one count of assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers. He will be sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Carl Nichols on May, 14, 2024. According to court records, Brackley flew from Portland, Maine, to Washington, D.C., to attend then-President Donald Trump’s “Stop the…

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Portland Police announced Thursday that a suspect has been arrested in connection to multiple recent burglaries in the Portland area over the past several weeks. Joseph Call, 37, of Windham, was arrested after an “extensive investigation” which included detectives from the Portland, Westbrook, and South Portland Police Departments. Police say Call was linked to burglaries at The Blue Lobster (Dec. 17), Coffee by Design (Dec. 30), Rosemont Market and Bakery (Dec. 30), LFK cocktail bar (Dec. 31), Rusty Lantern Market (Jan. 13), and Pat’s Meat Market (Jan. 14) in Portland. Call is expected to face multiple charges of burglary and…

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced Wednesday that officers at an Arizona port of entry arrested a 19-year-old man attempting to smuggle nearly 492,000 blue fentanyl pills across the U.S.-Mexico border. [RELATED: Wade Man Receives 15 Year Prison Sentence for Possessing Enough Fentanyl to Kill Over 2.5 Million People…] According to CBP, on Friday, Jan. 12, officers at the Douglas, Arizona port of entry referred a 19-year-old male U.S. citizen for further inspection of his pickup truck as he attempted to enter the U.S. Upon searching the pickup truck, officers discovered 500 packages of blue pills which were concealed…

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During their Wednesday evening meeting, the Portland City Council heard public comment from several people calling on the city to stop poisoning the rats which have infested Harbor View Memorial Park. Harbor View Park, which lies below the Portland side of the Casco Bay Bridge, was the site of the city’s largest homeless encampment until it was cleared out by the city on Jan. 2. [RELATED: ‘Unhoused Lives Matter’: Sweep at Harbor View Park Encampment Blocked by Protestors, Line of Cars…] In the months leading up to the sweep of the Harbor View encampment, Portland city officials expressed their concerns…

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Former Portland Mayor and active member of the Maine Democratic Socialists of America (Maine DSA) Ethan Strimling has hired a progressive public relations firm to capitalize on a complaint he filed with Maine’s Secretary of State concerning former President Donald Trump’s ballot eligibility. Strimling has previously endeavored to raise money on the news surrounding his complaint for a non-profit that mostly pays consulting fees to the socialist former mayor. But now he’s looking to garner invitations for interviews with newspapers and television media, according to a copy of the pitch his new PR firm is sending around. [RELATED: Bellows Boots Trump,…

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A Wade man was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Bangor to 15 years in prison after a November 2022 search warrant found him in possession of enough fentanyl to supply a potentially lethal dose to over 2.5 million people. [RELATED: Maine Lawmakers Consider Decriminalizing Possession of Hard Drugs and Paraphernalia…] Daniel White, 57, was sentenced Wednesday to a total of 188 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release. White previously pleaded guilty to charges of possession of fentanyl and methamphetamine with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm by an unlawful user of controlled substances,…

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The City of South Portland is working to close a $4 million shortfall in their current fiscal year budget they identified earlier this month — a gap the city attributes to mistakenly not taxing residents enough to support the City Council-approved budget. According to the city, South Portland’s current mill rate is $14.14, meaning property owners must pay $14.14 out of every $1,000 of their property’s assessed value. But it should have been raised to $14.69 this past summer following the approval of the current fiscal year’s budget by the City Council. That increased tax rate would have resulted in…

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President Joe Biden’s Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Wednesday that the U.S. government is designating the Iranian-backed Houthis — or “Ansarallah” — as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” group. This comes under a week after the Biden administration and the U.K. carried out joint military strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen in an effort to degrade the Islamist group’s ability to attack commercial shipping vessels in the Red Sea. [RELEASED: Biden Hit With Bipartisan Criticism From Congress Over Bombing of Houthi Targets in Yemen…] “Since November, the Houthis have launched unprecedented attacks against international maritime vessels in the Red…

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Portland Police are investigating an armed robbery that occurred late Tuesday afternoon at a local fried chicken restaurant. Police say there were called to Crown Fried Chicken at 408 Forest Ave. in Portland Tuesday at approximately 5:25 p.m. for a reported robbery. A male had entered the business and displayed a black handgun while demanding cash, before fleeing out of the business and running north on Forest Ave. The suspect was described as a white male, 5’10”-6′ tall. Investigators are urging anyone who has any information that might assist them to call (207) 874-8575, or text keyword PPDME and your…

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