TIME Crime

Gunman Confesses to Maine Shootings

This undated photo from the Maine Sex Offender Register released July 17, 2015 shows Anthony Lord.
Maine State Police via AP This undated photo from the Maine Sex Offender Register released July 17, 2015 shows Anthony Lord.

35-year-old Anthony Lord carried out shootings in several communities in northern Maine

(HOULTON, Maine) — Maine state police say a gunman accused of killing two people chased down a woman he’s accused of kidnapping after she fled through a bathroom window.

An affidavit providing details was made public Monday as 35-year-old Anthony Lord appeared before a judge in Houlton. In the document, police say Lord confessed to the shootings.

The shootings Friday in several northern Maine communities killed 58-year-old Kevin Tozier and 22-year-old Kyle Hewitt.

Police say Lord kidnapped Hewitt’s girlfriend, 22-year-old Brittany Irish, and shot her 55-year-old mother, Kim Irish, at a home in Benedicta.

Police say Brittany Irish nearly got away by flagging down a pickup truck but was abducted after Lord opened fire. She was with Lord when he was arrested at his uncle’s home in Houlton.

TIME Maine

Gunman Kills 2 in Maine Towns

This undated photo from the Maine Sex Offender Register shows Anthony Lord, being sought in connection with the shootings of four people in three different communities in northern Maine on Friday.
Maine State Police /AP This undated photo from the Maine Sex Offender Register released Friday, July 17, 2015, by the shows Anthony Lord, being sought in connection with the shootings of four people in three different communities in northern Maine on Friday. (Maine State Police via AP)

The victims were shot overnight in 3 different towns

(LEE, Maine)—State police say a former convict shot five people, two of them fatally, during a rampage across several northern Maine towns before being captured.

They say a man was assaulted and guns were stolen before the shootings began in three different communities. Police also believe the suspect set fire to a barn.

Investigators say 35-year-old Anthony Lord was arrested without incident Friday at a family member’s home in Houlton. They say a woman who was with him wasn’t harmed.

Police say Lord faces murder charges. They are searching for a motive for the overnight shootings that left two men dead and two men and a woman injured. They didn’t identify the victims.

Lord has a criminal record that includes convictions for a sex crime, domestic assault, criminal threatening and assault.

TIME remembrance

Beekeeper Burt Shavitz of Burt’s Bees Fame Passes Away at 80

Burt Shavitz
Robert F. Bukaty—AP Burt Shavitz poses for a photo on his property in Parkman, Maine. Shavitz, a former beekeeper, is the Burt behind Burt's Bees

The Burt's Bees website says Shavitz will be remembered as a "free-spirited Maine man, a beekeeper, a wisecracker, a lover of golden retrievers and his land"

Burt Shavitz, who founded the Burt’s Bees beauty brand, has passed away at the age of 80 in Bangor, Maine. According to USA Today, he died of respiratory complications, surrounded by friends and family.

Shavitz gained recognition as his personal-care products, decorated with a likeness of his face, spread around the world. And you can see in the video below — a clip filmed in Taiwan from Burt’s Buzz, a documentary about Shavitz’s business and unconventional life — he even had a certain global rock-star quality to him.

But before his face was plastered on his namesake all-natural products, Shavitz was a small-scale honey salesman, peddling his goods on a roadside in Maine. That’s where he serendipitously met Roxanne Quimby — a hitchhiking single mother who eventually became his business partner, USA Today says.

The two started Burt’s Bees in 1984 after Quimby began fashioning Shavitz’s unused beeswax into candles. In the first year, the pair made around $20,000 from their products. Eventually, the company expanded into making lotions, lip balms, soaps and a range of bath products. Now, Burt’s Bees is owned by Clorox and sells products in over 40 countries.

The Burt’s Bees website says Shavitz will be remembered as “a bearded, free-spirited Maine man, a beekeeper, a wisecracker, a lover of golden retrievers and his land.”

[USA Today]

TIME Accident

Maine Man Dies in Fourth of July Fireworks Accident

First death since Maine legalized fireworks two years ago, officials say

A 22-year-old man died on Saturday night in Maine as a result of a fireworks accident on the Fourth of July, officials said.

Devon Staples, 22, was killed instantly in Calais, Maine, after he put a fireworks mortar on his head, marking the first death since the state legalized fireworks two years ago, NBC-affiliate WCSH6 reports. Staples had been drinking with friends when the incident occurred at approximately 10 p.m. ET, according to Maine Public Safety spokesperson Steve McCausland.

Fireworks were involved in more 10,000 injuries and 11 deaths in 2014, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

[WCHS6]

TIME Chris Christie

Maine’s Tea Party Governor Endorses Chris Christie

Chris Christie, Paul LePage
Robert F. Bukaty—AP New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, left, and Maine Gov. Paul LePage in Bangor, Maine, on, Aug. 12, 2014.

He's the first sitting Republican governor to endorse in the 2016 race

Maine Governor Paul LePage became the first sitting Republican governor to endorse a presidential candidate Wednesday morning when he boosted New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at the waterside Becky’s Diner in downtown Portland.

The two make an easy pair, with Christie having made a number of trips and steering more than $2 million as chairman of the Republican Governors Association to boost LePage’s re-election candidacy last year. They share a similar temperament, with both known for high-profile flare-ups in front of television cameras. Just last week, LePage joked about shooting a newspaper cartoonist who has been critical of him.

“He’s a little bit shy,” LePage quipped about Christie as he delivered his endorsement. “I’m going to work over the next year, to bring him out of his shell.”

“He’s not gonna be a politician and talk out of both sides of his mouth,” LePage told a gaggle of about 30 journalists after greeting and posing for photos with diners eating short-stacks and sipping coffee . “What he’s gonna do is tell you things you may not want to hear but you need to hear, and then he’s gonna go to work to fix them.”

Christie thanked LePage for the endorsement. “I think that says a lot about our candidacy, and quite frankly, it says more about Paul LePage,” he said. “This is a guy who knows how to make decisions.”

“He’s a great friend and he’s going to be an important part of this campaign as we move forward,” he continued.

The hastily arranged event less than 24 hours after his presidential announcement took Christie on a detour from his five-day swing to New Hampshire, where he is devoting his all, to neighboring Maine, whose caucuses proved inconclusive amid a bitter intra-party squabble in 2012.

LePage’s endorsement of Christie forty miles north of the Bush family compound in Kennebunkport comes after matriarch Barbara Bush appeared in a Republican Governors Association ad on LePage’s behalf last year, endorsing the controversial figure on behalf of herself and former President George H.W. Bush.

Speaking to reporters, Christie condemned clerks and other government officials in several southern states who have refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses after last week’s Supreme Court ruling, pointing to his own experience in New Jersey after his state Supreme Court ordered it legalized two years ago.

“I believe that folks need to enforce the law, enforce the Constitution if you’ve taken an oath,” Christie said. “Whether you agree with any particular law or not, they don’t put that caveat in your oath. The oath is to enforce the law and the Constitution.”

Christie said he was not concerned that some presidential candidates will be excluded from the stage at the first two presidential primary debates beginning next month, saying he believes he will make the cut, even as he is in danger of falling from the top 10 in several surveys.

“My view is, I intend to be on the debate stage and I intend to speak my mind and I’m sure that that will go well for us,” he said. “And we’ll see what everyone else does. But in the end, it’s up to the party and the debate sponsors.”

MONEY real estate

Why This Incredible Maine Mansion is Selling for $125

The Center Lovell Inns owner, Janice Sagan, is selling the inn, the same way she bought it 22 years ago, with an essay contest.
Carl D. Walsh—Portland Press Herald via Getty The Center Lovell Inns owner, Janice Sagan, is selling the inn, the same way she bought it 22 years ago, with an essay contest.

It’s gorgeous—and there’s nothing wrong with it.

The owner of a bed & breakfast in Maine is handing off her property to whoever who writes the best 200-word essay and submits a check for $125.

Janice Sage first came into possession of the Center Lovell Inn in 1993 when she won an essay contest set up by the owners at the time, Mental Floss reports. But now, Sage is ready to retire—and pass on the property much the same way she came about it.

Sage told the Press Herald: “There’s a lot of very talented people in the restaurant business who would like to have their own place but can’t afford it. This is a way for them to have the opportunity to try.”

The business-savvy Sage is not doing this without cashing out. She hopes to get over 7,500 contest entries, which would mean she would collect $900,000— the price at which real estate agents in the area say she could expect to sell the property, according to Mental Floss.

Entries must be postmarked by May 7. The winner is expected to be announced on May 21st. There’s more information on the contest’s website here.

The Professional Association of Innkeepers International says that the bed & breakfast industry is estimated to be worth $3.4 billion, with as many as 17,000 inns in the U.S. The average daily rate for a room is $150, according to the association’s website.

TIME animals

Official ‘State Dog’ Designations Divide Utah and Maine

Getty Images

Dog breed favoritism divides two state legislatures

Lawmakers in Utah and Maine are waging the battle of the dog breeds, trying to get a favored variety recognized as their states’ official man’s best friend.

Supporters in Utah have had uneasy success making the golden retriever the “state domestic animal.” According to the the Salt Lake Tribune, the move came at the suggestion of a fourth-grade class. Those in favor cited the breed’s popularity across the state, as well as the golden retriever’s gentle temperament as a therapy animal.

But there were many on Monday who dissented out of loyalty to the german shepherd or the cocker spaniel, and the measure barely passed. It goes to a final vote later in the week.

Meanwhile, a bill to declare the labrador retriever Maine’s state dog suffered a resounding defeat in committee. State representatives, according to the Associated Press, wanted to avoid playing favorites, while one committee member called the whole affair a “waste of time.” (Notably, Maine already has an official state cat: the Maine coon cat.)

If Utah’s representatives vote to make the golden retriever as the official state pet, they’ll join five others that have singled out a dog or a cat. The Alaskan Malamute is, predictably, that state’s dog. Wisconsin has the American water spaniel, Louisiana has the Catahoula leopard dog and Maryland has bestowed the honor on the Chesapeake Bay retriever. Maryland is also the only state other than Maine with an official cat—the calico.

TIME Drugs

Maine to Test Some Welfare Recipients for Drugs

TIME.com stock photos Health Syringe Needle
Elizabeth Renstrom—TIME

New law requires testing for those with prior drug convictions within the past 20 years who indicate potential for drug dependency

Maine will soon begin to drug-test some welfare recipients with prior drug convictions as a condition to receive government aid, the state’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced Wednesday.

The new rule calls for testing of recipients with a drug conviction from the past 20 years who also indicate potential drug dependency on a separate self-assessment. People who test positive for drugs, or refuse to take the test, will be required to enter a rehabilitation program to continue receiving aid.

“[Governor Paul LePage] is respecting the wishes of hardworking taxpayers who want to know that the hand up they provide is being used appropriately,” said Maine DHHS commissioner Mary Mayhew in a statement. “The goal of these benefits is not to subsidize poor lifestyle choices, but to help Mainers transition from a life of poverty to a life of prosperity.”

The new drug-testing rule, which applies to federal funding provided through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, will go into force within weeks, and has been years in the making. The legislature approved it overwhelmingly in 2011, but implementation was delayed as the state’s attorney general considered how to implement it while minimizing litigation. Attorney General Janet Mills approved a modified version of the rule last week.

The state is one 18 across the country that has enacted some form of legislation calling for drug testing for welfare recipients, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Such policies, while politically popular in some areas, have been criticized as bad regulations that are potentially unconstitutional.

DHHS spokesman David Sorensen maintains that Maine’s law is a “middle ground” when compared to the policies elsewhere. “The whole goal is an overall effort to ensure that welfare is getting people from welfare to work,” Sorensen said. “We’re not interested in helping people to maintain a lifestyle of welfare dependency.”

TIME justice

Transgender Teen Awarded $75,000 in School Restroom Lawsuit

Jonas Maines,  Nicole Maines, Wayne Maines
Robert F. Bukaty — AP In this file photo, transgender student Nicole Maines, center, speaks to reporters as her father Wayne Maines, left, and brother Jonas, look on outside the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor, Maine.

Case was brought when a Maine school district forced the student to use a staff restroom

A court in Maine awarded the family of a transgender teenager $75,000 in a discrimination lawsuit against a school district that forced the student to use a staff restroom rather than a facility reserved for pupils, reports the Associated Press.

Nicole Maines, 17, had won her lawsuit against the Orono school district earlier this year in front of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, which ruled that the school district had violated the state’s Human Rights Act.

The case marked the first time a state’s highest court ruled that a transgender person has the right to use the restroom of the gender with which they identify.

In the wake of the court’s decision, a lower court awarded the financial settlement to the Maines family and the activist organization, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defender, on Nov. 25. In accordance with the order, the Orono school district is prohibited from refusing transgender students access “to school restrooms that are consistent with their gender identity.”

The case stemmed from an incident in 2007 when the grandfather of a fellow fifth grade classmate complained to school administrators that Maines was allowed to use the girls’ restroom. In the wake of the protest, the Orono school district began forcing Maines to use a staff facility — a decision that her parents argued was discriminatory.

[AP]

TIME ebola

Ebola Nurse Set to Leave Maine Town After Quarantine Fight

Kaci Hickox Ebola Nurse
Joel Page—Reuters Nurse Kaci Hickox (L) joined by her boyfriend Ted Wilbur, speaks with the media outside of their home in Fort Kent, Maine on Oct. 31, 2014.

“We’re going to try to get our lives back on track”

The nurse who clashed with Maine authorities over an Ebola quarantine said she plans to leave the town where she lives soon after the virus’ 21-day incubation period ends on Monday.

“We are going to southern Maine and will decide what’s next from there,” Kaci Hickox told CNN on Sunday.

Hickox tested negative for Ebola after traveling to West Africa to treat those battling the deadly virus, but officials in both Maine and New Jersey responding to public fear of the virus still wanted to place in quarantine. Hickcox eventually won a legal fight against Maine over the quarantine.

“We’re going to try to get our lives back on track,” her boyfriend Ted Wilbur told the Portland Press Herald.

[CNN]

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