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Warmth, Rain and Ice: Combination Raises Flooding Fears in Northern Maine

CARIBOU, Maine - Northernmost Maine remains under a flood watch today, as warming temperatures and melting snow cause water to build up behind ice jams and rivers in the area to rise. Ice remains a concern, as well, on the upper Penobscot and Piscataquis Rivers.
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Courtesy U.S. Geological Survey / Wikimedia Commons

Maine Peepers Sing Spring Songs, Amid Worries About Amphibians' Future

WISCASSET, Maine - After months of bitter cold, we have at last reached that time of year when nature starts to wake up. Some of the first - and most audible - signs of spring's arrival are the mating calls of amphibians - peepers and wood frogs.
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MAINE CALLING

Organ Donation

The latest science on organ donation.

ELLSWORTH, Maine - A Maine jury has convicted a carpenter who was accused of killing his employer and raiding the victim's bank accounts to the tune of nearly $180,000.

WABI-TV reported that jurors on Friday found William Morse guilty of murder in the fatal shooting of 61-year-old Richard Bellittieri.

Prosecutors say Morse killed Bellittieri and then used his money to lead a lavish lifestyle that earned him the nickname "hundred dollar Bill.'' Witnesses said Morse even presented himself as Bellittieri at times.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine's congressional delegation is urging the Federal Emergency Management Agency to add Washington County to a winter storm disaster declaration.

In the letter, Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King and Rep. Bruce Poliquin pointed out that Washington County was hit especially hard by winter storms but was left off a disaster declaration that included York, Androscoggin and Cumberland counties.

The disaster declaration applies to the first big blizzard of the season in late January.

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine - Five hundred of the world's top biathletes will converge on Aroostook County next February for an International Biathlon Union World Cup event.

Competitions will take place Feb. 11 to Feb. 14 of 2016, and will be held at the Nordic Heritage Center in Presque Isle.

Event Director Jane Towle says the economic impact will be in the millions of dollars. She says the budget for just hosting the event is $1 million.

ELLSWORTH, Maine - Prosecutors say a carpenter accused of killing his employer and raiding the man's bank accounts to the tune of $180,000 "had it down to a science.'' But the defense says investigators failed to prove who fired the fatal shots.

WNSX-FM reports that jurors began deliberations Friday after closing arguments in the trial of William Morse, who's charged with killing 61-year-old Richard Bellittieri and leading a lifestyle that led to the nickname "hundred dollar bill.''

Witnesses said Morse even presented himself as Bellittieri at times.

AUGUSTA, Maine - The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency and other law enforcement agencies are asking lawmakers on the Legislature's Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee to add acetylfentanyl to the list of outlawed drugs in Maine.

Maine Drug Enforcement Agency Director Roy McKinney says the drug was among those seized in a raid last year, and, after analysis, the agency realized the drug was not illegal under Maine law - even though use is illegal under federal law.

McKinney says it's a loophole that needs to be closed.

The State Of The Cancer Nation

9 hours ago

While a cure for cancer remains elusive, we already know how to keep many cases of the disease from developing in the first place.

People can reduce cancer risks by keeping a healthful weight and avoiding cigarettes.

But smoking, obesity and other major cancer risk factors remain common, and they still vary widely across the country.

Jay Field / MPBN

BANGOR, Maine — There are only two Howard Johnson's restaurants left, and that number could soon be halved.

The clock is ticking for the HoJo's restaurant in Bangor, Maine. David Patel, one of the owners, said Friday that the restaurant that dates to 1966 will close in a month if he can't find someone to lease it.

That would leave only one HoJo's restaurant in Lake George, New York.

Some have suggested the Bangor restaurant is living on borrowed time. It's scaled back its hours, and faces stiff competition.

PORTLAND, Maine - A federal judge has sentenced a Maine man to eight months and ordered him to pay more than $65,000 in restitution for evading income tax and for illegal sales of lobsters.

Robert Thompson, who was sentenced Thursday, pleaded guilty in December to one count of evading income tax on under-the-table cash transactions he made while dock manager for the Spruce Head Fishermen's Cooperative. Prosecutors say he paid cash for lobsters and then sold them for cash to a company in Eliot, Maine.

Tom Porter / MPBN

PORTLAND, Maine - Portland officials say they plan to nominate the city's police chief to serve as acting city manager, in the wake of the current acting city manager's decision to depart in May.

Mayor Michael Brennan and the City Council announced today that they're going to nominate Police Chief Michael Sauschuck for the acting city manager's post. The current acting city manager, Sheila Hill-Christian, is leaving the job May 8.

PORTLAND, Maine — Maine's baby eel season is off to a slow start, causing prices to balloon back to historic levels as fishermen wait for waterways to finish thawing.

The fishery for the baby eels is one of the most valuable in Maine, though the value dropped in 2014. Fishermen caught 9,690 pounds of elvers last year at an average price of $874 per pound. State regulators say this season prices are back up to more than $1,800 per pound, as in 2012 and 2013.

Elvers are also called glass eels. Only Maine and South Carolina have elver fisheries.

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