Man guilty of transporting women for prostitution

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- A Boston man has been found guilty in a Maine court of transporting women for prostitution.

Twenty-eight-year-old Fritz Blanchard was convicted on Thursday after a four-day jury trial in Portland.

Officials say that Blanchard and Samuel Gravely drove three Maine women from Portland to Boston with the intention of having them work as prostitutes there. They say that Blanchard taught two of the women how to attract customers on the street.

U.S. Attorney Thomas Delahanty's office says that Blanchard could receive as much as 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Blanchard will be sentenced after officials complete a pre-sentence investigation report. Gravely plead guilty in November but has not yet been sentenced.

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Woman charged with stealing $750,000 from employer

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- A New Hampshire woman charged with stealing $750,000 from her Maine-based employer has appeared in federal court in Portland.

Janis Woods of Conway, New Hampshire, a former bookkeeper at a drilling business in the town of Norway, was in court Wednesday to face a bank fraud charge. She did not enter a plea.

Prosecutors say the 65-year-old Woods between 2009 and 2012 wrote 169 checks from Grover Gundrilling's account to herself by using a stamp of the company's CEO. Prosecutors say some of that money then went to a pizza parlor in North Conway, New Hampshire, owned by her son.

The Portland Press Herald reports that Woods, who was not arrested, was allowed to remain free on $20,000 bond.

Her lawyer refused comment outside of court.

VNA Shines Light on Maine Artisans in Driven

VNA Shines Light on Maine Artisans in Driven


VNA Home Health Hospice, an affiliate of EMHS and Mercy Hospital, is an organization known for providing clinically excellent, compassionate home health and hospice care to individuals and families. VNA is presenting Driven – an art event to showcase Maine artists while raising awareness for VNA and the importance of home health care. 

“Understanding that home health care and home hospice care is an integral part keeping our aging population healthy and comfortable is important,” explains Colleen Hilton, CEO of VNA Home Health and Hospice.  “We help families though difficult journeys by hiring the best leaders in their field who believe in our mission: to provide clinically excellent, compassionate home health and hospice care to individuals and families.  This necessary care can create a financial burden for some families, and our goal is to alleviate some of that stress with the community’s support of Driven.”

Veggies for All: Fresh produce for local food pantry

Veggies for All: Fresh produce for local food pantry

On the third Saturday of every month, from 6:00 to 8:00 am cars line up at the drive-through window of the Volunteer Regional Food Pantry in Unity, Maine.

In that hour and a half, the pantry is able to provide food to about 275 families or nearly 700 people throughout its community. Each family that drives up to the window gets a box full of non perishable food items topped with freshly harvested vegetables. Read more ...

Diagnosed with Cancer? Them's Fighting Words

Diagnosed with Cancer? Them's Fighting Words

Back in 2005, Chris Kuhn and his colleague and friend Dave Langdon were trying to come up with a name for a celebratory lobster bake and bike ride they planned to host.

An inmate who failed to show up to work and was on the run has been caught.

PORTLAND (NEWS CENTER) -- An inmate who failed to show up to work and was on the run has been caught.

Preston Cooper is a work release inmate who works for the Ready Seafood Company in Portland and was scheduled to work Friday. When Cooper failed to show up, his employers contacted the Cumberland County Sheriff's office.

Cooper had eluded authorities until 3:28pm on Saturday when Detective Stephen Gorham with the CCSO took him into custody.

Cooper is currently back at the Cumberland County Jail. No word around the circumstances of Cooper's apprehension, or what charges he now faces. We'll continue to update this story as details become available.

Data breach discovered at OTTO's Portland locations

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- OTTO pizza said Friday that a recently discovered data breach at its Portland locations may have exposed the credit card numbers of about 900 customers, and it has taken immediate steps to tighten computer security at all of its restaurants.

Company officials said authorities recently notified OTTO that it suffered a "point-of-sale" attack that allowed computer hackers access to some customers' credit card numbers. The attack began in early May and affected credit card terminals at its 576 Congress Street location, and at its 225 Congress Street restaurant. OTTO's six other restaurants in Maine and Massachusetts and customers of its home delivery service are unaffected.