Portland Cannabis Convention draws thousands


PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A marijuana convention drew thousands of people to the University of Southern Maine campus on Saturday.

The Portland Cannabis Convention, hosted by the New England Cannabis Network, displayed 65 vendors and 50 speakers from across the country.

It is the first time an out-of-state group has brought a convention to Maine.

The goal of the convention is to grow knowledge about cannabis, especially medicinal use, a case people may feel uncomfortable talking about with a doctor.

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Portland police warn man being released from prison is dangerous


PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Portland police are warning residents of a man being released from prison on Friday who they classify as "dangerous."

Police say Steven Ricci has an extensive criminal history of indecent conduct, assaultive criminal behavior, violating conditions of release and stalking that dates back to the 1990's.

"I certainly don't believe that releasing him to his residence, to what is quoted as his self care, is appropriate. But that's the situation we're found with and we're forced to deal with it", said Chief Michael Sauschuck.

Police say he is on probation and is required to wear a GPS monitor at all times. He has a curfew from 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. Police say he is at "high-risk" to re-offend.

Portland voters reject two ballot questions


PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Voters in Portland shot down two measures Tuesday. Fifty eight percent of voters who turned out voted against raising the minimum wage. Sixty three percent voted down "Question 2," the so-called "scenic view referendum."

The Portland city council already voted to increase the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour starting in January and increase it to $10.68 a year later. After Tuesday's "No on 1" vote, it appears those plans will stay in place.

Question 1 would've increased the minimum wage in Portland to $15 an hour by 2019. Its supporters said that's a living wage.

People and groups who opposed the referendum, including the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce, said it would've hurt small businesses. The chamber's chair, Michael Bouroque, said he's relieved by the result.

Portland police: Man and child on sidewalk hit by car


PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Portland police say a man and a small child, walking on the sidewalk, were hit by a car Tuesday morning. 

The accident happened across from Portland High School, in front of the Boys and Girls club. Police say both were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available. 


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Smart meter debate goes back to Maine supreme court


PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- The Maine supreme court is hearing arguments over the safety of so-called smart meters installed by Central Maine Power.
    
Opponents who contend smart meters cause symptoms including headache, fatigue and sleep loss are challenging a December conclusion by the Maine Public Utilities Commission that 600,000 smart meters installed in homes and businesses pose no credible health threat.
    
They say the PUC disregarded its mandate to ensure "safe, reasonable and adequate services."
    
CMP contends the smart meters are safe.
    
This is the second time smart meter opponents have gone to the state supreme court. The court ruled three years ago that regulators failed to adequately address safety concerns, leading to another review by regulators.

Mainers voting on expanded public campaign finance, bonds


PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- Mainers are going to the polls to vote on whether to approve changes to the state's campaign finance rules and authorize $100 million in bonds.
    
The Mainers for Accountable Elections coalition wants voters to approve an overhaul it says will strengthen the campaign finance law, which gives public money to candidates running for governor and the Legislature.
    
The bonds are divided between two questions. One would authorize $85 million for infrastructure projects. Most of the money would pay to construct, reconstruct or rehabilitate state highways and replace and rehab bridges.
    
The other question would provide $15 million for housing for seniors. Most of the money would be used to build new, affordable homes for low-income households headed by a person who is over 55 years old.

Police searching for suspect in stabbing


PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Police responded to a stabbing at Franklin Towers in Portland Monday night.

City of Portland spokesperson Jessica Grondin said the call came in at approximately 6:21 p.m. Monday.

Police said a man was stabbed in the lower back area. He was brought to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Police would not say whether the stabbing happened inside or outside the building.

Donna Neault is an employee with the Portland Housing Authority, which manages the property. She went to the building to make sure the other residents are okay. Neault said Franklin Towers offers subsidized housing and most of the 230 people who live there are elderly or disabled.

She insisted the building is safe. People who live in the building need an electronic key FOB to get in, and they have to buzz guests in, Neault said.