Bookkeeper pleads guilty to embezzling employers

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- A bookkeeper has pleaded guilty to stealing almost $1 million from two former employers in Maine and New Hampshire.

Janis Woods of Conway, New Hampshire, pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to interstate transportation of stolen checks and tax evasion.

Prosecutors say the 65-year-old Woods, while working as a bookkeeper for Grover Gundrilling of Norway between 2009 and 2012, wrote 169 checks to herself for almost $750,000 from company accounts. Prosecutors say some of that money went to a pizza parlor owned by her son.

Prosecutors say between 2007 and 2009, she used her position as bookkeeper for VM Foods of Conway, New Hampshire, to issue herself $220,000 in unauthorized checks.

Police: Man wanted for sex assault questioning in custody

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) The Portland man wanted for questioning in a burglary and child sex assault has been taken into custody out-of-state, police said.

Julian Soto, 25, is being held in Massachusetts after officers with the U.S. Marshals picked him up in the greater Boston area. Officers have not yet said how they were able to find Soto Tuesday night.

Investigators had been searching for Soto since October 9 when a man broke into an apartment on Greenleaf Street in Portland's East Bayside neighborhood. After the burglary police said a child inside the apartment was sexually assaulted.

They believe the assault was an isolated incident and that the suspect knows the victim.

Soto is expected to head to court in Massachusetts to see when he'll be brought back to Maine.

Political signs moved at Deering Oaks Park

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Something peculiar happened in Portland Sunday. More than 50 political campaign signs were moved and put in a circle at Deering Oaks Park.

State Representative Ben Chipman said he spent last night putting up new signs in and around the park. When he drove by those same areas this morning, he noticed his signs were missing.

"So I parked my car and got out to see if the signs were around in the area, and that's where I discovered this large circle of over 65 campaign signs representing 15 different candidates all forming a circle here in the area where they were stolen from," Chipman said.

Business, city leaders celebrate return of Pirates to Portland

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Last season is one both the city and the Portland Pirates would like to forget. Construction and heated negotiations between the Cumberland County Civic Center's Board of Trustees and the team kept the Pirates out of the namesake city.

"Last year was a difficult year," stated Portland's Mayor, Michael Brennan. "It was a difficult year for the Pirates, both on the ice and off the ice, and it was difficult with the negotiations with the Civic Center. We worked through those difficulties. We are now at a better place, and we see a bright future for the Pirates in Portland."

Mayor Brennan says the team has a tremendous economic, as well as social, impact on the community.

Boothbay Harbor man crowned Maine Lobster Chef of the Year

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Maine Lobster Chef of the Year 2014 was crowned after this year's lobster cook-off competition held Friday at Portland's four-day food and wine event, Harvest on the Harbor. Chef Stephen Richards, of Boothbay Harbor, was crowned in a Competition at Harvest on the Harbor.

Chef Stephen Richards from The World Is Mine Oyster in Boothbay Harbor, prepared Pumpkin Powdered, Mascarpone and Chestnut Crispy Polenta Bar with Roasted Fig Gastrique, Brown Butter Froth, Peppered Pancetta Chip and 24 Hour Cold Smoked Lobster Claw for the attendees and judges, and was voted the winner.

Richards received $1,000 in prize money, public relations opportunities, and bragging rights for the year.

Copies of the chef's recipes can be found at

Lots of attacks in Second District Debate

(NEWS CENTER) -- Maine's candidates for the 2nd congressional district met in their final televised debate Thursday night.

Our Voice of the Voter Forum featured Republican Bruce Poliquin, Democrat Emily Cain, and Independent Blaine Richardson.

The debate covered a number of topics -- from tax reform, to Social Security to the Affordable Care Act.
But what viewers of this debate will remember... was how nasty it was.

Our political analysts Phil Harriman and Ethan Strimling also talk about the candidates' performance.

Clearing leaves can prevent drainage problems

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Several crews will be out Wednesday cleaning streets and making sure they're as open as possible for the onslaught of the rain.

Portland has already seen over 2 inches or rain and there is the possibility of another 2 - 4 inches through Friday. This nor'easter is happening just days before the City's organized Fall Curbside Leaf Pickup Program.

The City of Portland Public Works crews do their best to keep Portland's 4,000-plus storm drains working but with Thursday looking like the wettest and windiest of all the days, it's important to clear drainage areas near you. Residents and property owners are encouraged to open up their catch basins to minimize flooding.