News

Portland businesses oppose bag fees, plastic foam ban

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Businesses are speaking out about two proposals that are causing debate in the city of Portland.

The city council is considering a ban on plastic foam containers and a ten cent fee on paper and plastic bags.

The bag ordinance would place a ten cent fee on each plastic or paper bag given out in restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores, and laundromats. Store owners would be able to keep 40 percent of revenue to use toward compliance. The other proposal would ban restaurants from using polystyrene, commonly known as Styrofoam, for takeout containers and coffee cups.

Extreme athletic competition 'Tough Mudder' coming to Maine

WESTBROOK, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- More than 15,000 athletes and another 10,000 spectators are expected to descend upon the city of Westbrook the weekend of August 23 & 24 for the first ever Tough Mudder competition to be held in the Pine Tree State.

"The interesting thing about the Tough Mudder is it is part of a trend towards more adventure style outdoor racing, and so this is not really a race, it is more of an obstacle course, a military style obstacle course, and kind of a test of your endurance and a way to demonstrate some teamwork with other people you like to do athletic things with," explained Westbrook's Assistant City Administrator, Bill Baker.

Baker has experience helping organize events like this elsewhere, and has been working behind the scenes for the better part of a year to lure the event to his community.

Nurse wins ruling in Maine's high court in effort to keep license

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A Registered nurse from Steuben who has been fighting in the courts for several years to keep his nursing license,  just won a major legal battle in Maine's highest court.
It's been more than three years since the Maine state board of nursing revoked John Zablotny's license.
Zablotny was the nursing supervisor at Down East Community Hospital in Machias who allowed a heavily medicated patient to leave during a snowstorm, wearing only light clothing.  That patient  was found dead in a snowbank outside the hospital the next day.
The board revoked Zablotny's license.
Zablotny appealed the case to district court and lost.
The district court based its ruling on information already gathered by the the state licensing board instead of re-holding the hearing and calling witnesses.
The Maine Supreme Judicial Court felt that was the wrong decision..

Bradley's 23 points helps C's stop five-game skid against Heat

BOSTON (AP) - Rajon Rondo hit two running baseline shots in the last two minutes and the Boston Celtics capitalized on the absence of LeBron James to beat the Miami Heat 101-96 Wednesday night.

One night after scoring 43 points in a 100-96 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, James sat out the game with back spasms and the Heat lost for the first time in their three games without him this season.

Salsa Dancing Lessons in Portland

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- As we desperately wish for warmer temperatures, things are heating up at The Pearl in Portland. Salsa Dancing lessons are being offered there every Thursday night.

 Noche Latina Portland, which means Latin Night Portland, offers Salsa dancing lessons to the public Thursday nights starting at 9pm. Intermediate lessons go from 7:15pm to 8:15pm, beginner lessons from 8:15pm to 9:00pm and then open dance from 9:00pm to 1:00am. Instructor, Jim Tieman, offers in depth lessons that cater to dancers of every experience level.

"It's great to see new students getting salsa and understanding salsa," said Tieman. "That's the part that makes me happiest about teaching."

Several locals have already taken advantage of the salsa dancing lessons. Ryan Buckley first experienced the dance while living in Mexico. He's hoping that the next time he goes back his new moves will impress the locals.

Sex trafficking defendants appear in court

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Two of the three people charged with operating a sex trafficking scheme appeared in court Wednesday.

Jeremy Seeley is charged with sex trafficking and Tamika Dias and Klein Fernandes are charged with aggravated sex trafficking in a case involving a 19 year-old victim.

Court documents state the victim met Klein Fernandes on a dating website. The affidavit states Fernandes

"told her she was pretty, they flirted with one another and he told her she could come live with him. He offered to feed her and take care of her if she moved in. She agreed."

The victim told police the day after she moved into the house in Gorham, Fernandes told her she needed to make some money.

"Klein and Tamika took photographs of (the victim) with their cell phones and told her they were going to put the pictures on Backpage.com"

Officials bust Maine sex trafficking operation

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Officials have arrested three Gorham residents on sex trafficking charges, said Cumberland County Deputy District Attorney Tuesday.  

MUG SHOTS: Local sex trafficking operation results in arrests

With the help of Preble Street Teen Center, police became aware late last week of a 19-year-old girl that Klein Fernandes, Tamika Dias and Jeremy Seeley exploited and required to engage in commercial sex acts. Dias posted the victim on Backpage.com and Fernandes and Seeley took the victim to multiple locations in Cumberland, York and Androscoggin counties for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts with strangers. The victim fled from the three defendants when they told her that they might sell her to a Boston "pimp."