With strike underway union leaders warn of storm impact on FairPoint

PORTLAND. Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Union leaders say with their workers out on strike, the storm impacting Maine the next few days will be a real test for FairPoint Communications.

They say replacement workers brought in from out of state won't be able to meet the challenges that come with high winds and heavy rain.

FairPoint officials say they have a plan in place to minimize disruptions for telephone and high-speed Internet customers. Still, that did not stop striking FairPoint workers from using the storm to highlight their importance to the company.

Several dozen workers walked the picket line outside FairPoint's Portland office. They walked off the job Friday over several issues including frozen pensions and higher health insurance contributions.

Gardiner man pleads guilty to pharmacy robbery

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A Gardiner man pleaded guilty to robbery on Tuesday.

26-year-old Robert Richard, of Gardiner, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to Interference with Commerce by Robbery, in connection with the Nov. 28, 2013 robbery of the Rite Aid pharmacy in Bridgton.

Court records reveal that on Thanksgiving in 2013, Richard entered the Rite Aid in Bridgton wearing a hooded sweatshirt, sunglasses, and a bandana, and handed the pharmacist a note that read, "All your oxycodone now!" The pharmacist handed Richard a bag containing oxycodone pills and Richard fled from the pharmacy in a car with a concealed license plate.

Richard faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Lewiston man sentenced to 18 years in prison

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A Lewiston man is sentenced to 18 years for being a felon in possession of ammunition.

Jerome Hudson, 44, of Lewiston and formerly of Danvers, Mass., was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court to 18 years in prison and five years of supervised release for being a felon in possession of ammunition. Hudson pleaded guilty to the charge on June 11, 2014.

Colorado man pleads guilty to child porn charge

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- A Colorado man has pleaded guilty to sending a picture of himself engaged in sexually explicit behavior with a minor to an undercover federal agent in Maine.

David William Burkman, of Canon City, Colorado, pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court in Portland to sexually exploiting a child and transporting child pornography.

Prosecutors say in March, Burkman took pictures of himself engaged in sexually explicit conduct with a 6-year-old girl. The next month, he sent an email message to the undercover account of a Homeland Security Investigations agent in Maine that included one of the photos.

Maine communities join national broadband speed effort

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Leaders from two Maine communities, Rockport and South Portland, were in California on Monday, as part of a national effort to speed up Internet service. The Maine communities are founding members of a new group called Next century Cities.

Both Rockport and South Portland have invested their own money to build local fiber optic networks that will dramatically increase in portions of the communities. They say the new service speed will be as much as one gigabit per second. That compares to common DSL Internet speeds of 3 to 6 megabits per second, which would make the new service more than a hundred times faster. The gigabit service is also called "symmetrical", meaning it has the same speed downloading from or uploading to the Internet.

Flags lowered in honor of late Senate secretary

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) -- Maine Gov. Paul LePage has ordered the state flag lowered to half-staff in Augusta and Portland to honor the longest-serving Maine Senate secretary in state history.

The governor's office says 60-year-old Joy O'Brien of Portland died Wednesday of cancer. She served as secretary of the Maine Senate for 25 years.

The state of Maine flag will be lowered for the day of her funeral on Monday. The governor's order does not apply to the U.S. flag, which remains at full staff.

Music Festival may come to Portland next year

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- An all-day music festival could be heading to the Eastern Promenade in Portland next summer. Although, it's unknown who the headlining acts would be.

According to our media partners at Portland Press Herald, Townsquare Media Portland will ask the city council to approve the festival for sometime in Portland.

The proposal said the artists will be selected soon after the city council approves closing off part of the Eastern Prom and the date will be one Townsquare Media and the city agree on.

There was a music festival that Mumford and Sons headlined back in 2012 with about 15-thousand people.

Townsquare Media Portland said it expects about 8-thousand people at this music festival.

About two-thirds of the hillside area would be fenced and gated. That's less than the area that was blocked off in 2012.