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Woman waving for help leads to Maine police chase, numerous charges

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Woman waving for help leads to Maine police chase, numerous charges


PORTLAND, Maine (WMTW) – Portland police have arrested and charged a man with 12 crimes following a car chase that ended along the Maine Turnpike.

Police say that they tried to make a traffic stop when they saw a woman frantically waving for help out of a car’s passenger side window.

The car refused to stop, taking off through the Deering neighborhood and eventually entering northbound on I-290.

Officers put down a spike strip to try and stop the vehicle, but the chase continued.

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Police were able to pull over the car around the 12-mile marker on I-290.

They arrested the driver, 34-year-old Benjamin Martineau of Portland, and took him to the Cumberland County Jail.

He was charged with crimes that included criminal restraint, DV assault, eluding an officer, two counts of driving to endanger, and refusal to stop.

Investigators with Portland police urge anyone with information regarding the case to contact them at 207-874-8575.

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Maine

Bakery outlets close across Maine, New England

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Bakery outlets close across Maine, New England


CONCORD, N.H. — The company that produces baked goods for brands including Arnold bread, Entenmann’s and others has closed 28 outlet stores in the Northeast.

Bimbo Bakeries USA said in a press release that its products still will be found on grocery store shelves. The company’s brands also include Boboli, Lender’s Bagels, Sara Lee and Thomas.

The closed stores included outlets in New York, Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire.

The New Hampshire locations – Concord, Hooksett, Keene and Lebanon – were called Freihofer’s Bakery Outlets.

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Maine Shooter's Commanding Army Officer Acknowledges His Inaction over Missed Counseling Sessions

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Maine Shooter's Commanding Army Officer Acknowledges His Inaction over Missed Counseling Sessions


AUGUSTA, Maine — The commanding officer of an Army reservist responsible for the deadliest shooting in Maine history acknowledged to an independent commission on Thursday that he didn’t take action when the reservist skipped counselor sessions, and didn’t attempt to verify that the shooter’s family took away his guns.

Capt. Jeremy Reamer said he understood that the shooter, Robert Card, was suffering from a psychiatric breakdown during training last summer but said he was limited in the level of oversight he could provide after Card returned home and was no longer actively participating in drills with his Army Reserve unit.

Under questioning, Reamer said he was aware that Card was not going to mandated counseling sessions and acknowledged that an email problem prevented him from seeing a July message pertaining to Card’s health until after the Oct. 25 shootings.

But Reamer defended his decision to rely on a subordinate, an Army reservist who was Card’s best friend, to serve as a go-between with Card’s family. The reservist, Sean Hodgson, told Reamer that he reached out to Card’s family in Bowdoin and that family members agreed to take away his guns after he was hospitalized. Reamer said he thought those actions were adequate, and insisted that as an Army Reserve officer, he had no jurisdiction over Card’s personal guns.

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“My understanding was that an agreement was made and the family agreed to remove the weapons from the home,” Reamer told Commissioner Toby Dilworth, who expressed skepticism about leaving such an important task for the family to handle. “I just know that the family agreed to remove the firearms,” Reamer said.

Reamer, who gave up control of the Maine-based unit after what he described as a routine change of command in February, was called back to testify after his previous testimony was cut short because of time constraints.

Commissioners used the break to review medical records, text exchanges, emails and call logs before peppering Reamer with more questions over several hours Thursday at the University of Maine at Augusta. At one point, Reamer suggested that more aggressive actions and oversight would have been possible if Card had been a full-time soldier instead of a reservist.

Others testifying Thursday included several survivors who spoke of the horror of the shooting and the difficulties they encountered afterward. Some witnesses said a lack of translators fluent in American Sign Language hampered communications with deaf survivors and deaf family members of victims.

Dr. Mark Flomenbaum, the state’s retired chief medical examiner, said it was difficult to ascertain the gunman’s time of death. But Flomenbaum, who testified via Zoom, stood by his earlier assessment that Card died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound that likely happened 12 to 18 hours before his body was found.

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Flomenbaum’s conclusions suggested that Card was alive and possibly on the run during much of the two-day search, the biggest in state history. Card’s body was found in the back of a tractor-trailer on a former employer’s property.

Appointed by Democratic Gov. Janet Mills, the independent commission is determining facts around the shooting that claimed 18 lives at a bowling alley and at a bar and grill, both in Lewiston.

In its interim report released last month, the commission concluded that the Sagadahoc County sheriff’s office had probable cause under Maine’s “yellow flag” law to take Card into custody and seize his guns because he was experiencing a psychiatric crisis and was a danger to others.

Maine lawmakers are currently debating whether the law, which requires police to initiate the process, should be supplemented with a “red flag” law, which would allow family members or others to directly petition a judge to remove guns from someone in a psychiatric crisis. It’s one of several mental health and gun control measures being considered by the Maine Legislature in response to October’s mass shooting.

The commission’s work is far from complete, Chairman Dan Wathen said last month.

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“Nothing we do can ever change what happened on that terrible day, but knowing the facts can help provide the answers that the victims, their families and the people of Maine need and deserve,” he said.

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Maine Republicans Censured For Linking Mass Shooting To God’s Anger With Abortion Law

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Maine Republicans Censured For Linking Mass Shooting To God’s Anger With Abortion Law


Two Republican lawmakers in Maine were censured on Thursday after the pair said the state’s deadliest mass shooting was linked to God’s anger with a bill that expanded access to abortion.

Republican state Rep. Michael Lemelin spoke Wednesday about a proposal for a new “shield bill” that would protect out-of-state patients who seek abortion or gender-affirming care in Maine. In his remarks, Lemelin said abortion was “murder” and pointed to the implementation of another abortion access bill on Oct. 25, the same day a gunman killed 18 people after he opened fire at a bowling alley and restaurant.

“[God] draws a line in the sand, and when we crossed that line there’s consequences,” the lawmaker said on the chamber floor. “When [the law] passed and went into law on Oct. 25, you told God life doesn’t matter.”

“Keep in mind that the law came into effect on Oct. 25,” Lemelin continued. “God heard you and the horrible events on Oct. 25 happened.”

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Another Republican lawmaker, state Rep. Shelley Rudnicki, rose and said she agreed with her colleague.

The two were formally censured by the House on Thursday. They both apologized on the chamber floor.

The comments initially prompted an immediate, bipartisan rebuke from others in Maine’s Democrat-led House of Representatives. State Rep. Rachel Henderson (R) said she didn’t agree with the bill, but called Lemelin’s comments “reprehensible.”

“Although it’s not my place, I apologize to every member who was here and heard that and took offense,” Henderson said on the chamber floor. “I’m proud of where I stand. I’m proud of the positions that I take, but tonight I am not proud to be a Republican.”

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State House Speaker Rachel Talbot Ross sent letters to both lawmakers, calling the comments “extremely offensive and intentionally harmful to the victims and families” of the mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine.

“To make satisfaction, you must issue a formal apology, which you will read on the House floor,” Talbot Ross wrote in each letter. “You must accept sole and full responsibility for the incident and publicly apologize to your constituents, the victims, and families of the Lewiston tragedy, the greater Lewiston community, and the people of Maine.”

She added the House would vote on a censure motion on Thursday, and said they would both be barred from speaking on the chamber floor or voting until they apologized.

“Your actions are deserving of the most serious consequences this body can deliver,” Talbot Ross wrote.

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A censure — which is rare in the Maine House, according to The Bangor Daily News — requires a two-thirds vote of the chamber. Democrats hold an 80-68 majority.





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