This Hour: Latest Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont news, sports, business and entertainment - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

This Hour: Latest Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont news, sports, business and entertainment

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Maine Statehouse dome dons new copper coat

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - For the first time in decades, the Maine Statehouse dome is no longer its signature green.

Workers are nearing the end of a more than $1 million, months-long project to replace the century-old copper sheath, making the dome look like a shiny penny and setting the Capitol abuzz.

The dome's new look has drawn praise from many in Augusta, but those that preferred the old hue will have to wait a while to see it again.

Officials expect that the copper will soon fade to brown and stay that way for roughly 30 years before air and rain exposure turn it green again.

Suzanne Gresser is acting executive director of the Legislative Council. She says the project that started in the spring is on track to be done by early November.


Nonprofits get $1M from L.L. Bean grandson's group

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - The foundation started by the grandson of L.L. Bean's founder is giving almost $1 million to dozens of Maine nonprofits.

The John T. Gorman Foundation says that 62 nonprofit organizations throughout Maine will be given between $2,500 and $23,000 each.

Recipients include New Beginnings Inc., which will use the money to support the only 24-hour shelter for runaway and homeless teens in Maine.

Another grant given to the Aroostook Area Agency on Aging will help pay for produce and prepared meals to be delivered to disabled seniors in their homes.

The group was started by John Gorman, the late grandson of Leon Leonwood Bean, and hands out $7.5 million in grants every year.


SMCC, UNE announce partnership

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Southern Maine Community College and the University of New England are forming a partnership to allow students to transfer their credits.

Leaders from both institutions are gathering Monday to sign 16 transfer agreements ensuring students can transfer seamlessly from Southern Maine Community College programs to programs at the University of New England.

The event is taking place on the Southern Maine campus in Portland.

Both schools are growing growth. Southern Maine has campuses in South Portland and Brunswick, as well as satellite campuses. The University of New England is a private college with its main campus in Biddeford.


Maine's moose hunt starts in a week

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Maine's annual moose hunting season is set to begin in a week.

The moose hunt starts Sept. 22 in eight of the state's 29 wildlife management districts. The districts are all in far northern and northeastern Maine. More management districts open up Oct. 13, and others on Nov. 3. The hunt closes Nov. 29, with a Maine "resident only" day set for Nov. 1.

Moose hunting is by permit only. The state's annual moose permit lottery took place in June. The state Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is granting 3,095 permit this year, with 10 percent going to nonresidents. More than 53,500 people applied.

The number of available permits was reduced from 4,085 because of the impact of ticks on the moose population.


Nova Star ferry finds winter work

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Nova Star Cruises expects to announce this week details of winter work, something that's necessary for the cruise ship to be profitable in its first year.

President Mark Amundsen said the company has lined up work to keep the ship busy this winter.

He also says there's no doubt that it'll return in the spring for its runs between Portland, Maine, and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

The 528-foot cruise ferry, with cabin space for 600 passengers, began service in May, restoring daily ferry service between Portland and Yarmouth. Business got off to a slow start in the spring but is picking up. Nova Star had more than 45,000 passengers including more than 20,000 passengers in August.



Hearings to be held on distributing $1.1 million

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) - New Hampshire Fish and Game officials are holding two hearings on a draft plan to distribute $1.1 million in economic relief funds to the state's groundwater fishing industry.

The hearings will be held Monday and Tuesday night at 6 at the Urban Forestry Center in Portsmouth.

Monday's meeting focuses on the commercial groundfish industry and Tuesday's on the for-hire groundfish industry.

In September 2012, the U.S. Commerce Department declared a fisheries resource disaster for the Northeast after research showed several key fish stocks, such as cod and flounder, were not rebuilding despite catch limits. The declaration also predicted those species would continue to decline.

Officials say the draft plan was developed from numerous ideas presented to Fish and Game during the summer. The plan includes eligibility criteria and allocation formulas.


Police: man recorded women in cafe bathroom

ARLINGTON, Mass. (AP) - A New Hampshire man has been charged with secretly recording women in a bathroom at a Massachusetts cafe, and authorities say they're investigating whether he planted cameras at other restaurants.

Police arrested 53-year-old Joseph Hennessey of Salem, New Hampshire, on Saturday at the Kickstand Cafe in Arlington, Massachusetts, after cafe workers called authorities to report a suspicious person. Police say they found a camera hidden in a flower basket in the bathroom.

Police say Hennessey works for the Arlington public works department and has been out on worker's compensation.

Hennessey is detained without bail on charges including violating the state's recent "upskirting" law. He's set to be arraigned in District Court in Medford on Monday. It's not clear if he has a lawyer.


Man rescued from Mount Washington

LANCASTER, N.H. (AP) - New Hampshire authorities say a Massachusetts man spent a cold, rainy night lost on Mount Washington as the temperature dropped into the 30s.

New Hampshire Fish and Game says 55-year-old Chris Trottier was hiking down the mountain with his sons Saturday when he began suffering from a preexisting medical condition. Authorities say Trottier and one of his sons then got in an argument, and they separated for the last part of their descent. The sons waited for several hours and then returned home, and Trottier's wife reported him missing around 9:30 p.m.

Rescue parties found Trottier off the trail around 3:30 a.m. Sunday. He was cold, wet and disorientated but able to walk out with help, and was taken to a hospital for evaluation.


Nashua court gets grant for drug court program

NASHUA, N.H. (AP) - An unofficial drug court in Nashua is celebrating both its first program graduate and a federal grant that will allow the program to continue.

Drug courts allow nonviolent criminals to avoid jail time and instead get court-ordered treatment, therapy and other help. Hillsborough County Superior Court Judge Jacalyn Colburn told the Telegraph that she started an unofficial version last year with funding from the Greater Nashua Mental Health Center, and later applied for a federal grant.

Officials just learned last week that they will get $325,000. And on Monday, there will be a small ceremony to recognize a woman who has been undergoing drug rehabilitation treatment for the last year and is now taking college courses to become an emergency medical technician.


Soccer teams to 'snack it up' with veggies, fruits

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - Youth soccer coaches in New Hampshire are getting coupon booklets for discounts on fruits and vegetables to share with their teams as part of a program emphasizing healthier snack options.

The program, called "Snack It Up," wants to reach out to more than 3,000 youth athletes this fall.

The program was created as an initiative of childObesity180 at the Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition. It helps coaches and after-school program leaders upgrade their snacks through support and collaboration from community partners.

The New Hampshire Soccer Association and Hannaford Supermarkets are teaming up for the program.



Memorial service Monday for Lola Aiken

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - A memorial service is being held for Lola Aiken, the widow of former Gov. and U.S. Sen. George Aiken.

Lola Aiken died Sept. 8 at an assisted living facility in Montpelier. She was 102.

A memorial mass is being held on Monday at 11 a.m. at the St. Augustine's Church in Montpelier.

Lola Aiken first became known as the chief of staff for George Aiken, who served as governor from 1937 until 1941 and then a long serving U.S. senator. She married him in 1967 after his first wife died. She was then removed from the Senate payroll and served without pay until he retired in 1975. He died in 1984 at 92.

In 2012, the Vermont Legislature honored Lola Aiken on her 100th birthday.


VA to hear from veterans and families in Vermont

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, Vt. (AP) - Federal officials will be hearing from veterans and their families at a town hall meeting in White River Junction.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and White River Junction VA Medical Center are hosting the meeting Monday at 2 p.m. at the White River Junction VA Medical Center.

It's one of many town hall meetings being held around the country to get feedback on VA operations.

The VA has come under scrutiny following reports of widespread delays that forced veterans in need of medical care to wait months for appointments. Investigators have said efforts to cover up or hide the delays were systemic throughout the agency's network of nearly 1,000 hospitals and clinics.


Child car seat technicians to be recognized

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - More than 100 certified technicians who are showing Vermont parents how to install child car seats properly and prevent injuries are being recognized at a State House ceremony.

Awards will be presented to 11 technicians on Monday on the State House steps. The technicians are emergency responders, hospital employees, police officers and members of the community.

Officials say about 80 percent of the 2,000 child passenger car seats checked each year by such technicians in Vermont are incorrectly installed.

There's at least one fitting station in every county of Vermont where families can have child car seats checked.

The Colchester Police Department will be awarded for "Fitting Station of the Year."


In Vermont, a milestone in green-energy efforts

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - Vermont's largest city has a new success to add to its list of socially conscious achievements: 100 percent of its electricity comes from renewable sources.

With little fanfare, the Burlington Electric Department crossed the threshold this month with the purchase of a nearby hydroelectric project.

The Washington Electric Co-operative, which serves parts of northern and central Vermont, reached the goal earlier this year.

Some question the accounting methods used to make the claim because the utilities sell the rights to the renewable energy to other utilities. But the utilities then buy less expensive credits to offset the sale.


Wheelock hopes to reclaim oldest cemeteries

WHEELOCK, Vt. (AP) - The Northeast Kingdom town of Wheelock is hoping to reclaim its historic cemeteries from underbrush, saplings, weeds, grass and other debris.

The project in the Vermont town is in the planning stage and the selectboard is working with the cemetery commissioners. They've also gotten offers of help from volunteers.

They're hoping to have the first work session Sept. 20.

The town of Wheelock was chartered in 1785 and it has nine cemeteries.

Town Clerk Doug Reid says some of those cemeteries are the final resting place of Revolutionary War-era residents.

Reid says the condition of the cemeteries vary with some being in "neat as a pin" while others are so overgrown and remote that it is not immediately apparent there is a cemetery at the location.

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