Sexual harassment trainer booted from Statehouse (but why?)


AUGUSTA, Maine — State legislators in Maine have asked a woman hired to give lobbyists free sexual harassment training not to come back following complaints over her presentation.

Karen Ryla from the Bangor-based Work Performance Solutions was hired to lead the training sessions as part of a new law passed last year.

Senate Majority Leader Nate Libby said lobbyists told him after Thursday’s session the training was not tailored enough to the power dynamics and work relationships in the Statehouse.

Taryn Hallweaver with the Maine People’s Alliance posted on Twitter that fellow lobbyists had to make corrections and counter “over-the-top” examples provided.

Libby says the remaining sessions will be led by the Legislature’s human resources director, Jackie Little.

(Things that make you go, “hmm..”)

Supreme Court blocks Louisiana abortion clinic regulations

Chief Justice Roberts joins court’s four liberals to block Louisiana from enforcing law, pending full review of the case

Protesters on both sides of the abortion issue gather outside the Supreme Court in Washington, DC during the 2018 March for Life [Susan Walsh/AP Photo]
Protesters on both sides of the abortion issue gather outside the Supreme Court in Washington, DC during the 2018 March for Life [Susan Walsh/AP Photo]

A divided Supreme Court stopped Louisiana from enforcing new regulations on abortion clinics in a test of the conservative court’s views on abortionrights.

The justices said in a 5-4 decision late Thursday that they will not allow the state to put into effect a law that requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s four liberals in putting a hold on the law, pending a full review of the case.

President Donald Trump‘s two Supreme Court appointees, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, were among the four conservative members of the court who would have allowed the law to take effect.

Kavanaugh wrote a dissenting opinion in which he said the court’s action was premature because the state had made clear it would allow abortion providers an additional 45 days to obtain admitting privileges before it started enforcing the law.

If the doctors succeed, they can continue performing abortions, he said. If they fail, they could return to court, Kavanaugh said.

The law is very similar to a Texas measure the justices struck down three years ago. Roberts dissented in that case.


American women’s right to choose is in danger

Ashley Andreou,Alexander Urry
by Ashley Andreou,Alexander Urry

But the composition of the court has changed since then, with Kavanaugh replacing Justice Anthony Kennedy, who voted to strike down the Texas law.

Restrictions would close clinics, providers say

Louisiana abortion providers and a district judge who initially heard the case said one or maybe two of the state’s three abortion clinics would have to close under the new law. There would be at most two doctors who could meet its requirements, they said.

But the federal appeals court in New Orleans rejected those claims, doubting that any clinics would have to close and said the doctors had not tried hard enough to establish relationships with local hospitals.

In January, the full appeals court voted 9-6 not to get involved in the case, setting up the Supreme Court appeal.

The law had been scheduled to take effect Monday, but Justice Samuel Alito delayed the effective date at least through Thursday to give the justices more time.

The justices could decide this spring whether to add the case, June Medical Services v Gee, to their calendar for the term that begins in October.

‘Pro-life’ justices

Trump had pledged during the campaign to appoint “pro-life” justices – judges who are opposed to abortion rights – and abortion opponents are hoping the more conservative bench will be more open to upholding abortion restrictions.


Under Trump, states step up effort to restrict abortion access

In his State of the Union address on Tuesday, Trump called for legislation to limit what he and anti-abortion rights activists describe as “late-term abortion”.

While such legislation at the federal level is unlikely, research at the Guttmacher Institute shows that about 20 states already have laws in place that restricts abortion after about 20 weeks post-fertilisation.

Since Trump came to power, a number of states have also introduced measures that seek to restrict abortion access.

Other states, including New York, have passed laws to ensure that abortion access would still be protected if the Supreme Court were to overturn parts or all of Roe v Wade, a 1973 decision that blocks states from prohibiting abortion.

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Maine: 20 years later, fifteen-year old Ashley Ouellette’s death is STILL unsolved…

Ashley Ouellette was 15 years old when she was found dead along Pine Point Road in Scarborough 20 years ago this coming Sunday.

SACO, Maine — Friends and family of Ashley Ouellette have waited nearly 20 years for answers about how and why she died.


Maine State Police classified her death as a homicide, one that has remained unsolved since 1999.

She was 15 years old when she was found dead along Pine Point Road in Scarborough. Ouellette was last seen alive at approximately 2 a.m. at a home in Saco. She was allowed to spend the night there; however, by morning, Ashley had disappeared from the residence. Ouellette was not seen again until found in the road.

With the 20-year anniversary of her death approaching on this coming Sunday, friends and family are desperate for answers.

Ashley Ouellette

The most recent post on the “Remembering Ashley E. Ouellette” Facebook page reads, “Sunday February 10, 2019 is the 20th anniversary of Ashley’s murder. Please keep her family and friends in your thoughts and prayers,” followed by a poem.

Ashley Ouellette
Ashley would have graduated from Thornton Academy with the class of 2001.

“She was so much fun to be around, had the type of personality that we all just drawn to. She was funny, happy, silly, and caring. Very social, loved talking, had many friends,” her close friend Angie Presby wrote in a Facebook message to NEWS CENTER Maine.

Ashley Ouellette

“20 years is a long time. It doesn’t feel like it’s been that long. It feels like I’ve blinked and here we are. Each of us continue to live out our days as we are meant to and time is flying by,” wrote Presby. “I imagine, to Ashley’s family, it’s been an eternity; each year feeling the equivalent of 20 years. Saying goodbye to a child in the way they had to has to be any parents worst nightmare. To have someone come forward this year and provide information that would help solve her murder would bring relief. ”

Ashley Ouellette

NEWS CENTER Maine also reached out to State Police for an update on the case, but has not gotten a response.

Ashley Ouellette
Ashley Ouellette

Maine: Number of women who reported being drugged at Saco’s ‘Run of the Mill Public House and Brewery’ rising

Saco Police say the incidents happened at The Run of the Mill Public House and Brewery on Saturday, Feb. 2.
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SACO, Maine — The number of people who have reported being drugged at a bar in Saco on the same night has risen to six.

Saco Police say the incidents happened at The Run of the Mill Public House and Brewery on Saturday, Feb. 2.

Six people have reported to police of similar circumstances.
Several of the women reported seeing a strange woman lurking around the restaurant who looked out of place to them.

Saco Police say they continue to investigate.

If any member of the public has information that may help they urged to call the Saco Police Department at 207-284-4535.

RELATED: Five women report being drugged at Saco bar on the same night

The Saco Police Department is reminding people to follow safety tips when out.

  • Never leave your drink unattended.
  • Do not accept a drink from a stranger.
  • If you lose sight of your drink at any time, discard the drink and get a new one.
  • Use a buddy system.  Make sure that friends look out for each other while enjoying nightlife.
  • If you see anything suspicious, notify the establishment staff immediately.
  • If you believe you have been drugged, seek medical attention immediately.

University of Maine football player Ramon Jefferson arrested for domestic violence assault

Police arrested Ramon Jefferson Wednesday night. Jefferson is a second-year running back for the Black Bears.

OLD TOWN, Maine — Old Town Police arrested a member of the Maine Black Bears football team on Wednesday night on domestic violence assault and criminal mischief charges.

Police arrested Ramon Jefferson, a second-year running back, who redshirted in 2017.

Bangor Police said the victim lives in Bangor, which is where the assault occurred.

Old Town Police arrested Jefferson at his home in Old Town.

Jefferson posted bail last night, according to police.

Jackie Mundry


Police confirm UMaine running back, Ramon Jefferson, was arrested for a domestic violence assault

Racism, sexual assault lead to political crisis in Virginia

Opponents demand Governor Northam’s resignation over alleged involvement of three top elected officials in racism and sexual assault.


It has been turbulent days in the US state of Virginia. The three top elected officials of the state are embroiled in scandals involving race and sexual assault.

Protesters and political opponents have been calling for Governor Ralph Northam’s resignation.

Dems Grill Trump Judicial Pick Rao on Past Sexual Assault Victim Blaming

FEB 06, 2019

H12 rao

Senators held a confirmation hearing Tuesday for Neomi Rao, President Trump’s nominee to replace Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. California Senator Kamala Harris asked Rao about articles she wrote while in college in the mid-1990s, including a piece in which she blamed women for putting themselves at risk for sexual assault by drinking too much. Rao said she regrets her past views on sexual assault. This is Senator Harris questioning Rao.

Sen. Kamala Harris: “You said, quote, ‘Women should take certain steps to avoid becoming a victim.’ What steps do you have in mind that women should take to avoid becoming a victim of sexual assault?”

Neomi Rao: “Senator, it’s just sort of a commonsense idea about, for instance, excessive drinking. You know, that was advice that was given to me by my mother.”

Sen. Kamala Harris: “So that’s one step you believe women should take to avoid becoming a victim of sexual assault?”

Neomi Rao: “Well, it is—it is just a way to make it less likely.”

Neomi Rao—who has never tried a case in court—also wrote in past articles that affirmative action is the “anointed dragon of liberal excess,” said welfare was “for the indigent and lazy,” and called LGBT issues a “trendy” political movement.


(Susan Collins must love this weak-willed human.)