AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A popular Augusta restaurant that has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity has been told to stop because it isn't properly licensed as a charity organization.

Laura Benedict, owner of the Red Barn restaurant, received a form letter last week from the attorney general's office, raising the hackles of management and regulars.

In fact, even state Attorney General Janet Mills was upset with the letter's tone. She stopped by the restaurant in person over the weekend to apologize and praise Benedict.

She says the law that requires charities to be licensed is aimed more at out-of-state professional fundraisers who keep most of the proceeds they raise for themselves.

Benedict tells the Kennebec Journal ( ) she will start a charitable arm and continue to raise money for good causes.


Information from: Kennebec Journal,