Authorities say a short circuit in the wiring of a fire suppression system at a Skowhegan gas station is to blame for coating vehicles and customers with a white powder that sent at least three people to the hospital with breathing problems.Fire Chief Tom Keene told the Morning Sentinel there was no fire and the release was not the result of human error.About 50 nozzles in the roof over the fuel-pumping area at the Irving Circle K station sent a powerful plume of white powder over people and cars just after noon on Sunday.Keene says the powder is not considered toxic.
The state commission that provides legal services to the poor may run out of money for court-appointed lawyers six weeks before the fiscal year closes at the end of June.The latest projected budget shortfall for the Maine Commission on Indigent Legal Services may delay payments to the lawyers who represent low-income clients.The commission requested $1 million in the state’s supplemental budget, an amount that was reduced to $400,000 in the budget proposed by Gov.
Husson University’s plans to boost its presence in the Portland area have taken another step forward.The Bangor-based school on Monday won approval from the Portland City Council to operate a satellite campus on outer Congress Street.The council cleared Husson’s path by unanimously approving a zoning change to allow colleges, universities and trade schools to operate in the area.The deal hinges on the site’s current occupant, the local Elks lodge, completing a deal to move to another building.A university representative tells The Portland Press Herald that if the deal goes through, Husson plans to close its satellite campus near the Maine Mall in South Portland and move those 350 students to the campus in Portland.
The commission that will approve Maine’s new public charter schools wants to hear what the public has to say in northern and eastern regions.The Maine State Charter School Commission plans to travel to Aroostook and Washington counties in early April to hear about regional educational needs that could be addressed by charter schools.The public sessions will be April 5 at Northern Maine Community College in Presque isle, and April 9 at the University of Maine at Machias.The charter school commission held sessions earlier this month in Augusta, Bangor and Portland.State law authorizes up to 10 public charter schools statewide during the law’s first 10 years.
A play produced by students is set to hit the stage in Orono at the end of the month.UMaine students are putting on the play “Equus.”From directing, to lighting design, the production is entirely student run.Most of the students involved say they want a career in the theater, so it makes sense to take part in the play.Opening night is Friday, March 30th at 7:30PM.The play will be at the University of Maine’s Hauck theater.Tickets will be 10 dollars at the door.
State Police are looking for a tractor thief in Union.It’s a $40,000 machine, with a bucket loader in front, a backhoe in the rear.It was stolen from Union Farm Equipment on Route 17 around two this morning.A man jumped the fence, started the tractor and used the bucket to ram through a front gate, then loaded the tractor onto a ramp truck.About 20 minutes later, a motorist reported seeing the truck on Route 17.State Police say there could be some scrapes on the bucket from ramming the gate.Anyone with information is asked to call State Police at 1-800-452-4664.
A Bangor food pantry is reopening its doors this week.The Seeds of Hope has been closed for the last three weeks for renovations.The pantry is in the basement of the Beacon of Hope Church, at 1612 Ohio Street.Workers have been putting in a new floor, as well as painting the area.The pantry will open, again, on Thursday, March 22nd.Director Isaac Mann wants everyone to know that if they need help, they’re welcome to stop by.”There are a lot of other pantries out there as well.