A proposed one-year trial merger of the Norway and Paris police departments has been rejected by voters in Paris. The measure was defeated in a 41-41 vote on Monday night. It needed a majority to pass. Norway voters had approved the trial merger in June. The Police chiefs in both towns had expressed approval for the move. They said a merger would lead to a more efficient use of resources, put more officers on patrol and more resources into the investigation of serious crime. If the one-year trial merger was deemed a success the towns would have worked on a permanent merger. Both chiefs tell the Sun Journal, the proposal now appears dead.
Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine say federal grants totaling more than $1 million are being awarded to the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences. They say a grant of nearly $1 million will go toward construction of a new facility focusing on ocean acidification. A second grant of about $150,000 will help fund a study of the ecosystem within the earth’s crust underneath the ocean floor. From its base in Boothbay Harbor, Bigelow scientists have traveled around the world to every ocean and the polar seas. Research ranges from microbial oceanography to large-scale interactions between ocean ecosystems and global environmental conditions.
The Maine medical examiner’s office has identified skeletal remains found in Portland, but the cause of death has yet to be determined. Officials said Monday that the remains were those of 31-year-old Toina Hanson, and they’re seeking to talk to anyone who had contact with her over the past year. The case remains under investigation. The remains were discovered by a man picking blueberries near Hutchins Drive. Hanson was identified through items discovered at the scene along with the review of the woman’s medical records.
A hospital in Brunswick is opening a new center that focuses on diabetes education and treatment. Mid Coast Hospital is opening its Mid Coast Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology on Monday. The center provides a multidisciplinary approach aimed at helping adults who have diabetes take an active role in managing their disease. The hospital says more than 100,000 Maine adults have diabetes, and that their health risks could be reduced through education programs and regular medical care. The center’s education component includes nutrition, insulin pump training and glucose monitoring.
Maine’s largest city is in the running to host the American Mustache Institute’s annual charity event dubbed the “‘Stache Bash.” Lou Jacobs, director of the New England chapter, says the annual event celebrates the “Mustached American” lifestyle and raises thousands for charity. The winning city will be announced on Sept. 4, the same day nominations open for the Robert Goulet Memorial Mustached American of the Year award. Portland is no stranger to celebrations of facial hair. In March, the city served as host for the International Moustache Film Festival, which featured a pageant as well as movies featured leading men in mustaches.
New Hampshire state police say a Maine man has died in a crash on the Spaulding Turnpike. Police said they found a vehicle left the road and struck a tree in Milton early Saturday. Police said 27-year-old Damian Eagan of Portland was killed in the crash.
Search crews have recovered the body of a man who went missing after jumping into the Saco River. Witnesses reported that a 40-year-old man jumped off a railroad bridge that crosses the river between Biddeford and Saco at about 8:45 p.m. Thursday, surfaced momentarily and then disappeared. Authorities say rescue crews and a dive team searched the river, and that body was recovered at about 11:30 p.m. The man’s identity has not been released. Emergency response officials say the river in that particular spot poses many dangers with debris and strong currents.
A Maine woman has been sentenced to one year of probation for stealing more than $7,000 while working for the National Park Service at Yellowstone National Park. Danel Nickerson of Kittery was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court in Portland. The 45-year-old Nickerson pleaded guilty in May to stealing $7,429 while she worked in the Wyoming park’s cash-counting office in the summer of 2007. The judge also ordered Nickerson to pay restitution and a $1,200 fine. Prosecutors said Nickerson has already paid back the money.
The owner of an escort service in Windham has been indicted on a charge that he allegedly tried to extort money from a client. The Portland Press Herald reports, that Nicholas Enfanto was indicted on a single federal extortion charge. The indictment was announced Thursday. Federal authorities say Enfanto sent text messages to a client of his escort service accusing him of contacting escorts directly. Authorities say Enfanto demanded $100,000 and threatened to shoot the man if he did not pay. After initially agreeing to pay $250 a month, the client contacted police. Enfanto is the owner of Enfanto’s Perfect Pleasure Escort Service. He is a resident of Saugus, Mass. He could not be reached for comment Friday.
Firefighters in Maine are fighting a blaze in Harrison that destroyed a barn before spreading to a nearby home. WMTW-TV reports, that firefighters from several communities are working to extinguish the fire. The fire consumed the barn and spread to the home. People inside awoke to the smell of smoke and were able to safely leave their homes. No injuries have been reported. Fire officials say they believe lightning struck the barn and touched off the blaze. Strong storms moved through the area overnight.
The Portland International Jetport is one of four airports to win a prestigious environmental award. Airports Council International-North America gave the jetport its award in the environmental management category. Winners in other categories were Northeast Florida Regional Airport, Chicago O’Hare International Airport and JFK International Airport in New York. The new terminal that opened this year in Portland was designed to be friendly to the environment with savings of $150,000 a year in fuel costs thanks to installation of the state’s largest geothermal system. The system features 120 wells, each 500 feet deep. Official say it will produce carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide emission reductions that are the equivalent of taking 180 cars off the road each year.
Maine Department of Health and Human Services officials plan to visit a Sanford nursing home after maggots were found on a resident. A spokesman for the agency says the Newton Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing informed the department about the incident and the steps being taken to avoid similar situations. The exact time of the discovery and where the maggots were found on the resident were not available. Newton is a 74-bed facility affiliated with Goodall Hospital. A spokeswoman for Goodall tells WMTW-TV, that larvae were found on the resident during a regular check. The resident had been checked less than 12 hours before, so the larvae were caught early. All residents were then checked. DHHS’ licensing and regulatory services division officials will visit the center Thursday.
A Maine man has joined the national movement of returning his Eagle Scout medal to the Boy Scouts of America to protest the organization’s exclusion of gays. Austin Smith of Portland says the silver eagle and the plaque signed by President Nixon he received in 1973 are “precious,” but he can no longer keep them in light of the Boy Scouts’ recent affirmation of its longstanding ban on openly gay scouts and leaders. The 54-year-old architect, who grew up in Columbus, Miss. and earned scouting’s highest honor there, tells The Portland Press Heral, he witnessed racism first hand in the deep South and wants to be “on the right side of history.” A spokesman for the national organization says it does not track how many medals have been returned.
A worker for a York paving company has been electrocuted after touching a dump truck that was in contact with live power wires. Authorities say 42-year-old Christopher Dixon was standing behind a gravel truck at about 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday when the truck touched the power lines. Rescue workers at first couldn’t get to Dixon because the wires were still live and had to wait until Central Maine Power shut off the electricity. Dixon was taken to York Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The driver of the truck jumped out when she realized what happened and was not injured. Central Maine Power says about 2,500 customers lost power.
Kittery, Maine, can boast something that no other New England community has: A life-sized Smokey Bear. A statue of the national icon created to remind people to prevent forest fires is being unveiled Thursday at the Kittery Visitors Center as Smokey the Bear celebrates his 68th birthday. The statue was installed by the Maine Department of Transportation and has a fire danger sign next to it to inform visitors about the current wildfire danger conditions. Agriculture Commissioner Walt Whitcomb, who is the commissioner designee of the new Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, will be attending along with representatives from the Maine Department of Transportation and the Maine Tourism Association.
Navy trucks, industrial generators and other items that went unclaimed after the closing of Brunswick Naval Air Station are now on the auction block. Steve Levesque, executive director of civilian agency charged with redevelopment the property, says an auction for the first round consisting of large items ended Wednesday evening. Those included a hydraulic man-lift. The Sun Journal newspaper, says other items including fire trucks, utility trucks, mowing equipment and wheel-mounted transformers expire later this month. Levesque says smaller items like furniture, filing cabinets, computers will be auctioned later. The base closed in May 2011. Levesque said the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority kept some airport maintenance and snow removal equipment.
A Maine man reported missing by his wife after he did not return from a sailing trip on Casco Bay has been located. The Coast Guard says 79-year-old Albert Kelsey was spotted early Wednesday morning. His 20-foot vessel had apparently run aground at low tide and got stuck in the mud. He appeared to be in good health. The Coast Guard said the South Freeport man was last seen departing from a local marina at about 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday and was scheduled to visit two Casco Bay islands. He was reported overdue by his wife at 10 p.m. A 25-foot response boat small from Station South Portland, a Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Cape Cod, and a boat from the Maine Marine Patrol took part in the search.
The Coast Guard is searching for a sailor who did not return home after a sailing trip on Casco Bay. The Coast Guard says 79-year-old Albert Kelsey departed from Strouds Point at about 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday and was headed to Mosiers Island and Bustins Island in Casco Bay. He was reported overdue by his wife at 10 p.m. A 25-foot response boat small from Station South Portland, a Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Cape Cod, and a boat from the Maine Marine Patrol are searching. Coast Guard says he may have run aground because he was on the water at low tide.
A Brunswick man has pleaded guilty to defrauding two well-known Maine companies out of nearly half a million dollars. Matthew LaForge pleaded guilty to mail fraud and tax evasion Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Portland. Court records show that while employed at South Portland-based Wright Express from 2006-2008, the 38-year-old LaForge fraudulently billed and collected $231,000 from the company for marketing services supposedly provided by a company that he made up. Prosecutors say LaForge used the same scheme to defraud Freeport-based L.L. Bean out of $220,000 while working there as a financial analyst from 2009-2011. He faces up to 20 years on the two mail fraud charges and up to five years for tax evasion. A sentencing date has not been scheduled.
A proposal to ban dogs from Saco’s public beaches is getting so much attention that city councilors have scheduled a public hearing on the matter . The council was scheduled to hold a first hearing on the ordinance Monday, but about 100 people showed up to the meeting. Under the proposal, dogs would barred from town beaches between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., from June 15 to Sept. 15. The measure was prosed after the Baywood Condominium Owner’s Association wrote a letter complaining about aggressive dogs and the amount of animal waste left behind. The letter said Saco has become a “mecca” for dog owners since many nearby communities already ban dogs from the beach. Dog owners say most dogs are well-behaved. The public hearing is Aug. 20.