Investigators think a man who said he was attacked, tied up, and left in the burning apartment building he owns in Windham concocted an elaborate hoax. Investigators with the state Fire Marshal’s Office have not charged 66-year-old Donato Corsetti, but say in court papers they believe he set the fire himself to collect on an insurance policy. Corsetti, who also owns a market next door, told investigators he was showing an apartment to two men who jumped, him, tied him up and set the Dec. 7 fire. Corsetti told police an organized crime group from Rhode Island was trying to scare him. Investigators said he kept changing his story. Investigators say the apartment and Corsetti’s home had been foreclosed on. Corsetti refused comment when reached by The Portland Press Herald.
The Portland Museum of Art is keeping extended hours Thursday and Saturday for the final week of its record-setting exhibition of Winslow Homer works. Record numbers of museum-goers have viewed the exhibit, Weatherbeaten: Winslow Homer and Maine, since it opened in September. The exhibit, which ends this Sunday, features 38 of Homer’s works that he produced at his studio in Scarborough. Due to the show’s popularity, the museum extended its Thursday and Saturday hours until 8 p.m. through the end of the exhibit while adding an admission surcharge and selling timed tickets. The exhibition showcases masterpieces that Homer created in Scarborough, where he lived from 1883 until his death in 1910.
Former President George H.W. Bush remained in guarded condition overnight in the intensive care unit at a Houston hospital after a day marked by what his spokesman called “a series of setbacks including persistent fever.” Bush spokesman Jim McGrath said Wednesday that that the 88-year-old former leader had been admitted Sunday to the ICU at Methodist Hospital. McGrath said Bush, the oldest living former U.S. president, was alert and talking to medical staff, adding that doctors are cautiously optimistic about his treatment. No other details were released about his condition, but McGrath said Bush is surrounded by family. Bush has been hospitalized since Nov. 23, when he was admitted for a cough related to bronchitis after having been in and out of the hospital for complications related to the illness.
Three Cape Elizabeth High School students are facing felony charges for allegedly selling marijuana-laced chocolate chip cookies at school. Capt. Brent Sinclair said Wednesday that two 15-year-old boys and one 17-year-old boy were charged last week with aggravated trafficking in scheduled drugs. They were released to the custody of their parents. Police began investigating after three students got sick this month after eating pot-laced cookies on the same day the school was holding a daylong event featuring speakers addressing the school district’s guiding values of “Community, Academics, Passion and Ethics.” Sinclair told the Portland Press Herald, that eight students were summonsed for possession of marijuana.
Wind power in Maine is far short of the state’s goal for wind energy by 2015.Right now, wind power is generating about 500 megawatts of power.State lawmakers want to see 2,000 megawatts cranked out by 2015, 3,000 by 2020.Wind projects now in development could bring the state to half of its wind power goal.
L.L. Bean is the store that never closes, that includes Christmas day.Many shoppers spent yesterday searching for gifts at the Freeport store, or returning those not so ‘perfect’ presents.We caught up with a shopper who had twice the reason to celebrate yesterday.”Today is my birthday and we come every year and I’ll be 85!” “It’s fun here, we’re down visiting so there’s not a lot to do but this place is fun, it’s open.The store was already running post-Christmas sales on Christmas morning.
They are the Freeport Flag Ladies.They’re well known for their dedication to honoring our troops.Tuesday, the group took time to honor another group, the victims of the school shootings in Connecticut.587 Tuesdays. That’s how many times the three have stood out in rain-shine-and snow as a reminder of the September 11th attacks, but there’s something different about this particular Tuesday. On this Christmas Tuesday, the ladies are remembering a different tragedy as they said and remembered every single one of the victims of the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, and this Tuesday, the ladies don’t stand alone. Students like 16 year old Haley Sanborn helped with the event by writing names on the balloons and releasing a victim’s name into the skies, and as the last balloon flew the ladies say they hope just like all other victims of senseless tragedies, they won’t be forgotten. “As sad and horrendous as it was, all we can hope is something good comes of it because if no good comes of it, what is there to be had?”
A Scarborough after-school group that practices circus arts has been picked to take part in President Obama’s Inaugural Parade next month. The Gym Dandies, as they’re called, will ride 6-foot unicycles in formation. The group has performed at more than 80 schools and in many community events in New England.
The body of a Coast Guardsman from Maine who went missing while hiking in Alaska has been recovered. Officials say 20-year-old Derek Winn Russell’s dead body was found Tuesday on Barometer Mountain near Kodiak, Alaska. Russell was last seen at about 10 a.m. Saturday as he left the Coast Guard base where he was stationed to hike trails on the mountain. Nick Szabo, with Kodiak Island Search and Rescue, tells The Portland Press Herald, that skid marks in the ice and snow and an ice ax were found Tuesday at about 2,200 feet, near a trail typically used to descend from the summit. Russell’s body was found about 1,000 feet below. Russell was from Hollis Center, Maine and joined the Coast Guard in June.
A 156-acre tract of undeveloped land in the center of Scarborough has been purchased by the Scarborough Land Trust for preservation. Warren Woods, a tract of woods, fields and wetlands along the Nonesuch River, was sold to the land trust by its previous owner, Harvey Warren, on Dec. 21. The Portland Press Herald, reports that the property was named after Warren’s late wife, Elaine, who died in 2009. Paul Austin, president of the Scarborough Land Trust, called the purchase a “holiday gift” to the town’s people. The trust raised $365,000 for the purchase, $285,000 for the acquisition with enough left over build trails, install signs and maintain the land. The land may have been developed if not bought for preservation.
A judge has denied a bid for a new trial by a Sabattus man sentenced to 55 years in prison for killing his ex-girlfriend. Daniel Roberts petitioned Androscoggin County Superior Court Justice Joyce Wheeler for a new trial or to send the case back to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court for a second look. The Sun Journal, reports that the 43-year-old Roberts’ lawyer in his appeal said among other things that he had received ineffective representation at his trial, and claimed that some members of the public had been barred from his trial. Wheeler rejected those arguments. Roberts was convicted of the August 2005 shooting of 29-year-old Melissa Mendoza. The couple was involved in a custody dispute over their then 2-year-old daughter. Roberts said the shooting was self-defense.
A Scarborough after-school group that practices circus arts has been selected to participate in President Barack Obama’s inaugural parade on Jan. 21. U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree says the Gym Dandies will ride 6-foot unicycles in formation during the 57th Inaugural Parade. The Gym Dandies are made up of 41 students ages 8-18 who practice circus arts such as unicycle riding, stilt walking and juggling. Jon Cahill, who founded the group when he was a physical education teacher in 1981 in Scarborough, is the director. The group has performed at more than 80 schools and in many community events in the New England region.
Before starting his deliveries around the world, Santa made a quick visit to kids at Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital in Portland Monday morning.The big man in red, and his elf “Dennis,” stopped by to ask children what they want for Christmas and hand out gifts.Parents say while spending Christmas in the hospital isn’t ideal, they’re incredibly grateful for Santa and the many donors in the community that help make this day happen.Maine Medical Center’s Child Life Coordinator, Sherisse Wormell, says often the kids are concerned Santa won’t know they’re not at home so having him stop by always lifts spirits. “We think its really important that they take part in normal activities like if they were at home or in their communities so it’s a really important tradition for kids and we want to continue that for them here.””These people are wonderful and we really appreciate all they’ve done and the generosity is amazing,” commented Sare Curtis, a mother of a child in the hospital. “People are coming from everywhere, dropping gifts off. I’ve never seen so much.”Santa also visited children in their hospital rooms, before heading back to the North Pole to get ready for Christmas Eve night!
Dealing with cancer is difficult enough, but the fast pace of the holiday season can make it even more stressful.The American Cancer Society has tips and resources on its website and a toll-free number where callers can speak with a live person and get local resources to help.This resource is available to both patients and caregivers.For more information log on to their website at www.cancer.org, or call them toll free at 1-800-227-2345.
Police say a 30-year-old man was flown to a Lewiston hospital with serious injuries suffered in a rollover in Woodstock. Deputy Nate Bowie of the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office says Jonathan Timm was traveling west on Rumford Avenue off of Route 232 when at about 8 p.m. Sunday when his SUV left the road. Bowie tells the Sun Journal the vehicle rolled over, causing “serious injuries.” Timm was not ejected. Timm was flown to Central Maine Medical Center. Bowie said the accident is still under investigation, but that he suspects alcohol to be a factor.
A former school bus driver in New Hampshire and Maine will wait until early next year to learn how long he’ll spend in prison for sexually exploiting children on his bus. John Allen Wright, who pleaded guilty in September, had been scheduled for sentencing last week, but Foster’s Daily Democrat, reports that the hearing has been postponed until February. Wright, who lived in Milton, worked as a bus driver for special needs children. He was arrested in September 2011 and charged with filming child pornography on the bus using cameras hidden in glasses and pens. Officials have said he faces prison time of up to 160 years.
Real police have caught up with a man they say impersonated a Cumberland County sheriff’s deputy in order to extort money from a resident of a Windham home. Police say 26-year-old Steven Shaw was arrested over the weekend on several warrants while hiding in the attic of an Augusta home. He was held over the weekend in the Kennebec County jail in lieu of $27,000 bail based on warrants charging him with burglary and theft, theft by extortion, violation of conditions of release and impersonating a public servant. Authorities say last month Shaw went to a Windham home and claimed to be an undercover sheriff’s deputy. Shaw allegedly told the resident that he would not arrest the man if he gave Shaw money.
Maine’s unemployment rate dropped to 7.2% in November.That’s down from 7.4% for October.The national unemployment rate is now 7.7%.
A 24-year-old Sanford man has learned his sentence for causing a 2010 traffic accident that killed one person and injured five others. Zachary Bubar will serve two years in prison, with the remainder of a nine-year sentence suspended. He’ll also be on probation for four years. The Portland Press Herald, reports Bubar was sentenced by a York County Superior Court judge on Thursday following his conviction last month on manslaughter and other charges. Authorities say Bubar was driving a car that crashed into a van. Police say a speeding Bubar pulled into the northbound lane around a car that was signaling to make a right turn and slammed into a van headed north. Shawn Beaulieu , who was riding in the front seat of Bubar’s vehicle, was killed.
The Winter Solstice will mark a vigil in Portland to remember the homeless people who have died. Friday’s solstice brings the shortest day and longest night of the year. The homeless observance begins at 4 p.m. with a candlelight procession to Monument Square joined by people who are homeless, have been homeless, who work to with homeless people, and those who are grateful not to be homeless. After the procession, a ceremony in Monument Square will take place to honor homeless people who have died, featuring Mayor Michael Brennan and Homeless Voices for Justice advocate Jim Devine.