The Premier of Nova Scotia says he’s committed to subsidizing a new ferry service between Nova Scotia and Maine.Ferry service ended in 2009 when Bay Ferries Limited stopped running “The Cat” between Nova Scotia, Portland and Bar Harbor. The Nova Scotia Government said it could no longer subsidize the service.The Premiere says he is committed to finding a new operator and providing $21 million dollars over seven years to help get the new ferry service underway.An 80 page report on the revitalization says service to Portland would make the most sense financially and city leaders in Portland agree.”They did recommend Portland because of the cultural activities,” said Michael Brennan, mayor of Portland. “The fact that we are a tourist destination and they recognize Portland is an up-and-coming destination on the cruise ship route.”The fate of the ferry still hinges on whether officials in Nova Scotia can convince the Canadian federal government to finance the $21 million, plus, an additional $13 million to refurbish Yarmouth’s terminal facilities.If all goes as planned, Portland could reap the benefits from Canada’s investment.”…But,certainly when you put thousands and thousands of people on the streets or the restaurants or a hotel it is great for the city, commented W. Godfrey Wood, CEO of the Portland Chamber of Commerce. The ferry would actually be more of a cruise-style ship, unlike the high speed ‘Cat’ which lost $7 million dollars annually.One local business owner, Brewster Harding, is excited about reviving the service. He thinks the Canadian economy will once again support a ferry, adding that a cruise-style ship is a perfect fit for Portland’s downtown.”Portland is ideal for the cruise-type ferry because it is just ten hours over and ten hours back, a perfect two hour turn-around, so it is ideal for the operation.” The report on reviving the ferry also says it is unlikely the service would start before 2014.
Amtrak’s Downeaster is ready to roll to northward to Freeport and Brunswick, Maine. The Boston-to-Portland service becomes a Boston-to-Brunswick service effective Nov. 1. Patricia Quinn of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority says tickets go on sale on Oct. 1. Banners making the announcement are going up in stations along the route on Wednesday. Expanding the service required improvements to more than 30 miles of rail, rehabilitation of 36 crossings and constructions of two station platforms. Remaining track work will be completed in weeks. The service is coming off a record year with 528,292 passengers. Initially, two of the five daily roundtrips between Portland and Boston will travel to Brunswick. The expanded service is expected to add 36,000 more passengers each year.
A northern Maine family is offering an unusual reward for the return of a vintage canoe stolen a month ago. Darlene Kelly Dumond of Allagash says the family is offering $250 and a gallon of gin for any information leading to the recovery of what she calls a family heirloom. The canoe that belonged to her father, Tyler Kelly, was last seen tied up at the village’s public landing on Aug. 12. Kelly, now 75 and retired, was a well-known guide and riverman who used to race canoes. His daughter tells the Bangor Daily News, the unusual reward was thought up by a friend who figured a gallon of gin would spark some interest in the dry town. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is investigating.
Rumford man who continued to collect his mother’s insurance annuity payments for more than three years after her death has pleaded guilty. Rupert Malchisky was sentenced Tuesday in Oxford County Superior Court to one year, all suspended, and two years of probation. He was also ordered to repay $1,200 to the insurance company. The 57-year-old Malchisky pleaded guilty to forgery and theft by deception. Prosecutors say Malchisky’s mother was receiving annuity payments from Allstate Insurance Co. until her death in April 2008. An insurance company investigator found Malchisky and his ex-wife had cashed more than $12,000 in checks meant for Malchisky’s mother. The Sun Journal, reports that his ex-wife told investigators that Malchisky had coerced her to sign the checks
The last in a series of public sessions on financial abuse of seniors will be held in Presque Isle. The workshop is scheduled for Wednesday. Earlier public meetings, also sponsored by a coalition of state government and non-profit agencies, were held in Hallowell, Scarborough, Lewiston and Bangor. The sessions are being held as financial exploitation of elders escalates in numbers in Maine and throughout the country. Maine’s Office of Securities says the sessions are open to the public, including seniors, caregivers and service providers.
A former school bus driver in southern New Hampshire and Maine has pleaded guilty to sexually exploiting children on his bus. Milton, N.H., resident John Allen Wright was arrested last fall and charged with filming child pornography on the bus using cameras hidden in glasses and pens. The 46-year-old worked as a bus driver for special needs children. Federal prosecutors say a search of Wright’s home and computer uncovered several videos showing him sexually assaulting children who were passengers aboard his bus and thousands of child sexual assault images downloaded from the Internet. Wright pleaded guilty on Tuesday to six counts of sexual exploitation of children. He faces a mandatory prison term of 15 years on each of five counts and a total maximum sentence of up to 160 years.
A Windham man won’t go to jail for a deadly car crash.22 year-old David Kimberlin pleaded guilty to causing the death of a person while committing a traffic infraction.Police say Kimberlin was speeding last year when he lost control of his pick-up in Unity township and crashed into a car driven by 36 year-old Jessica Eldridge of Winslow.A local paper reports Kimberlin lost his license for three years, was fined $1,500 and has to do 250 hours of community service.
Maine’s newest Teacher of the Year has been announced.Shannon Shanning is a seventh and eighth grade special education teacher at Bruce M. Whittier Middle School in Poland.The announcement was made at a surprise, all-school assembly Monday.Shanning now goes on to compete in the selection process for the 2013 National Teacher of the Year. That will be announced next April at the White House.
Just one month after West Nile was found in Lebanon, a case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis has been confirmed in town.Triple-E, which is spread by mosquitoes, was found in 30 pheasants at a local pheasant farm, according to a local selectmen. All of them have died. This is not the first time the virus has been found in Lebanon.On August 17th, West Nile Virus was found in mosquitoes in town.People older than 50 years old and less than 15 years old are more at risk of developing severe cases of Triple-E, according to health experts. However, most people bitten by an infected mosquito will not develop the disease.
An Old Orchard Beach man has been sentenced to a year in prison after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography. Ludger R. Binette was also sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Portland to 10 years of probation. The 65-year-old Binette pleaded guilty in April. Federal prosecutors say in 2009, federal and state law enforcement agents executed a search warrant at the defendant’s home and seized a computer that had images of child pornography on it from his bedroom.
The U.S. Labor Department has sued a Bath dentist for allegedly retaliating against two hygienists who complained about improper infection-control procedures at the practice. The suit filed against Dr. Tammy Cook, the owner of Bath Family Dental, seeks lost wages, benefits and damages for hygienists Dorothy Shafran and Chelsea Huntington. The suit says the hygienists told Cook they were concerned about perceived failures to decontaminate treatment rooms and the failure to wash hands or wear gloves. The suit says during a federal inspection of the practice, Cook said she knew who made the complaint and said she would fire them. When reminded of whistleblower protections, she allegedly said she would fire them for other reasons. Cook’s lawyer tells The Portland Press Herald, that the allegations are without merit.
Gay marriage supporters held a rally in Portland Monday.About 200 people gathered at Portland City Hall to begin the post-Labor Day “Yes on One” push.Mainers will decide in November if they want to legalize same sex marriage.Mainers United for Marriage will hit the airwaves this week too with a 100-thousand dollar television campaign.Gay marriage opponents are also stepping up their efforts.The Roman Catholic Church has kicked off a series of meetings to promote its view of marriage being between a man and a woman.
Pine Point Beach in Scarborough was full of sandcastles Sunday, which is what you’d expect at the “Sandsations” sand sculpting contest.There was also a mermaid tail contest for kids.Money raised from the event benefits Birth Roots, a local non-profit that provides southern Maine families with education and support during the first year of parenting.Nearly twenty teams competed, with a baby whale sculpture taking tops honors.
A lot of Maine lobster has been loaded onto a cruise ship visiting Portland Harbor.The Celebrity Summit took delivery of the lobsters from Ready Lobster.Celebrity Cruises has agreed to buy a total of 3,800 pounds of Maine lobster this year when it visits our state.Norwegian Cruise Lines will buy another 5,000 pounds when its ships call on Portland this fall.It’s good timing for Maine’s lobster industry which has seen rock-bottom prices this summer because of too much supply.
Portland police arrested a man wearing a New York Yankees hat over the weekend after he threw a brick through the police station’s glass front door. Police say 38-year-old Jeffrey Nason entered the Middle Street station at about 8:30 p.m. Saturday to complain that someone in the street had yelled at him for wearing a Yankees cap. He left the station and threw a brick through the lobby door. He was caught a short distance away and charged with aggravated criminal mischief. No one was hurt, but damage to the door was estimated at $1,000. Nason was held at the Cumberland County Jail. Police did not say where he was from.
Actress Glenn Close and her husband are being recognized for their contributions to Maine’s creative economy. The Maine Center for Creativity is honoring Close and her husband, Idexx Laboratories founder David Shaw, as the first recipients of the Maine Creative Industries Award. The award will be presented Thursday at the inaugural Maine Creative Industries Gala in Portland. Close is an award-winning actress whose credits include “Fatal Attraction,” ”Dangerous Liaisons” and the hit TV drama, “Damages.” Shaw founded Idexx Laboratories, an animal health care diagnostic products company, in Portland in 1983 and remained as CEO until 2001. Close and Shaw own a home in Scarborough.
Maine’s top prosecutor has chosen his special assistant to become Maine’s first public access ombudsman. Attorney General William Schneider says Brenda Kielty, who has worked as a lawyer, a mediator and an educator, will transition into her new job in the months ahead. As public access ombudsman, Kielty’s responsibilities include responding to inquiries about Maine’s Freedom of Access Act, working to resolve complaints, preparing educational materials about the law and making recommendations on improving access to public records and proceedings. The position was created by the Legislature in 2006, but has been unfunded until this year. Three people applied for the job.
The Navy knows how a fire started aboard the USS Miami, but two panels are continuing their wide-ranging investigations. The Navy aims to complete the dual probes by the Fleet Forces Command and Naval Sea Systems Command by month’s end. The panels are looking at factors that contributed to the fire’s rapid spread as well as ways to reduce hazards and improve firefighting response. While in dry dock at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, the Los Angeles-class attack submarine suffered $450 million worth of damage from the fire that the Navy says was set by a civilian worker in May. The Navy intends to repair the submarine, which is based in Groton, Conn., and return it to the fleet in 2015.
Maine officials are investigating a personal watercraft explosion that launched a man 20 feet through the air and sent the engine covering flying more than 60 feet. The Maine Warden Service says the explosion occurred when 31-year-old Karl Marchionda, of Danvers, MA, attempted to start the watercraft after filling it with about 10 gallons of fuel at Long Lake Marina on Long Lake in Naples. Authorities say Marchionda landed face-first on a dock and was taken to Bridgton Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Warden Neal Wykes said a mechanism securing the fuel lines to the gas tank had come loose, allowing fuel to enter the watercraft hull. He said that the gas fumes apparently ignited when the machine was started. The marina owner put out the fire with an extinguisher.
Maine officials’ ruling that CanaRx, a Canadian firm that distributes prescription medications by mail, cannot be licensed in Maine will affect 1,200 Maine households using the company’s services. The Sun Journal of Lewiston says Attorney General William Schneider’s decision imperils more than $3 million in annual savings budgeted for the state employees’ health plan. CanaRx senior program adviser Chris Collins says the decision affects about 1,200 Maine households and also poses financial repercussions for the city of Portland and Guilford-based Hardwood Products Co., both of which have contracted with CanaRx for years. CanaRx offers reduced prices to plan providers and does not charge co-payments to participants, creating significant savings for both.