Regional News

Current USM President Taking New Job Within UMaine System

Updated 2 years ago

The University of Southern Maine’s President is leaving that post to take a new job within the UMaine system.Chancellor James Page announced Thursday that Selma Botman will be replaced by Theo Kalikow as USM President.He spent 18 years as President of UMaine Farmington.Botman has come under fire this year from faculty and staff unhappy with her leadership.She will fill a newly-created position as a special assistant to the chancellor.

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Casco Man Dies Trying to Stop Garage Fire

Updated 2 years ago

A man died Thursday morning while trying to put out a fire on his property in Casco.Investigators say the man had a heart attack after reporting that his garage was on fire.Crews were able to prevent the flames from spreading to the house but a vehicle parked near the garage was destroyed.Two firefighters suffered minor injuries and were treated at the scene.The State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating.

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Children Playing with Sparklers Inside Cause Portland Fire

Updated 2 years ago

Children playing with sparklers sparked an apartment fire in Portland Monday morning.City officials say everyone made it out safely.The fire department says two children lit sparklers using a toaster, and that caught a bed on fire.At least nine people were left homeless.

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Thriteen Families Displaced in Lewiston Fire

Updated 2 years ago

The Red Cross is on the scene to help people chased from their homes by fire in downtown Lewiston.Three buildings caught fire around 11 a.m. Tuesday morning. Fire burned a 12-unit, four-story apartment building as well as a single-family structure next door.An adjacent 4-unit apartment building that was vacant and had been condemned by the city also burned down.Authorities say thirteen families have been displaced.No injuries have been reported.No word yet on what caused it.

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Victim’s Mother Sues Gun Owner in 2007 New Hampshire Shooting

Updated 2 years ago

The grandfather of a man convicted of killing three other men during a botched robbery five years ago at a New Hampshire Army surplus store is facing a lawsuit by one victim’s mother.The lawsuit alleges that Lawrence Secord should have taken extra precautions to secure his gun after his grandson was released from prison two months before the robbery in Conway, N.H. Authorities say the defendant had stolen the gun.Gail Jones, of Halifax, Mass., the mother of 23-year-old victim Gary Jones, is suing Secord.Secord’s lawyer says he kept his handgun in a locked hunting cabin and is not responsible for his grandson’s actions.Michael Woodbury, of Windham, Maine, pleaded guilty in the July 2, 2007, killings and is serving life in prison.

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Sparklers Blamed for Apartment Fire

Updated 2 years ago

Firefighters in Maine’s largest city arebattling an apartment house fire that a neighbor says was startedby children playing with sparklers. City officials say everyone made it out of the building tosafety late Monday morning, but thick plumes of smoke could be seenfrom downtown as firefighters battled the blaze. The Portland Press Herald quotes aneighbor, Melissa Trott, as saying kids caused the fire by tryingto light fireworks using a toaster oven. A city spokeswoman declined to discuss the cause of the fire.Congress Street was closed as firefighters doused the blaze in thebuilding across the street from the Eastern Cemetery

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No Updates on Nuclear Submarine Fire Until Mid to Late August

Updated 2 years ago

The Navy says it’ll be more than a month before it has new details about a fire that severely damaged a submarine in dry dock at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.The Naval Sea Systems Command said Thursday that additional details on repair costs and investigations into the USS Miami fire won’t be available until mid to late August.Early estimates put the damage at $400 million after a fire that started in a vacuum cleaner got out of control May 23 while the Miami was undergoing a 20-month overhaul.The fire damaged the torpedo room, crew quarters, and command and control areas of the nuclear-powered sub. The Navy is conducting multiple investigations and hasn’t yet said for sure whether the Los Angeles-class attack sub will be repaired or scrapped.

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Portland Man Accused of Threatening Gov. Paul LePage Pleads Guilty to Eight Charges

Updated 2 years ago

A Portland man accused of threatening Maine Gov. Paul LePage and members of Congress has pleaded guilty to eight charges.U.S. Attorney Thomas Delahanty II said Wednesday that 52-year-old Michael R. Thomas pleaded guilty in federal court to threatening members of Congress, mailing threatening communications, interstate stalking, and possessing a firearm after being convicted of a felony.Police identified Thomas through DNA from letters he sent to LePage. He was also charged with making death threats against Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Rep. Steve King of Iowa and mailing harassing and threatening letters to someone in Massachusetts.Thomas, who was arrested in March, faces up to 45 years in prison on the charges.

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Rite-Aid Robbery in Gorham

Updated 2 years ago

Another pharmacy robbery at a Rite Aid, this time it happened on Main Street in Gorham.Authorities say, a man entered the drug store at about 2:15 Wednesday afternoon, and handed the pharmacist a note demanding Oxycodone.The pharmacist gave drugs to the robber, who then left the store.Investigators say the man was last seen getting into a small black pickup truck traveling westbound on main street.

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The Maine Guys Known For Their Mentos Experiments Kicking Off Portland Performing Arts Festival

Updated 2 years ago

The Maine guys known for creating colorful geysers from Diet Coke and Mentos candies are performing a live version in their home state for the first time.Fritz Grobe and Stephen Voltz will use their “Extreme Diet Coke & Mentos Experiments” Thursday evening to kick off the Portland Performing Arts Festival.The Buckfield-based entertainers shot to fame five years ago when they wore lab coats and goggles during their online videos demonstrating elaborate geysers set to music.The Portland Performing Arts Festival is a new four-day event, featuring eight performances of nationally renowned artists in classical music, jazz, dance, theater, and performance art.

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Cause of Westbrook Apartment Building Fire Released

Updated 2 years ago

Maine authorities say a fire in a Westbrook apartment building was started by a child playing with matches or a lighter.One person was taken to the hospital for suspected smoke inhalation.Public Safety Chief Michael Pardue tells the Portland Press Herald, that the fire started in a first floor apartment on Tuesday night.Officials say crews responded quickly to the building on Main Street because the fire station is a block away.An officer helped a resident escape from a second floor apartment. All other tenants got out safely.Firefighters tried to keep the fire from spreading to other buildings on the block.Pardue says the fire, which heaving damaged the building, melted siding of a neighboring building but caused no structural damage.

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Thunderstorm Causes Damages to Buildings at Colby College

Updated 2 years ago

A heavy thunderstorm Friday caused extensive damage to Colby College athletic buildings.School officials say water leaked into the gymnasium, getting under the gym floor.Work crews are assessing the damage and say it looks like a significant portion of the floor, which is only five years old, needs to be replaced.Summer sports camps at Colby are still going on as scheduled.

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Gov. LePage Orders State Flags to Flown at Half Staff in Gorham to Remember Former Solider

Updated 2 years ago

The death of a former Maine soldier from Gorham is prompting the governor to order state flags to be flown at half-staff in the southern Maine town.Gov. Paul LePage has directed that the state of Maine flag be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset in Gorham on Wednesday in remembrance of Durward Benjamin `Ben’ Worster, who died a week ago at Frye’s Leap on Sebago Lake.Worster attended Gorham High School, and later was awarded numerous honors and medals during his Army tour in Iraq. After his discharge, Worster was as an officer at the Maine Correctional Center in Windham.

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One Man Injured in Apartment Fire in Westbrook

Updated 2 years ago

One person was taken to the hospital after fire broke out inside an apartment building in Westbrook.Crews were called to Main Street around 9pm Tuesday night.Fire fighters shut down that part of the road.They cleared the scene around 1:30 Wednesday morning.No word yet on a cause or the extent of the victim’s injuries.We are told that the blaze is under investigation.

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Jobless Rate Ticks Down in New England

Updated 2 years ago

New England’s unemployment rate ticked down one-tenth of a percentage point in May and is near its lowest level since January 2009.The New England office of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Tuesday the jobless rate in the region was 6.8 percent last month, down from 6.9 percent in April. Officials say it has fallen 1.1 by percent in the last year.The national rate is 8.2 percent.Rhode Island has the highest unemployment rate in the region, at 11 percent, and the second highest in the United States. Nevada’s is 11.6 percent.Vermont’s unemployment rate of 4.6 percent is the lowest in the region and the fourth lowest in the U.S

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Man Gets Five Years Behind Bars for Arson

Updated 2 years ago

A 22-year-old Maine man is going to prison for five years for starting a fire that destroyed a plumbing and heating business in Freeport.Christopher Veysey II was sentenced Monday in District Court in Portland after pleading guilty to one count of arson and six counts of burglary of a motor vehicle.Police said Veysey last October was breaking into vehicles parked at Bob Miles and Son plumbing business on Route 1 in Freeport when some papers in one of the vehicles caught fire from the lighter he was using as a light source.The Portland Press Herald reported that the fire then spread from the vehicle to a building, resulting in $1.2 million in damage.

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Maine-NH Bridge Struck by Lightning, No One Hurt

Updated 2 years ago

Transportation officials say two-way traffic has resumed on a lift bridge between Maine and New Hampshire that was struck by lightning strike.New Hampshire Department of Transportation spokesman Bill Boynton says the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge was in lift mode when lighting hit. He says the lift span came down at an uneven angle, causing damage that left a normally underground metal plate jutting out into one of the two lanes.He also says several gauges were knocked out by the lightning strike at 11:35 a.m. Monday.No one was hurt.The Piscataqua River bridge connects Portsmouth to Kittery, Maine, and is getting heavier-than-normal use during demolition of the Memorial Bridge. Police were directing alternating one-way traffic on Monday. Two-way traffic resumed on Monday evening.

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One Man Dead After Ultralight Crash in North Yarmouth

Updated 2 years ago

A 75-year-old man has died from injuries suffered while climbing from trees into which his airplane crashed.William G. Gaddis of North Yarmouth died at a hospital Sunday after falling from tree tops where his plane landed around 7:15 p.m., shortly after takeoff from his private air strip next door.Officials say bystanders urged Gaddis to remain strapped in the ultralight plane until he could be rescued, but he began climbing out and fell about 40 feet.The case is being investigated by the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office.

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Fatal Car Crash in Falmouth

Updated 2 years ago

An 80-year-old Falmouth woman has died in a two-car crash.Falmouth police said Glenise Hutchins was killed in a crash at the intersection of Route 1 and Johnson Road at about 9:10 a.m. Saturday.Officials told the Portland Press Herald, that Hutchins was a passenger in one of the cars.Police did not release additional information about the accident, which is under investigation.

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Maine Turnpike Authority Cutting Twenty Positions

Updated 2 years ago

The Maine Turnpike Authority is cutting twenty positions in an effort to save money.The authority’s executive director says the cuts will save more than a million dollars a year.More than half the positions are supervisor jobs and their duties will be consolidated.Some customer service, maintenance, clerk and plow driver positions are also being eliminated at the end of this year.

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