Amtrak says the Downeaster passenger rail service to Maine is canceled due to Tropical Storm Irene. The Boston-to-Portland passenger rail service is among several in the East canceled Monday due to conditions left by the storm.The Downeaster also serves points in New Hampshire. All Amtrak service between Boston and Philadelphia is also canceled due to extensive flooding, debris on tracks and power issues as a result of Irene. Amtrak crews are inspecting tracks and making repairs to the infrastructure along the Northeast Corridor. (AP)
New England is seeing a revival in farmers growing grain.Maine and Vermont were once the bread basket of the northern U.S., but they lost that distinction in the 1800s, when the Erie Canal and intercontinental railroad made it easier to bring grain east from the Midwest.But small farmers on the nation’s coasts are growing wheat again as more people clamor for locally grown food. An estimated 30 farmers in Vermont and Maine are growing an acre or two of grains, and a number of others with smaller plots.Ellen Mallory of the University of Maine Extension says they aren’t looking to compete with big growers in the Great Plains but hope to find their own niche by selling to local bakers, at farmers’ markets and in other venues.(The Associated Press)
One Portland building was evacuated due to the earthquake.The ten story Intermed building along Marginal Way was also evacuated last year in June following an earthquake in Ontario, Canada.Just like a year ago, it’s the people on the top two or three floors who tell us they really felt the building sway.Within minutes all floors were evacuated and the elevators were shut down, forcing people to walk down the stairs.From what we know, everybody made it out alright, even the many medical patients. The building was reopened and everybody allowed back in within 30 to 40 minutes.P.C. Construction built Intermed and says the building was actually designed to specific seismic codes and standards allowing it to withstand quakes much more powerful than todays.They say that’s why the building tends to sway more than others.
A sad end to the search for a missing Presque Isle man.Police say the body of 58-year-old Charlie Flint was found off a logging road in Ashland.Police believe he drove off the road and onto a skidder trail, then became stuck. He did not have his cell phone or his heart medications.Flint went missing two weeks ago.His dog was found, alive, in Flint’s jeep.
A motorcycle crash has claimed the life of a Lewiston woman.It happened early sunday morning in Turner.State police say 25-year-old Kristen Gagne was a passenger on the bike, which hit a tree.Police say the driver, 25-year-old Matthew Alexander, has minor injuries.
A New Hampshire man is going to prison for thirty-eight years for strangling a nursing student from Maine.Jason Twardus of Rochester was convicted of murdering 30-year-old Kelly Gorham four years ago. Twardus and Gorham lived together for two years before she broke off their engagement about two months before her death.She was living in Alfred, Maine, when she disappeared in August 2007. Her body was found a month later on property that belonged to Twardus’ father in New Hampshire.
A former town treasurer in Manchester who spent more than a year in jail for aggravated forgery says she can’t pay the $80,000 she owes.We’re told Patsy Rollins told the court she can’t pay $100 a month because she doesn’t have the money.Rollins was arrested in 2003 when authorities discovered more than $200,000 was missing from the town. A judge will decide if Rollins is able to make the payments.
A hiker has died after falling and hitting his head on the Appalachian Trail in Maine.Wardens were called to an area of the trail in the rugged mountains of northern Franklin County.The warden service believes the victim was a man from New York.
Presque Isle Police are searching for a Maine man with a heart condition last seen in the Ashland area. Fifty-eight-year-old Charlie Flint was last seen Monday. Presque Isle police say Flint had been living in Presque Isle, but was originally from Ashland. Flint is described as 5-feet, 4-inches tall and weighs about 240 pounds.He drives a 2004 silver Jeep Wrangler with a black top and might be with his pomeranian, Rusty. Police say flint has a heart condition and other health issues. If you have any information on his whereabouts, call Presque Psle police at 764-4476.
The warden service says a 72-year-old man from York has been found, two days after he went missing from his remote lakeside camp in northern Maine.A warden search team found Frank Wallace this morning on a dirt road in an unorganized township north of Chesuncook Lake.Wallace was reported missing Monday by a friend who became concerned after he didn’t return from picking mushrooms.Lieutenant Kevin Adam says once Wallace realized he was lost, he stayed on local woods roads until he was found about a mile from his camp.Adam says Wallace was wet, slightly hypothermic and had minor cuts and bruises.He was taken to the hospital for observation.
Amtrak is suing the Massachusetts company that owned the truck hit by the Downeaster passenger train last month in North Berwick.The driver of the truck was killed in the July collision. Amtrak claims the driver, 35-year-old Peter Barnum, of New Hampshire, ignored railroad crossing controls and warnings while crossing the tracks.Four passengers on the train suffered minor injuries. Amtrak says the collision and subsequent service disruption cost a total of 3 million dollars. The investigation into the crash continues.
A Maine woman is charged with child endangerment after police say she left her 6-month-old in a hot car while she went shopping in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The Portland Press Herald reports 32-year-old Renee Ramsey was arrested Saturday after an officer broke a car window to remove the baby. The temperature inside the car was measured at 117 degrees. We’re told the baby is ok.
A 64-year-old man charged with helping conceal evidence in a triple slaying in northern Maine is back in jail for allegedly selling oxycodone to his 24-year-old grandson.
Robert Strout of Orient was in the Aroostook County Jail on Sunday on a charge of aggravated furnishing of oxycodone.The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency arrested Strout on Thursday for allegedly giving 170 tablets of the pain killer to his grandson, Craig Strout-Desmond, and 24-year-old Brianna Bonness,both of Ellsworth. Agents say they followed Strout-Desmond and Bonness when they drove from Ellsworth to Orient to pick up the drugs. Both face drug charges.Strout was previously charged with hindering apprehension and arson for helping Thayne Ormsby after Ormsby allegedly fatallystabbed an Amity man, his 10-year-old son and a neighbor in June 2010.(The Associated Press)
A man has been formally charged with the murder of a woman whose body was found in the basement of his apartment building.Authorities say 20-year-old Bob Ryder killed 38-year-old Danita Brown of New Gloucester.She had been missing for several weeks.Police found her body after being tipped by Ryder’s Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor.Court documents say Ryder told police he hit Brown in the head with a clock, then hid her body in the basement.
Maine officials say the body of a missing swimmer has been recovered from a pond in Hiram. The Maine Warden Service says 47-year-old Kathleen Whitehouse ,of Malden, Mass., was reported missing Tuesday evening by family when she didn’t return to her camp. She was last seen swimming in Stanley Pond earlier in the day. On Wednesday morning, Maine Warden Service divers, search dogs and a plane were used to search the small pond and area. Her body was found Wednesday afternoon and taken to the medical examiner’s office to determine the cause of death.
Maine officials say they’ve documented four new sightings of Giant Hogweed, a monster plant that can cause severe blistering and skin and eye irritation. State horticulturist Ann Gibbs says the noxious weeds have been newly confirmed in Windham, Sebago, Northport and Lisbon Falls. The giant hogweed can grow up to 14 feet high and have flowers that measure a foot across. They can cause painful irritation, permanent scarring and, in rare cases, blindness. Gibbs told the Portland Press Herald there are now 21 known spots around Maine where hogweed has been documented.
Some big name country acts will be heading to the county at the end of the month to help out the best way they know how.Big and Rich, Gretchen Wilson and Canadian band Neon Highway will perform at the *Feed the County* benefit concert.It’s to promote hunger awareness in northern Maine.The show starts at 5pm Saturday, August 20th.It will take place at the Spud Speedway on Thomspon Road in Caribou.For tickets, visit spud-speedway.com.
An Old Orchard Beach bar and nightclub has been destroyed by a large fire. We’re told the smoke could be seen more than a mile away.It happened before 9am this morning at The Galaxy, a two-story building on East Grand Avenue not far from the Old Orchard Beach Pier.Hundreds of tourists watched as firefighters doused the fire throughout the morning.There were no reported injuries, and no immediate word from fire officials on the cause.
Portland police are searching for a suspect in a fatal shooting that shut down a busy street, snarling rush-hour traffic. Acting Police Chief Michael Sauschuck says people reported hearing gunshots around 4:30 a.m. Monday outside a gas station on outer Congress Street. When officers arrived, they found a man lying on the sidewalk. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Sauschuck said police have not confirmed the victim’s identity and that detectives have interviewed witnesses who heard the shots and saw the victim on the sidewalk. Sauschuck said he’s not speculating on a motive as the investigation moves forward. No arrests have been made. (AP)
A Maine lobster company has taken home the gold from the nation’s largest specialty food show.Hancock Gourmet Lobster won three gold medals at this month’s Fancy Food Show, held in Washington, D.C.The company, which is based in Cundy’s Harbor, won first-place awards for best product line, its oyster stew and its lobster risotto.The company was founded in 2000 and makes dozens of gourmet lobster and seafood products.The Fancy Food Show draws about 25,000 vendors, buyers, trade representatives, store owners and others to peruse thousands of specialty food products. It’s put on by the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade.(The Associated Press)