The contractor working on the new Memorial Bridge connecting New Hampshire and Maine expects to be able to set a date for opening the bridge to traffic within the next several weeks. The final span is in place at the bridge. Archer Western Contractors is working on balancing the weight of that 2.5-million-pound span with the weight of counterweights. The lift mechanism of the bridge is still being adjusted. Other work that needs to be done is paving, bridge rail installation, roadway markings, installing signage and other maintenance. The new bridge is replacing a nearly 90-year-old bridge connecting Portsmouth to Kittery, Maine.
Authorities say the owner of a western Maine tree cutting company has died in a wood chipper accident. Police say 60-year-old Sam Chapman of Bethel was cleaning the interior of a chipper on Sunday morning when a three-foot long, crescent-shaped metal shield came off and punctured his chest. Police say he was lending the chipper to two people and was showing them how to operate and clean it. Oxford County Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Hart Daley tells the Sun Journal, that Chapman remained conscious and alert in the moments after the accident but died before a medical helicopter could fly him to a hospital. Chapman owned Chapman’s Tree Services and was also an avid golfer and a popular local songwriter and musician who often performed in the area.
Portland firefighters are telling Maine residents how to stay safe while enjoying barbeques, campfires and the outdoors this summer. The Portland Fire Department says to keep matches and lighters away from children and always check the connection between the propane tank and fuel before grilling. When camping, the department says to build campfires away from dry grass and leaves and to keep them small. Make sure to have water and a shovel to put out the fire when leaving the campsite. During heat waves, drink lots of fluids but avoid sugary and caffeinated drinks, which can be dehydrating. The department also says to never allow children to swim unsupervised, even in shallow water. It says children can drown in as little as 2 inches of water.
A former Lewiston man sentenced to more than 27 years in federal prison for drug and arson charges now faces a new charge – assaulting a corrections officer. Cumberland County Jail officials say Trezjuan Thompson punched an officer on Sunday. The officer was treated and released from Maine Medical Center. Federal prosecutors said Thompson was part of a cocaine and crack cocaine drug ring when he set fire to an apartment. Prosecutors say he conspired to distribute crack cocaine using phones at the Androscoggin County Jail and the Maine State Prison while he was incarcerated after the fire. It wasn’t known if Thompson had a lawyer. He was sentenced as a career offender because of previous convictions for drug trafficking and assault and battery.
Motorcyclists will hit the road in memory of a US Marine.Ryan’s Ride will be held on July 20th.It will raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project in the name of Master Sergeant Ryan love who served for 16 years.About a year ago he took his own life.The ride will start in Searsport: proceed to Brewer, than back to Searsport for a cookout that will include clams, lobster, corn on the cob, and much more.It’s $20 per driver, $10 for riders and non-bikers.Contact Raye at 322-7276 for more information and to register.
Celebrity lawyer F. Lee Bailey continues to wait to see if he’ll get a law license in Maine.The state board of bar examiners has appealed a decision allowing Bailey to set up a practice in Yarmouth where he lives. He was disbarred in Massachusetts and Florida for mishandling $6,000,000 in stock for a client.
A New York firm has taken over the public relations contract for the Maine Office of Tourism from a Maine-based firm. The Dilenschneider Group beat out Augusta-based Nancy Marshall Communications for the contract, which went into effect Monday. Nancy Marshall Communications held the public relations contract for the past 20 years. The Dilenschneider Group says it will partner with the Portland-based firm of Burgess Advertising and Marketing. The tourism office’s public relations budget is $700,000 per year.
MaineGeneral Medical Center has sold its Seton campus to the Waterville Development Company for $500,000.The Morning Sentinel reports the sale price for the 80-acres is far lower than the original asking price which was more than 2-million.MaineGeneral’s CEO says the sale will help Waterville by getting the building back on the city’s tax rolls.As a hospital it had been tax exempt.
Two people were taken to hospitals after a crash on Route 11 in Eagle Lake. It happened Thursday morning. Police say a pick-up truck hydroplaned, crossed the center line, and crashed head-on into another pick-up.Both drivers had to be cut from their trucks. Both have internal injuries.
The city of Biddeford is set to become the latest community in southern Maine to try to boost its recycling rates with a new trash disposal system. The system gives residents a large 65-gallon bin for recyclables and a smaller, 35-gallon bin for trash. If a resident generates more trash that can fit into the bin, he or she must buy city trash bags from local stores. The incentive to throw away less trash aims to get Biddeford’s 10 percent recycling rate closer to the state average of 40 percent. The public works director says the city will save about $55 per ton of trash it doesn’t have to pay to dispose, The new system starts Monday. The Portland Press Herald reports, that Biddeford joins about 100 communities statewide with similar programs.
A struggling Maine elementary school will receive extra funding from the state to help boost student performance. Maine’s Department of Education announced Thursday that Montello Elementary School in Lewiston will receive a $1.8 million grant through the federal School Improvement Grant program. The state says that Montello is one of the state’s lowest-achieving schools, with student proficiency below state and district averages in all subjects. It received an “F” on the state’s grading scale for schools. Among other things the funding will go toward curriculum reform and professional development. Republican Gov. Paul LePage says in a statement that the funding will ensure that the students have access to the quality education they deserve.
The community of Litchfield has fired its town manager. Town manager Michael Byron, who is also a city councilor in Augusta, was fired by the board of selectman on Tuesday. Board chair Rayna Leibowitz tells the Kennebuc Journal, that it was in the best interest of the town to fire Byron, but she wouldn’t specify the reasons for his dismissal. She said only that some residents had “expressed displeasure with him.” The 76-year-old Bryon was hired in Litchfield in January 2008. He said he’ll miss the people he worked with. Bryon said selectmen told him they were dissatisfied with what he called “very minor things,” including that he hadn’t finished redrafting the personnel policy or evaluated the front office staff.
A popular Portland restaurant has been investigated for the second time in 18 months as a possible source of food borne illness. The Portland Press Herald reports, that health officials visited Petite Jacqueline after a food handler and customer were sickened by the same bacterial illness June 1. But officials said too much time has passed to determine if the French bistro’s food caused the problems. Restaurant general manager and co-owner Liz Koenigsberg told the paper that the restaurant is cooperating with authorities and its food-handling practices are safe. But state health inspector Michael Russell said he observed some “risk factors” there. The two people sickened in the latest incident tested positive for campylobacter, a bacteria that was also found after a January 2012 complaint at the restaurant.
Friends are remembering a soldier from Maine who died in Afghanistan Sunday.26-year-old sergeant Corey Garver of Topsham was assigned to the 101st airborne.He died while on patrol when a roadside bomb exploded.It was his third war zone deployment.He was an Army Ranger who received many decorations for his service including the National Defense Service Medal.His friends say he was dependable, kind and died a true hero.Garver attended Mount Ararat High School in Topsham before joining the army.
An Augusta martial arts instructor who admitted to making child porn says he’s not guilty of new charges against him.35-year-old Wade Hoover argued with a judge Tuesday, saying false information about the case keeps coming up in the media. The new charges accuse Hoover of sexually assaulting a boy twelve times.Meanwhile, Hoover will be sentenced on the federal child porn charges next month.
A man was found dead in a taxicab parked outside a Presque Isle motel.“When we arrived here we found a taxi cab that had been parked in the driveway here but close to U.S. 1 that had a man in it. Later identified as Herald St. Pierre,” said Matt Irwin, Presque Isle Chief of Police. 44-year-old Herald St. Pierre of Van Buren was dead in the back seat of a taxi. Right outside of the Northern Lights Motel in Presque Isle. “Through the phone call conversation it was clear that there was some kind of disturbance going on before that, he had started acting strangely according to the cab driver. The ambulance service arrived and pronounced him dead,” said Matt Irwin, Presque Isle Chief of Police. There’s no word as to what caused Herald St. Pierre’s death, but police do say that drug paraphernalia was found in his motel room. Police executed a search warrant to secure any additional evidence from St. Pierre’s motel room. “Some of the people that were in his circles are known to use bath salts or to be involved in the sale or use of bath salts. It appears that there was drug involvement, we’re waiting on some confirmations for that from the M A’s office,” said Matt Irwin, Presque Isle Chief of Police.The case is under investigation and further testing is needed to determine what if anything was in St. Pierre’s system. “From our standpoint it’s another case of, we have bath salts or meth and these kinds of drug problems lead to terrible ends,” said Matt Irwin, Presque Isle Chief of Police. And if those results do confirm what Irwin suspects, he says it will be just another example of the dangers that come when drugs are involved.
The state fire marshal confirms propane is what fueled a deadly condo explosion Tuesday in Yarmouth.The body of 65-year-old Peter Corey was found in the rubble of what was his home.Three people were taken to a hospital with injuries that are not considered serious.At least a dozen other homes in the neighborhood were damaged too.
State police say the deaths of a father and son in Freeport are “highly likely” a murder/suicide.Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, says the two bodies were found in a home on Route 136 Tuesday morning.Relatives say when John Dorrington failed to show up at work his wife was called. She returned home to find her husband and son dead inside the house.A team of detectives are investigating.
Authorities say one person is dead and two others injured after a propane explosion at a Yarmouth condo.Authorities say the condominium on Gables Drive exploded around 6:15 a.m. in Yarmouth.Police say the cause of the explosion appeared to be linked to propane. The condo complex is made up of groupings of modern, upscale attached homes. The explosion disintegrated one of the homes, turning wallboard into powder.One condo was destroyed and a second one was severely damaged. A dozen or more other homes in the neighborhood were damaged in the blast as well. A fire station located about 200 yards from the explosion saw damage as well.The two people who were injured, were taken to the hospital, but their injuries are not considered serious.Power has been cut to the area and more than 100 homes are in the dark.A team from the State Fire Marshal’s office is there, along with firefighters from multiple towns.
State police are investigating the deaths of two men in Freeport.Few details are available but Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, says the two bodies were found in a home on Route 136 this morning, about a mile off of Interstate 295.A team of detectives are investigating. More information is expected to be released this afternoon.