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.
Shoppers took to downtown Belfast Friday to try out something new.In a matter of hours, a new business sprouted up in downtown Belfast.”So far, I’ve gotten strawberries, fresh strawberries,” said Cynthia Porter.”I have all different colored cherry tomatoes, which are delicious,” commented Tom Delmoor.It offered popular fare, all made here in Maine which was perfect for the consumers in the market trying to get know their producers.”The food is so yummy and this is a fabulous display of local goods and farms.”erin herbig 4″to celebrate local food, local food preparation, farming in maine,” said supporter Erin Herbig. “Supporting farmers markets, coming to events like this, that is truly supporting agriculture.”Erin is the Outreach Coordinator for the Maine Farmland Trust, which organized this event, dubbed Maine Fare.”It’s a great way to bring together a farmers market, food processors”Her non-profit group has helped protect thousands of acres of farmland throughout the state”I have complete faith it is one of our most sustainable aspects of economic growth, economic development, particularly here in the midcoast.”And now, with events like this, they’re hoping to help the state’s farm industry grow, by taking customers back to their roots.”We see Waldoboro as having the potential to be the food basket of New England.”
A new business is open in Belfast, and it’s providing a link between food growers and buyers.A significant amount of time and effort goes into starting a business. So when things finally start to come together, it’s pretty exciting for all of those involved. “When the first blueberries started coming in, it was like everyone was running around, all the electricians and plumbers saying, ‘The berries are here, the berries are here!’”The first batch of blueberries arrived at Coastal Foods and Farms in Belfast a couple weeks ago. The workers take those blueberries, process them, then store them. They arrive by the truckload. “They will be dumped into the tote over there and they’ll go up over the conveyer. They’ll get shaken so all the stems and leaves come off. Then they’ll be washed and shaken some more for drying then they’ll go up the conveyer belt to the IQF. They’ll go through the IQF and be frozen.”IQF stands for individually quick frozen. In just three minutes, that machine will freeze the berries, so they can be put into 11-hundred pound capacity cardboard boxes, then stored.”We provide a service to the grower and user of the product.”Belfast City Councilor and longtime farmer Jan Anderson partnered with a blueberry processing pro and a local businessman to create Coastal Foods and Farms.”I’ve always thought that food processing and food storage would be a great economic development plan. It’s something that people always have to buy.”Coastal Foods and Farms will also process cranberries during their season. And there’s a whole other part of the business dedicated to helping local food entrepreneurs grow their business.Though this business has only just become operational, Coastal Foods and Farms already has plans to grow.
Members of law enforcement will again hit the pavement to raise money for the Special Olympics.The Knox County Sheriff’s Office is teaming up with the United Bikers of Maine-Knox County for the Third Annual Torch Ride.It starts Saturday morning at 9:00 at the Owl’s Head Transportation Museum. Bikers will head up Route 1 to Belfast, then hop onto Route 3 to Augusta before returning for a BBQ in the afternoon.The cost is $25 per person.You can register Saturday morning or log onto www.torchride.info.
Authorities say differences between GPS systems in the U.S. and Canada were behind the international bridge construction error this summer that severed a wastewater discharge pipe. A spokeswoman for the New Brunswick Department of Transportation tells the Bangor Daily News, the GPS coordinate system upon which surveys typically are based is different in the U.S. than in Canada. She says the problem was not, as has been speculated, a failure to convert metric and standard measurements. Workers on the bridge connecting Fort Kent and Clair, New Brunswick, were installing a large metal wall in July when a pipe carrying treated effluent from the Fort Kent wastewater treatment plant to the river was severed. The error had no environmental effects. The cost of the $13.9 million project is being shared.
A Lisbon man has been honored by local police for coming to the aid of a woman who was being attacked by her knife-wielding ex-boyfriend. John Clark was given the “Award of Valor By a Citizen” by police Chief David Brooks at the town council meeting this week. Police say Clark heard screams from inside his home on the night of Feb. 27, 2011. He saw a car in his driveway where Leein Hinkley was assaulting the woman. Clark went to the woman’s aid and in the process suffered a knife wound. Hinkley was found guilty and sentenced to 15 years in prison. The Sun Journal, reports that the plaque Clark received said his “quick and decisive action in the face of extremely dangerous conditions saved a life.”
The Cumberland County Sheriff’s office says it inadvertently posted on its Facebook page and in a message to media outlets the social security numbers of about 180 people who were arrested last week. Authorities say it’s believed that about 70 people had access to the information. The sheriff’s office said Thursday that the error was discovered within 45 minutes of the posting and the information was removed immediately. The office says the glitch was caused by a software update that automatically sends a weekly arrest report to various media outlets and posts the arrests on the office’s Facebook page. The office says the software update has been changed and will not include social security numbers in the future.
A Massachusetts man is in jail after drug agents say they found 183 marijuana plants on his property in Maine. Jay Dandreo of Lynn, Mass., was charged with aggravated marijuana cultivation after turning himself into police Wednesday. The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency says it seized the plants last month from Dandreo’s property on a remote road in the York County town of Limerick. Officials say agents saw a man later identified as Dandreo flee into the woods when agents raided the location Aug. 23. The agency says the plants were 3 to 6 feet tall with a street value of more than $275,000. The 50-year-old Dandreo was being held Thursday at the York County Jail. Jail officials said they didn’t know if he had a lawyer.
Maine authorities are investigating the death of an elderly man who was found floating in a lake in Raymond. The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department says 87-year-old William Prouty of New Hartford, Conn., was found by his wife around 9:25 a.m. Thursday. The family owns a seasonal home on a small island in the lake. Officials say Prouty left the island to meet a maintenance worker on the mainland. Authorities say his wife found his body after he didn’t return. The death is not considered suspicious. The cause and manner of death will be determined by the medical examiner’s office.
Bangor Hydro has scheduled maintenance early tomorrow morning that will cut power for a few hours downeast.The upgrades to the electrical system are scheduled to begin at 2 o’clock in the morning.The areas affected are Somesville, Hall Quarry, Southwest Harbor, Tremont, Cranberry Island, Islesford and Swan’s Island.The raindate is scheduled for Monday, September 10th at the same time.If you have questions about the upgrade you can call 947-2414.
Swimmers were barred from the waters of a Maine beach for about 30 minutes this week when someone saw what they thought were shark fins sticking out of the surf.It turns out the fins seen in the waters off Wells belonged to the massive, but harmless, ocean sunfish.Officials say three fins appeared 30 to 50 yards off shore about 11 a.m. Monday.Lifeguards ordered everyone out of the water until it was determined the fish posed no threat to humans.Ocean sunfish are the heaviest bony fish in the world, growing to as much as to 2,200 pounds, up to 6-feet in length and 8 feet from top to bottom.Fire Chief Dan Moore, who oversees the town’s lifeguards, tells The Portland Press Herald, lifeguards used proper caution.
A Massachusetts woman prosecutors say preyed on drugs addicts and used threats and violence to make them work for her as prostitutes in Maine has been sentenced to five years in prison. Tiana Clark of Medford, Mass., pleaded guilty Wednesday in Cumberland County Unified Criminal Court to aggravated assault, witness tampering, trafficking in cocaine base, and promotion of prostitution. Under a plea agreement, the 29-year-old Clark received concurrent penalties that amount to a 10-year sentence, with five years suspended, and three years of probation. Prosecutors say it was unclear how many people worked for Clark as prostitutes, but called her offenses “a horrific form of sex trafficking.” The Portland Press Herald, reports that Clark’s attorney disputed the use of force and said the case was more about drug addiction.