A committee raising money to light up a new bridge connecting New Hampshire and Maine has reached its initial goal of $150,000. More than 95 individuals and 28 area businesses and organizations combined have pledged or donated the amount toward the goal of $200,000 for the Memorial Bridge. The bridge is under construction and expected to open in July. It will replace a nearly 90-year-old bridge connecting Portsmouth, N.H., and Kittery, Maine. Discussions have included installing LED lights to illuminate the bridge’s towers, piers and a memorial plaque. The committee is holding a public information presentation at the Portsmouth Public Library on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Parishioners at St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church in Portland are making what they call a last-ditch effort to save the church from being sold. The church is scheduled to hold its final Masses next weekend. Parishioners started gathering signatures on a letter this past weekend which they plan to present to Bishop Richard Malone, the apostolic administrator for the Diocese of Portland. They hope he reverses the decision to sell the church. A purchase and sales agreement has been signed with a developer that owns an adjacent shopping center, but the sale is not yet final. The church is being closed because it runs an annual deficit and membership is declining. A spokesman for the diocese tells The Portland Press Herald, the bishop is unlikely to reverse the sale.
Police say a 41-year-old man has been killed after his motorcycle struck a sport utility vehicle in Parsonsfield. Shawn Smith of Cornish was declared dead at the scene of the accident around 5:45 p.m. Sunday. The other driver, 67-year-old Constance Wood of Parsonsfield, was not injured. Wood told police she was driving east on Route 25 when she crested a hill and found Smith in her lane. When he tried to return to his lane, he lost control of the motorcycle and it struck Wood’s SUV. Police say Smith was wearing a helmet.
Lincoln area schools have an interim superintendent.The RSU 67 board of directors has appointed Raymond Freve of Plymouth to the position.He takes over for Denise Hamlin who resigned last month.Freve retired twenty years ago but has filled in with the school district as needed over the years.He has been a superintendent and teacher in the past.
The final stages of dismantling the Old Waldo-Hancock Bridge are underway.The deck is completely gone and the cables now have to be removed.Ted talbot with the Department of Transportation says the main cable will be a 2 to 3 day process to dismantle, that should begin on Monday.After that, Talbot says the supplemental cables will be removed, that is expected to start on Thursday and will require closure of the Marine Channel.The coast guard is working with the department on that closure.Talbot says the majority of the bridge will be removed by the 24th.
Paving on route three in Trenton will cause some delays for drivers. Paving is set to begin Monday near routes 3 and 230. The project is expected to be completed by the end of June.
The exit 113 Interchange Bridge eastbound on I-95 is closing for about three months. The closure starts Monday because of construction, traffic will be detoured.It’s part of a project to improve the interchange and nearly by roadways.
A planning board has failed to approve a proposal for a park in honor of the men who died aboard the USS Thresher submarine, which sank 220 miles off of Cape Cod 50 years ago. The planning board in Kittery, Maine, had concerns Thursday night about the proposal, ranging from a lack of parking to the actual presentation: members said the type was too small. The Portsmouth Herald reports, the Thresher Memorial Project Group hoped to break ground soon on the park adjacent to Town Hall, to include a “circle of honor” to recognize the 129 men who perished aboard the submarine. Work also would take place at the Memorial Circle, with a granite base installed around the flagpole. A motion to approve the plan as presented failed 3-3.
An official who brought national attention to a small western Maine town for her support of a measure that would have required every home in town to have a gun has narrowly survived a recall effort. Residents of Byron this week voted 32-31 to allow Selectman Anne Simmons-Edmunds to keep her seat on the town’s governing board. The Sun Journal, reports that Town Clerk Allison Freeman confirmed the vote count. Another town resident initiated the recall effort in March for several reasons, including the “ridicule, embarrassment and disrepute” her support of the gun ownership measure brought to the town of about 140 residents. Voters overwhelmingly rejected the proposal. Some people in town, including gun owners, said the proposal was another example of government overreach.
A panel looking for ways to cut unnecessary and overly burdensome regulations affecting Maine businesses is holding a public meeting in Presque Isle. The Regulatory Fairness Board will hold the hearing on Friday at the University of Maine at Presque Isle. The board is hearing from businesses owners and managers about specific state rules and regulations that may unreasonably impede business sustainability and growth. Public comments set the meeting’s agenda and become the board’s recommendations to the governor and the Legislature. The board is chaired by Secretary of State Matt Dunlap and includes four appointed members who represent the business community.
Two more men have been charged in connection with the death Romeo Parent, 20. Nathan Morton was in court Thursday on consipiracy and murder charges. Michael Mcnaughton, 23, was charged last month.Police believe Parent was killed last month, his body was found in a stream. Arraigned Thursday was William True Jr., who’s charged hindering apprehension or prosecution.
Maine game wardens are back on Rangeley Lake hoping to recover the bodies of the 3 snowmobilers who went through the ice last year.Searchers are using a remote control device to search for the bodies of Kenneth Henderson of China, Glenn Henderson of Sabattus, and John Spencer of Litchfield.The men are believed to have gone into open water last December.Wardens suspended the search in February because of the weather.Previous searches with an underwater camera and sonar spotted two of the men’s snowmobiles.
Some planned construction work on the only open bridge connecting New Hampshire and Maine’s seacoast may make some drivers grumble. Traffic officials say a new, nighttime paving project on Interstate 95 in Kittery, Maine is expected to slow traffic for the next six weeks. That’s separate from a daytime project on the Piscataqua River Bridge. Meanwhile, work is proceeding at the now-closed Sarah Mildred Long Bridge, which was damaged when it was hit by a tanker last month. It’s expected to reopen May 25. Maine transportation spokesman Ted Talbot tells the Portsmouth Herald, if the I-95 work is put off, it would be done during a heavier construction time in the summer. A third bridge, the Memorial Bridge, is under construction and is expected to open in July.
Stamping out hunger, that’s the mission on Saturday, as The National Letter Carriers’ Association holds the largest one day food drive in the country.They team up with AARP and the United Way to collect goods.Everything donated will go to area pantries.Carriers and volunteers will be collecting food.”This is the largest food drive for pantries of the year. Last year, even just in Eastern Maine alone, we brought in over 81,000 pounds of food and its huge for the food pantries, and they find that while they get quite a few donations around the holidays, when it comes to kind of early spring and in summer, the donations drop quite a bit. So, this is a huge drive. It helps get them through for the next few months,â€ said Sarah Yasner.”We have some people that will come and they’ll feel bad that they’re only bringing two bags of food, but if you get ten people bringing two bags of food, that’s a good amount of food. So, every back of food makes a big difference,” said Doug Cushman.Donating on Saturday is easy.Just leave non-perishables in a bag by your mailbox and a postal worker or a volunteer will pick it up.You can also bring donations to any post office, for more information, you can call your local post office or The United Way at 941-2800.
Veterans looking for jobs can get some help in Wilton. The Wilton Career Center is holding a job fair Thursday from 9:00AM to 12:00PM. Itâ€™s at the career center office on US Route 2E. More than a dozen employers will be looking for workers. Non-veterans are also welcome to attend.
Maine General Medical Center is calling its new hospital a “game changer” in healthcare.Before 1,700 staffers move into their new home, they decided to let the public check out the space.”All of this work will be completed and the Alfond Center will be open on November 9th, as I take a deep breath.”A cutting edge hospital with a price tag of 225 million dollars opened its doors for the first time on Tuesday. “Obviously it is still under construction but as you see.”The nearly 12 million dollars donated from the public has helped Maine General create the new “Alfond Center for Health”, a medical institution that has these benefactors chomping at the bit to see more of. “We’ve been trying to sneak under the yellow chain but we can’t quite get there yet. Give it about an hour and you will.” “I think that they’re amazed about the single rooms and the privacy and the size quite frankly of some of the rooms and the way that it is laid out.”An expedited building and design process made possible by their choice to hire an architect and contractor before design was done. “The window comes down a little bit lower. That is done actually on purpose so that when a patient is lying in bed, they get the most natural light that is possible.” A technique that he says helps to cut down of the use of pain medication, but possibly the most feel good moment of the night was the dedication of the facility’s office building to their former President Scott Bullock.”He has demonstrated that you can be a nice person and still expect staff to give their best every day.”A level of leadership and kindness that community officials believe speaks to the attitude of the area. And former patients of the old campus know will help lift spirits of the sick. “And then all of a sudden I’m leaving and ahhh, it is wonderful.”
In an effort to help the fire victims, Governor LePage has formed the “Lewiston Fire Relief Fund.â€Thousands of dollars are already coming in, and other donors are making big promises.The United Way of Androscoggin County is administering the fund.Officials there tell us they’ve already collected several-thousand dollars .One anonymous donor is offering to match $10,000 in contributions, and LL Bean issued a $50,000 matching grant.Financial donations to the United Way are welcome on-line at www.volunteermaine.orgYou can also contact the United Way of Androscoggin County for more information at 795-4003.
A Buckfield man charged with sexually assaulting two young girls has pleaded not guilty. The Sun Journal, reports that Gary Noyes was freed on $25,000 cash bail and ordered to have no contact with the alleged victims or any children under 16 years of age at an appearance Tuesday in Oxford County Superior Court. According to an affidavit by a Maine State Police detective, one of the alleged victims reported in November that Noyes had sexually assaulted her and another girl between 2007 and 2011 when both were juveniles. The 43-year-old Noyes was arrested last month on charges including gross sexual assault, unlawful sexual contact and domestic violence assault.
A Windham man is facing charges after police say he fled a traffic stop and led officers on a high-speed chase that reached speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour. Police say it started at about 10:30 p.m. Monday when police tried to pull over a car for having a rear plate light out. The car instead sped away. The car eventually got boxed in on a dead end, and the driver ran into the woods. Police using dogs eventually flushed the man out of the woods and arrested him at about 12:30 a.m. Tuesday. The man, identified as 33-year-old Matthew Higgins, was charged with eluding an officer, criminal speeding and driving to endanger. He is being held without bail at the Cumberland County jail.
A judge who sentenced a Somali refugee to eight years in prison for sexually assaulting a 50-year-old Portland woman had some harsh words for the defendant. District Court Judge Richard Mulhern said Tuesday that 18-year-old Mohammed Mukhtar has shown no remorse, displayed a pattern of antisocial behavior, and has “no prospect for rehabilitation.” The Portland Press Herald, reports that Mukhtar also faces deportation. Under a deal with prosecutors, Mukhtar pleaded guilty to gross sexual assault, burglary and trespassing. Prosecutors say he broke into the victim’s apartment last May while she was sleeping and raped her. He was connected to the attack through DNA. The case went from juvenile court to adult court because of confusion over Mukhtar’s age. His lawyer said he was 17 at the time of the attack.