Maine fire investigators say a woman’s body was found after firefighters extinguished a blaze in a house in Old Orchard Beach.The victim has been identified as 62 year-old Patricia Noel.Steve McCausland from the Maine Department of Public Safety says a team of investigators from the Fire Marshal’s office was at the scene this afternoon to determine what caused the fire.
Old Orchard Beach police say a series of drug investigations have led to charges against 46 people and the seizure of drugs worth an estimated $155,000. The results of the investigations announced Monday include 36 felonies, 50 misdemeanors and 15 civil violations. The defendants range in age from 14 to 58 years old. Drugs seized include crack cocaine, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, steroids, methamphetamine and prescription medications. Chief Dana Kelley says after getting complaints from residents, police began the crackdown this spring by reassigning officers from daily patrol shifts to the investigations. Kelley says more investigations are ongoing and he expects more arrests. He says some of the drugs were coming from out of state and being distributed locally.
Southwest Airlines says it will fly to Baltimore-Washington International Airport when it begins service next spring out of Portland. The airline says it will initially offer nonstop flights each day between Portland International Jetport and Baltimore-Washington when it starts flying out of Portland on April 14. There’ll be three flights going each way on weekdays, and two each on weekend days. All flights will be on 143-seat Boeing 737s. The airline’s arrival in Maine has been anticipated since it bought AirTran Airways last year. Southwest has been transitioning its AirTran cities to Southwest and eliminating AirTran service where the two carriers duplicate service.
The first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church is coming to Maine for a second time on behalf of the campaign seeking to legalize same-sex marriage. Bishop Gene Robinson of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire will be discussing gay marriage at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Cathedral of St. Luke in Portland. Beforehand, he’ll be signing copies of his new, “God Believes in Love: Straight Talk on Marriage.” The event is sponsored by the Religious Coalition Against Discrimination and Integrity Maine, two groups that support the Nov. 6 ballot question asking if gay marriage should be legal. Robinson married his longtime male partner three years ago the day gay marriage became legal in New Hampshire.
Maine Senate President Kevin Raye met with small business owners and employees this afternoon in Bangor.Raye is running against Democrat Incumbent Mike Michaud for Maine’s Second District seat in Congress. He stopped by Maine Aero Services with Senator Olympia Snowe. They toured the facility, talking with workers.Raye says lawmakers on both sides need to work together to help small businesses, “easing back on the regulations that are so harmful to small business, and make it so difficult for small business to prosper.”Raye worked as Senator Snowe’s top aide for seventeen years.
All six candidates for US Senate will debate in Waterville tomorrow night.The Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce is hosting it from 6:00 to 7:30 at the Waterville Opera House.Democrat Cynthia Dill, Republican Charlie Summers, and Independents Angus King, Andrew Ian Dodge and Steve Woods and Danny Dalton are all scheduled to be there. Thomas College President Laurie Lachance will be the moderator.The debate is free. Everyone is invited.
Farmers who lost crops last year to natural disasters can sign up for federal assistance, but production losses from disasters that occurred after September 2011 are not covered by the supplemental revenue assistance program.For more information visit www.fsa.usda.gov/sure.
An Auburn woman is getting ready to open a business she says many people find disgusting, but which she says provides a critical service. Michelle Melaragno’s business called Compassionate Composting Inc. composts the carcasses of large dead animals, mostly horses and cows. Construction on her facility has started and she hopes to open for business in mid-November. She tells the Sun Journal, she has already turned away requests to compost 21 horses. She says state law for disposing of dead horses and cows is complex and expensive, and for many people, misunderstood. The goal is to produce a commercially viable compost that can be sold to wholesalers, or even to the animal’s original owner, who can use it in their own gardens.
A man accused of killing an Augusta woman thirty-six years ago has pleaded not guilty.Police say 63 year-old Gary Raub, also known as Gary Wilson, stabbed 70 year-old Blanche Kimball to death at her home in Augusta in 1976.Raub appeared in court in Seattle, Washington on Thursday.He was arrested in that city Monday.Police say they linked him to the murder through DNA taken from chewing gum.Raub once rented a room at Kimball’s home.He was considered a suspect back then, but there was not enough evidence.He’s in jail in Washington state now pending extradition to Maine.
Police are looking for a gunman who chased a female clerk though a store in Portland. The incident, a portion of which was caught on the store’s surveillance video, happened early Wednesday night at Tebb’s Smoke shop. Police said the masked man, holding a handgun, chased the clerk through the store before she was able get out of the building. The woman, who was alone in the store at the time of the incident, was not physically harmed. Police said the gunman left the area on foot and has not been captured. He was wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt and carrying a gray backpack. Investigators aren’t sure if the man was intending to rob the store or commit another violent crime.
An elderly woman from Sanford has died after her car caught on fire after a crash in Wells. Police said the vehicle driven by 85-year-old Lillian Kreitman collided with a Jeep Cherokee at the corner of Route 9 and Littlefield Road Thursday afternoon. Kreitman’s car rolled into a ditch and caught fire. Police told the Portland Press Herald, that passers-by attempted to pull the woman out of the burning car but could not. A passenger in the car, 85-year-old Lorraine Cantalupo of Weymouth, Mass., was taken to Maine Medical Center where she was listed in serious condition. The driver of the Jeep Cherokee was not injured and the accident remains under investigation.
It’s “all aboard” for officers from at least 10 Maine police agencies as they take the train to learn more about the laws against trespassing on railroad property. The police will board a Maine Eastern Railroad train on Friday in Wiscasset and travel to Brunswick, where they’ll continue their discussion at Town Council chambers. Leading the discussion will be Michail Grizkewitsch, a trespass specialist for the Federal Railroad Administration. Trespassing includes walking, hunting, riding a snowmobile, ATV, or motorbike, or cross-country skiing on or along a railroad right of way. It also includes fishing or jumping from railroad bridges, and vandalizing or tampering with rail equipment. The safety of officers investigating such incidents will also be covered on Friday’s train ride.
Three apartment buildings caught fire in downtown Lewiston last night.A report came in around seven that an apartment on Pierce Street was on fire.It spread to two other buildings.Firefighters worked on the three buildings throughout the night to make sure all hot spots were out.There are ten apartments in the complex. Residents of seven of them have been burned out of their homes. The Red Cross is helping them.
A judge has upheld the public’s right to use Goose Rocks Beach in Kennebunkport, saying the public established that right by its longtime use. In siding with the town, Superior Court Judge G. Arthur Brennan said it had shown the public had continuously used the beach for at least 100 years. The ruling comes after a 2009 suit by beachfront property owners, who claimed beach ownership to the low water mark and said the public had no right to cross it. Town manager Larry Mead called the decision “a great victory” ensuring the beach can be enjoyed by future generations. Plaintiff Robert Almeder said the case will be appealed to Maine’s highest court. He said the town is trying to take the property in front of their homes for nothing and commercialize the beach.
A man accused of setting three fires and shooting at police in southern Maine is in jail. 47 year-old Donald Henson is charged with attempted murder.Authorities say he set his home in Dayton on fire.Police also believe he set a home in Saco on fire, as well as a car.They tell us he barricaded himself inside his garage yesterday and shot at police.Two relatives were able to escape the burning home.Henson was arrested four hours later.
A judge has reversed his decision about a prostitution case in Kennebunk, ruling that addresses and other identifying information can now be released for men charged with paying for sex with a Zumba instructor.29 year-old Alexis Wright is charged with 106 counts of prostitution, invasion of privacy and other charges. Her alleged business partner, Mark Strong, Senior faces 59 misdemeanor counts.An attorney for the Portland Press Herald says Justice Thomas Warren agreed today that the addresses and ages of the suspected clients can be made public, along with their names. On Monday, he allowed the release of the names but no other identifying information.Police in Kennebunk are expected to re-issue a list of 21 names of men who have been issued summons so far.
A lung cancer survivor from Augusta is hosting an upcoming event to raise money for cancer research.Deb Violette was diagnosed with lung cancer 14 years ago.Her organization, the Lung Cancer Free Alliance, is hosting a two-mile walk to raise money for lung cancer research.”Our mission is to reduce the suffering caused from lung cancer and the diagnosis of lung cancer by raising much needed money for research, education, and community support.”The Save Your Breath Walk is scheduled for Saturday November 3rd, at the Buker School on Armory Street in Augusta.Online registration ends this Saturday.It’s $18 to register online but $22 on the day of the walk.For more information you can go to www.lungcancerfreealliance.org.
A task force charged with investigating Portland’s homelessness problem is recommending establishing three 35-unit housing complexes. And it says the city must work more closely with surrounding communities. The task force presented its recommendations to the city council Monday. It says the three new housing complexes should provide services for issues contributing to homelessness, such as substance abuse And it says solutions must involve surrounding communities, since many of the homeless are coming from them. It says about a third of those seeking shelter in the city are from Portland, while another third are from surrounding communities without shelters and rest come from out of state. The Portland Press Herald reports, the task force didn’t give a cost estimate for its recommendations. A public hearing is scheduled for next month.
A 32-year-old Biddeford woman is among 11 people who’ve been honored by the Portland City Council for saving an elderly woman from drowning. Katie Nelson was one of six civilians, two police officers and three firefighters who rescued 84-year-old Ursula Nixon, who drove her car into Portland Harbor on Sept. 28. The Portland Press Herald reports, that Mayor Michael Brennan Monday singled out Nelson for pulling Nixon from her sinking car and Lt. Robert Slaving of the Portland Fire Department for swimming to shore with Nixon. Nelson was dining with a friend when she heard a crash. She ran down the street and jumped into the harbor to reach the partially submerged car. Nixon’s niece, Catherine Shorr of Portland says Nixon is recovering from injuries suffered in the accident.