CUMBERLAND

By narrow margin, voters approve spending on roads

By just 26 votes, residents on Tuesday approved spending $4.5 million for major repairs to several town roads.

The one question on the ballot asked residents whether they would support borrowing the money to rebuild roads and shoulders and make pedestrian safety improvements to Wildwood Boulevard, Tuttle Road, Kings Highway, Sea Cove Road, Carriage Road, Hallmark Road, Town Landing Road and Route 88.

Town councilors authorized borrowing the $4.5 million on Dec. 14, but a petition filed in January forced the town to hold the special referendum.

Results posted on the town’s Web site Tuesday night showed that 941 residents (50.7 percent of the total) voted to uphold the Town Council’s decision and 915 (49.3 percent) voted to overturn it. Thirty-two percent of the town’s registered voters turned out.

Proponents said that delaying the projects would only increase costs in later years. Critics, including the Cumberland Taxpayers Association, said the town could not afford more debt.

BRUNSWICK

More funding is available for former base employees

Maine’s congressional delegation says former workers at the Brunswick Naval Air Station will get another $2.5 million to help with their expenses as they readjust to new jobs.

The Department of Labor’s grant will serve an additional 400 workers affected by the base closure.

The latest funding follows grants of $1.2 million in 2005 and $2 million in 2008, bringing total funding to $5.7 million for 700 workers.
The funding helps unemployed workers upgrade their skills to attract potential employers.

STEUBEN

Explosion and fire destroy building at Route 1 boatyard

An explosion and a fast-moving fire destroyed a building at a boatyard in eastern Maine.

Fire officials said there wasn’t enough left of the building at the RP Boat Shop to determine the cause, but the fire was not considered suspicious.

Richard Pinkham, the boatyard’s owner, told the Bangor Daily News that he was in another building at his business on Route 1 when he heard an explosion at 9 a.m. Monday. He said the fire leveled the building in 10 to 15 minutes. No one was injured.

The building housed the company’s boat molds, which were used to form fiberglass hulls.

JONESBORO

Police trying to locate man, vehicle missing since Friday

Police searched Tuesday for an elderly man who has been missing since Friday.

Police say “Lucky” Fagonde, 74, of Jonesboro was last seen when he went out to visit the Eagles Club in Brewer. Fagonde lives in an assisted-living facility.

Maine State Police Trooper Andrew Foss told the Bangor Daily News that a preliminary search was done along the route between Jonesboro and Brewer, but the man’s vehicle was not found.

Foss said Fagonde missed a doctor’s appointment Monday.

STATEWIDE

Agency adds funding to help fishermen adjust to changes

Maine is set to receive $2 million more to support its groundfishing industry.

The funding was announced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which is releasing $10 million more to New England states to help fishermen transition to a fisheries management system that’s scheduled to begin May 1.

The money will be used by the Maine Department of Marine Resources to set up a permit bank for fishing permits for small and remote Maine fishing communities. 

SENATE DISTRICT 11

Writer-activist Miller enters race for state Senate seat

Chris Miller, a writer and activist, is running in Maine Senate District 11 as a Green Independent candidate.

Miller said he wants to see the state develop a “sustainable and supportable budget” and a restructuring of government that reverses consolidation and instead encourages decentralization and self-sufficiency.

Miller ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2006. He is a member of Peace Action Maine and the Second Maine Militia.
Senate District 11 covers Cumberland, Gray, Falmouth, North Yarmouth and Yarmouth.

PORTSMOUTH, N.H.

Police ask public to help identify injured bicyclist

Police are hoping the public can provide information about a bicyclist found Tuesday on Little Harbor Road in Portsmouth with a “massive head injury.”

Police told the Portsmouth Herald that a passer-by discovered the man about 12:30 p.m. He was wearing bicyclist clothing, including shoes clipped to the pedals, but was not wearing a helmet and had no identification with him.