AUGUSTA

Median sales price of homes in Maine rises to $164,900

The median sales price of existing homes in Maine rose nearly 10 percent last month, to $164,900, compared with March of 2009, the Maine Real Estate Information System is reporting.

Sales volume was up 46 percent in March, compared to the same time last year.

Nationally, single-family existing homes sales rose 13.3 percent. The National Association of Realtors reports the national median sales price increased a fraction of 1 percent, to $170,700 in March.

Regionally, sales in the Northeast were up 25.4 percent and the regional median sales price increased 8.9 percent to $249,800 in March.

 

Man dies after being pulled from burning house

An Augusta man has died after being pulled from a burning house.

The Maine Fire Marshal’s Office said Michael Adam, 51, was pulled out of the house Wednesday afternoon by Augusta firefighters after a passer-by and an Augusta police officer were forced back by the intense heat.

He died late Wednesday after being airlifted to the Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.

Fire investigators say Adam suffered severe burns from the fire, which started on the kitchen stove. A second man escaped without injury.

 

Applications for campaign funding still being examined

The deadline has passed for Maine legislative candidates to turn in their paperwork for public campaign funding through the Clean Election Act, but state officials are still deciding who’s eligible.

Thursday afternoon, 86 candidates for the House of Representatives and 15 Senate candidates had qualified, but many more were awaiting a determination by the staff of the Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices.

Wednesday was the deadline for candidates to show they had met qualifications for campaign funding.

To qualify, candidates must demonstrate community support by collecting a minimum number of checks or money orders of $5 or more. Once they have qualified, candidates cannot accept private contributions for their campaigns.

PORTLAND

King Middle School teacher going to Moms Congress

A local single mother and King Middle School teacher will be Maine’s representative to the first annual Moms Congress on Education and Learning in Washington, D.C., in May.

Catherine Anderson will be one of 51 mothers to attend the conference sponsored by Parenting magazine at Georgetown University on May 2-4.

The delegates will help create Parenting’s “Lesson Plan for Change,” to encourage parents to get more involved in their children’s education. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will address the delegates on May 3.

Anderson has two sons and is a humanities and language arts teacher at King. She also writes an Internet blog about her family’s experiences at mamacandtheboys.com.

 

Grant allows city to hire sustainability coordinator

Portland is using a federal energy efficiency grant to hire its first sustainability coordinator.

City Manager Joe Gray announced the hiring of Ian Houseal, who has been working as special assistant to the Lewiston city administrator, according to a press release Thursday.

Houseal will develop policies and projects that promote environmental sustainability and energy conservation.

The grant will fund the position for three years.

Houseal had previously worked as a sustainability consultant for a company in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, according to the release.

LEWISTON

Repeat sex offender going back to prison for rape

A repeat sex offender from Lewiston is going back to prison for 17 years for raping a woman and her 2-year-old daughter.

Joshua A. Whitlock, 31, was sentenced Wednesday under an agreement with prosecutors in which he pleaded guilty to charges including gross sexual assault, sexual exploitation of a minor, criminal restraint and possession of sexually explicit materials.

Police say Whitlock raped the girl several times in Lisbon and Lewiston and later held the mother against her will and raped her.

The Sun Journal said that at the time of his arrest, Whitlock was on probation from a 2004 conviction for having sex with a 13-year-old girl he met on the Internet.

WEST PARIS

Mental health professional charged with groping teen

A 65-year-old man who has been identified as a mental health professional is charged with groping a teenager behind a rest area in West Paris.

Police were alerted by the 17-year-old boy, who said Ronald Lauren Theriault of Mechanic Falls touched him while he was urinating in woods last week. Theriault is charged with unlawful sexual contact.

The Sun Journal said booking information at the jail indicates that Theriault has worked for two years as an adult case manager for Tri-County Mental Health Services.

A Tri-County spokeswoman declined to confirm whether Theriault worked with the company. But Executive Director Chris Copeland said any employee accused of sexual misconduct would not be permitted to continue working with clients.

SOUTH BERWICK

Man killed in car crash identified as York resident

Police identified the man killed in a crash in South Berwick Wednesday night as Gary Richardson, 51, of 173 Old Post Road in York. Richardson was driving a GMC Sierra on Route 91 near the York town line when he lost control and the vehicle rolled over, ejecting him, police said. He died of head injuries.

Just prior to the 6 p.m. crash, the Sierra was seen passing cars on the road, police said.

Nobody else was hurt in the crash and no other cars were involved, police said.