PORTLAND

Woman accused of robbery under guard at Maine Med

A Portland woman who is accused of robbing a bank and then holding police at bay during a six-hour standoff Sunday remained in the hospital under guard Monday.

Jill Polley, 34, of 1808 Forest Ave., is charged with bank robbery, endangering the welfare of a child and creating a police standoff. At one point she appeared to be using her 5-month-old son as a shield while threatening to shoot members of Portland’s special reaction team, police said.

Polley is accused of robbing the Norway Savings Bank on Congress Street on Saturday, threatening that she had a gun and demanding money. She was identified by witnesses who saw security video distributed by police.

When police went to her basement apartment Sunday morning, Polley refused to let them in and, at times, threatened to hurt herself, police said.

When police were unable to contact her Sunday afternoon, special reaction team members smashed open the back door and confronted her, police said. Polley held her child in front of her, threatened to shoot the team members and refused to show officers her hands, police said.

Eventually, a police negotiator persuaded her to put down the baby and lie on the floor, at which point she was arrested and the baby was carried to safety. An ambulance was summoned after she was arrested because she seemed disoriented and was having trouble staying awake, police said. She was taken to Maine Medical Center.

 

Maine Responder headed for Gulf oil spill cleanup

A Portland-based oil recovery ship is on its way to help contain the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Maine Responder was making its way toward the Gulf on Monday to help with cleanup efforts. The 208-foot ship is equipped with thousands of feet of booms to contain and absorb spills and equipment to clean oil off the water.

Maine U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree said officials have assured her that adequate oil response resources remain in the Portland area.

The ship is owned by Marine Spill Response Corp., a nonprofit organization set up by the oil industry in response to legislation that Congress passed in 1990 after the Exxon Valdez spill.

 

Police investigating attack on Portland cab driver

Police are investigating an attack and robbery of a cab driver.

Police said the driver picked up three men at Congress and Brown streets and drove them to Dow Street, in the West End, about 2:30 a.m. Saturday.

Police said that when the driver stopped to collect his fare, the man in the front passenger seat got out but the two in the back seat started hitting him. In the struggle, one of the attackers stabbed the driver close to one of his eyes.

During the fight, the cab rolled down Dow Street and crashed into a tractor-trailer parked on Congress Street, police said. The suspects ran and the victim was taken to the hospital for treatment, police said.

 

Maine buildings go purple for domestic violence work

Town halls, courthouses, churches, schools, hospitals and even train stations in Maine are going purple this month.

In the weeks ahead, purple lights will be displayed at public and private buildings to draw attention to domestic violence and show support for work being done to combat it.

In Portland, the exterior bell tower lights at City Hall are being illuminated purple every night for all of May. The city turned on the purple lights Saturday night.

The lighting is part of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s “Glowing Purple” campaign, in which communities nationwide are illuminating their buildings in purple — the color that represents the fight against domestic violence.

GORHAM

Police charge 15-year-old after family confrontation

Police charged a 15-year-old with criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon after a confrontation between the boy and his father Saturday, police said.

Police were called to the Wassamski Springs campground about 9 p.m. for a disturbance and found a man who had been cut by a knife. The man told police that he was cut trying to disarm his son, who had been threatening him, police said.

Police did not release the boy’s name because he is a juvenile.

HOLLIS

Nestle sends bottled water to Greater Boston area

Nestle Waters North America in Hollis has delivered millions of bottles of Poland Spring water to the Boston area, where 2 million residents have been without clean water since a water main broke during the weekend.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, which contracted with the company to provide emergency water, requested the help.

The company delivered 21 truckloads of water and expects to deliver 40 truckloads more in the next two days.

Residents in Boston and 30 surrounding communities have been told by health officials to boil water or use bottled water for brushing their teeth, washing vegetables and drinking until the water quality can be returned to normal, which officials believe is expected later this week.

SOUTH PORTLAND

South Portland High School receives innovation award

South Portland High School is a recipient of the College Board’s College Keys Compact Innovation award.

The school’s Connecting Aspirations to a Plan program was the New England regional winner in the Getting Ready category. The school’s plan aims to expand college options for low-income students. The program includes sophomore college campus visits and activities tailored for specific populations.

The school was awarded $5,000 and a plaque. The prize money will be used to expand and sustain the program at the high school.

AUGUSTA

Acting education chief sworn in by Gov. Baldacci

An acting Maine education commissioner was sworn in Monday by Gov. John Baldacci.

Angela Faherty, who has been deputy commissioner of education for nearly four years, succeeds Susan Gendron, whose last day was Friday.

Gendron left state service after seven years to become policy director for the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, a group of more than 30 states that are working to compete for a share of $350 million in federal Race to the Top education reform funds.

Baldacci said Faherty has been instrumental in developing quality teacher standards. She has also managed Maine’s Race to the Top application for federal funds. Faherty, who has taught in elementary school to college classrooms, has a doctorate in education from the University of Missouri.

 

Wild turkey hunting season gets under way in Maine

Wild turkey hunting season is under way in Maine.

The season began Monday and runs through June 5 across much of central and southern Maine.

Wildlife officials say the turkey population is strong in Maine after once being reduced to small numbers. Maine has been issuing about 20,000 turkey permits in recent years, up from fewer than 1,000 through the late 1990s.

Turkey hunters are allowed to take one bearded wild turkey in the spring, and a turkey of either sex in the fall season.

 

Part-time faculty members to join state workers union

Part-time adjunct faculty members in the Maine Community College System have voted to join the Maine State Employees Association, the union that represents thousands of other state workers.

The tally of votes counted Monday was 264-96 to join MSEA, which is Local 1989 of the Service Employees International Union.

About 800 part-time faculty members will join other community college system employees who are already represented by the MSEA. They include supervisory and support staff workers.

The union says part-time adjunct faculty members teach 60 percent of the classes in the Maine Community College System, making them the largest work force in the system.

 

— From staff and news services