PORTLAND

Condo fire destroys unit, contained from spreading

A fire that broke out in a West End condominium Wednesday night looked far worse than the damage it ultimately caused.

Neighbors, including Bob Smith, said they saw flames shooting out windows at 213 Vaughan St., which is part of a much larger block of townhouse condominiums, around 7 p.m. Smith said he and a couple of teenage boys entered the building, knocked on doors and alerted residents to the danger.

When firefighters arrived, they encountered intense heat and smoke coming from the living room area of the second-floor condominium.

Deputy Chief Robert Wassick said fire crews were able to keep the fire from spreading to other condos.

He credited the sturdy construction of the building with helping contain the fire. The cause remains under investigation.

The owner of the condominium, which was destroyed, was not at home. No injuries were reported.

Malloch named commander of police’s patrol services

Police Chief James Craig today named Vern Malloch, currently a captain in the department, as commander in charge of patrol services.

He will run all patrol operations. Craig created the position, which existed in his previous department in Los Angeles, after he arrived a year ago.

The first commander, Michael Sauschuck, was promoted to assistant chief in March.

Malloch now oversees the department’s patrol teams. He has previously run the criminal investigations division and community policing teams.

School to host workshop on prevention of bullying

A workshop on how to prevent bullying will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Reiche Community School. The public is invited to the free program.

The workshop will address various forms of bullying, including name-calling, taunting, social exclusion, gossip, intimidation, physical aggression, harassment via the Web or cell phones and related topics. Participants will learn effective ways to stop bullying.

The Maine Governor’s Children’s Cabinet, the Department of Education and school districts across the state have stepped up bullying prevention efforts since a Massachusetts teenager hanged herself recently after months of alleged harassment by other students.

Sponsors of the evening workshop include the Reiche Parent Teacher Organization, Community Counseling Center and the West End Community Action Network.

GORHAM

One rider hospitalized after motorcycle crashes

One person had to be hospitalized after a motorcycle crashed in Gorham.

Though police had few details, they confirmed that a single motorcycle carrying two riders crashed around 6:15 p.m. At least one person had to be transported by ambulance to a local hospital.

The accident took place at Libby Avenue and Sunset Lane.

AUGUSTA

State taking applications for medical marijuana sales

Maine state government is accepting applications from nonprofit corporations to operate eight medical marijuana dispensaries to be opened in the state.

The Department of Health and Human Services announced Tuesday that new rules address registration for prospective patients, patient rights and provider responsibilities.

Maine voters last November approved a referendum proposal that changes Maine’s decade-old medical marijuana law and makes Maine the fifth state to allow retail dispensaries where patients can buy pot with a doctor’s prescription.

Application fees are $15,000, and those not chosen will have all but $1,000 returned.

BANGOR

Moratorium on marijuana dispensaries faces vote

The Bangor City Council will vote next week on a 90-day moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries.

Members of a council committee reached a compromise Tuesday aimed at giving city officials more time to amend land development laws to comply with the Maine Medical Marijuana Act amendment, which was approved by voters in November.

The law, which lets patients grow marijuana, would initially allow eight dispensaries across the state.

The Bangor Daily News reported that the moratorium, which still needs approval by the full council, would give Bangor until early August to approve any applications.

GARDINER

Event aims to help teachers improve kids’ financial skills

Gov. John Baldacci and former Gov. Angus King will join state and national experts at Maine’s first-ever financial literacy summit.

The event Friday at the Augusta Civic Center will bring state and national experts to show teachers how to incorporate financial literacy instruction into classrooms and other venues. The purpose is to help students become financially capable adults.

Dr. Jeanne Hogarth of the Federal Reserve Board in Washington will give the keynote address.

Sponsors of the daylong event include state agencies, banks, credit unions, accountants and MaineToday Media newspapers.

BRUNSWICK

Meeting offers public a peek at proposed BNAS makeover

The board that is overseeing redevelopment of a former Navy base plans to give the public a peek at what the facility might look like once the military vacates the base in 2011.

The Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority, which will direct the redevelopment effort at the former Brunswick Naval Air Station, will hold an open house May 12 at Brunswick Junior High School, 65 Columbia Ave.

Proposed streetscapes, buildings, gateways and trail systems will be reviewed at the meeting, which starts at 6 p.m.

The property’s new name is Brunswick Landing: Maine’s Center for Innovation.

ROCKLAND

Road reopening after repair of second, smaller sinkhole 

Officials are putting the finishing touches on the repair of a second sinkhole.

The first sinkhole, which was 50 feet deep, opened in February and was dubbed the state’s biggest pothole. The problem was that the road was built over a tunnel linking limestone quarries.

The latest hole was much smaller, only 3 feet by 3 feet. The Bangor Daily News reported that Rockland officials tore open the Tillson Avenue area to mend drainage pipes that had shifted, causing the hole. The road was expected to reopen Wednesday night.

WISCASSET

Conference to showcase latest energy technologies

Chewonki Foundation’s 10th annual Sustainable Energy Conference will take place this Saturday on the organization’s Wiscasset campus.

The daylong conference will feature experts and academic leaders in the field of sustainable energy and will showcase the latest technologies.

David Littell, commissioner of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, will deliver the keynote address.

The conference, which is open to the public by reservation, will start at 8:30 a.m.

Chewonki Foundation is located off Route 1 on Chewonki Neck Road.

BRUNSWICK

Police seek male suspect in doughnut shop break-in

Brunswick police say someone broke into the Dunkin’ Donuts coffee shop on Maine Street early Wednesday morning by removing a roof ventilation unit.

A Brunswick police cruiser arrived at the shop, which is located in downtown Brunswick, a minute after a burglar alarm was activated around 2:30 a.m.

Detective Bill Moir said the alarm “spooked” the suspect, who fled, but not before he caused some damage to the shop. No coffee or pastries were stolen.

A police canine from Yarmouth was called in, but the dog was unable to track the suspect.

A video surveillance camera captured images of the suspect, who is described as a white male with a tall, slender build. He was wearing blue jeans, work boots and a dark, long-sleeve sweatshirt with some type of insignia on it.

Anyone with information concerning the break-in should contact the Brunswick Police Department at 725-5521.

BOSTON

Police cite road rally drivers for speed, horn blowing

Massachusetts State Police say 11 drivers have been ticketed for speeding and other traffic violations around Boston as part of a crackdown on an international road rally known as Gumball 3000.

The vehicles were driven south from Bangor, Maine, Tuesday after they were flown in from Europe.

State Police spokesman David Procopio said Wednesday that some of the ticketed motorists were driving expensive vehicles. Some were going over 90 mph, one was cited for taking photos while driving and another was cited for excessive horn blowing.

They were ticketed while driving on Interstate 93, Route 128 and Route 3.

The Gumball 3000 is a road rally that began May 1 in London. The cars were then flown to the United States, where drivers where scheduled to continue the 3,000-mile rally through New York City and Toronto.