PORTLAND

‘Open carry’ event gathers trash, but few participants

Last month’s “open carry” event at Back Cove attracted several dozen people with holstered guns, but a follow-up “trash and carry” gathering Saturday drew only a handful of participants.

Both events were designed to exercise the right to bear arms, but Saturday’s included a trash pickup instead of the social gathering that was the focus in late April.

Shane Belanger, the University of Maine student who helped organize both events, said the trash pick-up component was intended both to give back to the community and to get more people comfortable with the idea that Mainers are allowed to carry arms as they go about most everyday events.

Norman Hamann, 25, of Lyman, said he liked the fact that the trash pick-up was part of Saturday’s gathering, since he felt the April get-together turned into more of a gun-owners rights rally than he had hoped.

TRENTON

Two California women diefrom accident on Route 3

Two women from California are dead after a head-on collision Saturday on Route 3, according to Maine State Police.

Cinthya Nathalie Felix Perez, 26, of Los Angeles, died at the scene. Tam Ngoc Tran, 27, of Garden Grove, Calif., died at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor.

Felix Perez and Tran were passengers in a Toyota Corolla driven by 28-year-old Heather Lee of Providence, R.I.

Police said Jon Dow, 23, of Hampden, was heading north when he crossed the center line around 1:20 a.m. Dow’s Ford pickup truck crossed into the path of Lee’s Toyota Corolla.

Tran was airlifted to the hospital, where she died Saturday evening.

Lee and Dow suffered minor injuries. They were treated and released from Maine Coast Memorial Hospital in Ellsworth. 
Police said speed appears to be a factor in the crash. The collision remains under investigation and is being reconstructed by the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department.

AUGUSTA

Baldacci likens graduationsto his own political change

As commencement season arrives in Maine, Gov. John Baldacci says he’s graduating too – from government service.

In his weekly radio address, Baldacci congratulates Mainers who are getting their diplomas. But the governor says he’s also moving on when this year ends, after three decades in government service. He’s served in Bangor city government, the state Senate and as governor, and in Congress.

Baldacci says the world’s changed a lot since he graduated from college. He says years spent on the campaign trail and in public office give a great gift – the chance to meet thousands of people, each with their own story.

LITTLETON, N.H.

High school removing class distraction – cell phones

A New Hampshire high school is taking away students’ cell phones during class time in an effort to improve test scores.

Teachers at Littleton High School will collect phones before classes start and return them at the end of the day.

The Caledonian-Record reports the temporary ban, approved last week, is part of an effort to improve New England Common Assessment Program test performance.

Poor scores put Littleton on a list of the state’s lowest-achieving schools this year.

The ban also applies to the Hugh Gallen Career & Technical Education Center and the Daisy Bronson Middle School. Lakeway Elementary School will continue requiring students to keep cell phones in their lockers or backpacks.

DETROIT, Mich.

Former home of Romney’s among 3,000 to be razed

A now-dilapidated Detroit home that was lived in by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney when he was a child is among about 3,000 homes that Detroit Mayor Dave Bing plans to demolish this year.

Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom told The Detroit News the home was lived in by Romney’s family from 1941 to 1953. Mitt Romney was born in 1947 and his father, George Romney, later became Michigan governor.

Mitt Romney won Michigan’s 2008 GOP presidential primary before dropping out of the race.

The 5,500 square-foot home is in the Palmer Woods neighborhood. Wayne County seized the house from its current owners in court in 2009,  and a demolition permit was issued.