PORTLAND

Pair steals victim’s money, sneakers on Congress Street

A man was robbed of his cash and his sneakers early Sunday morning as he walked along Congress Street.

The 36-year-old man told police that two men told him to stop, hit him in the face, then kicked him as he lay on the ground. The man said it was between 1 and 3:46 a.m.

After going through the man’s pockets the pair took his new sneakers, a Michael Jordan model reportedly worth about $250, police said.

The man suffered scrapes and bruises on his elbows and legs, but was not seriously injured, police said. He was unable to provide a detailed description of his attackers.

 

Work to extend Downeaster to Brunswick ready to begin

Crews are finally beginning work on the $35 million upgrade that will allow the extension of Downeaster passenger rail service to Brunswick.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced Tuesday that the Department of Transportation and the state of Maine have finalized a grant agreement allowing work to begin on the state-supported passenger line.

After the grant was first announced last January, state officials said they expected construction to begin in early spring. LaHood did not explain the cause of the delay in his press statement Tuesday. He said the federal money would augment state money to cover the project’s cost. He did not say how much the state has committed to spend.

The project includes rehabilitation of 26.4 miles of rail owned by Pan Am Railways and construction of two platforms. The project, scheduled to be completed in 28 months, will also improve 36 highway-rail grade crossings and upgrade numerous wayside signals.

The Downeaster now operates five daily round-trips between Portland and Boston.

 

WISCASSET

Panel will meet to discuss issue of spent nuclear fuel

Maine Yankee says a subcommittee of the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future will hold a meeting next month in Wiscasset.

The Blue Ribbon Commission was formed in January to come up with a long-term solution to managing the nation’s used nuclear fuel. The subcommittee that will meet on Aug. 10 in Wiscasset is focusing on issues related to interim storage and eventual transportation of the fuel rods.

Community Advisory Panel Chairwoman Marge Kilkelly said the commission should make former reactor sites a priority for removing spent nuclear fuel.

Maine Yankee went into operation in 1972 and shut down in 1996. But 1,434 fuel assemblies remain at the site in Wiscasset because there’s no place to send them.

HALLOWELL

Apartment fire displaces 10; one arrested after ‘episode’

An early-morning fire in an apartment building Tuesday displaced 10 people but no one was injured.

Ken Grimes, an investigator with the State Fire Marshal’s Office, said the fire, reported at 4:42 a.m., started in a second-floor unit occupied by Maureen Wall, 44.

Wall was arrested about 10:30 a.m. after having what Grimes termed “a medical episode.”

Wall, sitting on the grass next to the driveway of 75 Second St., threw an empty plastic water bottle into the road and shouted incoherently at people. She fought briefly with police when they tried to handcuff her.

Chief Mike Grant said the blaze began in the kitchen of Wall’s apartment. He said the heat and the damage made it difficult to determine the exact cause.

Officials said the fire damage was confined to three apartments in the rear of the building. The units in the section of the building that faces the street were damaged by smoke and heat.

VASSALBORO

Jacked-up motor home falls and crushes man to death

A Vassalboro man who crawled under a motor home to replace its brake lines was crushed to death when the vehicle shifted and support stands failed.

The Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office said John McLaughlin was killed instantly in the accident Monday afternoon at the home of a friend he was helping with the motor home.

Authorities say stands were placed under the vehicle after it was jacked up. While McLaughlin was under the motor home, the vehicle shifted, the jack stands failed and the motor home landed on top of him.

AUGUSTA

A.G. warns of online scam involving rental property

Maine’s attorney general is warning people about the latest scam emanating from Nigeria.

A homeowner discovered that his house was listed for rent on Craigslist, complete with photos, even though he had no intention of renting it.

The ad listed a Nigerian e-mail for inquiries and payment for the fake rental, according to Kate Simmons, spokeswoman for Attorney General Janet Mills.

A woman was about to rent the home and send money to Nigeria but contacted the homeowner and discovered the fraud.

The owner had listed the home for sale and the scammer most likely took the photos and information off that site and created a fake rental ad, Simmons said.

Anyone who is interested in renting property through Internet postings should call the owner by telephone, said Simmons. “If they aren’t able to talk to you on the phone, be very wary of that.”

YARMOUTH

Clam fest adds new twist: valet parking for bicycles

This year’s Yarmouth Clam Festival will offer something new: free valet parking for people who arrive on bicycles.

The clam festival, to be held this month for the 45th year, tries to add an environmentally friendly twist each year.

This year, free valet parking and storage will be offered to those who ride their bikes to the festival. Volunteers from Yarmouth’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee and the Bicycle Coalition of Maine will staff the secure lot on July 16, 17 and 18.

The Bicycle Coalition of Maine has provided valet parking at the Common Ground Country Fair in Unity and the American Folk Festival in Bangor for several years.

CUTLER

Historic lighthouse hosting an open house on Saturday

Friends of Little River Lighthouse will host one of three open houses scheduled this summer from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

Most summer dates at the historic beacon are reserved for overnight guests. The lighthouse is on Little River Island, off the coast of Cutler, near Machias.

The friends group will provide free boat rides to the 15-acre island, departing from the town landing at Cutler Harbor. Refreshments will be served and souvenirs will be for sale.

The lighthouse, built in 1876, is 41 feet tall and made of brick and steel. The site also has a boathouse that was built in 1881 and a keeper’s house that was built in 1888.

Open houses also are scheduled for July 31, from 1 to 3:30 p.m., and Aug. 14, from 1 to 3 p.m. All open houses may be canceled because of high winds, fog, strong rain or rough seas.

Go to littleriverlight.org for more information.

BANGOR

Suspect in bank robbery to appear in court today

The FBI says a woman who was arrested after a holdup at a Bangor Savings Bank will make her initial court appearance this morning.

No one was injured in Tuesday morning’s robbery, in which an undisclosed amount of cash was taken. The FBI did not identify the suspect, but said her name will be released at her hearing in U.S. District Court in Bangor.

Police said the suspect reportedly left the bank in a taxi and was dropped off in the city’s lower Kenduskeag Avenue area before she was taken into custody.