PORTLAND

Motorcycle ride will benefit childrenn of two fallen officers

Portland police are holding the second annual Sgt. Johnsey & Sgt. Betters Memorial Ride on Saturday, raising money for the children of the two Portland officers who died unexpectedly two years ago.

The 90-minute ride runs from Portland to Naples, according to a city press release.

Participants can register the day of the ride for $20 per motorcycle, $5 per rider or send contributions to 14 Mayfield St., Portland, ME 04103.

Sgt. Rob Johnsey served as a canine handler and crisis intervention team officer. He died in May 2008 from an accidental gunshot wound leaving behind his wife, Carol, and children Rachel and Al.

Sgt. Rick Betters led the department’s special reaction team. He died of a heart attack in January 2009 and left behind his wife, Jessica, and daughters Alexis and Fiona.

Registration starts at 9:15 a.m. and the ride at 11 a.m. at Parkers Restaurant, 1349 Washington Ave.

WASHINGTON, D.C.

Employee of Snowe makes Capitol’s most beautiful list

Jessa Merrill, a legislative correspondent for U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe in Washington, has been named one of the “50 Most Beautiful People 2010” on Capitol Hill.

The Hill, a daily newspaper and website that covers the capital, published its yearly list Wednesday.

Merrill, 23, is a Kennebunkport native, a Republican and single, according to The Hill website.

SACO

Biddeford biker killed in crash with Honda CRV

A Biddeford man died Tuesday night in a car-motorcycle accident, police said.

Police are releasing few details about the accident, which occurred around 8:30 p.m. at the intersection of Spring Hill Road and Route 1.

They said Nedal Dawoudi, 39, was on a Ducati motorcycle that collided with a Honda CRV driven by Nathan Warren, 33, of Old Orchard Beach.

According to police, Dawoudi was not wearing a helmet and died at the scene.

Police said the accident is under investigation and more information will be released after officers finish reconstructing the accident.

WESTBROOK

Police looking for gunman who robbed Tim Horton’s

Westbrook police are searching for a man who robbed a local Tim Horton’s at gunpoint early Wednesday morning.

The man pulled a handgun on the clerk at 12:30 a.m. at the 150 Main St. store and demanded money. Nobody was injured.

The robber is described as a white or Hispanic man in his mid-20s, 5-foot-5 to 5-foot-7, 150 pounds, wearing a red Abercrombie & Fitch hooded sweat shirt, large sunglasses, tan shorts and carrying a small black duffel bag.

Police ask anyone with information to call 854-0644 or the Anonymous Crime Tip Hotline at 591-8117.

ROCKLAND

Island students will study local energy use, efficiency

Students at North Haven Community School and Vinalhaven School will have a new way to learn about energy efficiency this year, the Island Institute announced Wednesday.

The institute has launched Energy for ME, an educational pilot project for 75 middle- and high-school students at the two island schools. The project is funded by a $50,000 grant from Time Warner Cable.

The students and their teachers will use special meters to measure local energy use and explore energy options that are cleaner, more efficient and more affordable.

STATEWIDE

Civil Air Patrol will conduct disaster preparedness drill

The Civil Air Patrol’s Maine Wing will participate in a disaster preparedness drill Saturday as members respond to a simulated hurricane.

Civil Air Patrol units throughout the Northeast will be participating in the drill, said a release from the group’s incident commander, Lt. Col. Jeff Weinstein of Yarmouth.

The Civil Air Patrol is the official civilian auxiliary of the Air Force and helps conduct search and rescue and disaster relief operations.

Water quality decreased at beaches, report finds

Beach closings and health advisories due to pollution rose by 47 percent last year along the Maine coast, according to the Natural Resource Defense Council’s 20th annual beach water quality report.

The report concluded the most polluted beaches in the state were Goodies Beach in Knox County, Ducktrap River in Waldo County and Ogunquit Beach in York County.

The report notes that rainfall last summer was much higher than average. Rainwater washes pollutants into the ocean.

Eleven percent of beach water samples in Maine last year violated health standards, according to the report.

Other beaches with the worst water quality last year are: Cape Neddick Beach, York Harbor Beach, Gooches Beach, Libby Cove Beach, Middle Beach and Sea Point Beach in York County, and Willard Beach in Cumberland County.

The report was based on water quality data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

BRUNSWICK

Navy awards contract for new Marine facility

The Navy has awarded an $8 million contract to design and build a new Marine Corps Reserve Center on land that was part of the Brunswick Naval Air Station.

The facility will house A Company, 1st Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division and will include a specially designed weapons storage area, according to the Naval Facilities Engineering Command.

The new facility will enable the Marine company to remain in Maine and will allow it to partner with the Maine Army National Guard for drills.

The new facility will comply with anti-terrorism and force protection requirements that the former facility in Topsham did not.

AUGUSTA

Acting education chief picked for permanent post

Maine’s acting education commissioner has been nominated to be the permanent commissioner.

Gov. John Baldacci on Wednesday nominated Angela Faherty as commissioner of the Department of Education. Faherty has been acting commissioner since May 3 after Susan Gendron left after seven years.

Her nomination will be considered by a joint legislative committee, with a Senate confirmation session scheduled for Aug. 25.

GRAY

Town closes Wilkies Beach due to elevated E. coli levels

The town of Gray has closed Wilkies Beach on Crystal Lake because of elevated levels of the bacteria E. coli.

The beach, which is for residents only, will be closed to swimming, though people can still launch their boats there, the town announced Wednesday.