Mainers take 7,820 pounds of drugs to collection sites

Federal drug enforcement officials say northern New Englanders took nearly 6 tons of unused and out-of-date prescription drugs to collection sites to be destroyed over the weekend.

In Maine, officials say 7,820 pounds of drugs were collected at more than 100 sites across the state as part of a national effort. New Hampshire’s total was 2,479 pounds and Vermont’s was 1,127 pounds for a total of 5.7 tons.

In at least one community, Ellsworth, people waited hours before the collection site opened to get rid of their drugs, said Maine Public Safety Commissioner Anne Jordan. People were relieved to have a place to dispose of unused medications, which can be an attraction for thieves and drug abusers, she said. No questions were asked of those dropping off drugs.


Candidates sign pledge for open government

All five balloted candidates for governor have signed the Maine Freedom of Information Coalition pledge to support open government and public access to government records.

The gubernatorial candidates, as well as all legislative candidates, were sent letters in August urging them to sign the pledge, according to a news release.

The coalition mailed pledge forms to each candidate and has been posting the names of all candidates who signed the pledge on its website,

Coalition President Mal Leary said several gubernatorial candidates said the pledge did not go as far as they will in promoting open government, should they be elected.


Iberdrola chairman calls for predictability, stability

The chairman of Spanish utility Iberdrola says his company’s U.S. subsidiaries will spend $10 billion on wind power and energy-related projects over the next few years but political and regulatory uncertainties could stall future investments.

Ignacio Galan said Monday that companies investing in wind energy need predictability and stability because wind projects can take years to reach fruition. Iberdrola is the second largest wind power company in the U.S.

Galan’s company is the corporate parent of Central Maine Power Co., the state’s largest electric utility and the second-largest wind power company in the U.S.

Galan came to New England for today’s groundbreaking of CMP’s $1.4 billion power grid upgrade, a project aimed at improving reliability and increasing capacity.


Seized frat house draws bid of $81,100 from neighbor

The highest bid for a fraternity house in Gorham that town officials seized in June was from a resident who has lived in the neighborhood for the past 30 years.

Peter Wentworth, of 17 Elm St., bid $81,100 for the property at 27 Preble St. The Phi Kappa Sigma house was seized in June for tax delinquency and had been the subject of 140 code violations, ranging from a chair blocking a doorway to sewage in the basement.

John McInery’s bid of $60,500 was second-highest. Doug Carter, of Paradise Way, made the third-highest bid of $35,000 on the condition he would have town approval to demolish the building and build a new one.

Bids will be evaluated on the amount offered and the merits of the projects the bidders are proposing.

Town Manager David Cole plans to make a recommendation to the Town Council for its Oct. 5 meeting.


Elderly man dies of burns after his clothes catch fire

Fire officials say an 82-year-old man has died of burns he sustained after his clothes caught fire while he was cooking.

The state Fire Marshal’s Office said Joseph Madore was found inside his first-floor apartment at the Penobscot River House complex in Old Town after firefighters were called to the fire at 10 a.m. Monday.

Investigators said Madore’s clothing caught fire after a pan of rice caught fire on the stove. Damages were confined to Madore’s apartment.

Officials said Madore’s death was the fifth fire fatality in Maine this year.


Project will slow traffic at Franklin/Marginal Way

Starting today, traffic flow in and around the intersection of Franklin Arterial and Marginal Way will be slowed by improvements to the street, sidewalks and lighting.

Portland officials say the work will start at 9 a.m. and run through 3 p.m. each day through Friday.

The work will result in occasional lane closures. Motorists are encouraged to seek alternate routes.


About 300 people attend calling hours for slain biker

Police say about 300 people attended calling hours for a member of the Iron Horsemen motorcycle club who was killed in a shootout with police in Ohio.

Harry Seavey Jr., 51, was killed Sept. 18 in a gunbattle in Cincinnati.

South Portland police say there were no problems at the calling hours Monday at a local funeral home.

Police Chief Ed Googins says Wednesday’s burial isn’t expected to be a problem because it’s easy to detour traffic away from the cemetery where Seavey will be buried.


City will distribute fliers about energy nonprofit

City officials hope to gauge the level of interest in creating a new nonprofit company that would buy electricity in bulk on the wholesale market.

Households and small businesses in the city will receive fliers explaining South Portland Energy, which would aim to buy electricity at a rate that is 10 to 15 percent below the standard offer for power. 

The city is still exploring the possibility of forming South Portland Energy. The purchasing ability of the company would affect the cost of the energy. The costs of transmission and delivery of the power, however, would remain unchanged.

Property owners interested in updates on the project are asked to provide their names, addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses to the city in a message to [email protected] or by leaving a message at 347-4106.


Police asking for help to find autistic man, 61

Police are asking for the public’s help finding a 61-year-old autistic man missing from Southwest Harbor.

Police say Pete Peterson was last seen Wednesday evening near Dysart’s Great Harbor Marina.

Peterson is known to hitchhike and frequently visits Bar Harbor and other Mount Desert Island towns, Ellsworth and Bangor, the Bangor Daily News reported.