Strip club owner to appeal denial of occupancy permit

The owner of a strip club on Warren Avenue plans to appeal the Zoning Board of Appeals’ denial of an occupancy permit for the club.

The appeals board voted unanimously Wednesday not to allow Dreamers Cabaret to reopen. The club was shut down in September, the day after it opened, by city inspectors for building code violations, including inadequate sprinklers and construction permits.

Owner Larry Ferrante appealed the decision and sued Westbrook and fire inspector Charles Jarrett, claiming the shutdown violated his right to freedom of expression.

His lawyer, Tom Hallett of Portland, said Ferrante will appeal the latest ruling and will continue with the lawsuit in federal court. “Things are moving ahead,” he said.

The city has since adopted a nude entertainment ordinance that bans total nudity and the serving of alcohol in such establishments.


Chocolate business may get part in Food Network show

Patterson Family Chocolates is in the running to be a focus of a new Food Network reality TV show focusing on chocolate makers.

Company founder Ed Patterson said this week he was contacted by Food Network about being part of the show and is in the process of putting together an audition tape. Patterson said the show will be called “The Sweet Life.”

For more information go to www.pattersonchocolates.com.


Two charged in break-in after neighbor calls police

Police charged two men with burglary Thursday morning after a neighbor spotted the men breaking into a home in Scarborough.

Police say Mark Posson, 41, of Limington and Matthew Davis, 23, of Gorham face charges of burglary, theft, criminal mischief and violating bail conditions and were been taken to Cumberland County Jail. Davis also was charged with a theft warrant from Portland.

A neighbor spotted the men breaking into the home on West Beech Ridge Road at 9:30 a.m. and called police. The men fled in a blue Ford Ranger pickup before police arrived, but Saco police stopped it a short while later, police said.

Items that had been stolen from the house — a safe, a briefcase and a jewelry box — were recovered, police said.


Man arrested in connection with self-storage burglaries

Detectives with the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office are asking self-storage customers in the Lakes Region to check their units to see if anything is missing.

Deputies arrested Russell L. Remington Sr., 41, Thursday morning at his home on Chutes Mountain Lane, Casco, on charges of burglary, felony theft and criminal simulation, which means obliterating the serial numbers off items. Deputies say Remington is accused of breaking into storage units and stealing items.

Remington is being held at Cumberland County Jail on $5,000 bail.

Anyone who has recently discovered that items were stolen from a self-storage unit, shed or garage in the region is asked to contact Detective Jim Ambrose at the Sheriff’s Office at 774-1444.


Water line trench collapses, leaving two workers injured

Two men had to be taken by ambulance to Maine Medical Center Thursday night after the trench they were working in collapsed on them.

Deputy Fire Chief Michael Shutts said the men were installing a sewer and water line in the vicinity of 33 Canco Road, near Carlyle Road, when a wall of the dirt trench gave way.

Their co-workers dug them out and removed both men from the 10-foot-deep hole. When fire and rescue workers arrived they were conscious and talking.

Shutts said the men’s injuries were not believed to be life-threatening. He did not have the worker’s names.

OSHA was called to the scene, which is standard procedure in all industrial accidents. The incident was reported at 4:04 p.m.


Convoy loaded with wreaths will be heading to Arlington

The annual Wreaths Across America convoy from Harrington to Arlington National Cemetery will get under way Sunday morning.

Four trucks carrying 5,000 wreaths will drive along Route 1, making stops in Hermon and Belfast before arriving at Cheverus High School in Portland about 5:15 Sunday night.

Col. Dan LeClair, commander of the Maine Wing of the Civil Air Patrol, said the convoy will resume its 750-mile-long trip to Arlington Monday morning, with stops planned at Wells Middle School and the Kittery Trading Post.

The convoy, which will be escorted by Maine State Police and motorcyclists from the Patriot Guard Riders, will pass through nine states before arriving in Bel-Air, Md. on Dec. 10.

The balsam fir wreaths crafted by the Worcester Wreath Co. in Harrington will be placed on the graves of war veterans on the morning of Saturday, Dec. 11.

The Civil Air Patrol is working with the company to make sure the wreaths reach their destination.


Public urged to take part in online survey about town

The city’s planning and development director is encouraging residents and business people to take a survey about the future of South Portland.

The online survey is available at www.southportland.org. The results of the survey will help inform the Comprehensive Plan Committee as it develops proposals for the community to consider in the coming months, according to Planning and Development Director Tex Haeuser.

Haeuser said the city faces some significant challenges, including a loss in the tax base that stems in part from reduced assessed value of land and buildings due to the recession as well as the state’s taxable exemption for personal property.


Teen faces multiple charges in crash that injured woman

A Burnham man was arrested Wednesday on charges that, while driving around drunk, his car swerved off the road and slammed into a parked vehicle, knocking a 61-year-old woman into a ditch.

Joshua D. Bither, 18, then sped away from the scene of the accident, police said Thursday.

The victim, Deena Whited of Unity, was taken to a local hospital with what police described as non-life-threatening injuries.

The crash was reported at 3:48 p.m. at 90 Stagecoach Road. The victim had just parked her 2009 Toyota sedan in a driveway and was standing outside the car’s driver side, according to Bob Keating, chief deputy of the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office.

Bither, driving a 2002 Hyundai sedan, suddenly veered off Stagecoach Road and struck the passenger side of Whited’s vehicle, Keating said.

Bither drove away from the scene, he said, but Whited was able to provide police with a vehicle description and partial license plate number.

Bither was charged with misdemeanor counts of operating under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident involving injury, and failing to report an accident.


Protest planned over decision by grand jury not to indict

Friends of a Maine man who died from injuries outside a bar in Bangor say they’re outraged that nobody’s being charged in his death.

Dale Lambert told the Bangor Daily News that she and others will meet outside the Penobscot Judicial Center on Sunday to protest the Penobscot County grand jury’s decision not to indict anybody in the death of 47-year-old Ralph Greenleaf. Lambert said she was Greenleaf’s fiancee.

Police said Greenleaf was injured after being pushed to the pavement and hitting his head during a late-night altercation outside Carolina’s Bar in August. He died three days later.


Teen assists mother after electrical jolt from power saw

Police say a teenager performed CPR on his mom when she was nearly electrocuted while making Christmas ornaments with a power tool in their Hampden home.

Police say Gidget Walsh, 45, was using a jigsaw in her basement when she was knocked unconscious by an electric shock Wednesday night. Hampden police officer Ben Eyles said Walsh’s teenage son performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation when it appeared that she’d stopped breathing.

Eyles told the Bangor Daily News that investigators believe a loose connection between two power cords came into contact with the metal chair that Walsh was sitting on.

He says she was suffering from muscle spasms but was conscious and alert when Hampden public safety officials arrived.


Two brothers charged after assaults in melee at party

Two men have been charged with aggravated elevated assault, a Class A crime, and a third suspect is still at large following an investigation into a party that turned violent.

Sagadahoc County Sheriff Joel Merry said the arrests were announced Thursday because it took investigators a couple of weeks to sort through what happened on the night of Nov. 14 at a house on Main Road.

According to police, the early morning party, which included several underage drinkers, turned into a melee when Greg Pontoo, 26, and his brother, Shane Pontoo, 23, of Lewiston, attacked three other men with pool sticks and metal pipes. The Pontoos have been charged with elevated aggravated assault.

A third suspect, Jasheen Ameer Moody, 29, of Greene, remains at large. He is also wanted for elevated aggravated assault and has outstanding burglary warrants from Androscoggin County.