PORTLAND

USM Alumni Association raffling off year’s tuition

The University of Southern Maine Alumni Association is holding a raffle where the winning prize is tuition for a year.

USM alumni are selling $10 tickets for the first tuition raffle. The winning ticket will provide a $6,000 payment to a student’s account that can be applied toward tuition, fees and other school expenses.

The $6,000 is the cost of 24 credit hours of tuition for the 2011-2012 academic year. Proceeds will also go toward building up a scholarship fund for other students.

Ticket sales end on Dec. 20. More information is available at the alumni association’s website at www.alumniusm.org.

BANGOR

Tip from gas station clerk leads to local man’s arrest

A gas station clerk’s call to police about a customer’s behavior and purchase of gas, a gas can, matches and cigarettes helped lead them to arrest a man on an arson charge.

Police said the clerk became suspicious Friday after he had a conversation with the man, and reported it to police. About an hour later, police responded to a report of a building on a fire.

Police said the clerk’s call was related to the fire and they arrested 33-year-old Matthew Fernald of Bangor on suspicion of arson.

BELGRADE

Hammond Lumber Co. buys competitor in Lewiston

Hammond Lumber Co. has purchased Pineland Lumber Co., a Lewiston company that competed with Hammond’s nearby Auburn retail store.

Pineland, which operated for nearly a century, has closed and sold its assets to Hammond. Eight of Pineland’s 12 employees accepted offers to work for Hammond, which has nine retail stores throughout the state and 375 employees.

Mike Hammond, the company’s vice president, said Hammond has been talking to developers about building condominiums on Pineland’s former site but has no permanent plans for the property.

MOSCOW

Town approves ordinance for regulating wind energy

The town has approved its first ordinance to regulate wind energy.

Under the new rules, wind turbines are required to be 2,500 feet from the nearest permanent or seasonal residence.

Selectman Donald Beane said people at Thursday’s meeting said the setback should be farther, but increasing the distance between turbines and dwellings would prove too restrictive and eliminate development.

While a commercial wind project in Moscow is not yet certain, testing poles in the small town and neighboring Caratunk have been gathering wind data for a little more than a year.

FARMINGTON

Community holds festivities to honor earmuff inventor

The town held its annual Chester Greenwood Day festivities Saturday to pay tribute to the man who invented earmuffs in 1873 to protect his sensitive ears from the cold.

Festivities included a parade, a chili contest, a flag-raising, an auction and other events. Townspeople and visitors wore earmuffs, and oversized pairs of the protectors adorned fire engines, police cars and other vehicles.