AUGUSTA

Memorial service is held for career public servant

State officials and other well-wishers attended a memorial service Tuesday for Dan Gwadosky, a Fairfield native whose long career in public service included two years as speaker of the Maine House and eight years as secretary of state.

Gwadosky died Aug. 10 from pancreatic cancer. He was 57.

The Democrat, a Lawrence High School graduate, was first elected to the Maine House in 1978, when he was 23. When he was 39, he took over as House speaker after John Martin stepped down.

Gwadosky, a hotel manager and Thomas College graduate, was speaker from 1994 to 1996.

Out of respect for the family, the Kennebec Journal honored a request not to cover Tuesday’s event at the Augusta Civic Center.

PORTLAND

City Council votes to defend value of island’s post office

The City Council wants the U.S. Postal Service to preserve an island community’s post office, which is on the list for possible closure.

In a unanimous vote Monday, the council said it would tell the Postal Service that the Cliff Island post office is a key part of island life and that its closure would mean a three-hour round trip by ferry for residents who need to mail packages.

Cliff Island is about 10 miles off the mainland.

WCSH-TV reported that the Postal Service has suggested contracting with a business to sell stamps and send packages if the Cliff Island branch is closed.

Last month, the financially troubled Postal Service said it was considering closing one in 10 of its retail outlets.

NEW GLOUCESTER

Police searching for man who robbed local market

Cumberland County sheriff’s deputies searched Tuesday for a man who robbed Cloutier’s Market early Tuesday morning.

Capt. Jeff Davis said deputies responded around 7:15 a.m. to the market on Lewiston Road. He said a store employee was leaving to make a deposit at a local bank when she was approached by a white man who pushed her to the ground. The man demanded the money, but did not display a weapon. He fled on foot with an undisclosed amount.

Deputies placed a nearby daycare on lockdown as a precaution, but Davis said there was never a threat to the business.

Davis said the man is 5-foot-7 to 5-foot-9 and weighs 170 to 190 pounds. Surveillance footage shows he was wearing a white T-shirt under a brown hooded sweatshirt, dark pants and sneakers.

Anyone with information should call detective John Fournier at 774-1444 extension 2173.

BIDDEFORD

Conservationists still need $1 million to purchase land

With a month left to buy undeveloped land off Granite Point Road and a small island near the mouth of the Little River, local land conservation organizations are pushing to raise the last $1 million needed for the acquisition.

In July, the Trust for Public Land, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Kennebunkport Conservation Trust and The Friends of the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge put out a call for funds to purchase Timber Point. The Ewing family is willing to sell 97 acres of their property for conservation purposes for $5.125 million.

On Friday, Kennebunkport Conservation Trust Executive Director Tom Bradbury said the organizations still need $1 million by Sept. 15 to make the preservation of this property possible.

“If the September 15th deadline is not met, the $3.2 million secured in federal funding for the project will be lost and the property will be in jeopardy of being sold to the highest bidder. With land suitable for multiple house lots, the now pristine land could become home to new development,” Bradbury wrote.

Those interested in helping these organizations can send checks designated “Save Timber Point” to the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust, P.O. Box 7004, Cape Porpoise, ME 04014. For more information, go to www.kporttrust.org/timber-point or call 967-3465.

South Street Block Party to follow park’s dedication

Key features of the park on Williams Court will be unveiled Saturday.

A lantern cast in bronze, featuring the hands of residents and friends of the South Street Neighborhood, and a bench in memory of Donna Marie Parent will be unveiled during a ceremony at 1 p.m.

The lantern, forged and constructed by Eliot-based Green Foundry, stands at the center of a circular concrete walk in the park. Three dilapidated apartment complexes were demolished by the city to create the park, a project that was funded by the HUD Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

“The lantern is a symbol to the neighborhood of their strength and community, and the neighborhood has worked hard to promote revitalization,” said Community Development Coordinator Linda Hardacker. “They are very proud of this park and lantern and the efforts they made as a neighborhood to make it happen.”

The bench was carved by sculptor Joe Auciello of Rockland and was donated by the Parent Family of Cecile Parent and Saco and Biddeford Savings Institution.

Following the ceremony, the free South Street Block Party will kick off at 2 p.m.

EXETER

Heavy rain could mean blight for potato farmers

Maine potato farmers could face potato blight because of the wet summer.

The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association says three farms along the state’s central coast have “suspicious” crops. In a new report, the group said heavy rain could mean trouble for potato farmers in Aroostook County and the central coast.

One potato farmer, Steve Crane of Exeter, told WLBZ-TV that he expects an average crop but considers himself lucky.

Brown or olive green spots on plants, or white fuzzy fungus, are signs of blight. The Farmers and Gardeners Association recommends destroying plants suspected of having the disease.

Maine Potato Board Director Don Flannery said there’s not enough time left in the growing season for the disease to spread too much.

GREENVILLE

Maine ranger advances to logging finals in Ohio

Maine Forest Ranger Samuel Heffner has won the right to compete in a national logging competition this fall, now that he’s won the state’s honors.

Heffner out-sawed loggers from central and northern Maine and won first place in the regional “Game of Logging” annual competition Saturday at Forest Heritage Days in Greenville.

Events included saw chain filing, speed cutting, bore cutting, precision stump cutting, spring pole cutting, precision bucking and precision felling. All events have a strong emphasis on safety.

Heffner, an instructor in the use of chain saws in wilderness firefighting, can now compete in the National “Game of Logging” Finals Oct. 7-8 in Ohio.

HARTLAND, Vt.

Box truck crashes on I-91, forcing lengthy road closure

Vermont State Police believe a medical problem may have caused the driver of a truck to crash on Interstate 91 in Hartland, closing the road for much of the day.

Police say the box truck went across the median and into the northbound lanes hitting a dump truck in a construction zone before crashing through a guardrail and hitting some trees on Tuesday morning.

Keith Deford of Lebanon, N.H., was hospitalized in stable condition. The dump truck driver was not hurt.