SOUTH PORTLAND: City councilors vote to buy themselves iPads

City councilors are getting rid of paper and going high-tech.

Councilors voted 6-1 Wednesday, with Alan Livingston opposed, to buy seven iPads for themselves.

They’ll mostly use the tablets, which altogether cost about $6,500 with a year’s worth of data plans, for city communications. Meeting agendas and backup materials will be stored on the devices.

The city has said the use of iPads would save “considerable” staff time and printing costs by eliminating the need for paper agendas and informational material.

Before voting Wednesday, the council amended a proposed policy for the use of the iPads, which had said a councilor would be responsible for paying the full cost of replacing his or her iPad if it was lost or stolen.

The amended policy says that the rest of the council will determine how much the councilor should pay.

City Clerk Susan Mooney said the councilors may have the iPads in hand as soon as their next meeting on Sept. 19.

BIDDEFORD: Conservationists ask for help preserving land

A group of conservationists is nearing a deadline for trying to preserve a parcel of undeveloped land in Biddeford.

Tom Bradbury, executive director of the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust, said the group needs $286,000 by next Thursday to purchase Timber Point, 97 acres off Granite Point Road and a small island near the mouth of the Little River.

The Ewing family is willing to sell the land for $5.125 million. Members of the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust, along with the Trust for Public Land, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and The Friends of the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge put out a call in July to raise funds. At the time, $3 million from the Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund and more than $525,000 from private donations had been secured.

“So we’re encouraging people to donate, tell their friends and remain optimistic, as we are almost there,” Bradbury said.

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

BANGOR: Woman accused of killing husband pleads not guilty

A woman accused of killing her husband in a jealous rage after he talked to an ex-girlfriend on the phone has pleaded not guilty.

Roxanne Jeskey, 48, who entered her plea Thursday, is accused of beating, stabbing and strangling Richard Jeskey, 53, on June 13. Her defense lawyer says she was acting in self-defense.

An autopsy indicated Richard Jeskey suffered multiple blunt- and sharp-force injuries to the head, neck, torso and limbs. The medical examiner’s report also noted that his nose was broken, he lost an eye and had injuries to his scrotum and rectum. His body was found in his bathtub.

The Bangor Daily News reported that Jeskey admitted to police that she assaulted her husband with “pliers, a box cutter and a plastic baseball bat.”

WESTBROOK: Record-breaking swimmer will present slide show

Pat Gallant-Charette, the oldest American woman to swim across the English Channel, will be at the Westbrook Performing Arts Center on Saturday to talk about her record-breaking feat.

Gallant-Charette, 60, of Westbrook will present a slide show from the 28-mile swim, which she completed on Aug. 22, and will be available for questions, pictures and autographs.

The event will run from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday in the performing arts center at Westbrook Middle School on Stroudwater Street.

AUBURN: City hopes iPads will give kindergartners a leg up

Hoping to close learning gaps among kindergartners, schools in Auburn are giving iPads to the 5-year-olds just starting school.

Half of the kindergarten students at Washburn Elementary School are getting the tablet computers this week, and the other half will get them in November, according to the Sun Journal in Lewiston. The staggered rollout will help educators compare how students learn with and without iPads.

School officials hope the data will attract grant money to pay for iPads in future years. The $240,000 for iPads this year came from last year’s school budget.

MILLINOCKET: 23-mile trail for ATVs will open in time for festival

A 23-mile all-terrain vehicle trail in the Katahdin region is nearing completion.

Contractor Rudy Pelletier said the goal is to have the trail open in time for Millinocket’s third annual Trails End Festival, Sept. 16-18.

The trail will start at the Northern Timber Cruisers Snowmobile Club and run to a multiuse recreational bridge near Route 11 west of town, the Bangor Daily News reported. The second phase of the project will run to Seboeis, where it will connect with the statewide ATV trail network.

Efforts to build the trail began about four years ago after business owners complained that the lack of trails deprived the Katahdin region of hundreds of thousands of dollars that flow annually into ATV areas in other states.

WALES: Man admits he made up burglary, injured himself

Maine police say a Wales man made up a story about interrupting a burglary in which he was injured.

State police Lt. Walter Grzyb says Robert Goucher admitted the incident was a hoax and that he inflicted the injuries on himself. Groucher was treated Wednesday at a Lewiston hospital.

He said he arrived at home on Wednesday to discover two men burglarizing his home and said one of them struck him while the other one stabbed him.

Maine State Police investigators issued the 36-year-old a summons for making a false report, The Sun Journal reported.

GORHAM: Research firm wins grant to study wind-power risks

A Gorham research firm is receiving a $4.5 million grant to study risks to sea birds, sea turtles and marine mammals from offshore wind-power development.

Sen. Olympia Snowe announced the Department of Energy grant to BioDiversity Research Institute on Wednesday.

The Maine Republican said Maine is uniquely positioned to harness deep-water, offshore energy. She said technical and environmental challenges for the wind energy industry, as well as a long permitting process, are major impediments to installing offshore wind energy.

Snowe says the research project will yield data critical to advance development of offshore wind.