Equipment break causes evening power failure

A broken cross arm that carried two power lines was the cause of power outages affecting about 20,000 Central Maine Power Co. customers Friday night, a utility spokeswoman said.

Power for customers in Freeport, Yarmouth, North Yarmouth, Pownal and Durham was restored by about 8 p.m. The company said it re-routed electricity to the customers around two damaged transmission lines.

The broken equipment will likely be replaced today.


Coast Guard searching for man swept away by wave

Authorities planned to search through the night for a 32-year-old man swept off rocks while visiting Maine’s Monhegan Island for a wedding.

Coast Guard Lt. Colleen McCusker said the man walked to Norton Ledge to explore a cave Friday afternoon when a wave churned up by Hurricane Katia knocked him into the water.

Four others tried to save him but soon lost sight of him. McCusker said three made it back to safety, and a fourth was rescued by a Jayhawk helicopter.

McCusker said the group was part of a wedding party.


LePage calls for flags flown at half-staff on Sept. 11

Gov. Paul LePage has ordered flags be flown at half-staff for the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

LePage said Friday that the flags will be lowered Sunday in remembrance of the 2001 attacks, which claimed nearly 3,000 lives. He said he’s asking Mainers to honor the memory of Americans who lost their lives that day and military personnel currently serving overseas.

LePage thanks responders; lifts state of emergency

Gov. Paul LePage on Friday lifted a state of emergency he declared two weeks ago as Hurricane Irene approached the state.

LePage thanked Maine’s responders and emergency management officials for their efforts to clear roads, restore power and rebuild bridges. He also thanked the Maine National Guard for its efforts in Vermont and New York, which were hard hit by flooding caused by Irene.

Officials said Friday that the governor consulted with Maine Emergency Management Director Robert McAleer and others before deciding to end the declaration.

The emergency declaration was aimed at ensuring that all available resources were prepared to assist as Irene moved through the state.


High school evacuated after threat found on wall

Authorities evacuated Gray-New Gloucester High School at lunchtime Friday after school officials discovered a bomb threat written on a boys’ bathroom wall.

The school was evacuated at noon and was searched by Cumberland County sheriff’s deputies, staff members and the Maine State Police bomb detection team. There was no device found and the school was deemed clear at 1:50 p.m., about the time students were to be dismissed.


Brennan wins in informal poll at candidates’ forum

Former state representative Michael Brennan won in an informal poll of 109 people who attended a mayoral candidates’ forum Thursday night.

More than 160 people attended the forum, hosted by the League of Young Voters at Lucid Stage, which featured 15 candidates in the city’s first race for a popularly elected mayor in decades.

At the end of the forum, audience members were asked to fill out ranked-choice ballots indicating their picks for mayor, which is how a mayor will be selected Nov. 8.

According to a league news release, Brennan came in first, followed by Dave Marshall, second; Markos Miller, third; Jed Rathband, fourth; Nick Mavodones, fifth; John Eder, sixth; Hamza Haadoow, seventh; Ethan Strimling and Chris Vail, tied for eighth; Jill Duson, 10th; Charles Bragdon, Peter Bryant and Jodie Lapchick, tied for 11th; and Ralph Carmona and Richard Dodge, tied for 14th.

MCLU changes name after 43 years, to ACLU of Maine

The Maine Civil Liberties Union has changed its name 43 years after it was founded.

The organization announced today that it is now called the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine, or ACLU of Maine.

Executive Director Shenna Bellows said the name change reflects the group’s work on national issues and affiliation with the ACLU. She said 50 other civil liberties groups now identify themselves as part of the ACLU in their names in a nationwide effort to establish unified branding.

The MCLU was founded in 1968 as a chartered affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Three cruise ships stopping in Portland this weekend

Three cruise ships, carrying a total of more than 4,000 passengers, will stop in Portland this weekend.

The Independence, operated by American Cruise Lines, tied up in Portland Friday evening. It leaves today with 98 passengers for a cruise along the Maine coast.

Also today, the Enchantment of the Seas will arrive with about 2,250 passengers.

On Sunday, the Arcadia will stop in Portland. The ship, carrying 1,856 passengers, leaves Portland about 6 p.m. Sunday. 

More than 90,000 cruise ship passengers are expected to arrive in Portland on 65 ships this season, which runs through October.


Two inmates suing prison officials; allege beatings

Two inmates at the Maine State Prison in Warren are suing the warden and other prison officials, alleging that they were beaten by other inmates with prison-issued padlocks.

The separate federal lawsuits were filed Aug. 30 in federal court in Bangor by Keith Ayotte and David Larkin. Larkin’s complaint says prison officials knew the padlocks were being used as weapons by inmates to assault other inmates yet continues to issue them.

Larkin is serving a 52-year sentence for kidnapping and murder. Both men are suing several prison officials.


Police say man killed self with cable tied to his truck

Maine police say a 52-year-old man decapitated himself by tying a cable around his neck and to a parked vehicle, then driving off in his pickup truck just days after another man was in the news for doing the same thing in Virginia.

Maine State Police said the man last Saturday tied the cable around his neck, attached the other end to a parked vehicle and accelerated in his own truck. The tightened cable severed his head.

Four days earlier, a Chicago man decapitated himself in York, Va., in similar fashion.


Police say arrests of five youths solves 25 burglaries

State police say they’ve solved 25 burglaries in central Maine with the arrests of five boys. Police said Friday the boys, ranging in age from 12 to 15, are charged with multiple counts of burglary, theft and criminal mischief.

The break-ins took place at seasonal lakeside homes in Belgrade, Mount Vernon and Rome. The thieves took jewelry, money, cameras, a .22-caliber rifle and other items with a total value of several thousand dollars.

Police said the boys rode their bicycles to the homes.