Contract modifications add $36.4 million in work for BIW

Bath Iron Works said it received modifications to three contracts that will add $36.4 million in business for the shipyard.

“It’s work that we’ve been anticipating. It will keep us doing what we’re doing. It’s incremental funding,” said Bath Iron Works spokesman Jim DeMartini.

Among the contract modifications, Bath Iron Works got about $17 million to continue technical and industrial engineering work to support construction of the DDG-1000 class of ships.

Bath Iron Works, one of Maine’s largest employers, also received a $12.5 million modification to a previously awarded contract for Littoral Combat Ship class design services. The shipyard will provide design services, engineering studies and cost estimating support, among other services.

The unit of General Dynamics also got a $7 million modification for design, program management and material support services for the USS Independence.

Bath Iron Works employs 5,400 workers. The company recently agreed to a four-year contract with its largest union.


Mumford & Sons concert tickets sell out in 30 minutes

Tickets for the August Mumford & Sons concert sold out in about 30 minutes Friday morning, a show promoter said.

Tickets for the Aug. 4 music festival on Portland’s Eastern Promenade went on sale at 10 a.m. on the band’s website. Tickets are $69, general admission.

Lauren Wayne, the show’s local promoter, said the quick sellout is probably due to the fact that Mumford & Sons is performing only four U.S. shows this summer.

She said tickets to the show were purchased by people from all over the country.

Wayne wouldn’t say how many tickets were sold, but the city has limited capacity for the event — on city property — to 12,500. Wayne could not say if more tickets will become available, but said that people should regularly check for updated information on the show at

MWPA announces awards for literary works by Mainers

Sarah Braunstein, author of “The Sweet Relief of Missing Children,” has won the Book Award for Fiction from the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance.

Braunstein’s debut novel tells the intertwining stories of three young people who go missing. Her award is one of 19 announced Friday by the alliance as part of the 2012 Maine Literary Awards.

In addition to Braunstein, honorees included Paul Doiron, who won the Book Award for Crime Fiction for “Trespasser,” which follows the adventures of a fictional Maine game warden. The mystery is a follow-up to “The Poacher’s Son,” which was nominated for an Edgar Award.

Colin Woodard won the Book Award for Nonfiction for “American Nations,” which explores the history of North America’s rival cultural regions. Woodard is also a reporter for Maine Today Media.

Carl Little, author of “Eric Hopkins: Above and Beyond,” won the John N. Cole Award for Maine-themed Nonfiction.

For the complete list of winners, go to


Coast Guard will auction lighthouse if there’s no taker

The U.S. Coast Guard is trying to give away a remote lighthouse, but is having trouble attracting takers.

The Halfway Rock Light Station is 4.5 miles off the coast of Bailey Island, between Cape Elizabeth and Cape Small.

The 77-foot lighthouse built in 1871 was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.

The Coast Guard wants another federal agency, state or local government, nonprofit, educational agency or community development organization to take over the building.

If the lighthouse is not transferred to a government or nonprofit, it will be put up for auction.


Bill restricting deductions for union dues fails to pass

The end of Maine’s 2011-12 legislative session marked the defeat of a bill that sought to ensure that public-sector unions represent only employees who voluntarily join that union.

The bill, which was supported by Gov. Paul LePage but strongly opposed by unions, had been held over from the 2011 session. It would have allowed public employers to deduct union dues only if they are part of a collective bargaining agreement and the employee agrees to them.

Maine AFL-CIO President Don Berry applauded the Legislature for not passing the bill, calling it a divisive attack on workers’ rights.


Police use Taser on man they say had pepper spray

Police used a Taser to disarm and detain a man who they say tried to spray officers with pepper spray.

Police were called to 18 Ocean St. at 11:30 p.m. Thursday for a report of a man and a woman fighting. When they arrived, Nicholas Pallas, 32, opened the door, then slammed it shut.

Pallas had blood on his face, police said. He and the woman in the house, Carol Vining, 23, refused to come out, police said.

After police forced their way into the house and past a locked bedroom door, they found the pair hiding in a crawl space, police said.

When police entered the bedroom, Pallas — who is free on bail from a previous arrest — pointed a black cylinder at officers, which police later learned was pepper spray, and tried to discharge it, police said.

Police used a Taser on Pallas and then arrested him, though he continued to struggle, police said.

Vining also refused to submit to arrest, they said.

Pallas was charged with refusing to submit to arrest, violating bail conditions, criminal use of pepper spray, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of marijuana.

Vining was charged with refusing to submit to arrest and violating bail conditions.


Road race today to benefit local firefighter who’s ailing

Proceeds from a road race this morning during the Westbrook Together Days celebration will benefit a local firefighter who is suffering from a neurological disorder.

Lisa MacVane, 36, who joined the Westbrook Fire Department in 2006, has been in and out of the hospital due to panintestinal neuropathy, according to Beth Meccariello of Acadia Insurance, the race’s sponsor.

The Run The ‘Brook fun run begins at 8 a.m. and the 5-kilometer road race begins at 8:30 a.m. Both races start at Riverbank Park.


Scarborough woman gets stipend for teacher program

A Scarborough woman is one of 25 people in the nation to be chosen as a 2012 Woodrow Wilson-Rockefeller Brothers Fund Fellowship for Aspiring Teachers of Color.

Pamela Otunnu Porensky, a graduate of the University of Southern Maine, will receive a $30,000 stipend to complete a master’s degree in education, USM said in a news release.

In exchange, Porensky will teach in a high-need public school.

Porensky graduated from USM this spring with a bachelor’s in business with a concentration in marketing. This fall, she will continue her studies in USM’s Extended Teacher Education Program.

The fellowship was established in 1992 to help recruit, support and retain individuals of color as teachers and administrators in public education. It aims to provide support and guidance toward teaching certification.

Since its inception, the program has awarded nearly $8 million in financial assistance to 400 fellows.


Police look for man last seen Saturday at tavern

Police are looking for a man who disappeared after leaving a local tavern early last Saturday morning.

Jeff Godine of Skowhegan was drinking at the South Side Tavern, and friends said Thursday they fear the worst. Godine, 42, has not been to work, has not returned to his home, and left his dog, Taz, behind, said his longtime friend Sarah MacMichael.

She has posted fliers in Skowhegan alerting people to Godine’s disappearance.

Godine’s mother, Judean Godine, reported her son missing on Wednesday, Skowhegan Deputy Police Chief Dale Lancaster said Thursday.

The last time she talked to him was 10:30 p.m. May 25, and the last time he was reported seen was when the bar closed at 1 a.m. Saturday, Lancaster said.

He said Skowhegan police will send Godine’s picture to other law enforcement agencies statewide. Police also are interviewing people who know or work with Godine and are contacting the Maine Warden Service to help in a possible search.

Godine was last seen wearing a black T-shirt with the words “Half Step Down” printed on it. He is about 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighs about 165 pounds and has brown hair and brown eyes.

Skowhegan police asked that anyone with information about Godine to call them at 474-6908.


Thieves take 20-25 boxes holding working beehives

Police are investigating the theft of 20 to 25 bee boxes from property off Route 201, south of Varney Road.

Bee owner Robert Egan last saw the “nucs,” or nuclear bee colonies, Thursday afternoon and they were gone when he returned around 8 a.m. Friday, according to Deputy Police Chief Dale Lancaster.

“They took only nucs with fully established colonies,” Lancaster said.

Lancaster described the nucs as 1 foot deep, 14 to 16 inches long and 8 inches wide.

A website for Bee Progress describes a nuc as a nuclear hive, or about four frames from a working hive that include a queen bee. Nuc boxes are typically cardboard, it said.

Lancaster said Egan thought the theft may have happened at night because bees are less active then.

Nucs are starter hives for beekeepers and are sold by beekeepers, he said.

“Mr. Egan sells them, and they’re valued at over $100 apiece,” Lancaster said.

Anyone with information about the theft call police at 474-6908.


Two women plead not guilty in arson that damaged store

A Livermore Falls woman who authorities say paid someone $4,000 to burn down the store she owned so she could use the insurance money to open a day care center has pleaded not guilty to arson charges.

Erica Poland-Rolfe was granted $15,000 bail Thursday in Androscoggin County Superior Court.

A co-defendant who allegedly helped torch the JP Corner Store on Pleasant Street last July also pleaded not guilty Thursday. Nicole Hennesey of Wilton was released on personal recognizance. Police allege Hennesey helped douse the store in gasoline and acted as a lookout as a man set the fire.

The Sun Journal reports that damage to the store was minimal, but investigators quickly determined it was arson.

The store is now under new management.


Eight taken to hospital after three-car crash on Route 202

Police say eight people were taken to the hospital after a three-car crash.

Police say a car driven by Susan Chandonnet, 55, of Lewiston was headed east on Route 202 about 6 p.m. Thursday when it was struck from behind by a car driven by Kayla Grant, 20, of Auburn.

Police tell WMTW-TV that Grant’s vehicle then crossed into the westbound lane and was hit by a pickup truck driven by Brenda Ross, 44, of Winthrop.

Grant and Ross as well as three passengers in each of their vehicles were taken to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston. Police say their injuries are not considered life-threatening.

The accident remains under investigation.