Geological Survey reports a small earthquake

The U.S. Geological Survey reported a small earthquake in North Windham on Saturday.

The 1.9-magnitude earthquake was reported at 7:28 a.m. The epicenter of the quake was about 4.3 miles from North Windham.

A Cumberland County emergency dispatcher said there had been no calls about any damage.

A 2.5-magnitude earthquake was felt in the Boothbay region on Jan. 14 and a 4.5-magnitude earthquake near Saco was recorded in October.

The state experiences a handful of small earthquakes annually.


First Time Campers raffle offered starting Monday

Maine state park officials are offering their First Time Campers raffle again this year as the camping season draws closer.

Forty-four Maine entrants will be randomly chosen to win a free weekend of camping this summer at one of 11 state park campgrounds. This raffle is open only to Maine families and individuals who have never before gone camping. Each winner will get the free use of camping equipment and be supported by park staff.

This year, one of those winners also will be the grand-prize recipient of a $1,000 gift certificate from the program’s major sponsor, L.L.Bean.

Raffle applications are available online and at Maine state parks. They will be accepted from Monday until May 31. The random drawing will be held Tuesday, June 4.


State’s high court schedules hearing on Nader lawsuit

Maine’s highest court has scheduled a hearing date to decide whether former independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader’s lawsuit against the Maine Democratic Party can go forward.

The case is the party’s appeal of a judge’s denial of its motion seeking dismissal of the lawsuit against the party and allied organizations.

A Maine judge last September denied a motion to dismiss a 2009 lawsuit against the Maine Democratic Party, the Democratic National Committee and other groups. The ruling allowed the lawsuit, filed by Nader and his 2004 Maine electors, to proceed to trial.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court will hear oral arguments on the appeal April 10.

Nader’s lawsuit claims the Democratic Party and others used illegal and malicious tactics to try to keep him off the ballot in Maine and more than a dozen other states in his run for president in 2004.


College of the Atlantic plans building dedication Friday

Maine’s College of the Atlantic is naming one of its buildings for its third president during a ceremony this week.

The Bar Harbor college will dedicate the Lou Rabineau Educational Studies Center on Friday. Rabineau, who had previously served as chancellor of the Connecticut Commission for Higher Education, was president of the College of the Atlantic from 1984 to 1993.

The college’s current president, Darron Collins, who was a student while Rabineau headed COA, said Rabineau led the school through some difficult early growing pains, including a fire and declining enrollment.

The college was only 12 years old when Rabineau arrived. In the decade he served as president, the college experienced a major increase in funds and a doubling of its enrollment.


Fisheries managers make cuts in catch limits official

Federal fisheries managers have officially announced proposed cuts in catch limits that they acknowledge will devastate the New England fleet.

The size of the proposed cuts have been known for weeks, but are now open for public comment until April 15. The 2013 fishing season starts May 1.

The cuts include a 77 percent year-to-year reduction in the allowed catch of cod in the Gulf of Maine and a 61 percent cut on Georges Bank cod.

The cuts come after poor assessments of the health of cod and other key species.

Fishermen say the reductions will force most of the fleet out of business.

Regulators have offered measures to mitigate the reductions and are now proposing to allow access to winter flounder in southern New England waters. Regulators say that fishery could bring in $5 million in revenues.

– From news service reports