DEXTER

No injuries in house fire likely caused by space heater

Fire officials say an unattended space heater likely caused a fire that destroyed a home in Dexter.

No injuries were reported in the fire on Friday.

Fire Chief Matt Conner told the Lewiston Sun Journal that the homeowner and a friend were shoveling snow off the roof of a cattle barn when the fire started shortly after 11:30 a.m. Friday. The cattle were in a back field and were not injured in the fire. 

Executives testing waters for reviving shoe industry

Maine business executives who want to bring shoe manufacturing back to the town of Dexter are gauging interest at a job fair.

Officials say they are looking for people with experience in shoe manufacturing, sales or marketing, along with retired shoemakers willing to help train new employees.

Dexter Shoe officials decided to close the flagship shoe plant in Dexter in 2001, with the brand joining other Maine names like G.H. Bass and Cole Haan that are now made overseas.

ORONO

Charles O’Leary, labor leader in state, dies at 76

Charles. J. O’Leary, a longtime labor leader in Maine, died Friday at his home in Orono.

O’Leary, who was 76, died of lung cancer, his sister, Doris Wentworth, said Saturday night.

O’Leary, who was born in Bangor, was elected president of the Maine AFL-CIO in 1978 and held that post until he retired in early 1999.

Six years after his retirement, he was appointed a University of Maine System trustee. He had been director of the University of Maine Bureau of Labor Education earlier in his career.

VERONA ISLAND

Narrows Bridge to be closed Sunday in hopes of ice melt

A bridge that had to close temporarily because of falling chunks of ice is closing again.

The Maine Department of Transportation said the Penobscot Narrows Bridge will be closed Sunday in hopes that warming temperatures will melt the remaining ice.

Spokesman Ted Talbot said the bridge that carries U.S. Route 1 over the Penobscot River and connects Verona Island to Prospect could be closed again on Monday, if necessary.

And as a last resort, a crane is on standby to tap the bridge to loosen ice.

Authorities say at least five vehicles were damaged and two were totaled when chunks of ice, some as big as basketballs, fell from the bridge’s cables on Dec. 29. No one was hurt.

– From staff and news services