September 3, 2013

Local & State Dispatches

From staff and news services


Family left homeless after fire starts in clothes dryer

A woman and her three children are without a home after a clothes dryer malfunctioned Monday, igniting a fire that destroyed a 153-year-old house and sent a firefighter to the hospital.

Kennebunk District Fire Chief Bill VanDeinse said about 50 firefighters battled the blaze, which was reported shortly after 10 a.m., for more than four hours.

The woman and her children made it out of the home at 192 Alfred Road safely and are staying with a friend, VanDeinse said. They were not injured.

VanDeinse said the two-story home appears to be a total loss. According to tax records, the home was built in 1860 and was valued at $163,000.

A firefighter suffered minor injuries and was transported to York Hospital, he said.

VanDeinse said the fire started when a clothes dryer located on the first floor malfunctioned.

Firefighters from Alfred, Arundel, Biddeford, Goodwins Mills, Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Wells responded to the blaze.


‘Duck Dynasty’ star making appearance at Maine school 

One of the stars of the reality show “Duck Dynasty” is making an appearance in Maine.

Justin Martin is appearing along with several game wardens from the Maine-based reality show “North Woods Law” at the annual Maine Sportsman’s Night on Oct. 12, at Mount View High School.

“Duck Dynasty” is in its fourth season and has broken viewership records on A&E. The show chronicles a Louisiana family that made a business out of making duck calls. The Robertson family’s men are known for their long beards.

Martin, who’s often given grief for his large size, appears on the show as one of the employees of the family business, called Duck Commander.


Fall college enrollment about the same as 2012

Fall enrollment at Maine’s universities and community colleges is expected to be about the same as last fall.

Classes begin Tuesday at the state’s seven universities and two of the community colleges. Classes at the other five community colleges began last Monday.

University of Maine System officials expect about 31,000 students this fall, although the number of first-year and transfer students is projected to grow. About 18,500 students are expected at the community colleges.

Rosa Redonnet, the university system’s chief student affairs officer, credits the growth in new students to an ongoing initiative to attract and retain students.

“We saw an increase last year and we’re seeing the same thing this year,” she said. “It’s not big, but overall it’s about 1.7 to 1.8 percent.”

Enrollment at Maine’s seven community colleges is also projected to be about the same as last fall, said Maine Community College System spokeswoman Helen Pelletier.

There will be several new programs  within the system this fall, she said.

Kennebec Valley Community College is holding classes for the first time at its 600-acre Harold Alfond Campus at the former Good Will-Hinckley School in Fairfield. There, students can take part in agriculture-oriented programs and work on a 120-acre farm while earning an associate degree in sustainable agriculture.

York County Community College is starting a new precision machining technology program in Sanford, and a new veterinary technology program at its campus in Wells.

In Bangor, Eastern Maine Community College is offering a new pulp and paper production technology program in partnership with Verso Paper, which has a mill in Bucksport.


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