October 2, 2013

Local & State Dispatches

From staff and news services


City fifth for concentration of same-sex households

Portland ranks among the U.S. cities with the highest concentration of households headed by same-sex couples, according to the Huffington Post.

Portland ranks fifth, with 2.2 percent of households in the city headed either by two men or by two women, the website reported.

According to U.S. Census data released last month, 0.6 percent of households nationwide were headed by same-sex couples in 2012. Maine overall was above the national average, with 0.9 percent of households led by same-sex partners.

The Huffington Post analyzed a different set of census data for urban centers around the country and posted a list of the top 10 cities with the highest percentage of same-sex households in 2012. The actual census data on Portland and other cities was not available Tuesday because the website containing the agency’s databases was unavailable due to the federal government shutdown.

According to the Huffington Post analysis, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., had the highest concentration of same-sex-partner households at 2.8 percent. Seattle, Wash., San Francisco, Calif., Minneapolis, Minn., and Portland, Maine, were the other cities in the top five.

Four towns win grants to hire school resource officers

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services is awarding more than $650,000 to fund five positions for school resource officer positions in four communities.

U.S. Attorney Thomas Delahanty II said the grants are part of more than $125 million awarded to 263 municipalities and counties to create 937 law enforcement positions. Those include 356 school resource officers.

In Maine, Auburn will receive $250,000 for two officers, while Mexico will receive $156,071 and Hampden and Topsham will both receive $125,000 for one officer in each department.

Attorney General Eric Holder said the hiring of school resource officers is part of an effort “to take all possible steps to ensure that our kids are safe when they go to school.”

Gas leak disrupts traffic during evening rush hour

Traffic in downtown Portland was disrupted during the height of the Tuesday evening commute after a gas leak was detected in the vicinity of High and Congress streets.

Portland police said the leak, which was discovered around 4:30 p.m., was not repaired until 8 p.m.

Lt. Mike Jones said a detail of officers had to reroute traffic around the intersection, which is located in the heart of the city’s arts district.

A crew from the local gas company, Unitil, repaired the leak.


After shooting, one man injured, one man dead

Maine State Police say they are investigating the circumstances that led to a shooting and a fatality Tuesday evening in the Washington County town of Princeton.

Steve Whitman, 60, who owns Long Lake Camps, suffered two gunshot wounds, according to Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

The body of his alleged assailant, Craig Woodruff, 52, of Baileyville, was found inside a sport utility vehicle that had been parked along the Long Lake Camp Road.

Whitman was treated at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor and is expected to survive. Whitman called 911 around 5 p.m. and identified Woodruff as the man who shot him, McCausland said.

McCausland could not offer any additional details as to how Woodruff died. The state medical examiner’s office will conduct an autopsy on Woodruff’s body on Wednesday.


Missing hiker’s family offers reward for information

Relatives of a Tennessee woman missing since hiking in July on the Appalachian Trail in Franklin County announced a $15,000 reward Tuesday for information on her whereabouts.

Her husband, George Largay, and his family are offering the reward to underscore support for the search efforts of Maine game wardens and state police and to try to generate new case information, according to a news release from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

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