November 5, 2012


From wire and staff reports


Current class of freshmen boosts state universities

Enrollment is up at the state's seven universities this fall, says a report that was presented Monday to trustees at their board meeting in Presque Isle.

The report shows that the full-time equivalent student population in the University of Maine System is up by just under half a percent. The last year that overall fall enrollment in the system didn't decline was in 2004.

The incoming freshman class of degree-seeking students is up more than 5 percent from last year.

The University of Southern Maine said it has stabilized its enrollment and met financial targets. This fall's total enrollment is 9,385, an increase of 84 over the fall 2011 total of 9,301.

"We are not out of the woods yet," said USM President Theo Kalikow, "but we definitely are heading in the right direction."

Susan Campbell, USM's chief student success officer, attributed the 0.9 percent increase to more targeted efforts to recruit and retain students, a more aggressive marketing campaign, more competitive room and board rates and $1 million in reallocated university funds for scholarships.

Some 1,879 new and first-year transfer students are attending classes this fall, compared with 1,557 in the fall of 2011, an increase of about 20 percent.

The number of full-time students is trending upward, from 5,735 in 2011 to 5,810 this fall.

USM had set a target of 1,100 students in Gorham residence halls this semester and exceeded that target by 58 students.


Museum at naval air base hangs it hat at Hangar Six

A museum dedicated to preserving the history of the former Brunswick Naval Air Station and its airborne patrols has signed a lease to rent space at the military base for its collection of artifacts.

John B. Briley, president of the museum's board of directors, in a statement issued recently, said that the Brunswick Naval Museum and Memorial Gardens is now occupying two rooms of Brunswick Landing's main office building -- formerly known as Hangar Six.

Briley said the location will enable the museum to establish a presence in a relatively high traffic area and provide a base of operations for collecting artifacts and establishing a small exhibit.

Briley said the museum had wanted to move into space at the former base chapel, but it would have cost about $250,000 to bring the building up to code. Briley said the museum does not have enough money to fund the renovation project at this time.

The museum still plans to move into the chapel and provide space for the Veterans' Council. For more information about the museum project go to:


Town's recreation director killed while felling tree

Police say a town official was killed when a tree fell on him at his home.

Jeff Kuller, 56, died Sunday when the tree he was cutting at his home fell on him.

Kuller was director of the Camden Parks and Recreation Department and general manager of the Camden Snow Bowl, which hosts the annual U.S. National Toboggan Championships.

As part of his duties, he oversaw the Ragged Mountain Recreational Area.

Kuller, originally from St. Paul, Minn., had worked for Camden since 2004. He is survived by his wife and two children.


Guests arrive with trunks at roomy retirement home

Two retired circus elephants have arrived in Maine to live out the rest of their years at a new facility built especially for them.

Rosie and Opal arrived a few days ago in the town of Hope, near Camden, where they are living at a newly built facility with a 3,000-square-foot elephant barn and an acre of land developed by veterinarian Jim Laurita.

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