November 29, 2012

Local & State Dispatches

CAPE ELIZABETH

Message on bathroom wall leads to schools' evacuation

Two school buildings were evacuated Thursday morning after teachers discovered "a threatening message" in a student bathroom at Pond Cove Elementary School.

Students and staff were allowed to return to the buildings -- the Pond Cove Elementary School and the Cape Elizabeth Middle School buildings are connected -- about 20 minutes after they were evacuated.

School officials described the evacuation as "calm, orderly, and brief," but gave no indication why they considered the message found in the bathroom to be threatening.

An e-mail alert sent to parents by Pond Cove principal Kelly Hasson and interim middle school principal Doug Perley said public safety officials checked the buildings and "determined that there was no credible threat to the safety of the school community."

All the town's schools, including the high school, had rehearsed an emergency lockdown drill Wednesday, according to a notice sent home to parents and guardians.

WASHINGTON, D.C.

Snowe gets standing ovation at final committee hearing

Sen. Olympia Snowe continued to stress the need for compromise Thursday in her final hearing as ranking member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

Snowe, R-Maine, has served on the committee since her arrival in the Senate in 1995, and was chairwoman from 2003 to 2006. She had also served on the House Small Business Committee.

Snowe, who received a standing ovation from fellow committee members, cited corrosive partisanship for her decision to leave Congress after more than 30 years in the House and Senate. She said none of the committee's goals can be accomplished without bipartisanship.

Her final committee hearing focused on wide-ranging bills on entrepreneurship. David Clough, the Maine state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, was among those who testified.

Snowe cited among her achievements the elevation of the administrator of the Small Business Administration back to a Cabinet-level position under President Obama.

AUBURN

Former police chief avoids jail time due to ill health

A former Maine police chief has avoided jail time after admitting to drug and illegal hunting offenses.

Everett H. Leonard, 61, of Turner, the one-time chief in Mechanic Falls, agreed in September to a deal that would have required him to spend three months behind bars. But a judge suspended the sentence Wednesday because of Leonard's health problems. In the past year, he has undergone prostate surgery, been diagnosed with diabetes and suffered a stroke.

The Sun Journal reported Leonard had faced as much as 42 years in jail and $84,000 in fines for illegal hunting in 2010. He was also charged with selling oxycodone.

When Leonard and his son were arrested in January 2011, police seized hundreds of pounds of deer meat, guns, and other hunting-related equipment from their homes.

BLUE HILL

Woman faces manslaughter charge in boyfriend's death

A woman accused of running over her boyfriend following an argument in Blue Hill has been arrested on manslaughter and other charges.

The Hancock County Sheriff's Department says Kimberly Phelan, 29, was arrested Thursday on charges of aggravated drunken driving and reckless conduct, in addition to manslaughter.

Police say the victim, Andrew Ray, 31, of Deer Isle, was outside the vehicle during an argument when Phelan put the vehicle in reverse and ran over him early on Sept. 15. He died later at a hospital.

SCARBOROUGH

Council re-elects Ahlquist, Roy as chairman, vice chair

Ronald Ahlquist will serve as the Town Council chairman for another year.

The new Town Council on Wednesday selected Ahlquist to serve in the post, which he also held during the previous year.

Judith Roy was again chosen to serve as vice chairwoman.

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