December 10, 2012

Local & State Dispatches


Woman killed in fire Sunday identified as Lynn Ring, 69

The state Fire Marshal's Office has identified the woman who died Sunday in a fire at her home -- the second fire at the home in the past 18 months.

Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Department of Public Safety, said Lynn Ring, 69, died in the fire. Her husband, John Ring, 70, was treated at Miles Memorial Hospital in Damariscotta for burns to his hands.

Investigators said the fire started in the couple's garage at 16 Oceanside Lane. McCausland said that is where Lynn Ring's body was found.

Firefighters stopped the fire from spreading to the couple's home, which was built after a fire in March 2011 destroyed the previous home.

McCausland said how Sunday's fire started has not yet been determined.


Schools chief resigns to take new post with association

Elaine Tomaszewski has resigned as superintendent of the Wells-Ogunquit school district to become associate executive director of the Maine School Management Association.

Tomaszewski said she will stay with the district until an interim superintendent is on the job, by mid-January. She anticipates her job in Augusta will begin Feb. 1.

Her resignation was accepted Wednesday by the school committee, which is choosing an interim superintendent.

Tomaszewski has been superintendent since July 2009. She was previously the superintendent of Freeport schools.

The Maine School Management Association is a resource for school committee members and superintendents across the state. Tomaszewski will be a liaison between the National School Board and Maine boards, and analyze legislation and its effect on public schools.


LePage wants Alfond, Eves to condemn use of 'tracker'

Gov. Paul LePage acknowledged that Democratic leaders in the Legislature don't have the authority to rein in a political operative who is shadowing him at public events, but on Monday he asked them to condemn the practice of having the man follow him around with a camera.

The Republican governor canceled a meeting last week with new leaders of the Democratic-controlled Legislature over the "tracker." He has yet to meet with them.

"We live in Maine. We're not in Washington. And we're certainly not in a campaign season any longer," said Adrienne Bennett, the governor's communications director. It would show "a bit of good faith," she said, if Democratic legislative leaders would condemn the practice.

The Democratic Party says it will continue recording LePage during public appearances.

On Monday, Senate President Justin Alfond and House Speaker Mark Eves were cool to the governor's request that they criticize what their party is doing.

"It would be hard for us to condemn anything that involves transparency and public accountability," said Jodi Quintero, Eves' spokeswoman.

Bennett said the governor supports transparency and that video and audio from many events are online, but tracking is different.

"The difference is, they're going to be using that audio and video for political posturing. When you take a partial sound bite, it's very easy for it to be taken out of context," she said.


Port authority wins grant to design container ship

The Maine Port Authority has been awarded $150,000 for design work on a new type of container ship to transport cargo between Portland and New York.

U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree said Monday that the federal grant was awarded to the port authority for a new "tug-barge" design to meet the needs of Maine shippers. She said she hopes the ship can be built in Maine.

This spring, the company that was providing container service to Portland announced it was ceasing operations.

Pingree said the goal is to restore regular container service between Portland and the ports of New York and New Jersey. The Maine Port Authority plans to partner with a private company to design and build a new vessel to restore service on the route.

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