December 14, 2012

Dispatches

CAPE ELIZABETH

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Scott Nash and Nancy Gibson Nash, owners of Nash Box Co., decorate the clock stand in Monument Square on Thursday with equestrian artwork donated by Kathleen Beecher of Peaks Island. The artwork, which changes every few weeks, is meant to call attention to a fundraising effort led by Portland Rotary and the Maine College of Art to replace the clock.

Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer

Boy, 14, accused of sexually assaulting a young girl

A 14-year-old Cape Elizabeth boy has been charged with sexually assaulting a young girl, said Police Chief Neil Williams.

The girl is younger than 12 and is in her family's care, Williams said. The boy has been released into his father's custody. He is expected to appear in court next month.

Police are providing no additional details about the alleged assault. Williams said the boy was charged last week and the charge was made public this week as part of the police log.

SOUTH PORTLAND

Family left homeless by fire likely started by cigarette

A family was displaced Wednesday night after a fire that likely was started by a discarded cigarette spread from the porch to the attic of their single-family house on Park Avenue.

Emergency workers were called to 35 Park Ave. after a neighbor reported the fire, and flames were climbing up the side of the two-story home when the first firefighters arrived shortly after 7:55 p.m., said fire Lt. Robb Couture.

"The entire front of the building was on fire," Couture said.

All full-time South Portland firefighters were dispatched to fight the blaze, along with firefighters from neighboring communities, he said.

No one was home when the fire was reported, and no one was hurt. The exterior of the home had flame damage, as did an interior stairwell. Firefighters had to rip open the roof to ventilate the house, Couture said.

The family who rented the home found temporary shelter with friends or family, Couture said.

PORTLAND

Merry Madness event draws scores of shoppers to stores

Hundreds of shoppers poured into the Old Port and downtown shopping districts Thursday night as stores remained opened later than usual as part of the Merry Madness event.

Organized by Portland's Downtown District, Merry Madness gives shoppers until 10 p.m. to finish their holiday shopping.

The event kicked off with free hors d'oeuvres, raffles and music at the Portland Regency Hotel and Spa. Free horse and wagon rides were offered in Monument Square.

PLYMOUTH

Residents say sludge plant doesn't pass the smell test

There's something rotten in this Penobscot County town, and residents want it taken care of.

About 40 residents attended a meeting Wednesday to discuss the odors from a sewage processing plant in town.

Linda Seavey says the smells from Soil Preparation Inc., a company that processes sludge, prevents her from doing anything outdoors in the summer.

Another resident called the stench "disgusting."

The Bangor Daily News reports that the meeting was attended by representatives of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the company that owns the plant.

The state says it has no quantitative way to measure the smells.

The company representative says they are working on ways to cut down on the odors.

AUGUSTA

Democrats name appointees to redistricting committee

Maine Democrats have named their party's representatives on the committee that will review and redraw legislative district lines.

The state law requires district maps to be updated every 10 years based on census changes.

The Democratic appointees announced Thursday by the presiding officers of the House and Senate include Sens. Troy Jackson of Allagash and Emily Cain of Orono, and Reps. Jeff McCabe of Skowhegan, Mark Dion of Portland and Joan Welsh of Rockport.

The public member appointed by the Democrats is Cathy Newell of Oxford County, who served on the congressional apportionment commission in 2011. Maine Democratic Chairman Ben Grant also will serve on the commission. A final member to be agreed to by both parties has yet to be named.

(Continued on page 2)

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