December 20, 2012

Local & State Dispatches

From staff and news services

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"My heart goes out to the community of Newtown," Brennan said in a written statement. "The burden of grief may seem impossible to bear for the families of Sandy Hook and I hope that as we as a nation come together to share in their grief of this unfathomable loss, we are able to lift some small piece of the load off their shoulders. ... I am encouraged by President Obama's commitment to addressing gun violence and hope that Maine's Congressional Delegation joins him in this effort. The simple fact of the matter is that reasonable laws and regulations can make a difference in our effort to reduce gun violence."

SCARBOROUGH

Gym Dandies unicycle group will ride in inaugural parade

The Gym Dandies will bring their unicycle skills to President Obama's inaugural parade next month.

Forty-one members of the Scarborough-based circus arts group will ride 6-foot-tall unicycles in formation during the parade in Washington on Jan. 21.

"I couldn't be more thrilled," Jon Cahill, director of the Gym Dandies, said in a statement. "We've been in some big parades before but this is really an historic event."

U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree said she is proud that the young Mainers will be part of the parade.

"The president and the nation will get a chance to see their talent and dedication. They've worked hard and certainly deserve this honor," Pingree said in a news release announcing the group's participation.

Gym Dandies members also perform other circus arts, including stilt walking and juggling. It believes it is the largest continuously operating children's circus in the nation, with more than 3,500 participants since 1981.

BATH

Four cranes lift deckhouse onto largest destroyer's hull

Bath Iron Works has lifted a 900-ton deckhouse onto the 610-foot hull of the Zumwalt, the largest destroyer to be built at the shipyard.

Officials said Thursday that it took four cranes to lift the deckhouse -- the heaviest item ever lifted at the shipyard -- on Dec. 13 and 14. Afterward, the entire assembly, weighing 13,000 tons, was moved back into position for shipbuilders to continue assembly.

The composite deckhouse was built in Gulfport, Miss., and shipped to Maine by barge.

The stealthy destroyer, the Zumwalt, features a wave-piercing hull, electric drive propulsion, and powerful guns and missiles. It'll be christened in 2013 and delivered to the Navy late in the following year.

 

MONHEGAN ISLAND

Federal grant will facilitate upgrade of power system

Monhegan Island is getting a $420,000 federal grant to upgrade its power system.

The Department of Agriculture grant will fund a 13-kilowatt solar power system, a new 40-kilowatt generator and a new switching system that will allow the Monhegan Plantation Power District to switch between different power sources and incorporate renewable energy sources like solar or wind power.

U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree said Monhegan residents pay about 70 cents per kilowatt hour, more than four times the average rate on the mainland and among the 20 highest rates in the country. She said the grant will improve the reliability and efficiency of the island's power grid.

Monhegan is about 10 miles off the coast and is a summer haven for artists. It has a year-round population of about 70.

ALBANY, N.Y.

Owner of Maine head shops admits having illegal drugs

Federal prosecutors say the owner of head shops in Maine and New York has pleaded guilty to five charges for possessing and intending to sell illegal synthetic drugs.

They said John Tebbetts, 33, of Floyd, N.Y., acknowledged having synthetic marijuana, marketed as "Legal Phunk," and "bath salts," stimulants that were banned recently by federal law.

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