January 18, 2013

Local & State Dispatches

From staff and news services


Preservation group hopes to buy Goodall Mansion

A group of Sanford residents is optimistic that it will be able to buy the Goodall Mansion, which was bought by a bank Thursday during a foreclosure auction.

Joe Doiron, who formed the Goodall Mansion Society to preserve its namesake building, attended the auction at a law firm's South Portland office and said Deutsche Bank bought the mansion for about $280,000.

Doiron said his group plans to submit a bid to the bank next week. It has not yet decided how much to offer for the building and surrounding property, which are assessed by the city at $577,100.

The 18-room Goodall Mansion, built in 1871 by Thomas Goodall, the industrialist and philanthropist who founded Sanford's mills, has been called the "Jewel of Sanford."

The Goodall Mansion Society wants to transform it into a preservation workshop and cultural center. Doiron estimates it will take $120,000 to stabilize the building and $500,000 to restore it enough to open it to the public.

While the Goodall Mansion Society has the money to put a deposit on the building if its offer is accepted, it would start fundraising to complete the purchase and restore the building.


Section of Baxter Boulevard to close for eight months

A 1.4-mile section of Baxter Boulevard will close for at least eight months starting Jan. 30.

Electronic billboards were erected on Baxter Boulevard this week, warning motorists and users of the Back Cove Trail that the road will be shut down. The closure will affect the section of Baxter Boulevard between Vannah Avenue and Bates Street.

Nicole Clegg, the city's spokeswoman, said the walking trail will remain open during the $10 million project.

Clegg said the city must close the road so that it can install two 1,700-foot-long underground concrete boxes, each with the capacity to store one million gallons of sewage and storm water.

The boxes will capture storm water before it can enter Back Cove. The polluted water will eventually be transferred to the East End Wastewater Treatment Facility.

During heavy rains, water now flows into the city's sewer system, and the overflow is discharged untreated into Back Cove.

The city hoped to begin the project in November but Clegg said it took longer than anticipated to obtain permits from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. The project will be funded entirely with sewer user fees, she said.


'Downton Abbey' vs. Patriots: MPBN has plan for viewers

Households all over Maine are gearing up for a daunting TV viewing choice on Sunday. They can watch the AFC championship game featuring the New England Patriots in its entirety, or they can watch the PBS period drama and pop culture phenomenon "Downton Abbey."

There is help, in the Maine Public Broadcasting Network's "Downton Abbey" Football Conflict Support Line.

MPBN, which airs "Downtown Abbey," put out a press release Thursday to announce the effort. The release says MPBN officials realize the Patriots game -- which starts at 6:30 p.m. -- might not be over in time for the 9 p.m. start of "Downton Abbey."

So people in conflict can call an automated phone line -- 330-4549 -- and be directed to alternate viewing times of "Downton Abbey."

A recorded voice on the "conflict line" tells callers that MPBN will post Sunday's episode of "Downton Abbey" on the free Video On Demand service on MPBN.Net on Monday.

The voice also tells viewers "in crisis mode" that MPBN will rebroadcast the episode at 8 p.m. on Jan. 27, to be followed by the airing of that week's episode at 9 p.m.

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