February 21, 2013

Local & State Dispatches

From staff and news services


Anti-bias advocates meet with Greely staff, students

Anti-bias advocates met with school officials and students from Greely High School on Wednesday in response to an incident involving students using anti-Semitic imagery and language.

The meeting focused on how to teach students ways to prevent biased language in the schools, said Emily Chaleff, executive director of the Jewish Community Alliance of Southern Maine.

Chaleff, with representatives from the New England branch of the Anti-Defamation League and the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine, joined school leaders and two students to discuss program options.

Chaleff said she hopes new curriculum will be ready for the start of the 2013-14 school year. The additions could include a program that relies on students working with each other to address biased language and attitudes, she said.

The meeting followed an incident involving Greely High School girls' basketball team members who were photographed giving the Nazi salute on Facebook, and calling a team member "Hitler."


Diocese names new head of its investigative office

The Catholic Diocese of Maine has hired Michael Magalski as its director of the Office of Professional Responsibility. He replaces John Brennan, who is retiring after serving as the director since 2002.

The Office of Professional Responsibility investigates complaints that have been filed against members of the clergy, employees and volunteers of the diocese.

Magalski was previously the resident agent in charge for Maine for the U.S. Secret Service. He retired from that job in January after 17 years. During his time with the Secret Service, he handled investigations including fraud, high-tech computer crime and missing and exploited children.

Brennan was ordained as a deacon in 1998 and was previously the Portland Police Department's deputy police chief.


Police arrest three people, seize heroin worth $11,000

State police say three people have been arrested on charges of selling heroin in the Bath-Brunswick area.

Maine Drug Enforcement Agents arrested two men and a woman on Tuesday night and seized about $11,000 worth of heroin.

The investigation started about a month ago after authorities noticed an influx of the drug into Sagadahoc County.

Police said Derek Elliot, 21, of Brunswick, Joshua Neisius, 25, of West Bath and Dwan Russell, 25, of Topsham had been selling heroin independently of each other.

The two men were arrested in two different vehicles in the same parking lot in West Bath. Russell was arrested in her vehicle in another parking lot in Bath.


East-west highway 'going to happen,' executive says

A top executive for the construction company that's proposing a 220-mile east-west highway across Maine says the road is inevitable.

Darryl Brown, project manager for Pittsfield-based Cianbro Corp., said it may take another 10 years, but it's "going to happen," he told the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday at the University of Maine at Farmington.

Supporters say the privately built, toll-funded $2.1 billion highway from Calais to Coburn Gore would allow the transportation of shipping containers from Eastport to Canada and the Midwest.

They say it would be a huge boost to the state economy.

Some environmental groups oppose the idea.

The Sun Journal reported that Brown said the highway would be open to all vehicles, not just trucks.


ACLU will join proponents of marijuana law reforms

Advocates will hold a news conference Thursday at the State House to announce their support for a bill to regulate and tax marijuana in a manner similar alcoholic beverages.

The ACLU of Maine will join members of the Legislature, the Marijuana Policy Project and other advocates of "sensible drug law reform" at noon at the State House Welcome Center, according to the ACLU.

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