March 14, 2013

Local & State Dispatches

From staff and news services

(Continued from page 1)

Police say none of the images was of local children.


Delegation backs request for federal disaster status

Maine's congressional delegation is backing Gov. Paul LePage's request for a presidential disaster declaration for the state to help cover the costs of severe weather and a blizzard that hit in early February.

The delegation sent a letter to President Obama on Wednesday saying many communities don't have the funds for future snow removal and infrastructure repairs after responding to the storm on Feb. 8 and 9. They say the economic downturn and natural disasters last year had already shrunk local budgets before the storm hit.

The storm dropped as much as 30 inches of snow in some areas. Coastal flooding also caused damage.

LePage has sought federal public assistance for Androscoggin, Cumberland, Knox and York counties to recover from severe winter weather and flooding in the state last month.


Police seek help finding out who vandalized Scout camp

Police are seeking the public's help in finding those responsible for widespread vandalism and theft from a Central Maine Girl Scout camp.

State police say every building at Camp Kirkwold in Readfield had doors and windows broken, and in those buildings with plumbing, all the copper piping was ripped out.

Supplies were strewn throughout the 100-acre lakeside camp.

Police said the vandalism was discovered early this month during a routine check, but probably occurred in January or early February.

Suspects used canoes to transport stolen property up a hill to a road.

A Girl Scouts of Maine spokeswoman says officials are still estimating the cost of the damage, but the property is insured and the camp is expected to open as normal this summer.


Fatal fire blamed on careless use of smoking materials

Investigators with the state Fire Marshal's Office say careless disposal of smoking materials is the likely cause of a fatal house fire in Presque Isle last weekend.

The blaze discovered about 4:30 a.m. Sunday killed Shawn Withington, 36. He was found in a bedroom.

WABI-TV reported Tuesday that the medical examiner determined he died from smoke inhalation.

Investigators said there were no working smoke detectors in the home.

Withington lived in the home with his girlfriend and 4-year-old daughter, but they were not home at the time.

His girlfriend discovered the fire when she returned home with friends. Withington had gone out with them but returned home early.


College agrees to rid itself of fossil-fuel investments

The College of the Atlantic is selling off its investments in fossil fuel-related businesses such as oil, gas and coal companies.

At a special meeting Monday, trustees accepted a student's proposal calling on the college to divest itself of those investments in an effort to combat global warming and affirm its commitment to the environment.

Second-year student Lucas Burdick, who led the divestment campaign, said divesting is "morally and politically just." He said divestment is nothing more than reinvestment and doesn't mean the school will lose money or have to raise tuition.

The college says about $1 million of its $30 million endowment was invested in fossil fuel companies.


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