Wednesday, March 12, 2014
From staff and news services
School department to lease space for Adult Ed program
The school board has authorized the superintendent to lease space to house the recently displaced Portland Adult Education program.
The unanimous vote Tuesday will allow the district to find a short-term home for the program, said Peter Eglinton, Portland schools' chief operations officer, during the meeting.
Classes are scheduled to begin Sept. 16. In the past, officials said the leased space would be at the former Cathedral School, with a portion of students also taking classes on the ground floor of Portland High School.
It was unclear if the current lease under negotiation is for space at the Cathedral School. Eglinton did not return a call for comment Wednesday.
Portland Adult Education reaches more than 4,000 people each year and teaches English language skills, performs GED testing, and teaches job skills.
The school was in the former West School, but that building's failing condition forced the program to move out in June.
Rockland woman admits $400,000 theft from bank
A Rockland woman has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $400,000 from the bank where she worked.
Federal prosecutors say Shauna Quinn pleaded guilty to bank fraud Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Portland.
Investigators say that from July 2008 to June 2011, while Quinn, 44, worked as a collections manager at Rockland Savings Bank, she created home equity lines of credit and a share loan in the names of family members and had more than $400,000 in funds improperly withdrawn from those loans.
She increased the authorized amounts of lines of credit without approval, changed customers' mail addresses without consent, improperly posted transactions and created fictitious loan documents.
She faces up to 30 years in prison at sentencing, which has not been scheduled.
Guv-to-guv lobster gift forwarded to soup kitchen
A shipment of Maine lobster products to New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan is getting served up in a soup kitchen.
A spokeswoman for Hassan says the lobster meat, bisque and spreads were donated Tuesday to the Friendly Kitchen in Concord. Manager Jennifer Lombardo told the Concord Monitor that "we definitely will serve it to some of our guests."
Maine Gov. Paul LePage shipped lobster products Monday to the other 49 governors to promote Maine lobster.
LePage says the shipments allow friends and colleagues across the country a chance to experience "the flavor of Maine." He says the lobster industry is vital to Maine's economy, generating nearly $1 billion last year.
Effort to put Common Core repeal on ballot under way
Opponents of new educational standards are highlighting a campaign to repeal them in Maine through a statewide vote.
Representatives from the Maine Equal Rights Center and No Common Core Maine announced during a news conference Wednesday that they'll soon begin gathering signatures to place a measure to repeal the Common Core Standards on the November 2014 ballot.
The groups were flanked during the event at the Capitol by supporters holding signs expressing sentiments such as "Stop experimenting, start educating."
The opponents argue that the standards usurp local control from school districts and should be left up to the voters.
But Maine education officials say the standards are merely educational goals and that districts still make curriculum decisions.
The Common Core Standards have been adopted by 45 states.
Body of 56-year-old man found in road near Route 201
The Sagadahoc County Sheriff's Office says there appears to be nothing suspicious in the death of a 56-year-old man whose body was found lying in Adams Road in Bowdoin just before sunrise.
Chief Deputy Brett Strout said deputies were notified at 5:15 a.m. that the body was found on the road near Route 201. They were not able to identify the body immediately, he said.
Further details about the man's death are awaiting an analysis by the state Medical Examiner's Office, Strout said.
Stout said he did not want to release the man's identity until he was sure his family had been notified.
Crew quickly douse fire in ice cream factory attic
A small fire in the attic of Gifford's Famous Ice Cream's factory building, sparked by a saw being used to renovate the roof, was extinguished by fire crews Wednesday.
A call went into Skowhegan Fire Department at 12:25 p.m. for a fire at Gifford's on Hathaway Road, according to Capt. Mike Savage.
Sparks from the saw set fire to debris in the attic, Savage said, and employees of Gifford's helped control the flames until fire crews arrived.
"Some of the employees had a garden hose in the building and used that to keep the flames from spreading," Savage said.
No one was injured, although one Gifford's employee was checked for smoke inhalation and one firefighter was checked for dehydration. An intern who answered the phone at Gifford's said the employee is OK.
The fire was under control by 12:48 p.m. and the ice cream shop was closed for about an hour.
Further delay granted in child-porn case sentencing
The sentencing of a former Maine college basketball star on child pornography charges has been delayed again.
Dana Wilson, 62, of Brewer was scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday, but told the judge he had fired his attorney over concerns about the way his case had been handled and requested a court-appointed lawyer. The judge agreed. No new date was set.
Wilson's former attorney, Jeff Silverstein, as well as the prosecutor, told WABI-TV they thought the case was handled well.
Wilson pleaded no contest in May to possessing child porn. He was scheduled to be sentenced last month but the hearing was postponed so Wilson's psychologist could testify.
Wilson averaged an NCAA Division III best nearly 35 points a game his senior year at Husson College in 1974.
Man found guilty of assault, but not attempted murder
A Lewiston man charged with stabbing his on-and-off girlfriend has been acquitted of an attempted murder charge but convicted of lesser charges including elevated aggravated assault.
The Androscoggin County Superior Court jury deliberated for almost three hours Tuesday before reaching a verdict in the trial of Cleveland Cruthirds, 27.
Cruthirds' lawyer, John Paul DeGrinney, told the Sun Journal that while satisfied with an acquittal on the most serious charge, he plans to appeal based on what he called a flawed police investigation including the loss of his client's alibi witness statements.
Authorities alleged Cruthirds stabbed Naomi Swift 21 times in December 2011 because he was angry and jealous she had been in contact with ex-boyfriends. Cruthirds denied attacking Swift.