December 19, 2012

Local & State Dispatches

From staff and news service reports

(Continued from page 1)

A year in the making, the policy will take years to implement as construction and street revamping projects arise.

"The city has taken an important step to assure that each dollar spent on roadways and walkways is done so that all users will benefit now and into the future," said Mayor Michael Brennan, in a prepared statement.

First up to incorporate the policy will be projects on Franklin Street, Forest Avenue and outer Congress Street. 

Share-the-road signs put up while bridge replaced

Transportation planners have posted signs on the Martin's Point Bridge directing drivers to share the road during the year-long-plus project to replace the bridge.

The project, including removal of the more than 60-year-old bridge, is expected to be finished in early 2014, but the new bridge is likely to open earlier.

The new road will have ample shoulders and sidewalks for all forms of non-automotive transportation, said Paul Niehoff, senior transportation planner for the Portland Area Comprehensive Transportation System, a regional planning organization. 

Casco Bay nonprofit names two new board members

Lori Thayer of Portland and Tay Veitch, an entrepreneur from Yarmouth, have been elected to the 21-member board of directors of Friends of Casco Bay/Casco Baykeeper.

The nonprofit organization, based in South Portland, was established in 1989 to protect the environmental health of Casco Bay through advocacy, research, education and collaborative partnerships with other nonprofits and agencies. It now has 1,200 members.

Thayer, a medical and environmental anthropologist originally from Farmington, is a research associate at the University of New England's Center for Community and Public Health in Biddeford.

Veitch describes himself as a "recovering attorney" -- a refreshing perspective for the board, which already has five lawyers, said Mary Cerullo, associate director.

Veitch now operates a manufacturing company that designs and fabricates machinery and assembles automated and non-automated equipment.

Each board member can serve as many as three three-year terms.


Police seeking hit-and-run driver who hit girl, mailbox

Authorities are searching for a hit-and-run driver whose car injured a 13-year-old girl who was shoveling snow away from her family's mailbox.

The Androscoggin County Sheriff's Department said in a statement released early Tuesday that the girl suffered non-life threatening injuries Monday afternoon.

Investigators are seeking help from the public in finding the driver and the vehicle involved in the crash.

They describe the car as a blue car that was last seen going west on Church Hill road toward Turner. The car should have some noticeable damage on the passenger side after hitting the girl and the mailbox.


Tribal officials, state name five to probe child abuse

Tribal representatives and the state have named five people to lead an investigation into past abuses by child welfare agents who systematically removed tribal children from their households, breaking up families and exposing some to abuse in foster care.

The naming of the commissioners on Tuesday was a milestone in the "truth and reconciliation" process aimed at exploring tribal experiences with the child welfare system.

Interim director Carolyn Morrison says the goal is to uncover the truth, promote healing and change the system so that the harm is not repeated.

The panel will consist of the secretary of state, a university professor, a former state Board of Education chairwoman and two Native Americans with ties to tribes in South Dakota and Massachusetts.


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