May 15, 2013

Local & State Dispatches

From staff and news services

PORTLAND

Westbrook woman's alleged murderer indicted

The New York man who is accused of murdering Margarita Fisenko Scott of Westbrook, whose body was found in her vehicle in a motel parking lot, has been indicted by a Cumberland County grand jury.

Anthony Pratt Jr., 19, of Queens, N.Y., was scheduled to appear in Cumberland County Unified Criminal Court on Tuesday for arraignment on the murder charge and a hearing on whether he will be allowed to be freed on bail. But one of his attorneys filed a motion to continue the hearing until a witness is available to testify. No new date has been set.

Police say Pratt killed Scott, 29, with a single gunshot in the first-floor apartment at 266 West Concord St. in Portland on Nov. 11, weeks before her body was found in the back of her 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer in the parking lot of the Motel 6 on Riverside Street.

Pratt has remained in custody since his arrest in New York City on April 2.

 

'Fish Friends' raise and release salmon eggs

Some fourth-graders are doing their part to help the endangered Atlantic salmon.

Students from Longfellow Elementary School raised salmon eggs in class and released the fish into a stream near Highland Lake in Westbrook as part of the "Fish Friends" program.

Teachers received a $900 grant from the Portland Education Foundation to pay for an aquarium, a chiller to help keep the water cold enough and other supplies. The school received 200 salmon eggs in February.

The program teaches students about the endangered Atlantic salmon, a native species.

The big finish was when the class packed 150 fish into a cooler. Each student released one into the stream.

AUGUSTA

Tally of homeless in Maine shows rise of eight percent

A survey of Maine's homeless population counted nearly 1,200 people who didn't have a place to live one night in January.

The Maine State Housing Authority says 1,175 individuals were counted living in emergency shelters, in cars and tents, and on the street in the annual Point in Time Survey on Jan. 30.

Of that total, 480 were in Portland and 695 were in the rest of the state. The number included 297 families and 169 children.

The tally is an 8 percent increase over the 2012 survey, when 1,050 homeless people were counted.

The Point in Time Survey provides a snapshot of Maine's homeless population. The housing authority says 7,745 different people sought refuge last year in homeless shelters across the state.

BUXTON

Student to represent Maine at National Geographic Bee

Archer Thomas, an eighth-grader at Bonny Eagle Middle School, will represent Maine at the 25th annual National Geographic Bee in Washington, D.C., May 20-22.

The 54 students from grades 4 to 8 will compete for three college scholarships worth $50,000. Google is the sponsor of this year's contest.

The champion will win a $25,000 college scholarship and lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society. Second- and third-place finishers will be awarded college scholarships of $15,000 and $10,000, respectively.

The 54 finalists represent the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Atlantic and Pacific territories, and Department of Defense dependents schools.

The preliminary round of the National Geographic Bee will be held on Monday. The 10 finalists will each win $500 and advance to the final round on May 22, moderated by "Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek.

The final round will be held at the National Theatre in Washington, D.C., and tickets will be sold to the public at http://nglive.org/geobee. National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo WILD will air the final round at 7 p.m. on May 23.

LEWISTON

Red Cross closes shelter for victims of three recent fires

The American Red Cross said Tuesday that it has closed the shelter for victims of the three fires that destroyed nearly 80 apartments and displaced nearly 200 residents over a little more than a week.

An unknown number of victims moved from the shelter to hotel rooms, said Red Cross spokeswoman Jennifer Gaylord. The shelter was established at the Androscoggin Bank Collisee and had more than two dozen beds. It remained open for 10 days.

Relief efforts for people who still need housing will be overseen by Lewiston's social service department, which will administer the $60,000 in state aid allocated by the Legislature and Gov. Paul LePage's office to help victims pay for new apartments.

STANDISH

Roosevelt granddaughter addresses graduating class

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, the granddaughter of former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt, advised the Saint Joseph's College class of 2013 to "consider the part you wish to play in the world" at commencement Saturday.

"My charge to you ... is the same charge my grandfather put forth when he addressed the class of 1932 at Oglethorpe University, in the grip of the Great Depression: 'We need enthusiasm, imagination, and the ability to face facts, even unpleasant ones, bravely," said Roosevelt, who is president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Northern New England.

Saint Joseph's celebrated the achievements of 179 on-campus students and 337 students from the online division. The college conferred 12 associate, 297 baccalaureate and 208 graduate degrees. The graduates come from 43 states, the Philippines, Canada and South Korea.

 

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