July 4, 2013

Local Dispatches

From staff and news services

PORTLAND

Woman stole a pickup truck to move furniture, police say

A Portland woman charged with stealing a pickup truck from a construction site guarded by two officers said she needed the truck to move some furniture, police said.

Mary Nyembo, 21, of Cumberland Avenue, was walking past a road construction site at Washington Avenue and Presumpscot Street at 9 a.m. Tuesday when she climbed into the black 2010 Ford F-150 pickup and drove off, police said.

The owner ran up to the two officers on a safety detail at the construction site, whose cruisers' blue emergency lights were flashing, and reported that someone had just driven off with his truck. He pointed it out heading west on Washington Avenue, and said he had left the keys in the center console.

The officers stopped the truck at Ocean Avenue and arrested Nyembo on charges that included unauthorized use of property, driving after being declared a habitual motor vehicle offender and violating bail conditions. Nyembo told the officer she had to move furniture and the truck looked like it would serve the purpose, police said.

She is being held without bail pending a court appearance.

 

Paving of Tukey's Bridge expected to cause delays

Maine Department of Transportation crews will begin working Monday to resurface the section of Interstate 295 southbound on Tukey's Bridge.

The heavily traveled bridge over Washington Avenue will be reduced from three lanes to two and a concrete barrier will be erected to protect workers. The work is expected to continue through July.

Because much of the work will be done during the day, the MDOT says drivers might experience delays, particularly during high-traffic times.

 

Arizona man is selected as new Metro general manager

The Greater Portland Transit District has hired an Arizona man as the new general manager of the Metro bus service.

Gregory Jordan has more than 20 years of experience in the transportation industry and currently is the deputy public works director for the city of Tempe, Ariz., where he oversees its multi-modal transit program.

"Greg has an extensive background dealing with issues facing Metro today -- improving rider services, dealing with financial constraints and working with other agencies to regionalize transit operations," said Bonny Rodden, president of the transit district's board.

Originally from Connecticut, Jordan got his start in transportation when he was a student bus driver at the University of Connecticut. He will begin work in Portland Sept. 3.

Jordan takes over for Don Gerrish, the former Brunswick town manager, who has served as Metro's interim manager for the past year.

Metro serves Portland Westbrook, Falmouth and South Portland. With an average of 1.4 million riders ever year, it is Maine's largest public transportation carrier.

AUGUSTA

Legislators to vote on bonds in fall rather than in January

Lawmakers plan to return to the Capitol this fall to consider bond proposals.

The Democratic-led Legislature is set to adjourn this month. But the Democratic leadership said Tuesday that legislators will return early to take up bond proposals, instead of waiting until January.

Democrats also are calling on Gov. Paul LePage to release more than $100 million in bonds that have been approved by the Legislature and voters. LePage said he would release the bonds when the hospital debt payment plan passed, which happened last month.

LePage's administration said Tuesday that officials are moving forward with the bonds release and have met with the state treasurer to review the final list of funding requests.

 

Governor provides $50,000 to drug treatment center

Gov. Paul LePage is directing $50,000 from his emergency contingency fund to a drug treatment center in Ellsworth.

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