May 17, 2013

Local & State Dispatches

From staff and news services

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WESTBROOK

Teen center changes its name, celebrates 15 years

The Mission Possible Teen Center marked its 15th anniversary Thursday by changing its name to the My Place Teen Center.

The teen center unveiled its new name and logo at an event Thursday at the center on Main Street. The logo includes a drawing of the distinct red doors at the entrance to the center.

The teen center opened in the Dana Warp Mill on May 16, 1998, and moved to its current location in 2004. It provides a place for 10- to 18-year-olds to hang out after school, have dinner, get help with homework and participate in community service. It serves up to 70 kids per day.

"We chose My Place Teen Center in part because our teens often refer to the center as my place to chill, my place to be safe, my place to hang out with friends," said Executive Director Donna Dwyer, in a prepared statement.

AUBURN

It's iPads, not laptops, for Auburn school students

The Auburn School Department has elected to go with Apple iPads instead of the state's top choice -- a laptop -- for middle and high schools.

Gov. Paul LePage announced last month that a Hewlett-Packard laptop was the choice to replace Apple laptops. But it gave local school districts the option of going with one of four other state-approved options, including the Apple tablet.

The Sun Journal said the school committee was told that iPads are cheaper so there would be no additional cost.

Mike Muir, Multiple Pathways Leader for Auburn schools, said Apple has a stronger focus on education, while HP has a stronger focus on business. LePage liked HP's business focus, saying students are more likely to be working on a Windows-based machine when they enter the work force.

LEWISTON

Agents arrest couple after search turns up drugs

Drug agents have arrested a Lewiston couple after a search of their apartment and vehicle yielded almost 500 prescription pills and more than $3,500 in counterfeit U.S. currency.

The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency says Jermaine Johnson, 39, and Michelle Grimmo, 43, were arrested this week on prescription drug trafficking charges.

Police say Johnson was in possession of 121 oxycodone pills when he was arrested in Sabattus.

The Sun Journal reported that a search of their apartment yielded $20,000 in cash and 471 oxycodone pills with a street value of as much as $20,000.

The counterfeit money as well as a handgun were found in Johnson's vehicle.

They are being held on bail. It was not clear if they had lawyers.

PORTSMOUTH, N.H.

New bridge span will be floated into place in June

The final span of the new Memorial Bridge connecting New Hampshire and Maine is scheduled to be floated into place next month.

The Coast Guard is planning to close the Piscataqua River to maritime traffic from 9 a.m. June 10 to 9 a.m. June 15 to allow the contractor full access to the bridge.

The contractor, Archer Western Contractors, says the center span is being assembled aboard the barge Cape Cod, which is docked at the Port of New Hampshire.

It will be the most complicated of three spans to put into place.

"We will be working 24 hours a day for the duration of the 5-day channel closure," said Steve DelGrosso, project manager.

The closure will be similar to a three-day closure in February 2012 that took place when the old bridge's center span was removed.

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