Police identify body, say foul play is not suspected

Police have identified a body found floating in Portland Harbor.

Lt. Gary Rogers said Monday that an autopsy indicated 39-year-old Todd Madore of Mapleton had drowned. Police do not suspect foul play.

Two fishermen found the body late Sunday afternoon, wedged between Custom House Wharf and a fishing boat.

Police told The Portland Press Herald that they found an old backpack and a half-empty bottle of beer on the pier believed to have belonged to the victim.


Defense contractors submit bids to build more warships

Defense contractors that came up with radically different designs for shore-hugging warships for the Navy have delivered bids on a lucrative contract to build 10 more of them.

Officials from Lockheed Martin and Austal USA confirmed their bids were submitted Monday. The contract calls for construction of two littoral combat ships with options for up to 10 ships with a value of $4.8 billion. The Navy hopes to announce the winner this summer.

Each team has delivered one ship and is building a second. Austal’s ship is a tri-hulled aluminum trimaran, while Lockheed’s version utilizes a single steel hull.

Austal broke away from its partner, Maine’s Bath Iron Works, for the contract. That allows BIW to bid on a separate five-ship contract in 2012.


Wardens target float planes to keep invasive plants out

Game wardens started off by targeting motor boat owners in the quest to keep invasive aquatic plants out of Maine’s lakes and ponds. Now they’re targeting float planes, as well.

Pilots of float planes must purchase a $20 sticker from the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife that reads: “Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers — Preserve Maine’s Waters” and affix it to the pontoon.

The Maine Legislature added seaplanes to the existing law because of the potential for them to transport and transfer invasive aquatic plants. The seaplane addition went into effect on Jan. 1.

The idea is to make sure there are no remnants of milfoil or other invasive plants on boats and propellers — and now seaplanes — before they go into Maine waters.


State creates new Web site devoted to its Civil War role

The state has created a new Web site devoted to the state’s role in the Civil War, according to Gov. John Baldacci.

Baldacci announced the site Monday, the 149th anniversary of the first shot of the war at Fort Sumter in South Carolina.

The first information on the site is a list of Civil War monuments in Maine, compiled by state historian Earle Shettleworth.

More information will be added in the months ahead in preparation for the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, Baldacci said.


County jail inmate’s suicide remains under investigation

The Maine Department of Corrections and the state police are investigating the suicide of an inmate at the Androscoggin County Jail.

Sheriff Guy Desjardins said he won’t release the name of the inmate who hanged himself with a piece of bedsheet on Saturday afternoon until he’s sure all the man’s family has been notified.

The inmate was not considered a suicide risk, but was under observation because correctional officers suspected he was not taking his prescribed medication, the Sun Journal of Lewiston reported.


Crowd gathers to honor crew lost in sub accident

About 300 people gathered to honor the crew of the USS Thresher, which disappeared 47 years ago in the worst submarine accident ever in terms of lives lost.

The families of the 129 men who died gathered at Traip Academy in Kittery on Saturday afternoon. Shipyard Cmdr. Bryant Fuller was among those who addressed the crowd.

Faulty piping was blamed for causing the Thresher to sink below crush depth while it was conducting a test trial off the coast of Cape Cod. At the time, the nuclear-powered, fast-attack sub, which was built at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, was the most advanced in the world.

The bodies of the crew were never recovered.


School Board expected to adopt budget today

The School Board is expected to adopt a school budget today.

During its budget workshops, much of the board’s attention has been focused on a “midpoint” budget scenario. Superintendent Alan Hawkins had submitted three budget scenarios: a $20.2 million budget that would keep the school portion of the tax rate at $12.54 per $1,000 of assessed valuation; a $21 million budget that would maintain current staffing and services while increasing the tax rate 5 percent; and a proposal that fell about midway between the two.

After the last budget workshop, the midpoint budget stood at $20.67 million, a 3 percent spending increase over the current budget. It would lead to a tax rate increase of 2.75 percent, or 30 cents, per $1,000 valuation.

School Board Chairwoman Rebecca Millett said in a statement that individual board members have not said which budget or budget elements they would support.

The current midpoint proposal would result in a net staff decrease of 2.65 full-time positions.

Cuts include a middle school teacher, a Pond Cove Elementary School education technician and part-time middle school positions including librarian, educational technician, administrative support and computer lab educational technician. Also out of the budget are part-time Mandarin and executive skills teachers at the high school and a full-time media center education technician at Pond Cove.

Staff additions include a full-time occupational therapy assistant and high school education technician, and a part-time middle school executive functioning teacher, nurse and psychological services positions.


Local woman arrested for selling Ecstacy tablets

A 19-year-old Rockland woman remained in jail this morning after being arrested Sunday night on charges of selling Ecstacy tablets.

The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency’s midcoast regional task force arrested Sadie Knight following a monthlong investigation into the sale of Ecstacy in the Rockland area. Officers stopped Knight and allegedly found 63 Ecstasy tablets worth $1,600 on the street, $300 cash and an unloaded .22 caliber handgun hidden in her vehicle, police said.

Knight was taken to Knox County Jail where she was being held on $2,500 bail.


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