Bombs damage mailboxes; three teenagers charged

Windham police have charged three teenagers, one of whom is 18, with criminal use of explosives, after several home-made explosives were detonated.

Police charged Travis E. Carignan, of Westbrook and two others Tuesday afternoon with felony charges after a series of seven detonations. Nobody was hurt but two mailboxes were damaged.

Windham police and the state Fire Marshal’s Office are continuing to investigate.

Police say the bombs were made from toilet bowl cleaner and other household materials based on instructions found on the Internet.

Police say the bombs were detonated in different sections of town, including Lazy Acres Lane, Highland Cliff Road, Webb Road and Covered Bridge Road.


Memorial event for judge to be held May 8 at USM

A public celebration of the life of Judge Frank M. Coffin will be held Saturday, May 8, at the Abromson Community Education Center at the University of Southern Maine’s Portland campus.

The event begins at 1:30 p.m., and parking will be free.

The celebration was originally scheduled In January, but was postponed because of a snowstorm.

Coffin, 90, died on Dec. 7. He served two terms in Congress as a Democrat, and then served from 1965 to 2006 as a judge on the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Coffin is one of three Maine judges to have won the Edward J. Devitt Distinguished Service to Justice Award, the highest award for a federal judge.


Health Insurance company plans to add 50 positions

A health insurance company in Portland will add 50 jobs as it seeks to expand.

Your Coverage Matters does business in 30 states, and CEO Jarrod Maxfield says the company is looking to double its work force by hiring and training licensed insurance agents.

The company sells supplemental indemnity plans, short-term medical plans and life and discount network plans. Soon it will offer full health and dental coverage plans.


Two dedicated volunteers to receive legal award

The Maine Volunteer Lawyers Project will present the first Minott Crowley Award today to its namesakes, Margaret Minott and Tim Crowley, for their commitment as volunteers to helping low-income Mainers.

The award will be presented during the agency’s annual volunteer reception, at 5 p.m. at the Mariners Church.

According to a release issued by the Volunteer Lawyers Project, the award was created “to honor two extraordinary volunteers.”

Crowley, a graduate of Harvard University and a veteran of the Korean War, began volunteering with the Volunteer Lawyers Project after retiring from a career in the insurance industry.

Minott began her work as a volunteer after retiring from the Portland School District. She is a graduate of Westbrook College and Northeastern Business College, and has also worked for the U.S. Navy and Maine Central Railroad.


Pine Tree Legal director receives civil liberties award

Nan Heald, executive director of Pine Tree Legal Assistance, is the recipient of the 2010 Justice Louis Scolnik Award.

The annual award, established in 1989 and presented by the Maine Civil Liberties Union Foundation, honors members of Maine’s legal community “who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the protection of civil liberties,” according to a release from the foundation.

The award is named for Scolnik, a former Maine Supreme Court Justice.

Heald will receive the award on Thursday, May 6, at the Harraseeket Inn in Freeport. A reception for event sponsors is scheduled for 6 p.m., with a ceremony to follow at 7 p.m. The featured speaker will be Mary Beth Tinker, one of the plaintiffs in a landmark students’ rights case in Iowa.

Heald has worked for Pine Tree since 1985 and became executive director in 1990.

“Nan Heald’s commitment to justice and improving legal access for all Mainers is extraordinary,” Shenna Bellows, executive director of the Maine Civil Liberties Union, said in a written statement.


Moore students prepare for Project Citizen Showcase

Two student teams from Lyman Moore Middle School will participate in the Project Citizen State Showcase at the State House in Augusta on May 7.

The Moore teams will present public policy research projects on school energy use and high school dropout prevention, school district officials announced.

Cape Elizabeth, Windham, Boothbay, Holden, Calais and Swan’s Island also will send teams to the showcase, according to KIDS Consortium, an Auburn nonprofit that coordinates the annual event.

Through Project Citizen, students identify and address problems in their communities by researching possible solutions, making recommendations and creating an action plan.

Teams from Moore have won the state showcase three times in the past 10 years.

The energy-use team scored the most points in a local showcase. Team members are Josh Brown, Ethan Pierce, Miranda Richman, Delaney Stokes and Christopher Wittig.

The dropout-prevention team took second place in the local showcase. Its members are King Cua, Georgia Drew, Olivia Gilbert, Abdi Sulub, Bryanna Trott and Alyssa Vaccaro.


Annual student art show opens Thursday at City Hall

The annual exhibit of artwork created by students in the city’s public schools will open Thursday at City Hall.

More than 500 paintings, drawings, sculptures, jewelry and other pieces will be displayed in hallways throughout the building on Congress Street through May 13.

Students in kindergarten through high school contributed artwork for the show. Admission is free and open to the public during regular business hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

An opening reception will be held Thursday from 3 to 6:30 p.m. The school district’s Gig Orchestra will perform from 3:30 to 4 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.


Police seize heroin following traffic stop

Westbrook Police and the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency seized more than five grams of heroin and arrested two people on drug trafficking charges Monday night.

According to a release from the Westbrook Police Department, officers stopped a vehicle on Main Street around 8:30 p.m.

Jennifer J. Grenier, 24, of Bridgton, was arrested on three outstanding warrants. She was transported to Cumberland County Jail, where she was searched and allegedly was in possession of heroin.

Korey Kittrell Barnes, 30, of South Portland, also was arrested as a result of the traffic stop. He was charged with trafficking in scheduled drugs, unlawful possession of scheduled drugs, and possession of a usable amount of marijuana.


Council backs school budget seeking 1.1 percent tax hike

The City Council on Monday approved a $41.1 million school budget that eliminates 25 positions.

Councilors voted 4-1 in favor of the budget, which other than a change reflecting an increase in state subsidy was the same as the version approved by the Board of Education last month. Rosemarie DeAngelis was opposed, and Tom Blake and Patti Smith were absent.

The property tax rate for the school portion of South Portland’s budget would increase 1.1 percent, or 11 cents, to $9.62 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. The impact would be lower than what was anticipated last month because an additional $130,685 in state subsidy was used to offset spending for the secondary schools capital reserve fund.

Only two of the 25 positions up for elimination are currently vacant. The positions include teachers, education technicians, assistant coaches, a guidance counselor, a truck driver and a clerk.

The budget still needs voter approval at the polls. on May 6.


Multiple gunshot wounds listed as cause of death

Officials say a man who was shot in an encounter with a Maine trooper and two U.S. Border Patrol agents died from multiple gunshot wounds.

The state medical examiner’s office reached the conclusion Monday after performing an autopsy on the body of 55-year-old Neil Begin.

The attorney general’s office said the shooting occurred after an “armed encounter” that occurred at Begin’s home in Cyr Plantation during a criminal investigation. Begin was airlifted after Friday’s shooting to a hospital in Bangor, where he died the following morning.

Administrator Jim Ferland said Tuesday an initial report that the autopsy was inconclusive was a misunderstanding and that the information was released before the autopsy results became available.


$1 million personal loan gives Otten fundraising lead

Republican Les Otten led in fundraising as candidates for Maine governor who are raising private campaign dollars faced Tuesday’s deadline to file finance reports for the June 8 primary.

Otten, one of seven Republicans in the primary race, reported $106,000 in contributions while lending his campaign another $1.2 million.

Republican Bruce Poliquin reported that he has collected more than $600,000. With in-kind contributions, he says he has raised more than $860,000.

Among other Republicans, Steve Abbott has raised just under $300,000, Matt Jacobson $150,000 and Paul LePage $106,000. LePage also reported a $111,000 loan to his campaign. William Beardsley had not yet filed reports. The filing deadline was midnight.

In the Democratic race, Steve Rowe reported raising about $424,000 through April 20, while Rosa Scarcelli raised nearly $324,000.

The two other Democrats in the race, Libby Mitchell and Pat McGowan, are receiving public campaign money, as is Republican Peter Mills.


Politician, troop greeter Kay Lebowitz dead at 94

Former Maine state Rep. Catherine “Kay” Lebowitz, who also served as mayor of Bangor, died Monday. She was 94.

After her political career, Lebowitz became active with the Maine Troop Greeters who welcome military members home after overseas duty.

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine called Lebowitz “a remarkable woman, a wonderful friend and a great patriot.”

U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe called Lebowitz a “person of unfailing generosity.”-


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