Dispatcher spots suspect in burglary from his desk

Police arrested a man on a burglary charge early Thursday morning, helped by a dispatcher who saw the alleged burglar from a desk at police headquarters.

Police said a burglar alarm from the Pepper Club restaurant on Middle Street came in shortly after 2 a.m. A dispatcher on the fourth floor of the nearby police station looked out a window and saw a man coming out of the building.

The dispatcher gave officers a description of the man, and John Cella, 45, of Portland was arrested a few minutes later. Cella was held on charges of burglary, criminal mischief and possession of burglary tools. He also was charged with criminal mischief and criminal trespass in an alleged burglary attempt at neighboring Hugo’s restaurant.

Police said Cella had cash that matched the amount reportedly taken from the Pepper Club. They also said blood was found at the restaurant, near where a door had been shattered, and Cella had fresh cuts when he was stopped while walking away from the area.

St. Joseph’s giving officers a discount on Web courses

Portland police are teaming up with St. Joseph’s College in Standish so officers can take courses online at a discount.

The college’s online Division of Graduate & Professional Studies will waive application fees and give officers a $50-per-course tuition discount, the city and the college said Thursday.

“Continuing education keeps us current and contemporary as an organization,” said Police Chief James Craig.

The college offers a range of courses, including criminal justice, and students can earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees.


Police: No signs of foul play in death of man at pond

The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office said there are no obvious signs of a crime in the death of a Naples man who was found submerged near his dock on Brandy Pond.

Deputies recovered the body of Brad S. Libby, 56, of 36 Golf Club Way at 6 p.m. Wednesday in about 6 feet of water.

The state medical examiner will try to determine the cause of Libby’s death. Officials with the sheriff’s office said he was accustomed to swimming off the dock. The medical examiner will try to determine whether a medical condition may have contributed to his death.


Board grants Calais LNG more time to find investor

The Maine Board of Environmental Protection has given the company that is trying to build a liquefied natural gas terminal in Calais another month to find a new investor.

A lawyer representing Calais LNG sent a letter to the board earlier this week, saying it needed until Sept. 11 to line up a financial backer.

Last month, the company pulled out of a long-planned hearing on its permit application for the project. A week later, the company said its lead investor, GS Power Holdings LLC, was selling its share and the company was looking for another investor.

Calais LNG asked the board to give it until Aug. 11, and the board agreed. On Monday, the company said it was in talks with potential financial partners and needed more time. The board granted that request Thursday.

In a letter to the company, Susan Lessard, the board’s chair, said she would grant the request to put the permit application on hold for a limited time.

Opponents argued that Calais LNG didn’t deserve an extension.


Car slides into pickup truck, killing man and his sister

A Bowdoinham man and his sister were killed before dawn Thursday when their car hit a pickup truck on Meadow Road in Topsham.

Randy Bishop, 50, and Donna Pottle, 39, of Bowdoin were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, said Lt. David Tripp of the Maine State Police.

The driver of the pickup truck, Andrew Thiebeault, 19, of Topsham was treated for minor injuries at Parkview Hospital in Brunswick and released, Tripp said.

The accident occurred around 4 a.m., as Bishop and Pottle drove north in their 1999 Saturn SL sedan. Tripp said the car crossed the centerline and slid sideways into the path of Thiebeault’s southbound 1997 Dodge 2500 truck.

The crash remains under investigation.



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