Portland man identified as victim of fatal stabbing

Police on Monday released the name of the man who was stabbed to death last week inside an apartment on Grant Street.

Lt. Gary Rogers said Richard Meyers, 58, of Portland was found dead in an apartment at 55 Grant St. late Thursday night.

The state Medical Examiner’s Office, which did an autopsy Sunday, ruled that Meyers’ death was caused by stab wounds.

Shawn Garland, 25, of 55 Grant St. has been charged with murder in connection with the stabbing.

Police Chief James Craig told reporters last week that the victim was stabbed with a knife. Craig also said the men knew each other.


School board to vote on Reiche principal candidate

Superintendent Jim Morse has named Paul Yarnevich principal of Reiche Community School, in the city’s West End neighborhood.

The School Committee will be asked to endorse the appointment when it meets at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Room 250 at Casco Bay High School.

Yarnevich was principal of Trinity Catholic School in Lewiston for the past three years and previously worked at several schools in Arizona.

He would replace Marcia Gendron, who has assumed the principal’s position at East End Community School.

From 2003 to 2007, Yarnevich served as assistant principal for operations and resources at Washington High School in Phoenix, and from 2001 to 2003, he was dean of students and summer school principal at Seton Catholic High School in Chandler, Ariz.

He has a bachelor’s degree in social studies and education and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University.


Firefighters, others to raise funds for pet oxygen masks

The Portland Fire Department, the Portland Downtown District and Planet Dog Foundation are kicking off a $3,000 fundraising effort to equip firetrucks with oxygen masks for pets.

The masks, which cost $40 apiece, are designed to fit dogs and cats and come in a variety of sizes. Officials say the goal is to have all sizes on each firetruck in Maine’s largest city.

Chief Fred LaMontagne says the first priority of firefighters is protecting people. But pets are important, too, he said. Often, the first words out of homeowners’ mouths during a fire are pleas to help save their beloved pet.


Students offered free rides as incentive to take bus

College students are being offered free bus rides in and around Maine’s largest city as a way to get them to try public transportation.

Portland’s METRO bus service and the South Portland Bus Service are offering free rides from Aug. 23 to Sept. 30 to students with IDs from the University of Southern Maine, the University of New England, Southern Maine Community College, Maine College of Art, Kaplan University and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies.

Bus service officials said the offer is their way of welcoming students back to college while letting them try the bus services for free.

After September, some of the schools will continue to offer students free or discounted bus rides.


Inaccurate graduation data reported to state agency

The latest reported graduation rate for Falmouth High School is wrong because administrators submitted inaccurate information to the Maine Department of Education, state and local officials said.

Statewide figures released last month had put Falmouth High’s graduation rate in 2008-2009 at 89.71 percent – down from 97.42 percent in 2007-2008.

In fact, the high school’s graduation rate fell only 3.41 points, state and local officials said. Superintendent Barbara Powers said her district made errors under a new state reporting formula.

Using corrected data, the rate was recalculated to 94.01 percent, according to a letter from Angela Faherty, Maine’s acting commissioner of education.

The lower rate will remain on state and federal records because it has already been submitted to the U.S. Department of Education, Faherty said.

She noted that the state held training sessions on how to use the new formula, extended the reporting deadline to Dec. 31, 2009, and continued to work with districts to correct errors after that date.

Faherty also noted that Falmouth’s reported graduation rate is high enough that it won’t affect the school’s chances for state or federal funding.


Fire chief wants information before approving fall event

The fire chief says he wants more information about emergency response plans during Harvestfest before approving it.

The event, set for Oct. 16, is being held in York Beach instead of York Village for the first time in its 25-year history.

York Beach Fire Chief David Bridges plans to meet with police to make sure everyone’s clear about plans to get volunteer firefighters to the Railroad Avenue fire station if there’s a fire call during the festival, The Portsmouth (N.H.) Herald reported.


Hiker rescued after falling, injuring legs during descent

Authorities say a hiker was rescued after falling and injuring her legs in the Gulf Hagas region.

Jody Rackcliffe, 28, of Blue Hill was flown out of the woods by helicopter early Sunday night after falling while descending the Gulf View Lookout, according to Warden Roger Guay of the state Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

She was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center and treated for a fractured or dislocated right ankle and injuries to her left leg, the Bangor Daily News reported.


Folk music icon Guthrie to play Kents Hill School

International folk music icon Arlo Guthrie will bring his tour Journey On, with special guests Abe Guthrie and the Burns Sisters, to Kents Hill School on Nov. 18.

The 7:30 p.m. concert in the Performing Arts Center at Newton Hall is the second in the Aleigh Mills Concert Series, inaugurated by Tim and Donna Mills of Fayette in memory of their daughter.

Tickets are available online at www.kentshill.org/concertseries or by calling 685-4914.


Accused of robbing bank, man pleads not guilty

A Greyhound bus driver accused of robbing a bank in Orono has pleaded not guilty.

Federal Magistrate Judge Margaret Kravchuk accepted Robert Ferguson’s plea Monday. Trial date will be set later for the 47-year-old Ferguson.

Ferguson, of Lowell, Mass., was arrested last month as the FBI sought help catching a suspect in at least 10 bank robberies in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New Hampshire. The FBI dubbed the suspect the “burly bandit” because of his stocky build.

Ferguson will be held without bail pending trial in Maine, the Bangor Daily News reported.

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