Phish to perform in Augusta in October as part of fall tour

The renowned jam band Phish will perform Oct. 19 at the Augusta Civic Center as part of its fall U.S. tour.

A limited number of online tickets are available until noon Sept. 3 through the band’s website,

Tickets go on sale at noon on Sept. 10 through the civic center’s box office, 626-2400, or online at Tickets are $60, general admission.

Phish performed at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland in November 2009. The show sold out in two minutes, which The Portland Press Herald reported was the fastest show sellout in the history of the civic center.

Ticket holders at the Augusta show will be able to get free MP3 copies of the concert after it happens via


Animal rights group gives firemen pet oxygen masks

The animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is lending a hand to the largest fire department in Maine.

PETA said it is donating to the Portland Fire Department six oxygen masks that are specially made for dogs and cats.

The fire department had been using human oxygen masks to resuscitate pets overcome by smoke, and it was trying to raise $3,000 to buy special masks for pets.

Besides cats and dogs, PETA said the masks are suitable for ferrets, birds and even reptiles.
U.S. education secretary to visit King Middle School

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will visit King Middle School on Tuesday as the final stop on an eight-state school-bus tour, school officials announced.

It’s expected to be Duncan’s only stop in Maine, said Superintendent Jim Morse.

During the tour, Duncan plans to meet with and recognize teachers and others who are leading the way in improving student performance, teacher recruitment and school nutrition and safety.

Morse said the district has planned special events to welcome Duncan at King, in part because Portland teachers officially return to school Sept. 1 and students return Sept. 7.

King has received national recognition for its success in using the expeditionary learning model, which has students work on multidisciplinary projects that address real community issues.

In addition, King Principal Mike McCarthy is Maine’s 2010 Middle Level Principal of the Year and a finalist for the 2011 National Middle School Principal of the Year award.

Duncan’s visit will include a tour of three expeditionary learning projects with students and teachers and a discussion of school safety that includes parents and community members.


School superintendent to retire at end of 2010

School Superintendent Alan Hawkins plans to retire at the end of the calendar year.

Hawkins, who has been superintendent for five years, said in a news release that he would announce his retirement at the School Board meeting Tuesday night. Hawkins could not immediately be reached for comment.

In a letter that he planned to read to the board, Hawkins reflected on accomplishments in the district and said he especially cherished his experience in Cape Elizabeth.

“Though the decision is a difficult one for me, the time has come to retire from my current role as a superintendent,” Hawkins said in the letter. “It is done with great pride and humility at the opportunity of working collaboratively with so many in our community.”

Hawkins also wrote that he would be happy to stay on with the district in the role of a consultant through April 15, 2011, to help in the transition to a new superintendent and to work on the curriculum, instruction and assessment and the emergency plan.


Club adds candidates Scott, Moody to its meeting list

In a scheduling change, the Waterville Rotary Club will now host independent gubernatorial candidates Shawn Moody and Kevin Scott during luncheon meetings later this fall.

Initially, the club extended invitations only to independent candidate Eliot Cutler, Republican nominee Paul LePage and Democratic nominee Libby Mitchell.

“We had initially invited LePage and Mitchell and Cutler, and then the Scott campaign contacted me and then we sort of said, ‘Well, as a board of directors,’ we said, ‘we’ll invite the other two independent candidates as well,’” said Seth Sherman, president of the Waterville Rotary Club.

Michael Pajak of the Scott campaign said the campaign asked to be included in the schedule after Mitchell made her appearance in early August.

Scott is scheduled to speak on Sept. 27 and Moody on Oct. 4.


Police charge three people in vandalism at cemetery

Three Lewiston residents have been arrested on charges of vandalizing a city cemetery last week.

Police said 20-year-old Shane Haskell, 18-year-old Billie Coburn and Jesse Macia, who’s also 18, were charged with aggravated criminal mischief and desecration of a burial site.

More than 150 graves at the Riverside Cemetery were toppled between Thursday night and Friday morning. Some damaged markers are 200 years old and weigh a half-ton or more.

On Monday, dozens of players from the Lewiston Maineiacs hockey team helped repair the damage.  The team is the local affiliate of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.


Employee complaint spurs safety inquiry at hospital

Federal health and safety officials say they’re investigating worker conditions at Acadia Hospital in Bangor in response to an employee complaint.

The Bangor Daily News said the investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration started about a month ago amid allegations that policy changes, understaffing and inadequate training have led to unsafe working conditions.

OSHA officials are not commenting on the specifics of their investigation. Officials at Acadia, a psychiatric hospital with about 600 employees, said they are cooperating fully.

Acadia nurse Katie Gardner said employees have been injured in recent months because of policy changes that have left staff more vulnerable to physically disruptive or vulnerable patients.

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