Local man, teen charged in theft of manhole covers

A Portland man and a 16-year-old face felony theft charges after allegedly trying to sell stolen manhole covers hidden in a load of scrap metal, police said.

City officials were notified by residents that many manhole covers and sewer grates had been taken Sunday night.

Thirteen were found Monday in the scrap pile at Schnitzer Steel on Somerset Drive, which does not buy them because of the likelihood they are stolen.

Another load with 12 covers among other scrap was delivered to Schnitzer at about 7 a.m. Tuesday. Each cover weighs about 300 pounds and costs the city $130.

Police charged Charles Roberts, 18, and a Portland teen with felony theft because the combined value of the stolen covers exceeds $2,000, police said.

Walk for Recovery to benefit alcohol and drug education

Groups concerned about rising substance abuse plan to hold Portland’s first Walk for Recovery on Sept. 11.

The walk is being organized by Catholic Charities Maine’s Counseling Services along with Milestone Foundation, Crossroads for Women, Day One and Serenity House. It corresponds with National Alcohol and Drug Recovery Month.

Participation is free, but organizers are asking walkers for $10 donations to support alcohol and drug addiction education.

The Portland walk will begin at 12:30 p.m. at Catholic Charities Maine Counseling Services, 250 Anderson St., and proceed around the Eastern Promenade trail to the Ocean Gateway Terminal (3.2-mile round trip).

T-shirts will be given to the first 250 registrants, and free refreshments and activities will be available. Participants can register online.

For more information or to volunteer or donate, contact Kristen Wells at 321-7806 or [email protected]

Police suspect body found in harbor was a transient

Police say the body of a man found in Portland Harbor is believed to be a transient who fell into the water.
Portland police say they were called early Monday night after a man’s body was spotted under a dock along the city’s waterfront.

Police said they don’t consider the death to be suspicious, but will review video from surveillance cameras in the area in an attempt to learn more.

There was no word on the man’s identity.

Advocates asking senators to intervene in deportation

Advocates for a Guatemalan man who faces deportation are urging Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins to intervene in his case.

Selvin Arevalo’s presence in the country came to the attention of federal immigration authorities in April after he fled the scene of a minor accident involving his work van. Arevalo had entered the country illegally a decade ago as a teenager and had been working as a house painter and supporting his family in Guatemala. He had been attending night school and was on the verge of receiving his General Equivalency Diploma when he was detained.

Arevalo’s supporters say he came to the United States to flee poverty and gangs. They cite his accomplishments and contributions to the Portland community as reasons that he should be allowed to stay.

Arevalo’s supporters also want the senators to push for passage of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors bill, also known as the DREAM Act. The legislation would provide ways for some undocumented young people to earn legal permanent residency and citizenship.

Second local man charged with arson in apartment fire

A Topsham man has been arrested on arson charges in connection with a fire that destroyed a vacant Brunswick Naval Air Station apartment building earlier this month.

State fire marshals and Topsham police charged Zechariah Menchaca, 18, on Monday with arson. He is being held on $100,000 bail in Two Bridges Jail in Wiscasset.

The fire destroyed a four-unit apartment building on the Brunswick Naval Air Station Annex in Topsham. It was vacant and nobody was injured.

Another man, Robi Saptura, 21, was also charged with arson in the fire and was arrested the day after the blaze, police said. Both men live in Merrymeeting Condominiums in Topsham.

Harpswell woman arrested for stabbing her husband

A Harpswell woman is being held at Cumberland County Jail on charges she stabbed her husband Tuesday morning.
Misun Crawford, 28, was arrested just after 7 a.m. Her husband was taken to Maine Medical Center for surgery and is expected to be released later today, according to the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities say Crawford attacked her husband, James Crawford, 58, with a steak knife, cutting his hand and wounding him twice in the torso, according to Capt. Shawn O’Leary of the sheriff’s office.

The attack took place at their house at 10 Log Drive in the Cundy’s Harbor section of town. James Crawford fled with the couple’s 4-year-old son to a neighbor’s house, O’Leary said. The resident took the child while James Crawford wrestled the knife away from his wife.

The child was not hurt.

Misun Crawford is being held on $100,000 bail on charges of elevated aggravated domestic violence assault.

Plane lands without gear down, slides off runway

A pilot who said he forgot to put his landing gear down damaged his plane but was not hurt at Sanford Regional Airport this morning.

Airport manager Dana Parry said the plane landed at about 9:20 a.m. after flying in from Biddeford. The propeller bent and the plane slid a few hundred feet before sliding off the runway, he said.

“The pilot said he simply forgot, as part of his prelanding checklist, to put his gear down,” Parry said. The pilot asked that his name not be released and Parry said he was complying with that request.

The airport closed immediately after the landing, Parry said, and reopened shortly before 11 a.m. after crews were able to get the plane up on dollies and roll it into a hangar, where an insurance adjuster is expected to look at it later today.

The plane, which is owned by the pilot, is a single-engine Cessna, Parry said. He said the cost of repairs is hard to estimate, but will probably exceed $10,000, especially if the engine has to be removed.

Police looking for man missing since morning

Authorities were searching late Tuesday night for a man who had been missing since early Tuesday morning.

Windham police said David F. Harmon, 41, was last seen by his wife, who dropped him off at the intersection of Land of Nod Road and Cole Road around 5:15 a.m.

He was wearing camouflage pants, boots and a camouflage shirt. He has short gray hair, brown eyes and a mustache.
Harmon is 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 200 pounds.

Anyone with information about his whereabouts should call the Windham Police Department at 892-2525 or call 911.

Council will hold hearing on proposed amendments

The Town Council will hold a public hearing today on proposed amendments to Scarborough’s charter, including a new recall provision for councilors and other elected officials.

Under the proposal, at least 25 voters would be needed to initiate the recall process. They would have 20 days to collect a number of signatures equal to 25 percent of the voters in the previous gubernatorial election – a figure that now stands at 2,207. 

At least that number of voters would have to participate in the recall election for the vote to be valid.

The Town Council today is also expected to decide which charter changes will go before voters in November.

The Town Council meeting begins at 7 p.m. in Council Chamber A of the Municipal Building.

Library will close for week due to outside construction

The Scarborough Public Library will be closed for a week in September because of construction work outside the building.

The project begins Sept. 7 and is expected to last through October, but the library will be closed only from Sept. 20-26.

The project will result in an expanded parking lot with additional general and handicapped use. Improved safety features include crosswalks, a drop-off zone, new sidewalks and unobstructed sight lines.

Updates on the project will be available at www.library.scarborough.me.us.

Regulators grant CMP approval for line upgrade

Utility regulators have approved a plan to upgrade a power line so it can carry electricity from a wind power facility being built near Rumford.

The Public Utilities Commission voted today to grant conditional approval to Central Maine Power to upgrade its line near Roxbury. The $13.5 million upgrade is needed to connect the proposed Record Hill wind farm to CMP’s electric transmission system.

The PUC’s conditions would require Record Hill Wind LLC to make a three-month prepayment to CMP of all construction costs, and quarterly reports to the commission monitoring project progress.

Approval allows CMP to replace an existing 34.5-kilovolt line from Rumford to Roxbury with a larger 115-kilovolt transmission line.