Police interview teenager about explosive devices

Portland police said they have interviewed a 13-year-old boy they believe assembled a pair of homemade explosive devices.

One detonated on Portland Street on Tuesday but caused no damage, police said.

Police responded to the area at 8:15 p.m. after reports of the explosion. They found the other device under a car and disabled it. The device was made from a plastic soda bottle and common household chemicals but if detonated near a person, it could have caused injuries, police said.

Nobody was charged but the information will be given to the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office for handling in the juvenile justice system, police said.

The devices were found near the Islamic Society of Portland Maine but police said the investigation showed the organization was not targeted.

Nursing home fined $10,000 after maggots discovered

A Portland nursing home has been fined $10,000 for improper licensing and neglect after maggots were discovered on a resident.

The Department of Health and Human Services reported in August that St. Joseph’s Manor had neglected a gravely ill resident whose body was infested with maggots.

The nursing home administrator said the facility acted appropriately but the state disagreed.

The state also fined St. Joseph’s Manor because David Hamlin did not have an active nursing home administrator’s license at the time.

But Hamlin said there was confusion over the license and that he believes he was authorized to be the administrator.

Hamlin is now serving as executive director; St. Joseph’s has appointed an interim administrator with a Maine license.

Man pleads not guilty in August stabbing death

Shawn Garland, the man accused of stabbing another man to death in a Grant Street apartment this summer, pleaded not guilty in Cumberland County Superior Court Wednesday.

Garland is accused of killing Richard Meyers, 58, on Aug. 12.

Garland has requested a jury trial, which was tentatively scheduled for next September. He is being held in Cumberland County Jail in lieu of bail pending the trial.

Garland’s lawyer has said the 25-year-old murder suspect has a long history of mental illness, which may have played a role in Meyers’ stabbing death.

Tom’s of Maine awarding five nonprofits $20,000 each

Natural products company Tom’s of Maine is awarding nonprofits in five states $20,000 each to advance and draw attention to their work.

The company tallied nearly 100,000 online votes for programs across the country as part of its annual “50 States for Good” initiative.

This year’s winning nonprofits include an Alabama group that trains college students to provide vision screenings for low-income preschool children; a free spay-neuter pet surgery program in Philadelphia; and a publicly owned, volunteer-maintained orchard in Indiana.

Volunteer cleanup to be held Saturday at Riverton park

Saturday, in celebration of the 17th annual National Public Lands Day, the City of Portland’s Public Services Department will host a volunteer cleanup at Riverton Trolley Park.

Due to erosion from flooding, some of the 36-acre park’s trails have deteriorated and require repairs.

For more information about the event, contact Joe Dumais at 797-4597 or [email protected]


Homeowner helps keep fire confined to her basement

A fire that broke out in the basement of a Willard Square home Wednesday evening was quickly brought under control, thanks in part to the efforts of the homeowner.

Mary Sullivan of 15 Bayview St. was checked out by firefighters, but did not suffer any serious injuries after using a fire extinguisher and garden hose to keep the fire in her basement from spreading.

Lt. Chris Copp said the fire was confined to the basement. The fire, which was reported around 7:30 p.m., damaged the home’s electrical system. The cause remains under investigation.



Hundreds attend funeral of family killed in crash

More than 400 people attended the funeral of a family of three killed in a car crash in Dedham last week.

The funeral was held Tuesday for Carlos Tapia, 34, a member of the U.S. Coast Guard stationed at Jonesport; his wife, Rachelle Parker-Tapia, 23; and her 4-year-old daughter, Mackenzie Gray. They were pronounced dead at the scene after their car and a pickup truck collided on Sept. 14 on Route 1A.

Mourners Tuesday at the Beals Island funeral included more than 60 Coast Guard members and representatives from the U.S. Navy, Border Patrol and Homeland Security, the Bangor Daily News reported.


Council approves borrowing to buy land for police station

The Brunswick Town Council this week authorized borrowing up to $1,175,000 to buy land for a new police station.

The land and buildings, some of which are still occupied, are at the corner of Stanwood and Pleasant streets. The town has secured options to acquire the properties.

Police Chief Richard J. Rizzo said having a modern police station will not only present a positive image, but should improve morale among officers.

For years, the police department has been forced to operate out of a mostly windowless, cramped basement space under Town Hall. Some town officials have called it a dungeon.

“It’s probably one of the worst police stations in the state,” Rizzo said.

The town examined the possibility of acquiring and renovating the former Times Record newspaper building on Industry Road, but decided it would be too costly.

The cost to build a new police station is still being looked at, but in June the Town Council approved a five-year capital spending plan that includes $6.65 million to build a new station.


Colby honors journalist who covered Mexico’s drug wars

Alfredo Corchado, a journalist who has covered Mexico’s bloody drug wars, will receive Colby College’s 2010 Elijah Parish Lovejoy Award for courageous journalism.

The selection committee at the Maine liberal arts college said that despite death threats, Corchado has continued to report about drug dealers, organized crime, disappearances and deaths.

Corchado, who serves as Mexico bureau chief for the Dallas Morning News, said he’ll accept the award Sunday in memory of his Mexican colleagues and “dedicate it to those who continue to risk their lives to document one of the most important stories of our time.”

The Lovejoy Award was established in 1952. It’s named for a Colby graduate who was murdered in 1837 while defending his press against a pro-slavery mob in Illinois.


Historic significance delays plans to demolish tenement

Questions about the history of a tenement in Auburn have delayed plans to demolish it for redevelopment.

The building is one of six the city plans to demolish this fall.

A coordinator from the Maine State Historical Commission toured the property and determined it could have historic significance, the Lewiston Sun Journal reported. It may have served as housing for mill employees at the turn of the century.

Assessor’s records say the three-story brick and clapboard building with a gable roof was constructed in 1904. It’s listed as a four-family home, with four bathrooms and 13 bedrooms. No one has lived in it since 2003.


Central Maine Healthcare laying off 35 employees

Central Maine Healthcare is laying off 35 employees at Central Maine Medical Center and two other hospitals in an effort to stabilize its finances.

Central Maine Healthcare said the job cuts include seven managers and 28 nonmanagement jobs. Most of the layoffs are taking place at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, with smaller numbers at CMH’s other two hospitals in Rumford and Bridgton.

Hospital officials said the volume of patients is down and an increasing number aren’t paying their bills. President and CEO Peter Chalke said the biggest problem is the millions in unpaid state reimbursements for services provided under MaineCare, the Medicaid program for low-income and disabled residents.


Suspect in stabbing death not criminally responsible

A former Skowhegan woman was found not criminally responsible by reason of insanity Tuesday in the Christmas Eve 2009 stabbing death of Richard Howe of Troy.

Karen McCaul, 46, was committed indefinitely to Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta.

The medical examiner determined Howe, 63, died from a stab wound to the chest. Howe’s body was found inside McCaul’s front door.

Superior Court Justice John Nivison made his determination Tuesday based on an agreement accepted by both the state and McCaul’s defense attorneys.

Howe was a volunteer driver for the Kennebec Valley Community Action Program. McCaul had been a client of Howe’s, but he had not been scheduled to pick her up that day.

Clinical and forensic psychologist Luke Douglas, who had done contract evaluations of McCaul for the State Forensic Services, said she suffered from a paranoid type of schizophrenia, and had been hospitalized many times over the past 20 years.


Chamber opposes proposal for casino in Oxford County

The Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce is asking Mainers to vote against the November ballot proposal to allow a casino in Oxford County, saying it would harm economic development in other communities.

Chamber board members say language barring new gaming facilities within a 100-mile radius of Oxford would shut out other Maine communities from the gaming industry.

Chamber President John Porter said Monday that passage would also hurt Hollywood Slots, the Bangor casino owned by Penn National Gaming.

Supporters of the proposed $165 million casino in Oxford County say it would create jobs and generate millions in new revenue.


Camp Sunshine awarded $100,000 from Hyundai

Camp Sunshine is the recipient of a $100,000 “Hope Grant” given through the “Hyundai Gives Hope on Wheels” program.

During a ceremony at 11 a.m. Saturday, local Hyundai dealers and representatives from Hyundai Motor America will present the grant to Camp Sunshine to support its mission to improve the lives of children with life-threatening illnesses. Child cancer patients and their families, as well as doctors, staff and volunteers from Camp Sunshine, are expected to attend.

Camp Sunshine, in Casco, offers children and their families a way to take a break from the trials of dealing with illness. Families can enjoy the camp, which is staffed almost entirely by volunteers, free of charge.


State getting more funding to help Mainers heat homes

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced it will provide $1.37 million in emergency funding to help eligible low-income Mainers heat their homes this winter.

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, helps eligible families pay for home heating and cooling costs.

The contingency funds released Thursday are in addition to the more than $59 million in LIHEAP funding that was already allocated for Maine during the current fiscal year.

Individuals interested in applying for energy assistance should contact their local/state LIHEAP agency. For more information, go to the agency’s website.