Quarry foes appeal decision that allows Pike to mine site

Artel and Smiling Hill Farm have appealed an agreement that would allow Pike Industries to mine its rock quarry in the Five Star Industrial Park.

The agreement was approved last month by Maine Business Court Justice Thomas Humphrey.

The agreement, which restricts how Pike may operate its quarry, satisfied initial objections to the quarry by Idexx Laboratories and the city.

But lawyers for Artel and Smiling Hill Farm say the agreement usurps zoning functions normally reserved for municipal planning boards and councils.

No court dates have been scheduled.


LePage leads fundraising field in last weeks of race

Republican Gov.-elect Paul LePage topped the fundraising efforts of his opponents during the final weeks of the gubernatorial race, according to new campaign finance reports filed Tuesday.

LePage raised about $124,000 during the final reporting period, which began Oct. 20 and ended Dec. 7.

Independent Eliot Cutler, who finished about 1 percentage point behind LePage, raised about $102,000 during the same period, and loaned his campaign $350,000.

Democrat Libby Mitchell, who finished a distant third, used public funds to finance her candidacy.

Last-place finisher Kevin Scott, another independent, raised about $600.

Final spending reports from the candidates were due by midnight Tuesday; independent Shawn Moody was the only candidate not to file before 5 p.m.


Pedestrian killed as he was getting his mail on Route 24

A Brunswick man was killed Monday when he was hit by a car in front of his home.

Ronald A. Pottle, 66, of 234 Gurnet Road was hit at 6:14 p.m. as he crossed the road back to his house from his mailbox, police said. Pottle was hit by a 2007 Pontiac Grand Prix driven by Douglas Self, 55, of Brunswick, who was going south on Gurnet Road, which is also Route 24.

Brunswick rescue took Pottle to Maine Medical Center in Portland, but he died from his injuries.

Police are investigating the crash, but “all indications are there will be no charges,” said Cmdr. Mark Hagan.

Rain impeded the driver’s visibility and there was oncoming traffic, which also may have contributed to the crash, he said.


School board plans to vote on proposed core principles

The Board of Public Education will vote tonight on proposed core principles to guide future budget and policy decisions.

The board will meet at 7 p.m. in Room 250 at Casco Bay High School.

The core principles support “an organization that strives for continuous improvement, with agreed-upon goals and evidence of progress.” They also promote “leadership at all levels that supports student learning (through) financial and operational priorities.”

The district “demonstrates fiscal responsibility and effective long-term financial planning” and “celebrates and partners with the diverse culture of our community,” according to the principles.


Manager of doughnut shops pleads guilty to hiring illegals

A New Hampshire man has pleaded guilty to employing illegal immigrants at several Dunkin’ Donuts stores he managed in Maine.

George Valvanis, 53, of Atkinson pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court in Portland to one count of engaging in a pattern of recruiting or hiring illegal immigrants and one count of lying on an immigration document.

Federal prosecutors say that from 2001 to 2009, Valvanis knowingly employed 18 illegal immigrants to work in Dunkin’ Donuts stores he managed in the Portland area.

He faces as much as 5 1/2 years in prison on the two charges. Sentencing is scheduled for April.


Beach to Beacon organizers to pay $25,000 fee in 2011

Organizers of the TD Bank Beach to Beacon road race will have to pay $25,000 for a new use fee that is being assessed for next year’s race.

The Town Council unanimously approved the fee Monday to raise money for upkeep at Fort Williams Park, which is the finishing point for the 10-kilometer race.

The Beach to Beacon board has said it will consider raising the $35 registration fee for runners to cover the cost.

The race, founded by Olympic gold medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson, is held each August and draws elite runners from around the world. Last year’s field had 7,000 runners.


Senate to weigh proposal to extend heavier truck limits

The U.S. Senate is poised to consider extending a pilot program allowing heavier trucks to keep on rolling on federal highways in Maine and Vermont.

Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said Tuesday that they persuaded the Appropriations Committee to include a one-year extension in the Senate spending bill.

Supporters of the program, which allows trucks weighing as much as 100,000 pounds on federal highways, say it promotes safety by keeping heavy trucks off secondary roads. The program is scheduled to expire Saturday; the weight limit would go back down to 80,000 pounds.

The provision was missing from a federal spending bill approved by the House last week.

Collins and Leahy say the Senate bill will come up for debate this week.