Police searching for man last seen Nov. 21

Police are searching for Cesaire B. Cote, who was reported missing Monday.

Cote, 35, who may also go by Romeo M. Blais, was last seen Nov. 21 by his family at his home in Biddeford, said Deputy Police Chief JoAnne Fisk.

He told family members that he was going out to his car, and never returned. He had his wallet and a cell phone. The car is a black 1998 Oldsmobile Cutlass with Maine license plate number 8655NK.

Cote is 5 foot 8 inches tall, weighs 160 pounds and has brown hair and hazel eyes. Family members expressed concern because Cote suffers from depression.

Anyone with information about Cote is asked to contact Biddeford police at 282-5127.


Information meeting set on planned Route 88 sidewalk

The Maine Department of Transportation will hold a public information meeting at 6 p.m. Jan. 6 at the town office to detail a proposed sidewalk project along Route 88.

Project officials will detail their plans to install a 5-foot-wide sidewalk with curbing along 750 feet on the west side of Route 88. They also will take questions and recommendations regarding the project.

Additional inquiries about the project should be forwarded to: Project Manager Aurele Gorneau, Maine Department of Transportation, Multimodal Program, Child Street, 16 State House Station, Augusta 04333-0016, or call 624-3553.


Mainers digging out from snow totals of 1 to 10 inches

Mainers dug out Thursday from a snowstorm that left nearly a foot in some areas, setting the scene for a white Christmas. Most parts of the state got a couple inches of snow from an ocean storm.

Authorities in York and Cumberland counties reported a few minor accidents overnight because of slick roads.

The National Weather Service said snow totals ranged from 1 inch in Kittery and Sanford to 4 inches in Bangor, 6 inches in Augusta, 8 inches in Knox and 10 inches in Greenville. Some northern locations were expecting nearly a foot before the snow stopped.

Forecasters say there will be a couple of clear days around Christmas before a strong storm develops Sunday. That could mean heavy snow in Maine, especially along the coast.

State offices closed for holidays, cost cutting

State government offices are closed in observance of Christmas. State offices were also closed Thursday, to reduce expenses.

Gov. John Baldacci said Thursday’s closures were authorized as a cost-saving measure for the budget that ends June 30. He said every effort was made to reduce the impact to Maine residents, businesses and communities.

Thursday’s closure was the fifth of 10 state government closure days this fiscal year.


Realtors say November home sales drop 24 percent

The Maine Association of Realtors says home sales fell 24 percent in November from a year ago, but the median sale price rose nearly 4 percent.

The organization said Thursday that real estate agents sold 781 existing single-family homes for the month, down from 1,025 in November 2009. The median sale price was $170,000, up from $164,000.

For the three-month period from September through November, the number of homes sold in Maine was down 25 percent from the same period last year. Home sales fell in 13 of Maine’s 16 counties during those months.


Madison Paper Industries getting a new owner

A paper mill in Madison will soon have a new owner.

Madison Paper Industries has been owned by a Finnish company, Myllykoski Corp., for the past 32 years. Finnish papermaking giant UPM-Kymmene said this week that it is acquiring Myllykoski and German-based Rhein Paper in a deal valued at $1.2 billion.

Myllykoski and Rhein Papier have seven paper mills in Germany, Finland and the United States, including Madison Paper.

Madison Paper is the town’s biggest employer and taxpayer. Town officials told the Morning Sentinel that they are hopeful the sale will lead to improvements at the mill.

The transaction is expected to be completed next spring.


Firefighters save captain who had heart attack

A fire captain from Bangor says he’s grateful to be alive, after suffering a heart attack while on an emergency call.

Capt. John Prentiss was with four colleagues in a firetruck on Sunday when he passed out and turned blue. Firefighter Nate Snyder said he and the other firefighters had seen the look: He said Prentiss was dead.

The firefighters with Prentiss did cardiopulmonary resuscitation and used a defibrillator to restart his heart.

Prentiss was taken to the Eastern Maine Medical Center, where doctors inserted a stent into a coronary artery. He was released from the hospital two days later.

Prentiss told the Bangor Daily News that he wouldn’t have survived without the four firefighters he called his guardian angels.