Sinclair, Time Warner need another week to forge deal

Sinclair Broadcast Group says it will take another week to hammer out its latest contract with Time Warner Cable.

The two sides have been negotiating how much Time Warner Cable Inc. will pay to carry Sinclair’s broadcast TV stations. Among Sinclair’s stations is Portland’s CBS affiliate, WGME.

Sinclair and Time Warner were not able to reach a deal by the time their previous contract expired, Dec. 31, which left open the possibility that roughly 4 million Time Warner customers could lose one of their network TV stations.

After several contract extensions, the two reached a tentative deal last weekend.


Town may shift dispatch duties to Sanford’s center

Town officials are looking to have the Sanford Regional Communications Center take over Old Orchard Beach’s 911 emergency calls and non-emergency dispatch calls.

Town Manager Jack Turcotte said shifting dispatch operations to Sanford could save the town an estimated $135,000 a year. He said it also would follow the state’s push to consolidate call centers by county in Maine.

The town now employs six dispatchers to handle non-emergency calls.

The Sanford Regional Communications Center now answers 911 from Acton, Alfred, Arundel, Kennebunk, Lebanon, Limerick, Newfield, North Berwick, Sanford, Springvale, Shapleigh and Waterboro, and dispatches the towns’ police, fire and rescue personnel for non-emergency calls.

The Town Council is expected to discuss the proposal further on Feb. 1.


Builder of illegal treehouse told to apply for a variance

A York man has been asked to apply for a variance if he wants to save a treehouse that the town says violates shoreland rules.

David Tyndall and his 9-year-old son built the treehouse last summer on Tyndall’s property on Sheepscot Lake. They built it, without a permit, 93 feet from the high-water mark of Sheepscot Lake.

Code Enforcement Officer Darryl McKenney ordered Tyndall to remove the treehouse because Palermo’s shoreland ordinance prohibits any structures within 100 feet of the lake.

Tyndall took his case to the Board of Appeals on Wednesday. Board members voted unanimously that they lack jurisdiction to hear Tyndall’s appeal.

Appeals board Chairman Richard Thompson said he will send Tyndall the form to apply for a variance.


Two flu vaccination clinics will be held next week

Portland’s Health and Human Services Department will hold two flu vaccination clinics next week.

A small number of seasonal flu cases have been confirmed in Maine. Flu season typically starts in December and lasts into March or April.

The Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending vaccination against influenza for all Mainers 6 months and older. Portland’s Public Health Division vaccinated more than 1,200 adults in previous clinics.

The seasonal flu vaccine, which includes H1N1 and two other flu strains, will be available for $10 or at no cost for people with Medicare Part B cards. All types of insurance, including MaineCare, will be accepted.

Pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine will also be available, for $45 or free for people with MaineCare.

The clinics are open to children and adults.

They will be held:

Wednesday, 4 to 7 p.m., at the Portland Community Health Center, at 180 Park Ave.

Jan. 29, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the First Lutheran Church, at 132 Auburn St.

For more information, contact Portland’s Flu Hotline at 874-8946 or go to


Orphaned moose calf dies at rehabilitation center

An orphaned moose calf that became well known around Saddleback Mountain has died in captivity.

Deborah Turcotte of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife said the young moose died Thursday, and preliminary necropsy results indicate that a parasitic roundworm in the lungs played a role in the young moose’s death.

The moose, born last summer, was dubbed “South Branch Suzie” because she liked to hang out at Saddleback’s South Branch skiing area. The moose was so used to being around people that game wardens tranquilized and transported her to a wildlife rehabilitation center.

The moose was popular beyond Saddleback – Suzie’s Facebook page has more than 1,100 friends.


Teen, 14, admits shooting vehicles with pellet gun

Police say a teenager who got a pellet gun for Christmas used the gun to take potshots at passing cars from his porch.

Old Town police say the 14-year-old boy shot at least four vehicles, including a new 2011 pickup truck owned by the Penobscot Indian Nation Warden Service.

Police Sgt. Travis Roy said that after receiving multiple reports of damage, he started going door to door. He said that at one of the homes he found that a boy had received a high-power pellet gun for Christmas. He says the boy confessed.

Roy told the Bangor Daily News that the shooter had a typical teen response when asked why he did it: He was “bored.”


Woman sentenced after hiding in car at border

A Brazilian woman who attempted to enter Maine illegally by hiding in the trunk of a Canadian woman’s car has been sentenced to 12 days in jail.

The sentence imposed by Judge Margaret Kravchuk amounts to the time already served by 29-year-old Daniela Cristine Tonel-Alves. She was arrested on Jan. 8 with a 43-year-old New Brunswick woman, who awaits sentencing. 

The Bangor Daily News said court documents indicate Tonel-Alves grew up in Framingham, Mass., after coming to the U.S. with her parents when she was 8. She’s married to a Brazilian citizen and has two children who are U.S. citizens, but her lawyer says the couple has no documentation.

The couple applied last year for a change in their immigration status, which was denied.


Humvee rebuilding plant may lay off 152 workers

A company that refurbishes military vehicles might have to lay off nearly half of its workers unless it gets substantial work orders soon.

Tim Corbett of the Maine Military Authority in Limestone said he told workers that 152 of the company’s 350 workers could lose their jobs on March 1.

The authority has refurbished about 10,000 Humvees for the National Guard.

Corbett said the company’s funding comes from Defense Department earmarks, but the earmarks weren’t approved by Congress this year.

He told the Bangor Daily News that in the past the company has worked with Maine’s congressional delegation to avoid the cutbacks, but could not do it this year.