Police identify victim of fatal fire on Grant Street

Police have identified the victim of a fatal fire on Grant Street as 43-year-old Ronald Sapaukas.

Lt. Gary Rogers said the state Medical Examiner’s Office determined that Sapaukas died from smoke inhalation during the fire, which was reported early Tuesday morning.

Rogers said Sapaukas’ clothing caught fire as he stood near his electric stove. Investigators said he suffered severe burns. Sapaukas was rushed to Maine Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Rogers said the fire has been determined to be accidental. 

Portland-based SMRT will develop civic center plan

A Portland-based architectural firm has been selected to develop a conceptual plan for renovating the Cumberland County Civic Center.

The civic center’s board of trustees announced Wednesday that it has selected SMRT to develop the plan. Any final plan for renovation will be presented in November to Cumberland County voters for approval.

“We were very fortunate to have a number of very strong architectural firms respond to our request for qualifications on this project,” said Neal Pratt, chairman of the trustees.


Natural-gas leak forces evacuation of high school

Students and staff members were evacuated from Freeport High School on Wednesday because of a natural-gas leak.

A leak from a stove was detected at 12:20 p.m. by workers who were at the high school. Students and faculty members were moved to Morse Street School while workers made repairs. No one was hurt, said police Lt. Susan Nourse


Food vendors considered in plan for Fort Williams

For the first time, food carts may be allowed at Fort Williams Park.

The town’s Fort Williams Advisory Commission is finalizing a request for proposals for vendors. The Town Council is expected to vote on the request next week.

The vendors would participate in a pilot program aimed at generating revenue for the town-owned park. Five permits would be issued, for three locations. Three of the permits would allow sales from May 1 to Aug. 31 and the other two would be for Sept. 1 to Oct. 31. The minimum cost of a permit would be $2,000.

The proposal would allow sales of food and non-alcoholic beverages only.


Paisley concert tickets will go on sale March 26

Tickets for the concert July 17 at Scarborough Downs by country music superstar Brad Paisley will go on sale March 26, the show’s promoter announced Wednesday.

Ticket prices were not announced. The tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. March 26, and will be available by calling (888) 333-3101 or online at www.SpeedyTix.com. All seats are reserved.

The show is being billed as the First Annual Seacoast Country Music Festival. Also performing will be Blake Shelton and Jerrod Neimann.

Paisley has sold more than 15 million albums. His new album, “This Is Country Music,” will be released on May 24.


Corrections official details savings from consolidation

Lawmakers were told that efforts to consolidate state and county corrections systems will have saved taxpayers more than $19 million from 2009 to 2013.

Maine Board of Corrections Chairman Neale Duffett told lawmakers Wednesday that the savings have come from things like a single accounting system within a system that encompasses 15 facilities, and exchanges of prisoners.

Duffett also told the Appropriations Committee that the board is looking closely at joint purchases as a way to economize further.


Ski academy to get new headmaster as Ritzo leaves

The ski academy that Bode Miller, Seth Wescott and Kirsten Clark attended will get a new headmaster.

John Ritzo will step down after 25 years at Carrabassett Valley Academy, near Sugarloaf Mountain. He will be succeeded by Kate Webber Punderson, who has worked at the academy for the past 10 years as a coach, director of development and alumni relations, and director of finance.

Ritzo arrived at Carrabassett Valley Academy in 1986 and oversaw accreditation and construction of a dorm. During his tenure, the school’s athletes won three gold, three silver and two bronze medals in the Olympics.

On Sept. 1, Ritzo will begin a new job at Thornton Academy in Saco, but he said Carrabassett Valley Academy will be in good hands.


OSHA proposes $212,000 fine after paper-mill injury

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is proposing that a paper mill be fined $212,000 for alleged safety violations.

OSHA announced Wednesday that it has cited Lincoln Paper and Tissue LLC for an accident in September that burned a worker when steam and condensate burst out of the end of a high-pressure steam line.

William Coffin, OSHA’s area director for Maine, said OSHA is proposing sizable fines because the hazards at the mill found after the incident were similar to hazards that were cited and corrected after a 2008 inspection of the plant.

Dennis McComb, the mill’s environmental and safety manager, said everything cited by OSHA has been corrected. He said the company has yet to decide whether to appeal.


Bates orchestra to perform benefit concert for Japan

The Bates College Orchestra will give a concert to benefit victims of the earthquake crisis in Japan at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Olin Arts Center, at 75 Russell St. in Lewiston.

Orchestra conductor Hiroya Miura was born in Sendai, the earthquake’s epicenter. Members of his family, who live in Yamamoto-cho, just south of Sendai, are dealing with the aftermath.

All donations will be presented to the mayor of Yamamoto-cho for relief services and rebuilding.

Admission will be free but tickets are required. Contact the arts center at [email protected] or 786-6163 for tickets.

Credit card donations may be made through www.batestickets.com or by checks made payable to Bates College and mailed to: Support for Japan, The Olin Arts Center, 75 Russell St. Lewiston 04240. 

Evidence of meth lab found in apartment, police say

Police say they have uncovered evidence of a methamphetamine lab in Lewiston.

Maine Drug Enforcement Agency commander Darrell Crandall told the Sun Journal that drug agents and Lewiston police found chemicals, solvents and other materials Tuesday during a search of an unoccupied apartment on River Street.

Crandall said nobody has been arrested and the investigation continues.


Four rescued in fire after call via medical alert device

Four people, including a bedridden woman, were rescued from a burning home in the town of Liberty.

Liberty Fire Chief Bill Gillespie said heavy smoke was pouring from the home of Theresa and Benjamin Signor when firefighters arrived about 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Gillespie said an oil delivery man who was passing by, Andrew McLeod, helped him drag Theresa Signor out of the house on her mattress through a sliding glass door.

The chief then returned to help Benjamin Signor and two adult grandchildren.

He said all four were conscious, but coughing.

Theresa Signor activated a panic alarm on a medical alert necklace to call for help.

The Bangor Daily News said the cause of the fire is unknown, but it’s not considered suspicious.